Rachel hoped when she grew up, she would look like Sandra, calm, stately, and as beautiful as a swan. Or even like her middle sister, Laurel, spirited, curvy, and appealing to boys. Right now, she looked nothing like either of them. Her shoulder-length black hair stuck out in all directions, no matter how she tried to tame it. Like Laurel and Peter, Rachel had the almond-shaped Asian eyes of their mother, who was one-quarter Korean. (Sandra looked more like their Caucasian father.) However, she had not yet inherited her mother’s astoundingly shapely figure. At thirteen years of age, Rachel was still as slender as a boy.
She was very small and very young. She was also extremely intelligent. She knew a great many things people twice her age did not. She had inherited her mother’s perfect memory. She only had to encounter a fact once, and she knew it forever. Because of this and her general scholarly prowess, she had been invited to come to Roanoke Academy a year early.
Rachel had read a great number of books in her thirteen years: novels, fairy tales, serious literature, nonfiction works on flight or farming or fishing. Her favorite books were her beloved grandfather’s journals, the records he had kept of his life, his triumphs, and his tribulations during World War II. Now that he was gone, his journals were all she had of him.
She knew a tremendous amount about a great many things, but it was never enough. There was always some intriguing fact, some tantalizing notion, some fascinating concept that hovered just out of her reach. She was determined not to let any unlearned bit of knowledge escape her.
Rachel Griffin wanted to know everything.