Because it's almost Christmas, and I need BSC Christmas Canon to inspire new fic, so let's just read and squee through what is basically the entire first chapter:
It was a cold, snowy night. There was a white circle on the windowpane from the frost. It was the day after Thanksgiving. Inside the old, crumbling house of the Post family, a fire burned. Shivering from the frigidity, the heat was not enough for the seven Post children huddled around.
Little did they know that outside in the darkness, a pair of eyes was looking in.
Mallory, what’s friddiggity?” asked my sister Margo.
“Huh?” I said with a start.
Did I have any idea she was snooping over my shoulder while I was writing? Nooooo. She was supposed to be working on a Christmas project with Claire and Vanessa, my other sisters.
“Frid diggity dog!” Claire collapsed on the living room floor, giggling.
That made my brothers Nicky and Jordan race into the room. “What’s so funny?” asked Nicky.
“I thought you were cutting out snowflakes,” I scolded Margo, “not spying.”
Jordan rolled his eyes. “Did he need to ask permission, Your Highness?”
“Sorry, Mallory,” Margo said sheepishly.
“Dig miggidy mog!” Claire squealed.
“I said, what’s so funny?” demanded Nicky.
“Your face,” called my brother Adam from the kitchen.
He and Byron (yes, another brother) howled with laughter.
“Okay, guys, dinnertime!” called Dad.
“Daaaaaaad, they’re teasing me again!” Nicky whined, ruining into the kitchen.
I closed my spiral notebook and stood up. Near the fireplace, Vanessa was busy writing poetry in a composition book. “Come on, Vanessa,” I urged her.
“In a minute,” she said. “I’m thinking of a rhyme for ‘reindeer.’”
I followed Margo into the kitchen. “I want some friddiggity for dessert,” she announced.
“What’s friddiggity?” Mom asked.
“Dog diggity fridge,” Claire replied.
Dad spun around. “The dog’s in the fridge?”
As Byron fell off his chair in hysterics, Adam yanked open the refrigerator and gasped. “Pow’s frozen solid!”
Poor Claire turned bone-white.
Do you live in a monkey house? I do. My life story will be called Mallory and the Seven Simian Siblings. (Isn’t simian a great word? It means “of or relating to monkeys.”)
I, Mallory Pike, am Eldest Monkey. I’m eleven and I’m in sixth grade. Maybe you’ve figured out that I want to be a professional writer someday. (Don’t judge the story I was writing, though. That was just a first draft.) On the day you see me accepting a Newbery medal, I will have clear blue eyes and perfect teeth. And maybe my red hair will be less unruly. Now, however, I wear braces and glasses. And my hair is a sight. Contacts would change my life, but my parents believe I am a baby and refuse to let me have them. “Out of the question until you’re fifteen,” says my father.
Of course, Mom and Dad aren’t nearly as strict with my brothers and sisters. That is the worst part about being Eldest Monkey. Honestly, by the time Claire is eleven, she’ll have an apartment of her own, a personal butler, and a salary.
Claire, by the way, is five. Margo’s seven, Nicky’s eight, and Vanessa’s nine. Adam, Jordan, and Byron are ten-year-old triplets.
The triplets were snickering at Claire. She was looking through the back door, making sure our dog, Pow, was still alive and in his house. Margo and I reached into a drawer by the stove to pull out our usual load of silver wear (Dad calls it “the armament”).
Nicky was sniffing loudly. “What stinks?”
“Are you referring to my gourmet lamb stew?’ Dad said, stirring a big pot on the stove.
“Lamb stew?” Byron looked horrified.
Vanessa strolled into the kitchen, reciting, “Lamb stew, lamb stew. Start with some herbs, then come up the ewe.”
“That’s disgusting,” I said.
“What’s a ewe?” Claire asked.
“A female lamb,” Vanessa replied.
“Ewwwww!” Margo cried.
Vanessa grinned. “Exactly.”
“Who ever heard of Christmas lamb stew?” Jordan protested. “We’re supposed to do Christmasy stuff, remember?”
Mom raised an eyebrow. “What, exactly, do you consider a Christmasy dinner?”
“Turkey,” Jordan replied.
“Goose,” Margo said.
“Gingerbread men,” Claire suggested.
“People,” I corrected her.
“People?” Claire burst out laughing. “Silly, we’re not canimals!”