The Bad Dreams of a Good Girl

The Bad Dreams of a Good Girl

by Susan Shreve, illustrated by Diane deGroat


Fourth grade seems full of promises for Carlotta McDaniel, who everyone agrees, is a good girl. “Good as in boring,” her brothers say. “Thank goodness for Lotty,” her mother says. But at her new school, Beech Tree Elementary, snobby Kathy Sanders stars the I Hate Lotty Club and practically the whole class joins! Then Lotty’s mother goes back to work, and Lotty comes home to an empty house every day feeling like an orphan. And to make matters worse, her three bad brothers can get away with just about anything — including D’s in math and science, which would be unthinkable for Lotty. It’s hard to be a good girl when so many things are happening at once. But no one knows that Lotty, the good girl, has bad dreams to even things out.


I am known as a good girl.


“Good as in God, at least in this family,” my borher Nicholas said when my fourth-grade report card arrived and my father taped it on the refrigerator. None of my brothers, whose report cards are not taped to the refrigerator, could possibly have missed it.


“Good as in boring,” my brother Philip said when my father complimented me for keeping my room clean enough so people can walk from the door to the closet to the bed without falling over and dying of head injuries. Boring is the only word Philip has used since he turned thirteen.

© 2019 Susan Richards Shreve | Design by Cynthia Frank Design | Development by Abacus Design