Carlotta's Secret
Patricia E. Canterbury

  Carlotta's Secret introduces the reader to the small fictionalized town of Willow Springs, California, and to Carlotta Stevens, a newly transplanted New Yorker, her mother and father and the six neighborhood friends who call themselves the Webster Street Gang. In the first novel we also meet Miss Simon, a woman with an unusual past who also plays a part in some of the future novels.


Enjoy this preview of Chapter 1 below.

Chapter 1

  There was something about the way she said "Welcome" that should have told me to turn around and run as far away as possible. But I didn't dare. I stood just outside her door looking over at the Webster Street Gang and, especially Timmy Johnson. I could see Timmy smiling, waiting for me to turn tail and run. I could also hear him saying, 'Just what youd expect from a girl', one of his favorite phrases. I knew that if I ran away Id never be welcomed into the neighborhood club. My six new friends, Timmy, Margo Goldstein, Lewis and Randy Williams, Tru Nguyen and 

Monroe Jones, who call themselves the Webster Street Gang, a name they chose after seeing a Disney Movie, were making me prove that I was one of them.

  They thought that adding "Gang" to their name made them seem tough and strong when they played baseball. They're really good. I think that they could beat the Regional Champions. For the past six years, kids from a tiny school in Galt, California, have beat the stuffings out of the Webster Street Gang and every other baseball team from Willow Springs. But that was before I came to town.

  Ever since my parents moved to Willow Springs four weeks ago, I'd been trying to make friends. Willow Springs is a real nice, quiet delta town. 

I never knew there were so many pears as there are growing around Willow Springs.  Anyway, I was telling you about standing in front of Miss Simon's door. Miss Simon's backyard is next to the vacant lot where I play baseball with my new friends.

  This morning, standing on her porch waiting for her to open the door, all I could think of is the first time I met my friends

  But to continue with the information about the Webster Street Gang. They stood on Miss Simon's lawn staring at me, waiting for me to make up my mind. Usually I'm a pretty outgoing kid. Usually I can make up my mind awfully fast. I had to in New York 'cuz while you're standing on the platform deciding which subway train to take, the right one would have come and gone and left you standing there stranded.