Authors: Melody Fitzpatrick
Operation Josh Taylor
“Hannah is full of 13-year-old-girl energy; her plans, despite good intentions, don't always turn out as she imagines, but there is no questioning her heart.” â
“The story is able to provide life lessons about friendship, resourcefulness, and responsibility.” â
“Teachers and librarians could also use
Operation Josh Taylor
to introduce readers to other books about strong girls and loyal friendships.” â
“This sweet story about friendship and growing up never lapses into heavy-handed moralizing. An engaging, fun read, sure to please many teens.” â
Canadian Children's Book New
On a Slippery Slope
“This lightly amusing first-person tale delivers a smoothly entertaining ride ending with a deft setup of the final book in the series.” â
“A lively, funny series with a lovable heroine who keeps getting herself into impossibly wacky predicaments.” â
Hannah Smart: On a Slippery Slope
is a rollicking read â¦ entertaining, with astutely observed dialogue.” â
To my amazing mom, Ruth, and to my dad, Jim, the best storyteller I've ever known.
this happened â¦
I'm lying there at the bottom of a ski hill, in a battered and beaten heap waiting for someone to rescue me, after somehow surviving the wipeout of all wipeouts, when a guy who looks just like Santa arrives to save the day. (This isn't that interesting, so I'll skip ahead to the good part.) So, then A.J., in all of his sweet, dimple-faced gorgeousness, arrives on the scene, filled with worry after witnessing the entire horrific event. Once he knows I'm okay, he, like, shockingly, starts telling me how he feels, using words like “awesome,” “great,” “cool,” “brave,” “smart,” and “crazy” (totally in a good way, though), then, he asks me, well, more like starts to ask me an epically important question. I remember it like it was yesterday: “Someday â¦ um â¦ I hope maybe that you and I, I mean that you might want to be â¦ my â¦ um â¦” And then his stupid phone rings, ruining everything! On the other end is Piper, his old crush, who moved away, probably breaking his poor heart into a million pieces. Sad, I know, but even worse than that, she says she's coming back!
hen, three and a half months later â¦
“Hannah, come on in,” Phillip, my boss at the TV station, says, pointing toward a chair. “Sit down. Let's have a little chat.”
I look at him questioningly and plunk myself down in the armchair across from him.
“So, I'll get right to the point, then.” He folds his hands in front of him and rests them on his desk. “As much as I love having you at Channel Nine, I think it's time you took a break.”
Great, what did I do now?
“Yes, a break.” He nods seriously.
“But I thought ratings were up?”
I can't believe this is happening! I was in the zone. Life was good! Except for the fact that “perfect Piper” is coming back, I was so happy!
“Yes â¦” he says, pausing to find his words. “You're right, Hannah. Our numbers have been fantastic. Our TV audience has doubled, and on Fridays, thanks to your
Be Awesome with Hannah
segments, it's actually tripled!”
I'm so confused. If I'm so wonderful, then why does he want me to “take a break”?
“Quite an astounding feat for a fourteen-year-old, wouldn't you say?”
He doesn't wait for my answer. “People adore you, Hannah! So, I think it's time we take it to the next level.”
“The next level?” I look into his smiling eyes, wondering when he is going to get to the point.
“I'm not sure if you've heard, but lately I've been looking into some exciting projects
of the news.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Okay â¦”
“I've always wanted to try my hand at reality TV.”
“What? You mean like
The Real Housewives of
“No, no, no.” Phillip laughs. “Nothing like that. Think adventure, Hannah!” He looks off into the distance, spreading his hands out in front of him.
“How would you like to be part of a treasure-hunting reality show? We could tie it into your Friday segments, but instead of filming in the station, you would be doing check-ins while on location.”
do you mean, like, on some tropical island where I'd be searching for pirates' treasure?”
Wow, that would be exciting!
Phillip's eyes crinkle at the corners as he laughs heartily. “No, you'd be,
, on a boat searching for treasure under the sea.”
“Under the sea?” I gulp and shift uncomfortably in my chair.
FYI â I
water! Believe it or not, I just learned how to swim last summer, and
because my parents forced me to. I've been afraid of pools, lakes, rivers, oceans â¦ pretty much any body of water (I don't even really like bathtubs) since a near-drowning incident when I was five years old. I stupidly decided it would be a great idea to do a running leap into the deep end of a swimming pool.
It was a really hot day, and I had been eyeing this huge whale floatie in the pool that was staring back at me, like he was daring me to jump on. A minute or so into our stare down, I was suddenly filled with all the courage and determination in the world. I was gonna do it! I figured that if I built up enough speed by running across the pool deck, I could jump on that whale's back and he would take me zooming
across to the shallow end, where I would hop off, triumphant. In that utterly magnificent moment, I would throw my hands in the air and then bow and blow kisses to the cheering crowd, who would be wildly applauding after witnessing such an amazing feat of bravery.
Of course, I missed the whale altogether and immediately sank. Thank god my mom was watching and was able to jump in and save me. Anyway, point being â
I HATE WATER
“Hannah â¦” Phillip wags his finger. “âUm' is not the answer I was expecting from my brave, adventure-chasing, take-life-by-the horns Hannah Smart! This is the chance of a lifetime. Probably one of the most exciting things you will ever do! Imagine, being out there on the open sea, with an entire crew of professional treasure hunters! Haven't you always been fascinated by sunken treasure, Hannah?”
“Hannah! I'm surprised that you're not more excited about this!”
“It's just that I'm not much of a boat person.”
“Well, maybe you'll be more of a
when I tell you who else is going.”
I can't imagine anyone who would make me feel like more of a
Phillip grins. “Your good friend, A.J., actually.”
“Oh, and a young lady around your age,” Phillip adds, his smile broadening. “She's quite an accomplished sailor, from what I've heard.”
I have a sick feeling in my stomach.
“I believe she used to live in your house. I think her name is â¦ Piper?”
My sick feeling was right. “Piper â¦” I say grimly. “Fine, count me in.”