Authors: Coco Simon
Middle school can be hard . . .
some days you need a cupcake.
verything finally seems to be going Mia's way. She loves all her friends in the Cupcake Club, and things are good at home with her new stepdad, Eddie, and stepbrother, Dan. School is fine too, with one exceptionâMia is failing Spanish! Sure, she can speak it at home with her family, but writing it is a different story. And when parent-teacher night comes around, Mia has a new dilemma: Who goes to that? Mom and Eddie? Mom and Dad? All of them? Mia soon comes to realize that sometimes having an extra (or a “baker's dozen”) of something can be a very good thing!
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
Copyright Â© 2012 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved,
including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
SIMON SPOTLIGHT and colophon are registered trademarks
of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Text by Tracey West. Designed by Laura Roode.
Manufactured in the United States of America 0112 OFF
2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1
ISBN 978-1-4424-4614-4 (eBook)
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 2011942937
I'll Definitely Finish It Tomorrow . . .
e llamo Mia, y me gusta hornear pastelitos.
That means “My name is Mia, and I like to bake cupcakes” in Spanish. A few months ago, I could never have read that sentence or even written it. Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal. But for me, it totally was.
Here's the thing: I'm good at a bunch of things, like playing soccer and drawing and decorating cupcakes. Nobody ever
me to be good at them. I just was.
But everyone expected me to be good at Spanish. My whole family is Latino, and my mom and dad both speak Spanish. I've been hearing it since I was a baby, and I can understand a lot of it and speak it pretty wellâenough to get my
point across. But reading and writing Spanish? That's a whole other thing. And the fact that I was bad at it got me into a big mess. Well, maybe I got myself into a big mess. But Spanish definitely didn't help.
The whole situation kind of blew up this winter. You see, when I started middle school in the fall, they placed me in Advanced Spanish with SeÃ±ora Delgado because my parents told the school that I was a Spanish speaker. At first I did okay, but after a few weeks it was pretty clear to me that I was in over my head. I could speak it but not write it. The homework kept getting harder and harder, and my test grades were slipping.
One night in February, I was trying really hard to do my Spanish homework. SeÃ±ora asked us to write an essay about something we planned to do this month. I decided to write about going to see my dad, who lives in Manhattan. I visit him every other weekend, and we always go out to eat sushi.
It sounds simple, but I was having a hard time writing it. I always get mixed up with the verbs, and that was the whole point of the essayâto use future indicative verbs. (Yeah, I'm not sure what those are either.) Anyway, I was trying to write “We will
eat sushi,” and I couldn't get the verb right.
? Or is it
?” I wondered aloud with a frown while tapping my pencil on my desk. My head was starting to really hurt, and it wasn't just because of the homework.
“Dan, TURN IT DOWN!” I yelled at the wall in front of me. On the other side of the wall, Dan, my stepbrother, was blasting music like he always does. He listens to metal or something, and it sounds like a werewolf screaming in a thunderstorm. He couldn't hear me, so I started banging on the walls.
The music got a little bit softer, and Dan yelled, “Chill, Mia!”
“Thanks,” I muttered, even though I knew he couldn't hear me.
I looked back down at my paper, which was only half finished. Where was I again? Oh, right. Sushi. At least that word is the same in any language.
My brain couldn't take any more. I picked up my smartphone and messaged three of my friends at once.
Anyone NOT want to do homework right now?
Alexis replied first. She's the fastest texter in the Cupcake Club.
Mine is already done!
Of course, I should have known. Alexis is one of those people who actually likes doing homework.
It's better than babysitting my little brother!
came the next reply.
That's my friend Emma. I actually think her little brother, Jake, is kind of cute, but I also know that he can be annoying.
The last reply came from my friend Katie.
Let's go on a homework strike!
I laughed. Katie is really funny, and she also feels the same way I do about a lot of things (like homework). That's probably why she's my best friend here in Maple Grove.
Where are we meeting tomorrow?
I think I mentioned the Cupcake Club already. That's a business I started with Alexis, Emma, and
Katie. We bake cupcakes for parties and other events, and we meet at least once a week.
We can do it at my house,