For Ages
8 to 12

Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Endless Waiting is a part of the Cookie Chronicles collection.

"Great characters, hilarious jokes... a joy to read." —Lincoln Peirce, New York Times bestselling author of Big Nate series
Literal-minded Ben cracks open a fortune cookie and it tells him that he can have anything he wants, if only he's willing to wait... A madcap adventure about the perils of patience, for fans of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID or THE TERRIBLE TWO.

Good things come to those who wait.

Ben does his best to heed his fortune cookie's advice, and as a result he is paired with Walter--the kid who's always picked last--for a school scavenger hunt. Working with Walter must be a good thing if the cookie said so, but so far all he does is talk too loud and recite obscure facts about feet. Meanwhile, Ben has an argument with his best friend Janet, and waiting for her to apologize first isn't going so well.... But eventually, Ben's patience starts paying off: if he and Walter are able to pull out a win in the scavenger hunt, they'll earn a half-day of recess for the whole school! Waiting may not always be a good thing, but taking the time to listen and consider all options isn't half bad.

An Excerpt fromBen Yokoyama and the Cookie of Endless Waiting

It was definitely time to get ready for school, but Ben was still in bed. It was good to be in bed.
I will stay in bed all day, thought Ben. I will live in this cozy, warm bed forever.
Ben’s stomach made a sound like a dying hyena. He remembered the problem with staying in bed.
I want sausages, he thought. And I want them right now.
Ben jumped out of bed faster than a sneeze jumps out of a nose.
He wriggled out of his pajamas and into his clothes. He sprinted down the stairs and into the kitchen and almost knocked over his mom.
I suppose you want sausages, said Ben’s mom.
She knew Ben pretty well. He didn’t answer because he didn’t have to. Asking Ben if he wanted sausages was like asking a coyote if it wanted to howl.
Ben sat down at the table and picked up his fork.
His mom gave him a look.
Aren’t you forgetting something?
Whatever Ben had forgotten, it couldn’t be as important as sausages. But then he remembered. Because he hadn’t raked the leaves yesterday, he was supposed to rake them this morning. It had seemed like a good plan at the time.
But now there were sausages.
How about I rake them after breakfast?
That’s not what we discussed. Plus, it’s going to rain soon. There’s nothing worse than raking in the rain.
Ben looked at the sausages. The sausages looked at Ben. They loved each other so much.
But Ben knew better than to argue with his mom. He went outside and raked.
His stomach was not happy with the rest of him.
When Ben came back inside, his dad was sitting at the table, wiping his mouth with his napkin. The sausage plate was empty.
Ben gasped like an actor in a movie about vampires.
Oh, Ben. I’m so sorry! said Ben’s dad. I thought you’d eaten already!
Ben could tell that his dad was actually sorry, but it didn’t help enough.
“Have some eggs,” said Ben’s mom, handing him a plate. “Have some orange juice.”
Orange juice and eggs were not the same as sausages. Ben’s stomach was miserable and mad.
But then he smelled something else. Something sweet and buttery and warm.
Suddenly his stomach was full of hope.
Ben’s eyes followed his nose to the source of the smell. The oven light was on! His mom was wearing oven mitts!
“Do I smell a— ?”
“Not for you,” said Ben’s mom like a screen door slamming shut.
“But it smells like a— ”
“Don’t even think about it, mister.”
Their neighbor Mrs. Ezra had been teaching Ben’s mom to bake cakes, and she was starting to get the hang of it. If there was one thing Ben liked even more than sausages, it was cake.
The timer beeped. His mom opened the oven.
The cake was yellow and fluffy and perfectly shaped.
Ben picked up a fork and greeted that cake like a seal greets a bucket of fish heads.
“Benjamin Alexander Yokoyama,” said Ben’s mom, and that was the end of her sentence.
Ben had once won a contest for having the name with the most syllables of any boy on his first- grade field trip to the apple orchard. It was something he was proud of.
But that wasn’t why his mom had said his full name.
She’d said it so she wouldn’t also have to say, If you touch this cake with that fork, you will regret it until you are one hundred and seven years old.
I wasn’t going to eat it, said Ben. He put down the fork. He smiled at his mom like a mouse smiles at a python.
I am awfully glad to hear it, Ben. Because this cake is not for you. This cake is for ladies who ride motorcycles.
Ben’s mom was in a motorcycle club that met on Monday evenings.
That’s why I definitely won’t eat the cake when I get home from school this afternoon.
Ben hoped that saying the words out loud would somehow make them true.
Ben’s dad was putting on his coat. Ben looked at the clock. It was time to leave for school.
His mom handed him his lunch box.
“Thanks,” said Ben. His stomach was already making sinister cake- eating plans. Cut it out, said Ben to his stomach. But Ben’s stomach didn’t have ears. He had an idea. “You know what might make it easier for me to not eat that cake?”
Ben’s mom put her hands on her hips. “You mean other than the fact that you already promised not to?”
“Yes, other than that.”
“If I could have dessert in my lunch today.”
“No way,” said Ben’s mom. “No, sir.”
“I think it would really help,” said Ben.
“Maybe something really small, like seven gingersnaps.”
Ben’s mom gave Ben her You and I have different definitions of the word “small” face.
Dessert in his lunch might make Ben feel better about not getting any sausages, said Ben’s dad.
Ben’s mom gave Ben’s dad a cloud ynight look.
Ben’s dad gave his mom a sunny morning smile.
Ben’s mom said, “Hrumph,” and looked in the cabinet. The box of gingersnaps was empty. Ben remembered maybe accidentally eating them.
“Sorry, Ben,” said his mom, who didn’t seem sorry at all.
At least there’s that cake, said Ben’s stomach.
“Wait,” said Ben’s dad, picking up a brown paper bag from the counter. “I just remembered! Aunt Nora left this for you when she stopped by last night.”
Ben’s mom gave Ben’s dad a thunderstorm face.
Ben’s dad’s face took out its umbrella and tried to stay dry.
Ben’s mom said, “Hrumph” again, and louder this time.
Ben recognized the bag. It was from the Chinese restaurant! His dad reached in and pulled out a cookie. A fortune cookie!
Ben reached for the cookie, but his mom grabbed it first.
“On one condition,” she said with her I can’t believe your dad is such a pushover face.
“Do not. Eat it. Until lunch.”
“No problem,” said the part of Ben that was farthest from his stomach.
Ben put his lunch box in his backpack and headed for the door.
Bye, Ben, said his dad.
Bye, Ben, said his mom.
Bye, cake, said Ben’s stomach.
We’ll see each other soon enough.

Under the Cover