Book Excerpts

Miss Popularity Goes Camping excerpt

  • Grades: 3–5

Cassie Cyan Knight stood in front of her mirror, turning and spinning in her favorite pair of teal capris and a classic white button-down. But something was very wrong. The pants seemed so blah. So boring. So humdrum. How could this be? Cassie wondered. Teal was the best color in the galaxy.

Or was it?

She walked to her stereo, grabbed her teal iPod nano, and clicked to the playlist that her BTF (Best Texas Friend), Erin, had made for her. Track 1 swept out through the speakers, coating her chocolate-and-cream room with musical goodness. Cassie's spirits rose.

As she walked back to her mirror, Cassie looked at all the pictures she'd stuck on its frame. She and her parents had moved to Maine only four months ago but already it was feeling like home. And Cassie was grateful. Sure, she missed her old life back in Houston, Texas—especially Erin and all of her other friends there—but now that she'd settled in to her new house and at Oak Grove, her new school, she was truly enjoying herself.

Cassie smiled as she scanned the pictures. Her favorite was the one of her and Etoile, her BMF (Best Maine Friend) taking their bows at the Oak Grove charity fashion show extravaganza they'd thrown the month before. Cassie still couldn’t believe that she was lucky enough to find a friend like Etoile, the only other person at her musty new middle school who shared Cassie's passion for fashion.

Cassie glanced at the picture that was right beneath the one of her and Etoile. This one showed Cassie, Etoile, Jonah—Etoile's BGF (Best Guy Friend) since they were babies—and mean Mary Ellen McGinty. Cassie did her best to keep from automatically adding "mean" in front of "Mary Ellen" but she couldn't help it! Mary Ellen had been rude to Cassie since Cassie's beaded flat first stepped foot in Oak Grove's hallways. She’d even had the nerve to be mad that Cassie’s fashion show idea was chosen over her own tree-planting idea for the school’s charity event. Though Mary Ellen had eventually come to accept Cassie's idea, there was still a tension between the two girls.

Just then, the new Beyoncé song zoomed out of the speakers. Cassie swayed her hips, closed her eyes, and imagined herself walking down a big crystal staircase, on her world tour. She was going to open her eyes and—voilà!—teal pants would rule once again. At the count of three:

One, two—

Please, please, please!

"Cassie!"

Her mother's voice startled her and she whipped around her red curls catching in her LuLu Island lip gloss.

"Oh, hi!" she said, half laughing, half totally embarrassed.

"Honey, Etoile is on the phone for you." Cassie's mom handed the phone to Cassie. "And what did I tell you about the music? Let's keep it at 'six' or below on the dial, okay, superstar?" She lowered the volume, smiling.

Cassie took the phone. "Okay, sorry. I know it was loud, it's just, well, I was having a fashion emergency!”

Her mom walked out of Cassie's room, shaking her head.

"You're not going to believe this," Cassie said into the phone.

"Oh no, what?" Etoile asked back, her voice steady, clearly ready for a crisis.

"I don't think I like my teal pants anymore!"

"What? The capris with the little drawstrings?"

"Yes, those ones!"

"Cass, you loved them this weekend. You even told me you were excited to debut them this week, in honor of spring. I mean, you planned the actual day to reveal them!"

"I know. I know! It's supposed to be tomorrow!" Cassie examined herself in the mirror. "There's just something not right," Cassie said sadly. "I know this is going to sound crazy, but I don't know if I...love the color." It pained Cassie to say it.

Now Etoile was worried. "But, teal is your..."

"Signature color." Cassie sighed. She slumped down onto her bed. What was going on?

"Relax!" Etoile said. "Just take a deep breath and don't think about it. It's some weird lighting thing, I bet.

Cassie sighed. "You're right." She looked out the window and sighed again. Only two sighs are ever allowed at once, otherwise it's just drama for the sake of drama. "So what's up?" she asked, feeling slightly calmer.

"I was going through some of the Fash Bash pics on my laptop just now for Yearbook, and I found the cutest one of us backstage! We have to—have to!—get it in Yearbook."

Cassie and Etoile had just joined Yearbook together as photo editors. It was so fun to go through all the pictures and help decide which ones were the best.

"I can't wait to see it!" Cassie said. She stood up then and looked out the window. The May sunlight was a bright, yummy yellow, but there was still some snow on the ground! But the girls in Texas had told Cassie their hair was already frizzing from the humidity.

Yay, Maine! Cassie thought, happy that her red curls were still frizz-free. She smiled then, overcome with excitement for her first summer in Maine and all the new things she'd be doing. Erin was even planning to visit from Texas, and Cassie couldn't wait to give her friend a tour of their beautiful mall, introduce her to the sheer deliciousness of Maine's blueberries, and show her the high school of performing arts. Cassie loved driving past it. She so wanted to go there!

  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation
  • Skills:
    Reading
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