The day begins with a disagreement between Mom and Dad. Mom thinks that the football practice scheduled for this morning should have been cancelled out of respect for Mike Costello's grieving family. Dad supports the position of Coach Warner, who does not want to cancel a practice just one week before the beginning of the season. Dad and Erik leave for practice.
In the afternoon, Paul and Joey are driven, by Paul's mother, to Tangerine, which Paul has never seen. They go through citrus groves. They discuss the smell and the citrus workers. The area looks like it looked in the past. That is also the way the developed areas, the areas where there are now houses, looked in the past.
They arrive at the carnival. It is set up in the same place that holds the weekly flea market. Pick up time is to be at seven o'clock. Joey has discount tickets for them from Coach Walski. One of the guys playing soccer in front of the carnival tells Paul to give him his ticket. But, Joey immediately hustles Paul away. As if to explain why the guys should be avoided, Joey tells Paul that they are from Tangerine Middle School.
Shortly after they enter the carnival, they find a group they know which includes Kerri, the girl who complimented Paul at the funeral. They go to the Wonders of the World freak show in a group. Paul gets separated from the rest of the group because he stops to read about some of the displays. When he exits the show, he sees the guys from the carnival entrance, but they don't see him.
Next Paul goes to the Ferris wheel. He sees Kerri getting ready to ride the Ferris wheel with Adam, a guy who does not wear glasses and who can talk. Paul does not ride the Ferris wheel. After about half an hour, he meets up again with the group that he knows. He sees Kerri go on another ride with Adam. He does not go on any rides.
When seven o'clock arrives, Paul goes to the front of the carnival to meet Mom. He has to wait ten minutes for Joey to arrive. When they get into Mom's car, she draws their attention to a light green classic Ford pickup truck with a sign on the door saying "Tomas Cruz Groves, Tangerine, Florida." What has Mom concerned is the fact that the kids in the back are not wearing seat belts. That is illegal. Mom is so angry that she does not talk all the way home. Paul also feels anger. His anger is because of Kerri and because of soccer, also because of his life in general. He pictures an exhibit in the freak show at the carnival with a picture of him, Eclipse Boy, in it.
It rained last night and it is raining today. During Paul's third period math class, someone with a pass comes to tell Mr. Ward, the teacher, that Paul is wanted by Mr. Murrow. When Paul arrives at Mr. Murrow's office, he finds Mrs. Gates and Coach Walski standing beside him. And there are four students in the room, including Joey. Mr. Murrow has questions for them about something that happened at the carnival while they were there. The Sheriff's Department has contacted Mrs. Gates about vandalism done to The Wonders of the World exhibit at the carnival by a soccer team. Paul suggests that it might have been done by guys from Tangerine Middle School. Joey backs him up. He also saw Tangerine Middle School soccer players at the carnival. The tension in the room eases.
As the students go back to their respective classes, Paul is worried. Perhaps the Tangerine Middle School soccer players will find out who told on them. The conversation turns to the subject of Kerri Gardiner. Paul wants to know what is the deal with her and Adam. But, the conversation does not stay on that subject very long. Paul and Joey become aware of sounds and movements related to the opening of a sinkhole nearby. There is chaos. Paul and Joey join in a rescue effort, pulling trapped students to safety. Then they hear Mr. Ward's voice saying that everyone has been rescued and it is time for the rescuers to get out of there.
When Paul gets into the main building Gino, the Lake Windsor Middle School soccer team captain, cleans his glasses for him. He compliments him on the rescue job and tells him that, in his opinion, he should not have been booted off the team. Gino says that rules are bent for others.
Buses take home those who can go home early. Those who cannot go home early gather in the high school gymnasium. Paul is one of those who go home, where he leaves all of his muddy clothes in the laundry room.
When Gino says that rules are bent for others, it foreshadows what we later find out about Antoine Thomas, who plays on the Lake Windsor High School football team.