ANIMAL ANDY, a middle grade novella by Kathy Sattem Rygg, releases August 24th and can be pre-ordered now for a 20% discount!
Ten-year-old Andy Ohman is spending his summer working at the Aksarben City Zoo where his dad is curator. There are rumors the city might close the zoo due to budget cuts. An anonymous donor has given the zoo an antique animal carousel, and Andy's dad is hopeful it will boost attendance. Andy's doubtful that an old kiddie ride will make a difference. He doesn't see what's so special about it. But when he takes it for a spin, he will unlock the magic that will help save the zoo.
The following excerpt is from the scene where Andy takes his first magical ride on the menagerie carousel.
Andy glanced at the frozen zebra in front of him. He turned to ask Zeb another question, but he was gone, as if vanished into thin air. Goosebumps prickled Andy’s arms. He rubbed them away and turned back toward the carousel.
He stepped up onto its worn, wooden platform and walked around the edge. As he passed each animal, he ran his hand over its glossy back. Their saddles were smooth and firm, like the old-fashioned rocking horse at his grandparent's house.
Pausing in front of the zebra, he placed one hand on the brass pole that ran up through the black mane on its neck. He admired the painted bright blue and green saddle. Making sure no one was around, he placed one foot in the stirrup and threw his leg over the other side. The curved seat was a perfect fit. Maybe Benny was right. The carousel didn’t seem so bad.
Andy relaxed in the saddle when, all of the sudden, every light bulb in the ceiling blinked to life. Blaring carnival music spilled from hidden speakers. The platform began to turn, and his body rose upward. He tried placing his foot in the stirrup to get down, but it was like his arms and legs were glued in place.
Confused, he glanced around. Had Zeb turned it on? He didn’t see anyone. The carousel picked up speed. Fear rose inside him as the zebra rotated up and down on the center pole.
Everything blurred as he continued to spin, so he focused on the zebra’s black stripes. When that didn’t help, he closed his eyes. The tighter he squeezed them, the less his stomach churned.
The carousel slowed down and came to a complete stop. The carnival music shut off, leaving an abrupt silence. Andy exhaled and opened his eyes. The whirling in his head faded. Then he heard a fast, high-pitched braying sound, like a donkey. Had it come from the nearby petting corral? The zoo didn’t have a donkey. The sound came again.He was horrified to realize this time it sounded like it came from his own mouth!
To find out more about Kathy Sattem Rygg and to view the book trailer for ANIMAL ANDY visit her blog site A SENSE OF FICTION.