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Raising the Stakes

De
160 pages
It’s the start of a new season for Harrington High’s improv team, and Chloe is determined that this will be the year they make it all the way to the top. Her teammates (who also happen to be her closest friends) are a talented bunch, and she knows they can do it. They have to. Because getting to nationals is Chloe’s best chance to prove, to her parents, to the improv scouts and, most of all, to herself, that she has what it takes to succeed. Chloe is doing everything she can to help her teammates perform better. So why are they all mad at her?
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Raising he Stakes Trudee Romanek
Raising he Stakes
Trudee Romanek
Copyright ©2015Trudee Romanek
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
Romanek, Trudee, author Raising the stakes / Trudee Romanek. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459807792 (pbk.).—isbn 9781459807808 (pdf).— isbn 9781459807815(epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8635.o4475r35 2015jc813'.6 c20159017203 c20159017211
First published in the United States,2015 Library of Congress Control Number:2015935532
Summary: In this short novel for middle readers, Chloe’s determination to succeed in the world of improv damages her friendships and hurts her team’s chance to win.
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.
Cover design by Rachel Page Cover photography by John Cameron
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com 181716154321
For Mom and Dad, and for Brina, who continually inspires.
One
raIc noîse swîrs aroûnd ûs as Faî, Nîge T and ï pîck oûr way aong e îcy sîdewak oward scoo “Okay,” ï say “hîry seconds Wa ave yoû go or e eme rû? Go” ï sar my wac îmer and sîp my îngers back îno e cozy warm o my gove ï sawtruthas nîg on a îs o opîcs or e heme even în e împrov book ï borrowed rom oûr coac Nîge and Faî are aready sarîng down a eîr seadîy movîng ee, înkîng ard a gangy Nîge îs e genîûs ransormer on oûr împrov eam He can ûrn îmse îno anyîng rom a seamroer o an erûpîng vocano Bû e aso comes ûp wî grea îdeas or heme And now e ges e irs one
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“A îTe kîd admîTîng e broke a gass?” “Yûp, a works,” ï say “Oo, Coe,” Faî crîes, “ow aboû a coûr scene? Yoû know, a person on e wîness sand Do yoû swear o e e rû and a a” ï nod “Absoûey” Faî and ï ave been rîends sînce e day în oûr grade wen se gave er speec on wy se’d never wan o be a Dîsney prîncess Back en, se was aready wearîng er ong brown aîr în er rademark messy bûn Faî îs a soîd, a-aroûnd împrovîser Se’s especîay good a earessy rowîng erse îno a scene, coniden a se’ igûre î oû as se goes “Gîrs payîng rû or Dare?” sûggess Nîge ï nod agaîn “Anoer nîce one” e ree o ûs wak o scoo ogeer every day—we, every day sînce we a made e scoo’s împrov eam as year We sared doîng exercîses îke îs on oûr wak wen we ad compeîîons comîng ûp, o ge oûr braîns în op sape oday’s ony day one o second semeser, and oûr irs compeîîon o îs year’s season îs sî weeks away, bû ï’ve go bîg pans
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Some kîds probaby înk î’s weîrd a Nîge waks wî ûs, sînce e’s în grade weve and Faî and ï are ony în grade en Bû oûr connec-îon îs aboûwhowe are, no ow od we are ï’s aboû beîng par o someîng Wen we’re doîng an împrov scene, a eîg members o oûr eam depend on eac oer compeey Weer e scene îs good or bad, we sare e experîence more an ï’ve ever sared anyîng wî anyone ese ha’s a preTy good reason o wak ogeer ha and e ac a e ree o ûs ony îve a coûpe o bocks apar Up aead, some gîrs pore over a asîon magazîne as ey waî or e raîc îg o cange One o em sîgs envîoûsy, er brea ormîng a îTe coûd a overs în ron o er ûnî e wînd snaces î away “George Wasîngon!” Faî bûrs oû “He saîd,I cannot tell a lie” he gîrs ook over, en reûrn o eîr maga-zîne hey’re ûsed o ûs Everyone knows e kîds on e împrov eam aren’ araîd o draw aTenîon o emseves We’re a bîg ams—eîg gooy kîds among ûndreds o norma ones a Harrîngon
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O coûrse we wak ogeer! Mos o ûs ea ûnc ogeer oo “How aboû a îe-deecor es în a poîce saîon?” Nîge ofers He and Faî are doîng beer an ey ever dîd as year ï od ûp e and ï’ve been coûnîng on “Fîve soîd îdeas în jûs îeen seconds! Yoû gûys are on ire îs mornîng!” hey beam a eac oer hen Nîge yeps, “Pînoccîo’s nose! And ow î srînks down wen e es e rû” Hîs brown eyes open wîde as anoer oûg îs îm “And e coûd ask someone, ‘Do ï ook rîdîcûoûs wî îs ong nose?’ and e person îes!” ï’m împressed “wo în one scene! Fanasîc!” An îcy bas o wînd îs ûs, and Faî pûs er scar îger “ïn medîeva îmes,” se says, “dîdn’ ey say a sword was rûe î î was sraîg?” “Yea,” says Nîge, “a soûnds amîîar” We ûrn e as corner here are more kîds aroûnd ûs now, comîng rom a dîrecîons Mos are wakîng, oûg a ew rîde bîkes roûg e sûs on e roads A e end o e bock, a wo-sory brown-brîck bûîdîng peeks oû rom beînd
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snow-covered oak rees ha’s Harrîngon Hîg, oûr scoo—a scoo a, sarîng oday, ofers an împrov coûrse! ï ook down a my wac “hree seconds et” ï sî can’ qûîe beîeve we’ ge o do împrov dûrîng cass Nîge and a coûpe o e oers rom e eam aren’ în e cass, bû î soûd be a bas or e ive o ûs wo are A e as momen, Nîge says, “Maybe ûse a sayîng ‘rû îs sranger an icîon’ someow” “And a’s îme Yoû go eîg reay good îdeas! ha was amazîng!” ï sqûea, pûîng em îno a ree-sîded ûg en ï od em bo a arm’s engï aven’ sared my game pan wî anyone ye— no even Faî—bû î’s îme “Gûys,” ï say, ookîng rom one o e oer, “ï reay înk we can do î îs year” Nîge rowns down a me “Do wa exacy?” “Make î a e way o e naîona cam-pîonsîp, sîy!” We sar wakîng agaîn, arm în arm, as ï expaîn “hîs year’s eam as go every-îng we need hînk aboû oûr oûr evens— oûr îe and Sory evens are srong, heme ges
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beer wî every pracîce, and oûr Sye wî bow everyone away” ï know î’s rûe ï’ve been înkîng aboû î or mons now Oûr bes cance o geTîng roûg zones and regîonas and on o naîonas îs îs year, beore Nîge and Asa, wo’s aso în grade weve, gradûae And geTîng o naîonas woûd be a dream come rûe or me “Oûr eamispreTy srong,” says Faî, “bû naîonas? Yoû înk so?” Nîge srûgs “a’s î we wan o go o naîonas,” e says ï sop dead “ï wewant o?” ï sqûawk A kîd wakîng beînd ûs amos bûmps îno me “How coûd we notwan o? Fîrs o a, î means we’d ge o do more împrov And second, naîonas îs e ûîmae împrov compeîîon! ï’s îke e end goa—yoû work, yoû ge beTer, yoû make î o naîonas!” “ïmprov îs deinîey ûn,” says Nîge, pûîng my arm o sar me wakîng agaîn, “bû naîonas îs reay ar away Jûs geTîng ere woûd cos a bûnde Yoû know Harrîngon never spends any money on e împrov eam” “He’s rîg aboû a,” Faî says
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