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Authors: Jean Ure

Dazzling Danny

BOOK: Dazzling Danny

Chapter One

Hi! I’m Danny Allbright. Dazzling Danny! That’s what they call me. Dazzling Danny, or Danny the Dazzle. Sometimes just Dazzler. It really used to embarrass me when they first started doing it. That was back last term. The spring term. We’re nearly at the
end of summer, now, so I guess I’ve kind of got used to it. It doesn’t bother me any more. Even my dad sometimes goes, “Hey! Dazzler!” And on my birthday my gran sent me a card that said, “To Danny the Dazzle.” Trust Gran! She always gets things wrong. She’s a really funny lady.

Anyway, about this dazzle thing. It all began one morning when Miss Pringle, who’s our class teacher, said she wanted to talk to us.

“About the show.”

Year 6 always do a show at the end of the spring term. Last year it had been
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
That was brilliant! I went to see it with Mum and Dad. I wished it
could be
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
again this year, so I could play Charlie, but Miss Pringle said that this year we were going to do something new. Something that had been written specially for us by Mr Hubbard. Mr Hubbard takes Year 5. He’s OK, I quite like him, but I didn’t think he could write anything as good as
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I looked across at Darryl, and pulled a face. Darryl pulled one back.

I was sitting at a table with three others. Darryl Tyson, who is my best friend; Clint Parker, who is my worst enemy; and Joseph Brodrick, who is quite boring (but otherwise not bad).

Miss Pringle began telling us about the show. Her eyes were all shiny. She was really excited, you could tell. The show was going to be called
Go For It
! which I have to say is quite a good title. At any rate, it made me and Darryl sit up properly and start listening.

“It’s a musical,” said Miss Pringle.

Yeah! Me and Darryl kicked each other under the table. Musical was OK.

“It’s all about
getting somewhere.

Clint immediately yelled, “You wanna get somewhere? Try taking the bus!”

Some of the girls groaned. Coral Cookson turned round and hissed, “Shut your mouth, Clint Parker!” Miss Pringle just acted like he’d never said anything. He’s a very annoying sort of person.

“The message is,” said Miss Pringle, “that we can all get somewhere if we just…
go for it
! What is important is to have a goal… Something to aim for. You want to be a footballer?
Go for it
! Want to be a popstar?
Go for it
! Want to be a—”

“Teacher!” said Clint, and made a rude trumpeting noise down his nose. Everybody laughed; even me. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help it. Clint can be quite funny sometimes.

Miss Pringle didn’t seem to mind. She said, “Thank you, Clint! Good suggestion. I’ll bear it in mind.”

Lucy Flowers wanted to know what everyone else was going to do. “The ones that aren’t dreaming of being things.”

Miss Pringle said that everyone else would be, like, a backing group. “There to give encouragement and to show that it can be done… if you just
go for it.
So!” She looked down at a sheet of paper she was holding. “We’d like you all to be in it, though you’ll have to get your parents’ permission, of course. Don’t worry if you can’t sing or dance, there are lots of speaking parts as well. This is what we thought…

From her sheet of paper she read out eight names. I wasn’t one of them, but that was all right. I can’t sing! My mum always stuffs her fingers in her ears when I try to sing. Next, Miss Pringle read out the names of six
dancers. I certainly wasn’t one of them! Dancing wasn’t my scene. No way! The six dancers were all girls. Clint Parker immediately objected. He shouted out, in a loud voice, “Why’s it all girls?”

“It doesn’t have to be” said Miss Pringle. “I’d be delighted to have some boys! Do you want to volunteer?”

That scared him! He kept quiet for the next few minutes.

“I only chose girls because I happen to know that these six all take dancing lessons,” said Miss Pringle. “But if there are any boys…”

She gazed hopefully about the room. Darryl stuck his elbow in my ribs: I stuck mine in his. Darryl could volunteer if he liked! I wasn’t going to.

“No one?” Miss Pringle sounded disappointed, but not particularly surprised. ‘All right! Let’s move on to the speakers.”

I relaxed. I didn’t mind being a speaker! Miss Pringle read out the names.

“Lucy Flowers, Joseph Brodrick, Sheralee Johnson..!’

She came to the end – and I wasn’t there! I was the only person in the whole class who hadn’t got a part! I knew I couldn’t sing or dance, but I could speak all right. Why hadn’t she included me?

Darryl kicked me again under the table. He’d noticed that I’d been left out. Even Darryl was one of the speakers! He’s useless at reading out loud;
far worse than I am. But even he was going to be in the show!

And then Miss Pringle said, “Danny!” and everyone turned and looked at me, including Clint, who crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue. “There’s something special that I want Danny to do. But we’re going to have to talk about it, so I’d like you to come and see me afterwards. All right?”

Clint went, ‘All right?” in a silly sort of voice. He was one of the speakers, too. I was suddenly glad that I wasn’t going to be a speaker. I was going to be something special!

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