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Big Time

144 pages
Gerri waits outside all night to audition for Big Time, her favorite TV singing competition. She believes she has a shot at success, but when she's insulted by one of the judges and kicked out of the competition, she thinks she'll probably never sing again. After a teacher at her school asks her to join a choral club, Gerri reluctantly gets involved. Even though she can't read music and she doesn't know the other kids, she finds herself enjoying the group and learning a lot about music. A cute guy she met at the Big Time auditions joins the group, and when they perform their unique mashups at an open-mic night, Gerri realizes there's more than one way to be a successful--and happy--singer!
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Big Time  Tom Ryan
Big Time Tom Ryan
Copyright ©2014Tom Ryan
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 Ryan, Tom,1977Big time / Tom Ryan. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459804616 (pbk.).isbn 9781459807594 (bound). isbn 9781459804623 (pdf).isbn 9781459804630 (epub)
 I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8635.y359b53 2014jc813’.6 c20139066357  c20139066365
First published in the United States,2014 Library of Congress Control Number:2013951367
Summary:Gerri dreams of making it big as a singer on her favorite reality show, Big Time, but she hasn’t counted on being kicked off early in the competition. Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs 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.
Design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by Getty Images
orca book publishers orca book publishers po Box 5626, Stn. B po Box 468 Victoria,bcCanada Custer,wausav8r 6s4 982400468 www.orcabook.com 171615144321
For Jen—my irst best rîend.
îs îs goîng o be awu,” my mom says “ï wîs you’d jus go ome,” ï e er. T or e mîîon îme. “ï’ be Ine by myse.” “We’ve been roug îs, Gerrî. Sîxeen îs oo young o ang around wî a bunc o srangers overnîg.” “Mom, ere’s nobody ere bu musîc nerds,” ï say, urnîng o gance a e îne a’s rapîdy growîng beînd us. We’ve been sandîng ousîde e unîversîy buîdîng or ess an an our, bu even oug î’s eary în e evenîng and audîîons don’ sar unî e mornîng, ere mus be a eas a ew undred peope ere aready.
“You’re young,” se says. “You don’ reaîze ow muc danger urks around every corner.” “Gîve me a break,” ï say. ï can e rom ookîng around e crowd a ï’m no e ony one wî parena supervîsîon, bu a doesn’ make î any ess annoyîng. “ï need o ake a wak,” se says. “ï’m goîng o ge a coFee. You wan anyîng?” “A oased coconu donu and a green ea.” ï’ve eard a green ea îs wa Adee drînks beore every perormance. a and wîskey, wîc ï’m obvîousy no od enoug o drînk. Mom kîsses me on e oreead and begîns cuTîng roug e snakîng îne, Inay emergîng on e oer sîde o e crowd and gîvîng me a quîck wave beore crossîng o e coFee sop on e oer sîde o e sree. “Your mom’s a îTe sressed ou, ey?” e gîr în ron o me says ou o e bue. “You coud say a.” ï aug. “Se jus aes e woe îdea o me geTîng judged or some-îng îke sîngîng.” “Bu e me guess,” se says. “here was no way you were goîng o e er keep you rom audîîonîng. Am ï rîg?”
“oay,” ï say. “ï ony urned sîxeen a ew mons ago, so îs îs my Irs cance o ry ou. Bîg Tîme’s my avorîe sow ever.” “So wa do you înk so ar?” se asks. “Wa do ï înk abou wa?” “You know”—se gesures a e peope a around us—“a îs. he reak sow.” “ï înk î’s preTy coo.” As î on cue, a group o dudes nearby sar armonîzîng “Swee Caroîne” în vîbraîng aseTos. “Coo, e?” se asks, raîsîng an eyebrow.We bo aug. “We, maybe no coo, bu deînîey îneresîng.” “ï’ gîve you a.” Se ods ou er and. “ï’m Poppy.” “Gerrî,” ï e er, reacîng ou o sake. Poppy ooks o be a ew years oder an me—probaby cose o e cuoF age, wîc îs weny-wo. Se’s go beauîu gossy rîng-es, and er skîn îs equay gorgeous, umînous and smoo, e coor o e oak desk în my aer’s oice. Se’s wearîng green eye sadow and an anke-eng oF-wîe dress wî brîg
lowers embroîdered a over î. ï sar o worry a maybe ï’m underdressed. ï’m în my avorîe bue sundress wî my aîr pued back îno a sîmpe ponyaî. ï ook okay, bu no neary as pu ogeer as Poppy. “ï ove your dress,” ï e er. “hanks,” se says. “Maybe î’s overkî, bu ï wan o ook good or e judges.” “Wa kînd o suF do you sîng?” “O, îs and a. Moown, sou, a îTe jazz, some Janîs Jopîn, a bî o opera.” “hîs and a îs rîg!” ï aug. “Opera?” “he opera’s maîny wî my voca eacer,” se says. “ï’ve been akîng essons sînce ï was a îTe kîd. Mosy ï sîng în curc wî my mom and my aun. Wa abou you?” ï’m a îe embarrassed o ak abou î, aoug ï know ï’m goîng o ave o suck î up î ï ruy wan o perorm în ron o peope. “ï’ve never aken essons or anyîng îke a,” ï admî. “My granddad’s a reay good guîar payer, and ï guess ï kînd o sared sîngîng aong wî îm, bu a’s abou î. ï mosy sîng counry musîc. No a o o new counry. Oder suF.”
ï can ee my ace urnîng red. A o o peope don’ îke counry musîc. DeInîey no peope îke Poppy, wo obvîousy as cooer ase an me.o my surprîse, oug, se’s noddîng. “Pasy Cîne and Mara Bee Munro? SuF îke a?” “Yea,” ï say. “Mara Bee’s my avorîe. You îke a suf?” “O yea,” se says, surprîsîng me. “ï’ve go mad respec or e od-îmers. hey knew ow o sîng a song or rea. No compuers backîng you up, jus a mîcropone and a bîg od recordîng macîne.” “ha’s wa my granddad aways says,” ï e er. “hey ca e odîes goodîes or a reason.” “Wa’s your as name?” se asks. “You need a good as name o sîng counry musîc.” “Jones,” ï e er. “Gerrî Jones.” Se grîns. “ha’ work jus Ine.” Mom arrîves în a bîg lurry, sovîng er way roug e îneup and andîng me a donu and a cup o ea. “hanks. Mom, îs îs Poppy.” ey sake. “ï don’ înk ï’ ever under-sand e appea o îs,” says Mom. “Sandîng în a îneup or weve ours. Seepîng on concree.”