The Tell-Tale Start
by Gordon McAlpine
You can find The Tell-Tale Start at your local or school library, or at local or online bookstores. It’s also available as an ebook for your iPad, Kindle, or Nook.
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About the Book
Identical twins Edgar and Allan Poe are far from ordinary middle schoolers. Not only are they certifiably brilliant, but they are also proud to be the great-great-great-great grandnephews of famous 19th century author Edgar Allan Poe. They look a lot like him, they live in Baltimore as he did, and they share his love for “the thrilling and unexpected” (2). What’s more, Edgar and Allan are so in sync with one another that they can read each other’s thoughts! Naturally, they don’t find regular schoolwork very challenging, so they spend all of their free time conducting intricate science experiments, reprogramming computers, reading True Tales of Horror, decoding fortune cookies, and teaching their beloved cat, Roderick Usher, to do unusual tricks. To the delight of their school friends, the twins are also masterful pranksters who make classes exciting and keep would-be bullies in check.
Overall, things are going pretty well for Edgar and Allan—other than being temporarily expelled from school—until their cat goes missing. They cannot bear to lose this last connection to their parents, who gave them Roderick Usher as a kitten shortly before they died in a botched satellite launch seven years ago. When they receive a mysterious phone call saying their cat has ended up at a Wizard of Oz theme park in Kansas, Edgar and Allan will do anything to convince Uncle Jack and Aunt Judith to drive them there. What the Poe twins don’t know, though, is that their parents’ disappearance wasn’t an accident, and neither is their cat’s! Someone creepy is after Edgar and Allan, but why? Will the boys decode the clues, survive their cross-country road trip, and escape with Roderick Usher in time?
About the Author
Although he was a capable reader from an early age, author Gordon McAlpine didn’t really get into books until he discovered a series of mysteries for children called Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Three Investigators around age nine. These books were the first to spark his imagination, and his interest in creative writing as a career grew from there. McAlpine went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine. He has taught fiction-writing courses at several colleges and universities in California and written several television scripts, short stories, novels, and nonfiction books for adults. The Tell-Tale Start, which grew into a three-book series called The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe, was his first book for middle-grade readers. In his spare time, McAlpine enjoys reading, playing basketball, and exploring new places. He lives with his wife and three dogs in Southern California. To learn more about McAlpine—and see some of Edgar, Allan, and Roderick Usher’s favorite roadside attractions—visit the author’s personal Web site.