Decisions, decisions! How is a girl supposed to choose? Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test in the Scenarios series, where you can test your decision-making abilities in an eye-opening, but safe, way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision—then it’s your turn to choose. Will your choices lead to a happy ending?
About the Author
Nicole O'Dell is a busy mom of six kids ranging from a 20-something military son down to 9-year-old triplets. She is a multi-published author in both inspirational fiction and nonfiction, a speaker for faith-based events, and the recipient of the ACFW's Editor of the Year award in 2013. She’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction, which offers readers alternate endings, allowing them to decide what the main character does, and the Diamond Estates series based on her experiences as a resident at Teen Challenge as a teenager. Her non-fiction for teens includes Girl Talk, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column, and several devotional books. Nicole’s desire to bridge the gap between parents and teens is evident in her parenting nonfiction like the Hot Buttons series aimed at helping parents handle tough issues with their tweens and teens on subjects like dating, Internet activity, sexuality, prejudice, friendships, politics, and many more. She is also the author of Powerline365, a daily devotional for parents of teens, and the author of over 300 other devotional writings. Passionate about health, Nicole also works full-time as a marketing manager for Human Kinetics, a publisher of fitness resources. Early mornings or late evenings you can find her doing laps in a pool, biking on a country road near her home, or running some miles as she chases her triathlon dreams, including the Half-Ironman race she completed in 2017.
Read an Excerpt
Interactive Fiction for Girls
By Nicole O'Dell
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Nicole O'Dell
All rights reserved.
"Purple and yellow polyester gym clothes? This school needs a new wardrobe!" Molly looked at the locker room mirror in disgust as she pulled her shirt of. "They're so ugly, and we have to wear them every single day."
"Plus, it's so gross that they only let us take them home once a week to wash them." Jess wrinkled her nose and pinched it with the tips of her fingers. She dropped the sweaty gym uniform into her duffel bag, careful to touch as little of it as possible.
"I know." Sara gestured over her shoulder to an unkempt girl seated on the bench down the row. "Some people should wash their clothes a lot more often than that."
Molly looked at the girl—her clothes way too small and her hair obviously unwashed. She has more pimples than I have freckles. But still, why does Sara have to be mean? Molly turned away to swipe some gloss on her lips and changed the subject. "Forget about gym clothes for a sec. What about the rest of our clothes? You know, we're in high school now. I don't know about you, but I'm having trouble finding cool stuff in my closet. Everything is so junior high." Her voice trailed off in a whine as she tied her long blond hair back in a ponytail and fluffed her bangs with her fingertips.
Sara nodded as she ran a brush through her dark, silky hair. "I kn–"
"I'm having the same—" Jess said at the same time and then laughed.
Molly zipped her bag shut. "Okay. Well, I see we're all having the same problem then. We should do something about it."
"I've been thinking.... We need to get jobs." Jess slammed her locker closed and spun the combination lock.
"No way anyone would hire us. We're not old enough." Sara slipped into step with Molly and Jess as they walked out into the hallway and blended in with the student traffic.
"Besides, we're not trained for anything." Molly shrugged, dismissing the issue.
Jess jumped in front of them and turned in a half circle, walking backward. "Well, I've thought of all of that, and I have solutions." She grinned and put up her hand to stop the flood of protests. "Just hear me out a sec. Okay?"
Molly closed her mouth and nodded, then winked at Sara. Jess had taken charge. Something interesting would happen whether they wanted it to or not.
Sara scowled and shook her head, then she sighed.
Jess grabbed their sleeves and pulled them to a stop. "Okay, we need new clothes, so what better place to work than a clothing store? On top of a paycheck, we'd also get a discount." She raised her eyebrows.
"Now that's a good point." Molly nodded.
"Hadn't thought of that, huh?" Jess teased. "Sure, we're not sixteen, which makes it more difficult to actually get the job. But we all get good grades and have an impeccable school record with lots of service activities and extracurricular things."
"I don't know if that's enough." Sara's eyes narrowed. "Lots of people have all that, plus they're older—some even with work experience."
"I made some calls," Jess continued, unfazed. "Here in Wisconsin, all we need in order to get a job at fifteen is a work permit. We'll need permission from our parents and a letter of recommendation from the school principal and a few teachers."
"But why would a business want to hire us?" Molly asked when Jess stopped for air. "I mean, Sara's right. They could get an older girl with more experience and a later curfew."
Jess paused at the door to her math class and turned to face the girls. "They can get someone older than us, sure. But why would they? We're not attached at the hip to a boyfriend, we have nowhere else to be, and we're highly trainable because we don't have any bad habits yet." She entered her classroom without another word.
Molly and Sara looked at each other and chuckled. They shook their heads as they walked away. They would probably be getting jobs—Jess would see to it.
"I do like the idea of a discount," Molly admitted. "More bang for the buck."
"I just hope we can work at the same place, at the same time." Sara brushed her hair out of her eyes. "I'd hate to have a job with no one I know to work with."
Molly snorted. "Oh no! I feel sorry for anyone who hires the three of us together!"
* * *
"Let's make a list!" Molly jumped onto Sara's fluffy pink bed, crossed her legs, and poised her pen to write. "Where do we want to work?"
"Claire's—good jewelry." Sara touched the silver hearts dangling from her ears.
"Old Navy—great jeans," Jess added.
"What about a department store?" Molly tapped the tip of the pen on her chin. "I mean, think about it. Everything we could ever need would be in that one store."
"Yeah, but those stores are so big we might have to work in different areas."
"That's true, but a big store like that might be the only place that has three spots to fill at the same time," Jess countered.
"I've got it! Come here." Sara jumped up and scampered to her older sister's room with Molly and Jess close at her heels. She ran right to the overstuffed closet. "This." Sara pulled out a cute sweater. "These." She grabbed three great shirts and started to pile the things on the bed. "These!" Sara held up the coolest pair of jeans ever.
"I get it. Your sister has great clothes. So what?" Jess rolled her eyes.
"What do these clothes all have in common?" Sara looked from one to the other, waiting for an answer.
Molly stared at the clothes and tapped her lip with her finger. Then it hit her. "Magna." She grinned. "They're all from Magna."
"Right! That's where we need to work." Sara gave one confident nod.
Molly watched as smiles spread across their faces.
Perfect! Molly fingered the clothing. Magna, the most popular clothing store among the older girls, was the perfect place for them to get jobs. But now that they knew where to get jobs, they needed to figure out how to get jobs.
"Get out that trusty paper of yours, Molly." Jess turned on her heel and led the way back to Sara's room. "We need to plan. Let's make a list of what we need to do."
"We need to get our parents' permission—otherwise nothing else matters," Molly reminded them. "That might be a deal breaker for me."
"True. Put that at the top of the list," Sara said. "Then, we need letters of recommendation."
They brainstormed, schemed, and planned for over two hours about how to get their dream jobs.
1. Get a letter of permission from parents.
2. Get letters of recommendation from the principal and at least one teacher.
3. Figure out hours available to work.
4. Get a ride to the mall.
5. Pick up applications.
6. Fill out applications and turn in to the store manager.
7. Find a really cool outfit to wear to the interview.
8. [begin strikethrough]Find three other places to apply for jobs, just in case.[end strikethrough]
9. Find someone to teach us about interviewing.
10. Find out how much of a discount there is!
"About number eight, I hope we're not sorry we decided not to look at other places." Molly shook her head. It couldn't be wise to limit their options so much.
"We can always make adjustments if things don't work out." Jess unfolded her long body and stretched her arms high above her head. She rolled a curl between her fingers.
"Yeah, I think we've got a good plan." Sara's eyes brightened when the garage door opened. "In fact, I'll go talk to Mom as soon as you two are gone. A single mom of two teenage girls is never going to mind the idea of one of them getting a part-time job."
"What about you, Jess?" Molly chuckled. "Do you even have to ask your parents?"
"Of course I'll have to ask. But they won't care." Jess shrugged. "Mom and Dad don't say no to much."
"Well, I might have a problem." No way they'll go for it. Molly sighed. I'll have to be very careful how I ask. "We'll see. For now, though, we'd better go. My mom is probably waiting for us outside."
* * *
"This is a wonderful dinner, Kay. Will you please pass me the potatoes?" Molly's dad rubbed his trim stomach.
"You're awfully quiet tonight, Molly. Something wrong?" Mom peered intently at her.
Uh-oh. This isn't how I wanted to bring this up. She sat up a little straighter. "No, not at all." Molly smiled and took the bowl of potatoes to pass on to her dad. "I'm just thinking about something—nothing bad, though." Oops. Looked like Mom wasn't buying it.
Mom pressed a little harder. "Why don't you run whatever it is by me and your dad? I'm sure we can help."
Better tell her before she gets too worried and assumes the worst. Molly tried to sound confident. "Well, it's just that Sara, Jess, and I are thinking that we might want to get jobs. The thing is, we obviously need our parents' permission. I'm just thinking about the best way to go about getting that." She took a forkful of meat loaf and rolled it in her puddle of ketchup, hoping to look casual.
Mom pulled her head back like she'd been slapped. Her eyes open wide, she said, "Wow, this came out of nowhere. Hmm. Well, you're going to have to give us a little time to talk about this."
Molly's dad held up one finger.
Antsy, Molly poked at her food while she waited for him to finish the bite he'd just forked into his mouth.
For the next fifteen minutes he peppered her with questions about where she wanted to work, how much she wanted to work, how she'd schedule everything important in her life without letting school or church suffer, and most importantly he wanted to know why she wanted a job.
Molly squirmed. Her answer would sway their decision one way or another. She couldn't just say she wanted money for clothes. They'd never go for that. Oh, they might offer to buy her a new outfit, but that would be it. Somehow, without lying, she'd have to come up with the perfect answer.
"Well, there's more than one reason." Elbows on the dining room table, Molly ticked off the reasons on her fingers. "A job looks good on my transcripts. Working would be a really good experience for me. It will give me extra spending money for activities, clothes, and other stuff that comes up. I can help you guys with my expenses—"
"I'm not sure I'm liking the sound of this so far, Molly." Mom's worry wrinkles knit together between her brows. "Your dad and I have no problem paying for the things you need—and even a few wants every now and then. I don't know if I like the idea of you having a job now. You'll be working the rest of your life. Why start now?"
Don't sound whiny. "The thing is ... I don't do much. I go to school and church, and I hang out with my friends. Why not hang out with my friends at a job? I have the time, and it's betterto spend my time that way than to just shuffle around the mall aimlessly ... isn't it?"
"In theory, yes." Her dad nodded. "It's not the working itself that's the problem. It's the commitment to the job and what that will require from you. Your mom and I are going to need to talk about this. We're not saying no. Just give us a chance to talk."
Molly opened her mouth to argue but had second thoughts. "Sure, Dad. Thanks for thinking about it." She stacked the dinner plates and headed off to the kitchen to wash them.
Several times she thought of ways to make her case stronger and turned to run back in to make her argument, but she refrained. Some things were better left alone.
A few hours later, Molly put her math book down and rubbed the creases from her ganitforehead just as she heard a knock at her door. "Come on in."
The door opened, and Mom and Dad both entered her bedroom.
"Whoa. To what do I owe the pleasure of both of you coming to my room?" Looks like it's a no.
"Your mom and I have reached a decision, and we want to talk to you about it." Dad pulled up her desk chair and sat backward on the seat. Hisred tie draped over the backrest in front of him.
Mom sat down on the edge of the bed, bouncing Molly's book to the floor with a thud. No one bent to pick it up.
The suspense is killing me.
"Well, we don't really think it's going to be easy to find one, but if you're serious about wanting to—"
Molly's eyes grew wide and expectant, her heart double-timing.
"—we'll let you get a job. After all, the early bird catches the worm."
"Reeeally? Are you serious?" Molly slapped her legs and jumped off the bed. She ran to her dad and threw her arms around his neck. "Thanks, Dad!" She gave her mom a huge hug, too. "Thanks, Mom."
"Hold on, before you get too excited." Her mom's expression was very serious. "You have to agree to a few things first, Moll." Splash! Mom threw a bucket of cold water on the excitement.
"A few things? Like what?" Did she really want to know?
Mom looked at Molly. "Now, don't get all defensive. These are just some basics you should expect anyway." She looked at Dad as if asking him to take over.
"You're going to need to keep your grades up. You'll have to stay as involved at church as you are now—no skipping youth group for work, and no working on Sundays at all so we can go to church together."
Molly cringed. "Youth group—I totally agree. But Sundays?" She tipped her head and stuck out her bottom lip.
"Just because you think it's boring to sit in church with us doesn't mean we're going to cave, Moll. We've had this talk before." Mom lifted her chin and crossed her arms.
Oops! Now's not the time to cause a problem. "No big deal. I didn't want to work on Sundays anyway—because of God, not church."
"God is everywhere, every moment. Sunday mornings, we're in church. Period." Dad continued after a slight pause. "You can only work two weeknights and one weekend shift. No more. And we get final approval on the type of job you get." He raised one eyebrow in a question mark and looked at Molly.
"That's it?" Molly breathed a sigh of relief. "No problem. I pretty much expected those rules anyway."
"Well, okay then." Mom smiled. "As long as we're clear on those things, you can go ahead and try to find a job somewhere like the mall, but I don't want you working at a restaurant."
She rose to leave the room, and Dad followed.
"Wish me luck," Molly called after them as they pulled the door shut. I'm going to need it.CHAPTER 2
"Check your watches, girls. You have an hour and a half to collect applications. If you use your time wisely, you may even be able to fill them out and turn them in before I pick you up." Molly's mom inched the car up to the side of the curb in front of the main mall entrance to drop off Molly, Sara, and Jess after school on Tuesday—during the mall's slowest hours—so they could go job shopping.
"It won't take even that long, Mrs. Jacobs. We only want to apply at Magna. So we're going to go right there." Jess got out of the car first. "We should be able to fill out our applications and be back here to meet you in plenty of time."
"Really?" She looked surprised. "I hope you realize that by only applying at one place, you severely limit your chances of actually getting hired." She smiled and shook her head.
Sara and Molly climbed out of the car next, careful not to wrinkle their clothes or mess up their hair. They each took a moment to look in the side-view mirror. Jess took a quick peek at her clear complexion and no-fuss curly hairdo, and Sara smoothed her dark flyaways.
Molly tousled her straight blond bangs so they wouldn't look so blunt. One last glance—makeup was fine. All set. They turned and waved good-bye to her mom. There it was, that familiar longing. She knew what Mom was thinking: My little girl is growing up too fast. Molly smiled and blew her mom a kiss before she turned to catch up with the others.
Sara and Molly stalled at the makeup counter in Macy's while Jess checked out the running shoes. They wasted at least thirty minutes.
Enough's enough. Molly took control. "Okay. We're either going to do this or we're not. What are we so nervous about anyway? I mean, you guys, it's not like we're doing anything wrong. We're offering to work for them—not trying to steal clothes."
Sara and Jess nodded, their tense shoulders relaxing.
Molly looked in the mirror at the makeup counter and wiped at the edges of her lipstick. "We'll go together, walk right up to the manager, and one of us will do the talking. Ask for three applications—how hard could it be?"
"Okay, but who's going to do the talking? I don't think I can." Sara blanched.
Excerpted from Risky Business by Nicole O'Dell. Copyright © 2010 Nicole O'Dell. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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.
Table of Contents
ContentsBook 1: Magna,
Chapter 1: Rule the School,
Chapter 2: Help Wanted,
Chapter 3: A Rising Star,
Chapter 4: Truce and Victory,
Chapter 5: What are "Friends" For,
Chapter 6: Hanging in the Balance,
Chapter 7: Promotion Commotion,
Chapter 8: All for One,
Chapter 9: Shall We Dance?,
Chapter 10A: Just Say No,
Chapter 11A: Busted,
Chapter 12A: Passion Renewed,
Chapter 10B: What They Don't Know Won't Hurt Them,
Chapter 11B: You Play, You Pay,
Chapter 12B: The Time Has Come,
Book 2: Making Waves,
Chapter 1: A Lonely Portrait,
Chapter 2: No "I" in Team,
Chapter 3: Catch Up,
Chapter 4: Just Try It,
Chapter 5: On the Road,
Chapter 6: First Date,
Chapter 7: Trick or Treat,
Chapter 8: Reality Strikes,
Chapter 9: The Championships,
Chapter 10A: Different Strokes,
Chapter 11A: De-Celebrations,
Chapter 12A: True Friendship,
Chapter 10B: No One Will Know,
Chapter 11B: Stripped,
Chapter 12B: Grace—A Legal Drug,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nicole continued to pull me in as I followed the characters and their dilemma's. She handled each subject beautifully while allowing the reader to be interactively involved in the story. The stories are ingenious in the way they ask the reader to make the tough moral decisions. It gives the reader the opportunity to feel the weight of the consequences. I've read all of the Scenarios books and I believe that each story dealt with a necessary issue facing the tween/teens of today.......and tomorrow. I've purchased many of the books and donated some to my church youth library and many I gave as gifts to the daughters of many friends. All have asked repeatly when the next book/s would be released. They so loved the first 4 books of the series. They're now thrilled that books 1-4 have been released in 2 in 1 books and that 5 & 6 are now available. To anyone out there, these books are great gifts for young girls that you love and want to see make the right decisions. They prepare them before they're faced with the issues. Way to go Nicole.
I tink that this author did an outstanding job making the story board and everything i think that it it a job well done!!!!!!:)
I greatly enjoyed them both though with the note 'interactive fiction' on the front I anticipated a more high tech version of the 'chose your own story' that I read as a child. While I was doomed for disappointment on that score I did enjoy the stories. They do each lead you down a path of wrong decisions and then allow you to chose where you will go from there. I have a thirteen year old son and niece and will tell you that this is completely lost on them. They have already surpassed the age where they'll deem a 'chose your own adventure' book asca moral journey. However I did have luck with their ten year old siblings. They were willing to listen, learn, and enjoy.
Review by Jill Williamson This is a two-books-in-one volume that is the second volume in Nicole O'Dell's series Scenarios- Interactive Fiction for Girls. Read each story, then choose what the main character will do next by choosing one of two alternate endings. I highly recommend this series to all girls. These are fun stores with relatable characters that give the reader a chance to see each side of a major choice. I've given a review of each story below. Magna Molly and her friends want to find a part time job to earn extra cash and a discount on great clothes. But Molly is the only one of her trio that gets hired at Manga, the coolest clothing store ever. At first everything is going great. Molly is really good at her job and quickly gets more responsibility. But some girls at school try to bully her into giving her special deals and then her best friends ask her to do something she knows is wrong. What will Molly do? You decide. Whether Molly chose to break the law or stand against her friends, she was still Molly. There were consequences to both choices, and some consequences were harder to live through than others, but the story wasn't preachy. It was honest. So even in the ending where Molly chose to break the law, there was still redemption, and it was neat to read how she dealt with such humbling circumstances. Making Waves An avid lake swimmer, sophomore Kate Walker tries out for the swimming team. Not only does she make the team, she makes varsity and becomes the best swimmer on the team. Her coach talks with her about the future and the possibilities of college scholarships. Kate is excited, but her new schedule has her so busy, it's hard to keep up. Some of the other girls on the team share their secret with Kate: coffee and energy drinks. Kate knows that her coach probably wouldn't like them drinking so much caffeine, but it's legal, so it's okay, right? But as the season progresses to the state championship and the opportunity to set a new record and impress a college scout, Kate is beyond stresses out. When her teammates offer her a way to get through the day that Kate knows is illegal, what will she do? You decide. In both endings Kate was able to push through the consequences and find redemption. The enormity of the choice she faced played out in both endings and showed how much power one right or wrong choice can make in a person's life.
These are excellent books for a young girl that uses relative situations with girls "tween" ages to show decisions they may be confronted with peers and consequences of wrong decisions and rewards of better decisions. I foresee many young girls reading this and having opportunity to choose ahead of time what decision they would make if found in a similar situation. It could very well save many young girls from future heartache as well as show them, if they have already made some bad decisions, God can show them how to turn things around if they will turn to Him and receive His help. I think women; especially Mother's will also like these.