Book Excerpts

Accidentally Friends excerpt

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

"Do you think anyone would notice if I just ducked under the table?" My good friend, Jenelle Renwick, toyed with the edge of the white linen tablecloth. "I could just hang out here until the band stops playing."

I grinned. "Can't deal with your mom doing the Funky Waggle?" The Waggle was a dance craze that must have swept the country about thirty years ago, because all of our parents seemed to know it. My mom and dad were on the dance floor, too. My brother, Kirk, was standing near them, snapping photos with his new digital camera. I was pretty sure he’d try to use them as blackmail later.

"I'm not sure who's worse," Jenelle admitted. "Mom or Great-uncle Norman."

Jenelle glanced to one end of the dance floor, where a heavyset man with a red face was shaking his hips and letting out excited whoops in time to the beat. Jenelle's mom, Linda, was at the center of the floor in her elegant ivory wedding gown. She and my uncle Steve were laughing and dancing. Actually, Linda and Steve were decent dancers. I didn't think Jenelle had too much to be embarrassed about.

"They look like they're having the time of their lives," I said, half to myself.

"Amy Flowers, are you serious?" Jenelle demanded, sliding her fork through the moist slice of white cake on the delicate china plate in front of her. "They look like mental patients!" She was smiling when she said it, and I could tell that she thought her mom and Steve were cute.

A handsome man with silver hair cut in on Uncle Steve. "Who's that guy?" I asked as Linda laughed and Funky Waggled off with her new partner.

Jenelle's fork paused halfway to her lips. "My dad," she said. She placed her fork back on her plate. Her face was as still as quiet lake as she looked out at the dance floor. Jenelle was wearing a rose-colored chiffon dress, and with her blond waves loose around her face, she looked like an ancient oil painting in a museum.

I touched her shoulder. "Are you okay?" I asked. I knew that Jenelle's mother and father were still friendly—even though they were divorced—so I wasn't surprised that he was at the wedding.

Jenelle gave her head a quick shake, as if she was clearing her mind. "I'm fine," she said, and smiled at me. The smile was sad—but just a little. She looked out at the dance floor again, where Uncle Steve had just pulled Jenelle's grandmother into the party. "Steve is great. And I know Mom is crazy about him."

"But he's not your dad," I said.

Jenelle turned and looked at me with large hazel eyes. "Yeah," she said simply. She sighed and took a bite of the cake. I'd already finished mine. I'd really had to restrain myself from picking up the plate and licking it in front of everyone—it was that good. But it was a pretty fancy party, so I held back.

I sneaked a glance over toward the long table by the back of the room, where a large punch bowl was set up. Beside it was a huge display of chocolate cupcakes topped with elaborate frosted sunflowers. This was the groom's cake, and at the end of the night everyone would receive a box with a cupcake in it as a party favor. If the cupcakes were half as good as the cake, they would probably be the best party favors in the history of the known universe.

  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation, Friends and Friendship
  • Skills:
    Reading
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