The Mystery of the Gold Coin CHAPTER 1 The Surprise
“So what’s the surprise?” Ethan Briar asked.
“Yeah, what is it, Mom and Dad?” Ethan’s twin sister, Ella, chimed in.
Their mother, Josephine, smiled nervously. Their father, Andy, reached over and squeezed her hand. Ella tried to guess what they were going to say. Was it going to be a new puppy? Or maybe cool matching bikes?
“Ta-da! We’re moving,” Mr. Briar announced.
“You mean to a new house?” Ella asked, confused.
Mrs. Briar shook her head. “No, not to a new house. I just accepted a new job. I’m going to be the travel writer for the Brookeston Times.”
“So why do we have to move? The Brookeston Times is in Brookeston,” Ella pointed out. The Times was their town’s newspaper—everyone read it.
“That’s the exciting part,” Mr. Briar said. “Starting next week we’ll be traveling to different foreign cities so your mom can write about them.”
“Foreign, like, another country?” Ethan asked.
“Yes,” Mr. Briar said happily. “Like Spain and England and Peru and India and—”
“Wait! Did you say next week?” Ella interrupted.
“Yep. We’re leaving next Sunday,” Mrs. Briar said.
“Next Sunday?!” Ethan exclaimed. “What about school? And soccer?”
“And our friends? And Grandpa Harry? Will we be able to visit them?” Ella asked.
“Well . . . ,” Mrs. Briar paused. “Not right away. But we can stay in touch with everyone. And, of course, we’ll come back to Brookeston—”
“Someday. We’re just not yet sure when,” Mr. Briar finished.
Ethan put his fork down. Ella had lost her appetite, too.
“It’ll be the adventure of a lifetime,” Mr. Briar said brightly. “We’ll see some of the most incredible sights in the world! Places like the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower in France—”
“Do they have soccer in China and France?” Ethan cut in.
“Yes, of course! And as for school, we’ve already spoken to Principal McDermott. I’ll be homeschooling you both,” Mr. Briar went on.
Mr. Briar was a history professor at Brookeston University. He was supersmart. He knew stuff like who invented the boogie board (Tom Morey) and the name of the first king of England (Egbert).
Still, Ella could not imagine their dad being their teacher. He didn’t sing silly “good morning” songs like their real second-grade teacher, Mrs. Applebaum. And he didn’t serve green milk on St. Patrick’s Day, either.