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Queen of the Toilet Bowl

112 pages
When Renata is chosen to play the lead role in the school musical, students who used to ignore her start saying hello and congratulating her in the hall. She is happy until it becomes evident that Karin, a wealthy girl who expected to get the lead role, will go to great lengths to ruin Renata's reputation.
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Queen of the
Q ueen T oilet of the B o w l
Frieda Wishinsky
Queen of the Toilet Bowl
Frieda Wishinsky
Copyright ©2005Frieda 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 Queen of the toilet bowl / Frieda Wishinsky. (Orca currents)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781551433646 (pbk.).—isbn 9781551437538 (pdf).— isbn 9781554696925 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series. ps8595.i834q43 2005jc813’.54 c20059007885
First published in the United States,2005 Library of Congress Control Number:2005921305
Summary: Renata learns to be proud of who she is.
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 photography by Getty Images
      Box, Stn. BBox Victoria,Canada Custer,   - www.orcabook.com
For my friends, Anne, Lynn, Ronnie and Sydell.
And with thanks to Tauane Machado.
C h a p t e r O n e
Why was I worried? Liz and I hung around together at school but going to her house made everything different. Going to her house made us real friends. “Sit down,” said Liz. “That is if you can înd a place.” I looked around Liz’s room. There were mounds of clothes on her bed,
Frieda W ishinsk y
a pile of shoes on her oor and books piled on her desk. “Where?” I asked. Liz shoved some clothes off her bed. “Here,” she said. I plunked myself down on her pink and red owered quilt. “Great quilt,” I said. Liz pushed another pile of clothes off her bed and flopped down beside me. “My aunt made it when I was ten.” Liz patted her quilt like an old friend. “It has a couple of holes and a mustard stain near the top, but I love it.” “It’s beautiful,” I said. “If you could see it,” said Liz laughing. “I always plan to clean my room, but things get in the way. It drives my mom crazy. She’s a neat freak.” It was true. The rest of Liz’s house looked like a movie set. There were sparkling mahogany antique tables,
Queen of the Toilet Bowl
glass lamps and a marble coffee table with four perfectly lined-up glossy magazines on top. It looked like no one ever sat on or touched anything. “I bet your room is neat,” said Liz. “You’re so organized.” My tiny bedroom was more like a closet than a room. Liz’s bedroom was as big as our living room and kitchen put together. She had space to sprawl out. She had room to be messy, but even the smallest pile of clutter would make my room crowded. “I’m not that neat,” I said. I didn’t want Liz to think I was a neat freak too. Liz and I had known each other for four years, but we’d only become friends since we’d both started grade nine at High Road High. I didn’t want anything to spoil that. “Let’s listen to music,” said Liz,pull-ing aplayer out from under her bed.
Frieda W ishinsk y
She popped in a and soon she was singing along with the music. She was also laughing and apologizing. “I know my voice stinks,” she said. “I can’t keep a tune to save my life.” “It’s not so bad,” I said. “You don’t have to be nice,” said Liz. “I don’t care if I have a lousy voice. I love to sing.” I used to love to sing too, but I hadn’t sung in a long time. To my surprise,I belted out a song like Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow.” Liz stopped singing and stared at me. “I didn’t know you could sing,” she said. “I don’t usually,” I told her. “But you should. Your voice is amazing. You should try out for the school play.” “I couldn’t sing in front of a whole room full of kids and teachers.” “Yes you could. Try,” said Liz.
Queen of the Toilet Bowl
But I couldn’t. I didn’t want anyone pointing at me, noticing me, talking about me. It was hard enough being from Brazil in a school where almost no one else came from a foreign country. I wanted to be invisible. I used to sing all the time in Sao Paolo, where I lived until I was nine. But here it was different. I couldn’t sing in public here. “Liz,” called her mom. “I have to go out for an hour. Who was that singing on the radio?” “That wasn’t the radio. It was Renata,” said Liz. “Isn’t her voice amazing?” “It’s beautiful, Renata,” said Liz’s mom, standing at the door. Liz’s mom smiled warmly at me. She had a small, round face like Liz and short brown hair. Her black pants and white shirt didn’t have a single crease or wrinkle.
Frieda W ishinsk y
“I wish you’d clean this room up,” she told Liz. “I don’t know how you can stand all this clutter.” “It’s not clutter,” insisted Liz. “Everything in here is special. I’m a collector, Mom. I can’t get rid of my stuff. I need all of it.” “There’s a fine line between a collection and a pile of junk,” said her mother. “How can you call my stuff junk? It’s unique and I love it. Every bit of it.” Liz’s mom sighed. You could tell they’d had this discussion before. “Anyway,” said Liz curling her arms around a pillow. “Clutter is my style.” “I wish you’d get a new style,” said her mom. Then she turned to go. “See you later, girls. And Renata, you really do have a lovely voice. You should do something with it.”