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Copyright Copyright © 2009 by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Little, Brown and Company Hachette Book Group 237 ParkAvenue, New York, NY 10017 Visit our website at Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc. First eBook Edition: December 2009 The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, iscoincidental and not intended by the authors. To the extent any real names of individuals, locations, or organizations are included in the book, they are used fictitiously and not intended to be taken otherwise. STRENGTH TO LOVE and LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL speeches by DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. copyright © 1963 by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; copyright renewed © 1991 by Coretta Scott King.Reprinted by arrangement with the heirs to the estate of Martin Luther King Jr., c/o Writers House New York, NY. ISBN: 978-0-316-07128-4

Contents Copyright Before: The Middle of Nowhere 9.02: Dream On 9.02: New Girl 9.02: A Hole in the Sky 9.11: Collision 9.12: Broken Glass 9.12: Greenbrier 9.12: The Sisters 9.14: The Real Boo Radley 9.15: A Fork in the Road 9.24: The Last Three Rows 10.09:Gathering Days 10.09: A Crack in the Plaster 10.09: The Greats 10.10: Red Sweater 10.13: Marian the Librarian 10.31: Hallow E’en 11.01: The Writing on the Wall 11.27: Just Your Average American Holiday 11.28: Domus Lunae Libri 12.01: It Rhymes with Witch

12.06: Lost and Found 12.07: Grave Digging 12.08: Waist Deep 12.13: Melting 12.16: When the Saints Go Marching In 12.19: White Christmas 1.12:Promise 2.04: The Sandman or Something Like Him 2.05: The Battle of Honey Hill 2.11: Sweet Sixteen 2.11: Lollipop Girl 2.11: Family Reunion 2.11: The Claiming 2.12: Silver Lining Acknowledgments About the Authors For Nick & Stella Emma, May & Kate and all our casters & outcasters, everywhere. There are more of us than you think.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatecannot drive out hate; only love can do that. —MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

BEFORE The Middle of Nowhere
There were only two kinds of people in our town. “The stupid and the stuck,” my father had affectionately classified our neighbors. “The ones who are bound to stay or too dumb to go. Everyone else finds a way out.” There was no question which one he was, but I’d never had the courage to ask why. Myfather was a writer, and we lived in Gatlin, South Carolina, because the Wates always had, since my great-great-great-great-granddad, Ellis Wate, fought and died on the other side of the Santee River during the Civil War. Only folks down here didn’t call it the Civil War. Everyone under the age of sixty called it the War Between the States, while everyone over sixty called it the War of NorthernAggression, as if somehow the North had baited the South into war over a bad bale of cotton. Everyone, that is, except my family. We called it the Civil War. Just another reason I couldn’t wait to get out of here. Gatlin wasn’t like the small towns you saw in the movies, unless it was a movie from about fifty years ago. We were too far from Charleston to have a Starbucks or a McDonald’s. All we hadwas a Dar-ee Keen, since the Gentrys were too cheap to buy all new letters when they bought the Dairy King. The library still had a card catalog, the high school still had chalkboards, and our community pool was Lake Moultrie, warm brown water and all. You could see a movie at the Cineplex about the same time it came out on DVD, but you had to hitch a ride over to Summerville, by the community...
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