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Raising the Roof (Girls Know How)

Press:Nousoma Communications Inc Girls Know How (May 2005)
Author Name:Campbell, Ellen Langas/ D'Angelo, April (ILT)


Girls Know How® books spotlight careers and how readers can achieve anything to which they set their minds. 
With a focus on construction, "Raising the Roof" tells the story of fifth-grade friends Tori, Angie and Kelly who, after losing their clubhouse to a rival neighborhood group of boys, are inspired by Lucinda Alvarez, the head of a major construction company (a character based on Linda Alvarado, President of Alvarado Construction, Colorado) to build their own.
The girls get a first-hand look at a construction company, and roll up their sleeves preparing blueprints, work schedules and budgets to build their own place.
But stormy weather, differences of opinion and the boys’ attempts to undermine their efforts test their friendship.
They not only learn valuable construction skills, they learn about teamwork, earn the respect and friendship of the boys and realize their dreams.
Inspired by their accomplishments, they invite their families and friends to join them on their next venture, spending their summer vacation working on a Habitat for Humanity project.
A bio and exclusive interview with Ms.
Alvarado, career building worksheet and blueprint activity are included to guide readers wishing to learn more about construction.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1 Tori crouched behind a giant oak tree. 
Her heart was pounding so hard, she was sure it could be heard ten feet away.
Slowly, carefully, she peered around the broad trunk.
With a silent flick of her wrist, she signaled to Kelly and Angie, letting them know the coast was clear.
Hiding behind a bush, the girls nodded, quickly got to their feet and sprinted to join Tori in a line behind the tree.
They watched and waited in silence, catching their breath and planning their next move.
"Wait here," Tori commanded.
"I’ll run up to the water pump and let you know if it’s clear." "Be careful," cautioned Angie.
Her wide eyes were filled with concern for her friend.
Okay, ready, set.
." She peeked around the tree to see if it was safe to run.
Splat! "I’ve been hit!" Tori shrieked as she covered her face with both hands and returned to safety behind the tree.
Angie and Kelly looked at their friend in surprise.
"Argh!" they screamed in unison as they watched her contorted face.
"Blueberries!" A stream of dark slime dripped down Tori’s face.
The girls snapped to attention as more blueberry rockets were launched toward their hiding spot.
"Run for your lives!" yelled Kelly.
They turned and fled, hearing the pounding feet behind them getting closer.
They ran as fast as they could, zigzagging around trees, jumping over stumps and snagging their clothes on bushes as they tried to dodge the flying fruit.
In minutes, they were out of the woods and in the safety of their neighborhood.
Their chasers stopped at the woods’ edge, but the girls kept on running.
Tori, sweating and streaked with blue, turned to see the boys, the tormenters, laughing and eating the blueberries that served as weapons just minutes ago.
There were four of them: Max, Ricky, Einstein and Ben.
The boys turned and worked their way through the woods, following the trail of smashed blueberries.
"Did you see it? A direct hit!" boasted Max.
He was just over five feet tall, the daredevil of the group.
"That should keep the girls out once and for all," said Einstein.
Tall and thin, the brains and computer whiz of the group, his real name was George Dunmore.
He was dubbed "Einstein" after he scored highest on the county math achievement tests for the fifth grade.
"Look!" said Max, as he used a stick to poke at a purple ponytail scrunchy in the leaves.
"Treasure!" agreed Einstein.
"Pick it up and take it back to the clubhouse." Within minutes the boys returned to the point where the battle began.
It was a wooden clubhouse, the size of a one-car garage, with two windows and a front door.
Prominently displayed above the door was a computer-generated banner with the words BOYS RULE, GIRLZ DROOL! The boys entered, filled with a sense of excitement and victory.
"Let’s celebrate," announced Ricky as he produced a box of chocolate-covered doughnuts.
The boys dug into the box.
Ricky, whose full name was William Ricardo, took after his father, who was a craftsman and owner of Ricardo’s Hardware in town.
Ricky showed the boys how to add new supports to the roof and secure the door.
He was always working on a project at home with his dad.
Ben was Einstein’s little brother.
He didn’t talk much, and he didn’t cause much trouble.
At age seven, he was just happy to tag along with the fifth-grade boys.
Max handed the scrunchy to Ben, who knew exactly what to do.
Walking over to a large box with a metal combination lock, he carefully turned the knob on the lock to the right, then the left, then the right, using the numbers he had memorized.
Click, and the lock was open.
He lifted the lid of the box that contained a pen, a silver dollar, an ace of clubs playing card and two arrowheads.
He proudly placed the scrunchy on top, closed the lid and locked the box.
The clubhouse was about six feet high with a tin roof that kept the rain out, except for a few leaky spots.
Inside, the floor was simply packed dirt with a straw mat cover.
The boys were all from the same neighborhood.
Ricky’s and Max’s dads had both been born in Coreyville and remembered the clubhouse from when they were kids.
It had gone through many transformations as different groups called it their own.
But for now the four boys were its rulers, and that meant respect and admiration from the kids in the neighborhood.
It wasn’t long ago that this rugged boys’ hangout was decorated with blue and white-checkered curtains and freshly painted flower boxes hanging from the windows.
It was enough to make a boy shudder.


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