Read an Excerpt
"Perfect fit," said a voice behind Samantha Stanton.
Sam placed a new trophy on her shelf. She and her dad had won it that morning in the wheelbarrow race at the school carnival. She turned to see her twin sister, Emma, in the doorway.
Sam had to agree with Emma. The trophy did fit perfectly with all her other athletic awards.
Emma gave a big sigh and dropped down on her ruffly pink bed. She seemed very gloomy.
"Hey, it was just a goofy wheelbarrow race," Sam said quickly. "No big deal."
Emma looked at the tall, shiny new addition to Sam's collection. "Yeah, right."
"Okay," Sam admitted. "From here it looks good. But you should see it up close. That little gold lady on top has this miserable look on her face."
Emma managed a small smile.
"You don't have to say that, Sam," she said. I know you're proud of all those awards. And you should be. I'm proud of you for winning them. It's just that"-she picked up a hand mirror from her night table and gazed into it, frowning at her big blue eyes and shining blond hair-"I sometimes wonder if there's such a thing as an adopted. twin."
"Nope. There isn't," Sam told her.
"Well, it sure feels like it sometimes." Emma sighed. I mean, we look exactly alike. But when it comes to sports, it's like you and I are from different planets. How can I be so terrible at something you're so good at?"
Now it was Sam's turn to sigh. "Being a jock has its bad points, you know."
" What do you mean?" Emma asked.
"Well, for example there's the- whole boy thing. I mean, I'd trade every one of those trophies for just one. of the looks you get from the guysin school."
Emma sat up. "What are you talking about?" she asked. "Guys are always coming up to you."
"Yeah. To ask if they. can borrow my hockey stick. Or if I'll be Placekicker for their football team!" Sam folded her arms. "Romantic, huh?"
Emma thought for a moment. Then she nodded. "Okay, I see your point. It's like they say: The grass is always greener..."
"...on a well-kept soccer field?" Sam teased.
"Well, I was going to say, when you're walking on it with a cute guy." Emma grinned.
Her grin slowly faded. "You know what the worst thing is? Sometimes, when you and Dad are doing sports, I think he forgets I'm alive."
"That's crazy." Sam sat beside her sister.
Every time Sam went from her side of the room to Emma's, she felt as if she were crossing into another dimension. Her twin's area was pastel and pretty. It was also as neat as a pin. Sam's own half looked like a locker room.
Occasionally, Emma would complain about Sam's mess. Or all her sports posters. And once in a while, Sam gave Emma a hard time about her frilly lampshade. Or her nine zillion bottles of nail polish. But overall, it was a good arrangement. The girls weren't just twins. They were best friends.
Sam had to make her-sister feel better.
"Don't be so hard on yourself," she said. "I mean it, Em. You could be pretty good at sports yourself!"
"Hah! Then why didnt Dad pick me today?"
Sam thought back to that morning at the carnival. 'Everything had started off as usual. Sam devoured a corn dog while Emma flirted with a cute boy from their seventh-grade class. Of course, he asked Emma to ride the Ferris wheel with him. Sam passed the time with some cotton candy.
After that, Sam polished off a rainbow slushie. Then she watched as another cute guy threw softballs at milk bottles to win Emma a teddy bear. Then Sam threw her own softballs. She won a gigantic stuffed platypus. it could have swallowed Emma's bear in one gulp.
And then ... their dad showed up.
"Okay, girls," he called, bounding toward them. "This is it!"
"What's up?" Sam asked.
Jerry Stanton grinned at his daughters. "It's time to show this crowd who the real champs are! Time to separate the men from the boys!"
Emma's eyes lit up. "Boys? Sounds like my kind of game!"
Sam laughed. Their father missed the joke.
"That's just an expression, Em. I'm talking about the big event ... the wheelbarrow race!"
The twins exchanged glances. Their dad had been a sports star in high school and college. He was the owner of the biggest sporting goods store in town. For years, Jerry's Wide World of Sports had sponsored the only undefeated team in the Evansville Youth Soccer League. Jerry Stanton coached it, and he was tough. Winning was his life.
Jerry studied his daughters. "Let's see," he said. "Who's going to be my wheels?"
As if there were any doubt. Sam was always her father's choice for anything related to sports.
"Ready to bring home the gold, Sammy girl?"
"Sure!" Sam grinned. Then she caught the dis-appointed look on Emma'sface. I mean-"
"Great. Let's go!" Jerry took off at a jog toward the starting line.
Sam turned to Emma. "You'd hate being his wheelbarrow," she said. She gave her sisters shoulder a gentle punch. "It would ruin your manicure.
"Right," said Emma. She looked down at her polished nails-.
Sam felt a twinge of guilt. But what could she do? The race was about to begin.
She hurried to the starting line, planted her palms in the dirt, and kicked up her heels for her father to catch. "Okay, Dad. We're going to win this one!"
Emma didn't fee I like watching the race. Glumly, she headed over to the fortune telling booth. "Madam Denise," the fortune teller, was also known as Denise Stanton, PhD. And also known as Sam and Emma's mom.
A little boy plunked down a quarter to have his fortune told. Emma watched as her mom waved her hands over a crystal ball. The ball looked a lot like an upside-down fishbowl to Emma.
"Madam Denise" leaned close to the crystal ball. -She narrowed her green eyes. "The spirits are responding," she said in a fake gypsy accent. I see that you will face many challenges in your future."...Mary-Kate & Ashley Switching Goals. Copyright � by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.