Alex Aruda is so “me”:
“Speaking of teachers, today Mrs. Craig was in a really bad mood. That’s because the big dictionary that usually sits on her desk was missing. I’m sure someone just borrowed it and forgot to put it back, but the word Mrs. Craig kept using was “stole.” Mrs. Craig said that if the dictionary wasn’t returned to her desk before the end of the period, she was keeping everyone inside for recess. Then she told us she was going to leave the room, and that if the “culprit” returned the dictionary to her desk, there wouldn’t be any consequences, and there would be no questions asked.
Mrs. Craig made Patty Farrell class monitor and left the room. Patty takes her job as class monitor really seriously, and when she’s in charge, nobody dares to step out of line. I was just hoping the person who took the dictionary would hurry up and come clean, because I had two cartons of chocolate milk for lunch. But nobody did come forward. And sure enough, Mrs. Craig stuck to her promise and kept us inside for recess. Then she said she was gonna keep us inside every day until the dictionary was returned. Mrs. Craig has kept us inside for the past three days, and still no dictionary. Today Patty Farrell was sick, so Mrs. Craig put Alex Aruda in charge of the room while she was gone. Alex is a good student, but people aren’t afraid of Alex the way they are of Patty Farrell. As soon as Mrs. Craig left the room, it was complete pandemonium.
A couple of guys who were sick of getting stuck inside for recess every day decided to try and figure out who took Mrs. Craig’s dictionary. The first person they interrogated was this kid named Corey Lamb. I think Corey was number one on the list of suspects because he’s smart and he’s always using big words. Corey fessed up to the crime in no time flat. But it turns out he only said he did it because the pressure made him crack. The next kid on the list was Peter Lynn, and before you knew it Peter was confessing, too.
So me and a couple of other guys who were worried about getting hassled . So I knew I had to think up something fast. I figured it was just a matter of time before those guys cornered ME too. I’ve read enough Sherlock Sammy books to know that sometimes it takes a nerd to get you out of a pinch. And I figured if anyone could crack this case, it was Alex Aruda. We went over to Alex to see if he could help us out. But he didn’t even know what we were TALKING about. I guess Alex had been so wrapped up in his book that he hadn’t even noticed what had been going on around him for the past couple of days. Plus, Alex always stays inside to read during recess, so Mrs Craig’s punishment hadn’t had a big effect on his life.
We told Alex we needed him to solve the mystery of who took Mrs. Craig’s dictionary. We laid out all the facts of the case to Alex. Then we asked Alex if he could get us pointed in the right direction. I expected Alex to start taking notes and spout some scientific mumbo jumbo. But, Alex has read his share of Sherlock Sammy books. So, he said he would help us if we paid him five bucks. Well, that was totally unfair because Sherlock Sammy only charges a nickel. But, me and the other guys agreed it was worth it. We pooled our money and then forked over the five dollars. But, all he did was close the book he was reading and show the cover to us. You are not gonna believe me, but It was Mrs. Craig’s dictionary. Alex said he’d been studying the dictionary to get ready for the state spelling bee next month. Well, that would have been nice to know before we gave him our five bucks.”—The Last Straw, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid