If you could be anyone—who would you choose?
Sixth grader Maggie Malone is having her worst birthday ever. She's the new girl at Pinkerton Middle School where she has zero friends. And her favorite gift-giving aunt sent her a pair of boring, brown, hand-me-down boots. (Yeah, those'll make her popular.) Maggie wishes her life could be more like tween pop sensation Becca Starr's.
When Maggie looks around there's no ball gown or handsome prince—just a bright spotlight...and twenty thousand screaming fans. It turns out Maggie's boots are more than a little magical. And now she gets to spend a day in the life of anyone she chooses...
Be careful what you wish for...
About the Author
Carolyn Evans is an author, speaker and singer/songwriter who once opened for Pat Benetar-you can ask your mom who that is. She loves traveling to faraway places but is just as happy at home with her husband and kids living by a river in South Carolina and dreaming up grand adventures for Maggie Malone.
Read an Excerpt
"It's going to be fine," Stella tells me. "Really."
I try to nod my head up and down like I agree, but the tears pouring down my face are a pretty good sign that I don't agree. Like, at all.
"How...can...they...do...this...to...me?" I sob between huge, heaving breaths. A tangle of strawberry blond curls sticks to my wet cheeks. I am a total mess.
"Maggie, your dad didn't lose his job on purpose, you know," Stella says softly, removing a ringlet that's plastered to my neck.
I absolutely love Stella, but sometimes she acts like she knows everything. About everything. Like the time she insisted that her bowl of Lucky Charms had a green heart in it when everybody knows that the hearts only come in pink.
"Look! Look! I got a green heart in my Lucky Charms!" she shouted one morning after a sleepover at my house. "That's soooo lucky for me! I'm going to save it and wear it on a necklace!"
I tried explaining that her green heart was just a messed-up green clover, but she wouldn't listen. Some things you just have to let go. And I do, because we've been friends since before we were born (and our moms have been BFFs since forever) and she really is a great friend. Like, get this: when that green heart shriveled up to half its size but still had plenty of good luck left in it, she gave it to me-not Ginger Poole, not Alexis Parker-me.
"Of course I know he didn't lose his job on purpose," I practically shout at her. "But it still stinks. I've gone to Sacred Heart since kindergarten! How would you like to start a brand-new school in the middle of the year? And I don't know a single kid who goes to Stinkerton Middle School!" The name is actually Randolph J. Pinkerton Middle School, or RJPMS or sometimes just Pinkerton for short. But everybody at Sacred Heart calls it Stinkerton.
"Wait, yes you do. Doesn't Izzy Zimmerman go to Stinkerton?" Stella asks, yanking around thirty tissues out of the box and handing them to me.
Stella and I are in Ranger Girls with Izzy Zimmerman-or at least we were, until Izzy got kicked out for stealing all the cookie money our troop raised. I went all over the neighborhood one day in the pouring rain wearing my too-tight ladybug rain boots to sell seventy-seven boxes of those suckers. Izzy only sold four lousy Snickerdoozles, all of them to her mom. At least I got a merit badge.
"Oh, sweet," I say sarcastically, wiping my face with a huge wad of tissues. "The one person I know at my new school is a criminal. This is going to be great. Just great."
"You know what? I just remembered I heard she got expelled," Stella says. "Apparently stealing cookie dough wasn't her only offense. Get it? Cookie dough?"
I know Stella is just trying to help, but I can't even manage a smile. I bury my head in my pillow and groan like I'm about to face the end of the world. Because in a way I am. The end of my world, at least.
"Let's see what Magic 8 Ball says!" Stella shouts, grabbing the worn black orb from my nightstand. The screen is pretty scratched up, and the inside usually gets stuck on "it is certain," so we like it better than the app on Stella's iTouch. That thing is always saying "ask again later." How annoying is that? If I'm asking right now, I'm pretty sure I need the answer, like, now.
Stella opens my closet door and pulls out the black magician cape I got the year we were twin vampire bats for Halloween. Stella always wears it when we consult the Great Eight.
"Come on, Stella, that cape is ridiculous," I say. I snatch the ball out of her hand and toss it-hard-toward the trash can next to my desk. Of course I miss by about half a mile. It's just that kind of day.
"There's no such thing as magic, anyway," I add. "And that thing's just a dumb old toy. When we don't like the answer, we just ask it again until we get the one we want. Stupid pretend magic can't help me now. Nothing can help me now. My life is ruined."
"Hey, what about me?" Stella asks, her huge brown eyes filling with tears. Stella is the exact opposite of me, at least in the looks department. I've got what my mom calls a "buttermilk complexion" (I've never seen freckly buttermilk, but whatever), and Stella has skin the color of a perfectly toasted bagel. My head is covered with unruly reddish-blondish ringlets that tend to grow up and out before they grow down, which is why I only get my hair cut every few years. Right now, it's about halfway down my back when it's dry, and I can practically sit on it when it's wet. Stella's hair is so black it's almost blue, and it's raw-spaghetti-straight and cut into a super-neat bob. One time, we set her hair in my mom's tiny hot rollers and left them in all afternoon. When we took those curlers out, there wasn't even one tiny bend on her whole head. How can that happen? It's got to be some sort of medical mystery, if you ask me.
"Did you ever think about how my life's going to change?" Stella demands. "Nothing is going to be the same anymore. Everybody at school knows us as Maggie-and-Stella. I bet there are people who have no idea which one of us is which! Sure, I know everybody at Sacred Heart-but I'm not going to have my best friend around either." A tear slips down Stella's face, and she quickly wipes it away.
"I'm sorry, Stella," I say, hugging her as hard as I can. "I know it stinks for you too. I just can't even believe this is happening. This is without a doubt the most horrible day of my whole entire life."
The most pathetic part is I have no idea how much worse my life is about to get.