Book Excerpts

Juicy Gossip excerpt

  • Grades: 3–5

I wish I could go to boarding school.

French boarding school.

J'adore croissants. And cutie-pie French boys. They sound so romantic when they talk. (Boys, not croissants.) Especially when they say things like "j'adore croissants."

Of course, I've never actually met a French guy (nor have I heard one say "j'adore croissants," but that's completely beside the point). So maybe I'm just thinking about Michael Hollings, who is my partner in French class and has his French accent down to an art. "J’adore..." It rolls off his tongue like a buttery, jammy croissant. "J'adore..."

"Oui, Jenna?" Madame Fishman, my French teacher, is staring at me. It's the middle of third period and I'm not paying attention.

I have other things to think about.

I clear my throat, which sounds similar to my French pronunciation. Unlike Michael Hollings, I do not have my French accent down to an art. "Oui, madame?"

Michael Hollings, sitting next to me, looks at me like I'm crazy. I think maybe I'd been muttering "j"adore" under my breath.

"Do you have something to say to the class?" Madame Fishman's eyes look like buggy fish eyeballs, which always cracks me up. I wonder if that's why she married Mr. Fishman. She must have known it was a super-hilarious coincidence that a fish-eyed lady would marry into a name like Fishman.

But this is so not the point.

I can't help but widen my eyes back at her when I say, "Non, madame. I'm just practicing. Practiquant!"

Madame Fishman looks delighted that I have mastered such an important French verb, and moves on.

I have become an expert at not paying attention in French class. I prefer to spend most of class admiring Michael Hollings. Unfortunately, my crush doesn't go both ways. I'm pretty sure Michael doesn't even know my last name. I think Michael might also be kind of rude — or maybe he just doesn't like to talk. But his absolute cuteness makes up for it.

Almost.

Now he turns toward me and shakes his head, giving me this look like, Why are you talking to yourself, you nut? What is wrong with you? (He doesn't say that or anything, but his expression makes me pretty certain that's what he's thinking.)

Nice, I think, my face reddening. That's nice, Michael. There's nothing truly wrong with me, but there are definitely some things that are making me the teensiest bit distracted. I sort of wish I could tell Michael just how much is wrong with my life right now. Then he would understand why I'm muttering strange French phrases under my breath. Because my life is about to get pretty bad...and that is why I want to go to boarding school.

  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation
  • Skills:
    Reading
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