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Authors: Cindy Jefferies

Solo Star

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Table of Contents
 
 
FAME SCHOOL
Glamour! Talent! Stardom! Fame and fortune could be one step away for the kids of Fame School! All the students at Rockley Park, a school for the pop culture performing arts, are talented, but they still have to work hard. They must keep up their grades, learn about the professional side of the music business, improve their talent, and get along with their classmates. Being a star—and a kid—isn't easy. Things don't always go as planned, but one thing's certain—this group of friends will do their best to sing, dance, and jam their way to the top!
Chloe's Big Success
The people around Danny erupted into frantic cheers. Danny was liked by everyone, and they were all thrilled to have a junior Rising Star. He was modest and hardworking and an amazing drummer. Chloe leaned over and gave him a big hug.
“Congrats!” she said. “It's fantastic! You're actually going to be on TV!”
Danny's usual expression was very serious but, just now, his face was set in an enormous grin and his eyes were shining. “Thanks!” he said. “I can't believe it ...”
Chloe was still congratulating Danny when all her friends started jumping up and down and cheering again. “I missed that name,” she said to Lolly. “Who was it?” But, for the moment, Chloe's best friend was speechless and her eyes were wide with excitement. “Who
was
it?” demanded Chloe quickly, not wanting to miss any more of the names being called out.
In reply, Lolly threw her arms around Chloe and gave her the biggest hug of her life.
“Congratulations!” squealed Pop, joining in the hug.
“What?” asked Chloe, struggling to breathe.
“It's
you
!” cried Lolly, finding her voice at last. “You did it, Chloe. You won a place in the Rising Stars Concert!”
For my sister Ruth
with love and gratitude.
 
PUFFIN BOOKS
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Young Readers Group,
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario,
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Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in Great Britain by Usborne Publishing Ltd., 2005
Published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2008 
 
Copyright © Cindy Jefferies, 2008
eISBN : 978-0-142-41103-2
 
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

http://us.penguingroup.com

1. An Important Day
No one wanted to be late for school today. But Chloe Tompkins was the first in her room to be dressed and ready. She couldn't wait for the day to begin, and she stood fidgeting by the doorway while her roommates collected their belongings.
“Come on!” she urged Tara Fitzgerald, who seemed to be taking forever to brush her hair. Tara raised her eyebrows but didn't reply.
“Finally!” Chloe sighed as she, Tara, and the Lowther twins clattered down the stairs and out of their dorm into the early-morning sunshine. They joined a stream of other girls all chattering noisily as they headed for breakfast.
“Hi, Danny!” yelled Chloe, catching sight of her friend as they arrived at the dining hall.
“We'll grab breakfast if you save us some seats,” suggested Lolly, one of the famous Lowther twins and Chloe's very best friend.
“Okay,” said Chloe, and she zipped across the room as quickly as she could, weaving her way through the throng of excited students. She joined Danny, Ed, and several other boys in their grade, and found enough chairs for everyone to squeeze around the table.
There was always a very lively atmosphere at Rockley Park School for the Performing Arts. The students were there to learn how to make it in the music business, so none of them were quiet and shy. But on this warm summer morning there was more of a buzz than usual, because it was almost the end of the school year and today was Rising Stars Day. After months of hard work, the students would hear which of them had earned the right to perform in the all-important Rising Stars Concert at the end of the semester. For some, today was going to be the best day of the year.
“Chocolate croissants,” announced Pop, dumping a tray on the table. “Even the catering staff have decided today is special.”
“I know I haven't got enough Rising Stars points,” said Ed, “but oh well. There'll be other years.” He reached out and took a croissant. “And one of these will
almost
make up for not performing at the concert.”
“Oh, come on,” said Pop, the other Lowther twin. “We've all dreamed of taking part.”
“It would be so cool to perform live at the television studio,” said Chloe. “And it could be the making of our careers.”
“Rob is
bound
to get a place,” said Pop. “He's
so
talented and
so
good-looking!”
“Give it a rest, Pop,” complained Tara. “You're biased. We all know how much you like him.”
“I do not!” protested Pop, but she didn't sound very convincing. She'd been teased before about the gifted singer in tenth grade, but she wasn't the only one who had singled him out. Most students would agree that Rob Copeland had a very good chance of winning a place this year. His voice had broken early and had settled into the wonderful, rich tones that all the girls loved.
“I still think
you
have a chance,” Lolly told Chloe.
Chloe smiled at her best friend. “I wish!” she said. “But I got off to a slow start at the beginning of the year. Remember when I couldn't find my voice at all?”
“You've done wonderfully ever since,” Lolly reminded her. “So you never know. You've got more Rising Stars points than Pop and me, and you're definitely Mr. Player's star student.”
Chloe blushed.
“You
are
,” agreed Pop. “You work so hard at getting things right. You never give up, and your voice is mega!”
“Still, it's usually the older students that win places, isn't it?” said Ed. “After all, they have more experience and are mostly better than us.”
“You're right,” agreed Chloe, trying not to let the twins' comments go to her head. But she couldn't help hoping that her last performance had earned her enough points to give her at least a chance.
The system was simple. Every student was able to earn points from their teachers for general good work during the year. Outstanding performances were awarded points as well. Chloe had been very pleased with her last performance, which had been at a big outdoor charity event to raise money for an African school. It was what she loved most of all, to be out there alone onstage, totally independent of any other performers.
Could
she have done well enough to overtake some seriously good older students? She had to admit that it was unlikely.
“I think the only one of us who might have earned a place is Danny,” she said, smiling at the most talented drummer in their grade.
“Well, we'll find out soon,” said Danny's friend Marmalade. “It's almost time.” He got to his feet and reached for his crutches. Chloe felt a stab of sympathy for Marmalade. He was an awesome dancer and had had a good chance of winning a place himself, but he had been injured while fooling around one day, and was now out of the running. You didn't just need to keep focused and work hard in this business, it was vital to stay fit and healthy, too.
“Let's go,” said Lolly. “I can't bear the suspense. And if we go now, we should get good seats.”
They made their way to the theater at Marmalade's pace and sat down together. They were only just in time. Lots of other students had decided to arrive early for assembly today as well.
The first few minutes were taken up with the usual announcements and school business. Pop looked at Chloe and rolled her eyes. She didn't have a lot of patience at the best of times, and today was certainly no exception.
Once Mrs. Sharkey, the principal, had finished dealing with the announcements, she paused. She didn't need to wait to get everyone's attention because every student knew that the Rising Stars announcement would be next. The small theater was so quiet, it could have been empty. Everyone was silently urging the principal to go ahead and make the announcement, but Mrs. Sharkey knew how to work an audience as well as anyone, and she raised the tension by making them wait.
“And now,” she said eventually into the electric silence. “The Rising Stars Concert.”
Chloe put her hands over her mouth to stop herself from letting out a squeak of excitement.
“It has been very close this year,” said Mrs. Sharkey. “And more students than usual were in the running. But after adding up all the points won for progress throughout the year and for excellence in performance, we have these names.” She paused again. Chloe could hardly bear it.
“Rob Copeland.”
Pop let out a yelp and began clapping wildly, as did the rest of the school. Chloe and Lolly exchanged amused glances. Pop would be on a high for the rest of the day with that news to keep her happy.
Mrs. Sharkey waited for the applause to die away before she read out the next name. “Isla Duncan.”
Isla was in her last year at Rockley Park and was a great singer. Chloe felt really happy for her and applauded along with everyone else.
“Danny James.”
Chloe let out a huge squeal. “Danny! You've been chosen!”
The people around Danny erupted into frantic cheers. Danny was liked by everyone, and they were all thrilled to have a junior Rising Star. He was modest and hardworking and an amazing drummer. Chloe leaned over and gave him a big hug.
“Congrats!” she said. “It's fantastic! You're actually going to be on TV!”
Danny's usual expression was very serious, but, just now, his face was set in an enormous grin and his eyes were shining. “Thanks!” he said. “I can't believe it ...”
Chloe was still congratulating Danny when all her friends started jumping up and down and cheering again. “I missed that name,” she said to Lolly. “Who was it?” But, for the moment, Chloe's best friend was speechless and her eyes were wide with excitement. “Who
was
it?” demanded Chloe quickly, not wanting to miss any more of the names being called out.
In reply, Lolly threw her arms around Chloe and gave her the biggest hug of her life.

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