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As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough (My Mother Is Running for President)

Overview

As if being 12 3/4 isn?t bad enough, Vanessa Rothrock?s mother is running for president and it?s ruining her life. Isn?t it enough that her enormous feet trip her up all the time, even on stage during the school spelling bee? Isn?t it enough that Reginald Trumball, love of Vanessa?s pathetic life, read her personal and private list of deficiencies to some boy she doesn?t even know? And that the Boob Fairy hasn?t visited her even once?! Doesn?t Mom realize that Vanessa needs her more than the rest of the country? ...
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Overview

As if being 12 3/4 isn’t bad enough, Vanessa Rothrock’s mother is running for president and it’s ruining her life. Isn’t it enough that her enormous feet trip her up all the time, even on stage during the school spelling bee? Isn’t it enough that Reginald Trumball, love of Vanessa’s pathetic life, read her personal and private list of deficiencies to some boy she doesn’t even know? And that the Boob Fairy hasn’t visited her even once?! Doesn’t Mom realize that Vanessa needs her more than the rest of the country? More importantly, doesn’t she realize that she may be in grave danger? Vanessa's receiving threatening notes at school–notes that imply some psycho has it out for her mother at the Democratic National Convention. Vanessa might be the only person who can save her. But does she have the courage to do what that requires?

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440422112
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.68 (w) x 5.28 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

As If Being 12 3⁄4 . . . is Donna Gephart’s first novel. She lives with her family in Jupiter, Florida, where she’s already at work on her second.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough (My Mother Is Running for President)


By Donna Gephart

Yearling

Copyright © 2010 Donna Gephart
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780440422112

I'm sitting on a wooden folding chair, hoping I don't get a splinter in my derriere, as Chester Fields tries to spell "thoroughly." Chester Fields is an idiot. "Thoroughly" is an easy word. But somehow he manages to muck it up, spelling, "T-h-u-r-u-h, I don't know, w-l-y." Cowbell for that boy! How did he even get to the schoolwide bee? I'll bet his teacher felt sorry for him. Or maybe it's because his mother is on the board of directors at Lawndale Academy.

I, Vanessa Rothrock, am sweating like a pig--do pigs sweat?--and wishing I could smell my pits, but the whole audience is looking at me. I pump my left leg up and down like crazy and hear Mom's voice in my head: Don't fidget, Vanessa; it's unbecoming. Still yourself. Still yourself? Easy for her to say. She's all poise and grace, forever saying and doing the perfect thing. Maybe I'm not really Mom's daughter. Maybe I was adopted, or switched at birth. But when I think of Mom's enormous feet, I know I'm all hers. I rest my hand on my leg to stop fidgeting and crane my neck. Is Mom even--?
"Vanessa Rothrock, please come up."

I gasp and choke on my own saliva. Then I stand and grab the back of my chair. Unfortunately, I do not die of asphyxiation (Asphyxiation. A-S-P-H-Y-X-I-A-T-I-O-N. Asphyxiation.) and I maneuver around students' feet and chair legs. The microphone is in sight. I'm sighing with relief at having passed through the minefield of legs without tripping when my gigantic feet tangle in the principal's microphone cord.

I lurch forward, grab for the podium, and end up with a handful of papers before crashing to the stage. I say something charming, like "Ooomph!" The audience lets out a collective gasp.

Unfortunately, I do not crack my head and die instantly. Why am I such a klutz?

As I lift my cheek from the dusty floor, I see camera lights flash like lightning. I put my head down and imagine tomorrow's headline: governor's daughter takes spill during school spelling bee. entire state of florida humiliated.

"No photographs, please," Mrs. Foster begs. "You were informed."

I look up again and see Mr. Martinez marching toward me from backstage. That's all I need to complete the humiliation package--my six-foot-tall security guard scooping me up from the stage and brushing me off.

I hold up a few fingers and he stops. I mouth the words "I'm okay." Mr. Martinez backs up so that he's offstage again. And against my better judgment, I stand and face the audience, who, by the way, have their mouths hanging open. My cheeks grow so hot I'm sure my head will spontaneously (Spontaneously. S-P-O-N-T-A-N-E-O-U-S-L-Y. Spontaneously.) combust. I look at Mrs. Foster and silently plead: Give me a word already and put me out of my misery.

Mrs. Foster clears her throat and motions toward my feet. I realize that her papers are scattered there. I gather them up and give them to her with trembling hands. I hear Mom's words again: Still yourself, Vanessa. Still yourself!

After adjusting her glasses and clearing her throat, Mrs. Foster says, "Your word is 'resuscitate.' "
I snort. I can't help it. I imagine a cute emergency tech resuscitating me on the floor of the stage. Unfortunately, when I snort, it makes a screeching noise in the microphone, and the people in the audience (even Mrs. Foster) cover their ears as though a supersonic jet has flown overhead. I see Mr. Martinez wince.

Why, I wonder, do I suffer such humiliation? What was God thinking when She made me?

Someone clears her throat. For a moment I think it's God, but then I look over and see Mrs. Foster tapping her watch.

My nostrils flare in a less-than-flattering way. I hate when someone taps a watch. I shake my head. What is my word again? OHMYGOD! I've completely forgotten. Sweat begins to pool under my arms. Did I remember to apply deodorant this morning or did I just spray perfume and hope for the best? "Could I have the origin of the word, please?"

"Resuscitate," Mrs. Foster snaps. "It comes from--"

"Resuscitate." I cut the principal off midsentence. "R-e-s-u-s-c-i-t-a-t-e. Resuscitate."

"That is correct." I imagine the "thank goodness and sit down" she doesn't say.

I curtsy--CURTSY? what am I, five years old?--then scamper back to polite applause. It's obvious I impress the audience by making it to my seat without tripping.

"Reginald Trumball, please come up."

Reginald turns and winks at me. At least I think it's at me. My heart goes into overdrive, and fingers of heat creep up my neck.

I notice my best friend, Emma Smith, staring at Reginald as he gets out of his seat. I wonder for a moment if she's even more in love with Reginald than I am. Not possible.

I watch Reginald jog to the microphone. He doesn't even stumble. That boy is all grace and good looks. If I'm lucky enough to have children with Reginald Trumball someday, I hope they inherit his good looks and quirky charm . . . and my ability to spell obscure (Obscure. O-B-S-C-U-R-E. Obscure.) words.

Mrs. Foster smiles and nods at Reginald. "Your word is 'categorize.' "

I close my eyes, squeeze my fingers into fists, and will the correct spelling into Reginald's gorgeous head. But something must be blocking my brain waves, because Reginald says: "C-a-t-i-g-o-r-i-z-e."
When the cowbell signals his defeat, Reginald's mother has her arm around his shoulders before he's even completely off the stage. Reginald puts his arm around his mother's shoulder and leans his head close to hers. She whispers something into his ear, probably about how he'll never need to spell that word again and how she'll take him out for ice cream later. I want that mother.


From the Hardcover edition.

Continues...

Excerpted from As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough (My Mother Is Running for President) by Donna Gephart Copyright © 2010 by Donna Gephart. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Amazing Book!!!! You will love it, see for yourself!

    Daughter of a Political Justice, Vanessa Rothrock thought her life was complicated enough and that was before her mother ran for president! No she has to deal with being a preteen, having gigantic feet, being a total Klutz and now having to be known as the goofy girl with a bodygaurd and no privacy! She hates having to make an appointment to see her own mother and just wants her mom to drop out of the race! Then whe she thinks things cant get any worse a note appears in her locker threating her and her mother if her mom doesnt drop out of the campaign but nothing is going to distract her mother. The amazingly written book shocked me with action and humor! You are not going to want to miss this book!

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for TeensReadToo

    Gold Star Award Winner! As the governor's daughter, Vanessa Rothrock already has a complicated life. Not only is she a complete klutz, but she's the only kid in school with a bodyguard, she gets absolutely no privacy, and she has to make an appointment to see her own mother. Things would be much easier if she didn't spend her life in the scrutiny of the public eye, because, whenever in the spotlight, Vanessa will surely trip over her own gigantic feet. Now that it looks like her mom might have a good shot at becoming a presidential candidate, everyone else is scurrying around, and all Vanessa wants is for her mother to drop out of the race. Is it really so wrong to just want your mom there, to see you win the county spelling bee and comfort you in the emergency room after you break your wrist in PE? Then the letter appears in her locker, the one that threatens her to stop her mom's campaign. Frightened that her mother's life might be in danger, Vanessa decides that she has to deter her mom, no matter what. Extremely well-written, this book surprised me with its humor, action, and poignancy. With this winning combination, this is a read you will certainly want on your ticket!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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