Read an Excerpt
Heidi Heckelbeck sat on the maple-tree swing and twirled the ropes together until they were tight. Then she lifted her feet and let the swing go. She spun round and round. Her thoughts were spinning as fast as the swing.
“You want to hear an awful truth?” asked Heidi as the swing unwound.
“I guess so,” said her brother, Henry, who was sitting on the branch above her.
Heidi took a deep breath.
“Okay, here goes,” she said. “I have no talent.
“I can’t dance.
“I can’t sing.
“I can’t even act.
“I’m just a big fat nothing!”
“Well, I’m not,” Henry said. “I’ve got talent.”
“Like what?” asked Heidi.
Henry stood on the branch. He put one hand on the trunk and the other high in the air. “I am an ac-TOR!” he said.
Heidi rolled her eyes. “A BAD actor.”
“No, a MIME actor,” said Henry. “I can act out stories without talking.”
“No words?” Heidi asked.
“Not a one,” said Henry.
“Really? This I’ve GOT to see,” said Heidi.
“Okay,” said Henry as he jumped out of the tree. “But I need a smooth floor.”
Heidi and Henry ran inside. Then Henry hid behind the kitchen door.
“Ready?” asked Henry.
“Ready,” said Heidi.
Henry moonwalked smoothly into the kitchen. He had his hands in his pockets as his feet glided across the floor. He moved his head forward and back as he walked. One heel snapped to the floor in between steps. Then he stopped and looked around. His eyes got wide as he pretended to see something.
I wonder what Henry’s looking at, thought Heidi.
Henry stooped and pretended to pick a flower. He pretended to smell it. Then he picked another and another. When he had a whole bunch of pretend flowers, he walked up to Heidi and offered them to her.
Heidi smiled and pretended to take them. “Very smooth, little dude,” she said. “But it totally stinks.”
“Why?” asked Henry.
“Because you’ve got talent and you’re younger than I am.”
“That’s so silly,” Henry said.
“I have to agree,” said Mom, who had walked in during the show. “Everyone has talent. You just have to find something you like to do and practice it.”
“But how am I going to do that?” asked Heidi. “There’s only one week until the school talent show. That’s not enough time to get good at anything.”
“You can say that again,” said Henry. “I’ve been practicing my mime act for months.”
“See?” Heidi said. “It takes a long time to get good at something.”
“You don’t need more time or more talent,” said Mom. “All you need is a good idea.”
“Okay, fine,” said Heidi. “I’m going outside to think.”
Heidi pushed on the screen door, and it snapped shut behind her.
Just then Dad walked into the kitchen. “Did I miss something?” he asked.