Grandma Shiz and the Fortune-Telling False Teeth

by Jennifer Hodgson. Shortlistee of the Best Chapter Book for 5-8-year-olds competition 2024


What would you do if a random object, belonging to someone you love, was able to tell you…the future? For Katie, this is exactly what happens. Her Grandma Shiz has a set of false teeth with a voice of their own, gifted in forecasting imminent events. Mostly harmless, but when they begin predicting perilous events it’s up to Katie to finally have her voice heard in her busy, loud family, and to cushion the blow of what’s to come.

Chapter One

The teeth have spoken / A message from the future about Grandma’s bum

The false teeth were chattering. Again. They were in the same place they always were, on Grandma Shiz’s side table, in the glass of unknown clear liquid. Katie hated them. They were the creepiest things ever. It didn’t help that her Grandma thought it was hilarious to pop them into her mouth, clatter them up and down like castanets in some sort of strange party trick, then try to give her a kiss. Yuck.

But when she put them in the glass on the table, that’s when things really got weird. Katie hadn’t noticed it at first, thinking it was just the bubbles in the liquid making them bob around, or maybe the passing buses on the busy road outside Grandma’s house rattling them. However, today she heard the small voice. So small you could have thought it was just the TV left on next door, which often happened. The voice came from the glass. From the false teeth.

Grandma had already dozed off in her usual spot, the flowery-patterned chair with lacy arm covers, as she did almost every time Katie visited. She took the nana-nap as her chance. Finding some courage, she decided to look closer at the glass. Sure enough, they were moving as if they were still in Grandma’s mouth! Bubbles escaped every time they opened! Then they’d stop and she thought she’d imagined it. Then they’d start again! Chattering away!

After side-eyeing the teeth one last time, Katie leaned further in.

That’s when she really heard them, properly, for the first time.

‘…tomorrow at about 1pm, a big bee will dive into the garden and sting your grandma, right on the bottom…’ she kept listening, utterly shocked. ‘Then there’ll be a thunderstorm at around 2pm, Grandma Shiz will find a tenner on her front lawn at 3pm and−’ The teeth stopped. Katie froze. Tried not to breathe too loudly.

‘−Katie? Is that you there?’