Just how does the new girl in Hamilton, California fit in when her best friends are misfits? That’s the problem The Mythfits heroine Norma Leiber faces when she stumbles into the clubhouse of the most unpopular children at Bullfinch School, only to discover they’ve been touched by magic. In their true forms, they’re mythological beings that hide their real identities behind magical charms fashioned by their mysterious teacher, Ms. Link. While Norma tries to meet the normal challenges of being the new girl at school, she is drawn into the world of these magical kids who call themselves The Mythfits. Norma learns that her friends are only a part of the weirdness in her new hometown. She soon finds herself in the middle of a supernatural conflict that will change the lives of everyone around her.
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Norma stopped to catch her breath and immediately felt a chill travel down her spine accompanied by the uneasy sensation that someone was staring at her. She just had to turn around, but not before wiping her nose against her sleeve and dabbing at her eyes. No one should see her crying. She braced herself to encounter something shocking and vaguely grotesque. Why was that? She’d grown up in a big city with a lot more frightening potential than anything this Podunk town could offer.
Swallowing her fear, Norma turned to see a girl sitting on an old tire swing being pushed by a boy in baggy jeans, his cap turned backwards. The tire hung from a gnarled tree beside a ramshackle shed. The girl had bright red hair and the palest skin Norma had ever seen. The boy was solid in his stance, sturdily pushing the swing from one spot, not even budging when it swung back too far and bumped him. He was Asian, which pleased Norma because she had feared that all the people in the town would be the same. Of course, she cautioned herself, one Asian does not diversity make...
“Okay,” Norma said to herself, “I can handle this.” She gave herself a mental pep talk as she made her way over to the swing. Introduce yourself. Be friendly. Don’t be shy. Norma hadn’t come to a stop yet when she started her barrage. “Hello. My name is Norma Leiber. I just moved to Hamilton. I’m going to be starting sixth grade at Bullfinch next week. What grade are you in?”
There was a beat of silence as Norma stared into the hazel eyes of the pale girl. There seemed to be little golden flecks swirling in the orbs of yellow brown. Norma had to look away. She’d been out stared. She found herself now looking at the boy, who never shifted his position but afforded her an unblinking sidelong glance. Out stared twice. As her gaze traveled again, she focused on a large turquoise pendant hanging from a chain of twisted gold that hung around the girl’s neck.
“That’s a beautiful necklace, “ Norma mumbled, desperate to break the stillness.
“Thank you, “ replied the pale girl. “My name is Cornelia Cornwall. I’ll also be starting sixth grade.” Her voice had the strange quality of sounding like a loud whisper. Every word was distinctly audible, but demanded complete attention or would be lost.
“Well, t-that’s terrific!” responded Norma. “Maybe we’ll be in some of the same classes. What are the teachers like? Do they give a lot of homework?”
“Actually, we won’t be in the same class. My friend Darwin and I and some others are in a special program “ said Cornelia. “Our teacher’s great and we don’t get much homework.”
Norma was uncertain what to say. Ms. Mason had said there were no gifted classes. Then what was this “special program” about? Did it mean that Cornelia and her friends were... slow? Cornelia seemed unusual, but not retarded. Back in Van Nuys Norma had been, at times, with disabled children and felt extremely ill at ease around them. She knew she shouldn’t feel that way, but couldn’t help herself. “Uh, well, then I’ll probably see you on the schoolyard. I-I gotta get back home. It’s been nice meeting you, Cornelia...Darwin”
The pale girl watched Norma bustle away down the street. A crooked smile crossed her face.