Authors: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
• stories from New York •
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Text copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Printed in the U.S.A.
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• stories from New York •
by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Grosset & Dunlap
An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
For my fellow writer, Helena Smith—ECK
• chapter •
I had one hand on the seat belt release as my mother pulled into the train station parking lot. I caught sight of my best friend standing on the platform. With her cranberry-colored hair in its neat signature bob and her high-tuned vintage fashion sense, Ivy Scanlon was hard to miss. Miko Suzuki stood next to her, checking her watch and peering up the track. A bolt of excitement shot through me. This was really happening! I was going on a three-day trip to New York City with my friends!
“Here we are,” Mom said, giving me one of her careful looks. “I still can’t get over it—an all-expenses-paid trip to visit
magazine. What an opportunity! And you’ve only been working on
for what, three months?”
I nodded. “This one will be our third issue,” I said.
“It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that the
four of you were pulling an all-nighter to get the first issue ready for the printer,” my mother said, shaking her head and smiling.
“Well, Ivy came up with this great idea. We’re going to make this one a web issue! All online, with video and everything. We won’t need to worry about sending it to the printer.”
“That is a great idea,” my mother said, opening the car door. “I guess Ivy inherited her mother’s publishing savvy.”
“She definitely did,” I said, stepping out of the car and into the chilly fall morning air. “Good thing for us, too!”
“Oh, there’s Ivy’s mom,” my mother said. “I want to make sure she has my cell number. She’s going to have her hands full, supervising the four of you and getting her own project for
done. Who did you say she’s interviewing again?”
“She still hasn’t told us! It’s a big secret!” I pulled my suitcase out of the backseat. “
covers so much—fashion, current events, entertainment. All we know is it’s for the cover article, and Mrs. Scanlon has arranged for us to watch the photo shoot and to each ask the person one question for
. But we may not know who it is until the very last minute.”
“So it could be absolutely anybody,” she said.
“Anybody!” I agreed. My brain was rattling,
wondering who it would be. A politician? A rock star? A famous actor? And how would we prepare our questions when we didn’t know who we’d be talking to? The suspense was already killing me.
” I yelled back at my best friend, waving wildly with one hand and dragging my suitcase on its little wheels with the other as I walked up the ramp to the platform. She looked as excited as I felt. Even though she had lived in the city for years before moving upstate and had been in the
office where her mom worked plenty of times, this trip was about US going together to find our own stories to tell our readers. Seeing Ivy’s familiar face, her pale blue eyes flashing, I could hardly believe my good luck. Not only was I going to see New York City, I got to do it with my best friend and with Miko and Tally Janeway, the third and fourth founders and publishers of
, the magazine we published for the students—mainly the girls—of Bixby Middle School.
“Oh my gosh, Paulie, your suitcase is huge!” Miko exclaimed.
As usual, Miko looked like a team of stylists had spent an hour with her. She wore skinny jeans and high boots, and she had a purple scarf wrapped several times around her neck over a tailored jacket. Her long, glossy black hair hung perfectly around her face.
suitcase is huge?” I asked, laughing and pointing at the enormous red thing on wheels by Miko’s feet. “What’s that thing?”
“Well, this is the suitcase my mother made me bring,” Miko said a little sheepishly. “She crammed all kinds of stuff in there that I know I don’t need—a Windbreaker, rain boots, a down jacket. Like I’d wear any of that in New York City!”
“You’re dressed perfectly for the city,” Ivy told her. “That scarf is gorgeous.”
I looked down at my own less than exciting jeans and tweed coat. I had more or less inherited my mom’s taste for sensible clothes, though Ivy occasionally dragged me to the mall to help me find something supercute.
“There you are, Paulina. Are you all ready to go?” Mrs. Scanlon asked me.
I smiled at Ivy’s mother. “I can’t wait to get on the train! I tried to think of everything I’d need,” I said. “But I have a feeling there might be a surprise or two that I’m not prepared for.”
“Oh, you can count on that at
,” she told me, laughing. Then she turned to my mother, who had her cell phone out so she could double-check all the contact numbers.
“We have things scheduled at
through Wednesday,” Mrs. Scanlon was saying. “And I
thought it would be nice if the girls could spend a few hours after that taking in some of the sights. Is it still okay with you if Paulina gets back Wednesday evening?”
“Oh yes, that’s fine. I’d love for her to see the big city,” my mother said. “Paulina’s aunts will be helping me cook, and Kevin can pitch in, too.”
Ivy and I exchanged a knowing look. My little brother was not likely to be much help in the kitchen or doing anything else Thanksgiving related. His expertise lay more in sci-fi trivia and karate moves.
“Your mom looks amazing,” Miko murmured to Ivy as my mother and Mrs. Scanlon continued chatting. “That coat is gorgeous. I can’t believe she’s taking us all with her when she’s got this big celebrity interview to run. She is extremely cool.”
“That’s sweet,” Ivy said, looking as pleased as if Miko had given her the compliment.
Mrs. Scanlon was an older version of Ivy herself. They had the same delicate features and pale blue eyes. And wearing a crisp tailored suit and Jimmy Choo heels, Miko was right. Mrs. Scanlon did look amazing.
“Do you want me to wait with you until the train gets here?” my mom asked, smoothing my hair off my forehead.
“It’s okay,” I told her. “I know you need to go pick
Kevin up from his sleepover. I’ll be fine, Mom.”
My mom nodded. “I know that, honey. Give me a hug.”
Normally I would find a public display of mother/daughter affection extremely embarrassing. But
I was not leaving for New York City! I gave her a nice long hug, with an extra squeeze as a thank-you for letting me go.
“You’re going to have the time of your life, sweetheart,” she whispered. “Call me tonight once you’re all settled.”
“I will,” I assured her. Then I watched her walk away, throwing glances over her shoulder and waving all the way to her car.
“Is that clock right?” Miko asked, pointing at a digital display near one end of the platform. “Because if it is, the train is going to be here in three minutes.”
“Cool!” I said. Then I suddenly realized what Miko meant and exchanged a worried look with Ivy.
“She’ll make it,” I said with more confidence than I felt.
“Tally Janeway has never been on time for a thing in her life,” Ivy corrected me. She looked up and down the length of the platform like Tally might be hiding somewhere, playing a joke on us.
What Ivy said was true. Tally was one of the most scattered, disorganized people I had ever met. The
girl was a genius onstage but tended to be surrounded by drama offstage, too.
“I’m calling her cell,” Miko said, already dialing her phone. She listened for a moment, then shook her head.
“Tally still isn’t here?” Mrs. Scanlon asked.
“Miko’s calling her cell phone,” Ivy told her mother as she turned to watch Miko hopefully. But Miko shook her head again and snapped her phone closed.
“It went straight to voice mail,” she said.
“She probably forgot to turn it on,” Ivy said, smacking her forehead.
“What do we do?” I asked anxiously.
can do,” Ivy said. “Is there, Mom?”
Mrs. Scanlon checked the time on the station’s display again.
“I’m afraid that unless she gets here in the next minute she will miss the train,” Mrs. Scanlon said. “Unless the train is late, too.”
But as we all looked at the display, which read
TRAIN STATUS—ON TIME
, my stomach clenched. Tally wasn’t just going to miss the train; she would miss our big trip AND our chance to make
even bigger than the four of us.
“We should have realized this might happen. One of us should have picked Tally up,” Ivy said with a groan.
“Tally’s the one who’s always late for stuff, not her parents,” I pointed out. “Her mom seems pretty reliable.”