Character Name: Josie Miller
Why We Love Her: Josie is one tough and bold cookie! She is dependable, loyal and the moral compass of the story. She's the heart that keeps everyone's humanity in check when they start to forget it. There's such a great strength in her. Josie doesn't always get things right and she gets put into situations that test her character, her heart and her morals showcasing her vulnerability and humanity even more. Even though she's so young, she has a really good head on her shoulders and a really great sense of understanding and patience.
Get An Inside Look At Josie!
Alex won the last game of Monopoly, with his darn railroads and utilities and hotels on Connecticut, Vermont, and Oriental.
And when we went back to the Media Department, here's what I saw:
Six little kids in new sleeping bags on new air mattresses with new pillows in new pillowcases. All in a circle around Josie, who was sitting on the floor. Josie had a candle in front of her, and it cast a warm, golden circle of light on their clean, scrubbed faces.
Why hadn't I thought of an air mattress?
Josie had also (finally) cleaned herself up. She was wearing white pajamas and a pink robe and slippers. And her hair was back in its customary giraffe knots on top of her head. Her brown skin looked soft and glowing in the candlelight. The only thing that broke the spell was the big square of gauze taped over the gash on her forehead. But at least it was a fresh gauze.
Josie was weaving an outrageous, preposterous, totally absurdist fairy tale. It went like this:
"When Mrs. Wooly comes, she's going to have a big, new yellow school bus. And she's going to open up the door and say, 'Come on in, guys, time to go home!' Henry and Caroline will get on first, of course, because they are the youngest."
"I'm older by fourteen minutes," Henry volunteered.
"Yes. Caroline will be first, then Henry. Then Max, then Ulysses, Batistie, and then Chloe, because she is the oldest of all of you. And then Mrs. Wooly will drive down the road. The sky will be so blue and the sun shining. She will drive on down the road to your house. Yes. And your parents will be there waiting.
"Oh! Imagine how worried they have been. No matter. Now you are safe. Now you are home. And Mrs. Wooly will take you by the hand and lead you up the front walk and in you will go."
"And will you be in the bus?" Chloe wanted to know.
"Of course!" Josie said. "It's my job, too, to make sure you get home safely."
"And will you come in?" asked Caroline.
"Yes. If your parents invite me, then I will stay for dinner. Won't that be nice? I wonder what we will have."
"My nana makes a lasagna that's out of this world!" Chloe proclaimed loudly. "Everyone says so."
"If we go to my mom's, she'll get us Popeyes," Maz conceded. "If we go to my dad's, he'll get Mickey D's. Wendy's is his favorite, but he don't go there anymore because one time, me dad, he went through the drive-through at Wendy's in the middle of the night and you'll never guess what happened because this lady was working there and he says to her, 'You're too pretty to work the graveyard shift,' and she goes, 'You bet your sweet ass I am,' and he puts his arm out and she grabs on and he pulls her right outta the window, through the opening and she gets in his truck. And now she's my auntie Jean. She sleeps over. And she has a gold tooth."
"My goodness," Josie said.
Then there was a pause.
I imagine Josie was trying to compose herself.
"Is it real gold?" Chloe wanted to know.
"Yep," Max answered. "But it doesn't come out. Anyways, I like Popeyes better, anyway."
"Whether it's Popeyes or McDonald's, I think it will be a great feast," Josie said, smoothing down Max's unruly hair. "We will all be so happy, when Mrs. Wooly comes to take us home. And now it is time for rest and sweet dreams."
Josie tucked Henry's sleeping bags in around his shoulders and kissed Caroline on the forehead.
Josie was a natural.
Where Astrid had that kick-ass camp counselor thing, Josie was a mom. A sixteen-year-old, middle-aged mom.
Make sure to check out more of Josie's story in the Monument 14 Trilogy by Emmy Laybourne on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon!