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Mason and Carrie Marie can't get up the courage to ask each other to dance. Russ's girlfriend has died, and now he's just trying to live without her. Peggy Lee has grown up with Tennessee--how can she ever think of him as more than a friend? In these moving tales and others, Kathi Appelt captures the sometimes amusing, sometimes touching missteps of some unforgettable students, who come together one last time for the most memorable night of their young lives.
KATHI APPELT is the author of many acclaimed picture books, including the Bubba and Beau series, illustrated by Arthur Howard, and Oh My Baby, Little One, illustrated by Jane Dyer. She lives in College Station, Texas.
Table of Contents
|Dance with Me||1||(10)|
|Just a Kiss, Annie P.||31||(10)|
|The Right Word||66||(15)|
|The Notes Between the Notes||90||(11)|
Dance with MeMagic happens, see. It's just like on those bumper stickers, the ones that say MIRACLES HAPPEN, or JESUS HAPPENS. I never really took those too seriously. I mean, they're bumper stickers.Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking. Miracles? Right. Jesus? Maybe. But magic?I wouldn't have believed it myself before tonight, even though I loved all those fairy tales that my mom used to read to me when I was a little kid.My favorite was the one about Snow White. Those funky little guys with the beards. The poisonous apple. And that cool mirror the evil stepmother used to talk to. You know, she'd ask it all these questions: Who's the nicest Who's the sweetest...Who's the fairest of them all? And for a while, everything was hunky-dory. The mirror always said: You are, O fair one. But mirrors never lie, and so one day the mirror told her the truth: Hey, there's this new girl in town, and sorry, witchie, but she's got the edge in the nice, sweet, and fair categories.Of course, it was all make-believe. That's what I thought, anyway. But now I'm telling you, I'm not so sure.See, there I was at the Stardust Dance.And there was Lucy White. (Yeah, I know, coincidence.) I swear she was glowing in the candlelight.The whole cafeteria was full of glitter. The decorations committee had hung these paper moons and cutout stars from the ceiling. All those stars and moons were covered with glitter, and every time the air conditioner blasted them, they spun around and around and glitter drifted down on top of everyone. The glitter and the candles...they made the place look like a fairy castle or something. And right in the middle of the ceiling hung a giant mirror-ball.Anyway, there was Lucy White. She had on this short white skirt and a blue blouse, and she had her black hair pulled back in this long ponytail that came down to the top of her waist. She had those fairy-tale princesses beat. Even Snow White. I mean, if the witch had popped her question then, Lucy White would have won big time.So there we were-Lucy on one side of the cafeteria and me on the other. And man, all I wanted to do was dance with her. That's all. Wanted to wrap my arms around her slim waist, pull her close, dance her across that cafeteria floor beneath the stars and moons.And I know for a fact that she wanted to dance with me, too. All year long I had sat behind her in our first-period English class, watching that black ponytail swish across her back. And every once in a while, her hair would fall onto my desk. I loved to pull it, and when I did, she'd look back at me and smile. Man, that girl can smile. But that was all. She hardly ever said anything. She's the quiet type.So I was really surprised last week in school when she passed me that note. Me, Tim Hernandez. The note that said, "Ask me to dance. Love, Lucy." I've still got it. In fact, it was tucked into my back pocket during the dance. I could feel its heat through my pants. All I had to do was ask her.
Excerpted from Kissing Tennessee: And Other Stories from the Stardust Dance by Kathi Appelt
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.