About Nate Rocks the City
Hey New York! Are you ready for Nate Rocks?
Fifth grader Nathan Rockledge has been counting down the days—and meals—until his class trip to New York City. Now that the big event is finally here, he can barely stand the excitement. After all, isn’t this what being a fifth grader is all about? Oh sure, his Mom is one of the chaperones, his annoying sister Abby is tagging along, and that know-it-all classmate, Lisa, will be there as well. However, none of that matters. Not when he’ll be with his best friends, Tommy and Sam.
While seeing the sights, his teacher wants his class to take notes, but Nathan has other ideas. With paper and pencil in hand, Nathan prefers to doodle, transforming himself into Nate Rocks, boy hero. Amid ninja pigeons to fend off, aliens to attack, and the baseball game of the century to save, will Nate Rocks be able to save the day one more time?
“Nathan,” Dad says, “what stop did that man say we need to look for?”
I pull out my journal. The lights flicker again. When they come back on, I glance down at my notes.
“Nate! Nate! I’ve been looking all over for you!” A man dressed like a train ticket collector comes rushing toward me.
“Me? We slid our MetroCard through the turnstile as we came into the station, honest,” I say. “Tell him, Dad. Dad?”
I look around, but Dad is nowhere to be found. In fact, Tommy and Sam are gone as well. The only people sitting around me are strangers.
“Nate, there’s no time to waste. The conductor needs your help! The controls … there’s something wrong with them! We need you!”
“But I don’t know anything about how trains work! Why me?”
“Why because you’re Nate Rocks, of course! If you don’t hurry, we’re going to go right past Yankee Stadium! You’ll miss the game!”
“Miss the game? Are you crazy? Show me the way!”
As we race through one subway train car after another, I notice that I’m not wearing my Phillies gear, but rather, I’m dressed like a train engineer.
“Sir, he’s here,” the man says as we enter the engine. The panel of controls is lit up, and the train conductor looks flustered.
“Nate! Thank goodness you’re here. I’ve lost control of the train. I can’t get it to slow down or stop. All of the switches are sticking. Please! If we can’t gain control, we’ll speed right past Yankee Stadium and eventually crash. We’ve already missed several stops. We don’t have much time. You’ve got to do something, Nate! Hurry!”
I look at the control panel. The blinking buttons look oddly familiar to me. Think, Nate, think! That’s it! They look just like the buttons on the panel of the remote control from the train set Uncle Robert gave me. Of course I know how to drive this train! Better yet, I know the trick for unsticking the switches, because once when I was drinking soda in my room when I wasn’t supposed to, I spilled some of the soda into the remote, and the exact same thing happened! The train wouldn’t slow down or stop! I start jumping up and down in excitement.
“Nate!” the conductor and ticket collector both yell out together. “Stop acting weird and do something!”
“What?” I pull myself together and smile. “Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got this.”
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