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Evony’s mother is a basket case and her father is an iceberg. This makes parent-teacher conferences difficult.

“WE THOUGHT SHE WAS IMPROVING IN SOCIAL STUDIES,” booms her father (or, technically, his top ten percent).

“She is,” winces Miss Lagant. “But eighth-grade curriculum emphasizes current events, and she’s not up to speed. Do you get the paper or watch the evening news?”

“Oh no!” says her mother. “It’s always so depressing.”

Miss Lagant stares at her beautifully lacquered cherry lid. “I’m sorry, I have to ask. If there’s a basket inside you, what’s inside the basket?”

“Eggs,” says Evony’s mother.