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Starting a new high school couldn’t be worse for Eve. She gained weight over the summer, her best friend is avoiding her, and she’s become the target of another girl’s cruelty. Will anyone want to hang out with her, or is Eve doomed to sit alone in the lunchroom every day?
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Wishinsky Blob
Frieda Wishinsky
Frieda Wishinsk y
Copyright © 2010 Frieda Wishinsky
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Wishinsky, Frieda
Blob / written by Frieda Wishinsky.
(Orca currents)
ISBN 9781554691821 (bound).ISBN 9781554691814 (pbk.)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca currents
PS8595.I834B56 2010 jC813’.54 C20099068311
First published in the United States,2010 Library of Congress Control Number:2009940776
Summary:Eve is overweight, and her selfimage is suffering until she joins a mentoring program and learns to accept herself the way she is.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishingprograms provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by Getty Images
Orca Book Publishers P O Box 5626, Station B Victoria, B C Canada V8R6S4
Orca Book Publishers P O Box 468 Custer, WA U S A 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on 100% PCW recycled paper. 13 12 11 10 • 4 3 2 1
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.” —Groucho Marks
c h a p t e r o n e
It’s the first day of school and my heart is pounding. It always pounds on the first day, but this year is worse. We moved to a new neighborhood this summer, and I’m starting high school. I know almost no one at South View High—except Sarah. I’m g lad she’ll be there. I’ve k now n her since grade three. She was away in California this summer, but we spoke on the phone last week. She’s as nervous about high school as I am.
F r i e d a W i s h i n s k y
I hurry toward the red brick building. Phew! Sarah is standing on the top step talking to Zoe Campbell. I didn’t know Zoe was going to South View. Zoe towers over Sarah. Zoe used to be short. I can’t believe how much she grew over the summer. I’m almost at the bottom step. I’m about to call out to Sarah and tell her to wait up. Before I can say a word, I hear Zoe. “Are you still friends with Eve?” Her words blast out. What? I stop walking. Why is Zoe talking about me? Why is she talking so loudly that all the kids rushing into school can hear? Sarah nods. “I saw Eve on the street this summer,” says Zoe. “She’s gottensoShe looks fat. like a blob.” I feel like a herd of horses are stomping through my chest. I want to turn and run, but my feet are glued to the pavement. “She’s just a little overweight,” says Sarah. “Have you seen her gut? It jiggles like jelly. She must have hit on every candy bar in the city. I’d be embarrassed to be seen with her.” Zoe tosses her long brown hair.
B l o b
“I’m not embarrassed.” Sarah’s voiceis shaky and uncertain. I wa nt to shout,Sarah! This is me you’re talking about. Me! Eve! Your friend.Tell Zoe I’m not a blob. Tell her I’m your friend, and you don’t care what she says. But Sarah says nothing. Kids pass me up the stairs and into the building. I watch Sarah and Zoe walk into school as the bell rings. Blob!The word hammers through my head.Blob. Blob. Blob. I know I’ve gained weight this summer. Almost none of my clothes fit me anymore. I’m wearing a pair of jeans that were loose last year. Now I can barely zip them up. And I can’t button the top button. I’ve used a safety pin instead. My dad’s big shirts cover my bulging middle, but he’s complaining that he has nothing to wear. I’ve been taking all his good shirts. It was that dumb job at the convenience store. Every time the owner barked at me,I ate. She barked all the time, so I ate all
F r i e d a W i s h i n s k y
the time. I ate cookies, pretzels, potato chips and ice cream. A double chocolate cone always cheers me up. Now I’m fat and I’m going to be the butt of Zoe’s jokes. Why does she have to go to this school? Why is she being snarky about me? What did I ever do to her? And what’s with Sarah? It looks likeI can’t count on her to stand up for me. Why did I let myself snack all summer? If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t look like this. Then Zoe couldn’t call me a blob. The bell rings again. I know I have to go in, but I can’t move. If I don’t run, I’m going to be late. Then everyone will stare at me when I walk into class. I force my feet to move. I dash into the building. Now I’m sweating. My armpits are getting so damp little ponds are forming. I race down the hall and sweat drips from my face. I dab at it with a crumpled tissue. I hope I don’t smell as sweaty as I feel. I fly into room eight, my new homeroom. I spy Sarah sitting in the third row, and I slide in beside her. She gives me a half
B l o b
smile. I take a deep breath. Calm down, I tell myself. She’s still your friend. That’s when I see the note. Sarah triesto shove it into her English book, but I read it before she hides it. It’s written in bigblack letters. No one wants to hang around witha Blob, Sarah. Trust me. See you later.