Quickly, I became one of the most popular kids in my grade. I was up there with Savannah Evans and Nicholas Lombardi. Savannah was the richest kid in school; Nick, with his long eyelashes and dirty-blond cherub curls, was the cutest; and I was suddenly the craziest. Older sisters brought their younger siblings to me to be frightened and amazed, and in the playground boys started inviting me to play Red Ass with them, whipping me with the tennis ball as hard as they whipped each other.

—Zalika Reid-Benta, “Excerpt: Pig Head”


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