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Authors: Jacqueline Wilson

The Worry Web Site

BOOK: The Worry Web Site
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Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson

Shelley Swanson Sateren

Judy Blume

Charles Haddad

Charles Haddad

are designed especially to entertain and enlighten young people. Patricia Reilly Giff, consultant to this series, received her bachelor's degree from Marymount College and a master's degree in history from St. John's University. She holds a Professional Diploma in Reading and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University. She was a teacher and reading consultant for many years, and is the author of numerous books for young readers.

To Katie, Rhiannon and Alice


Type in your worry:


I think I'm going to get a stepmother.

There are lots of stepmothers in my favorite book of fairy tales. Don't go, “Yuck, boring!” Fairy tales are seriously cool,
scarier than any R-rated video you've ever secretly watched at a sleepover. Snow White's stepmother is the scariest of all.

She doesn't
scary. She looks beautiful in the picture in my book—though her long queen's robes are spoilt because Hannah tried to color them with purple wax crayon. I was FURIOUS. I felt like snapping the book shut and smacking Hannah round the head with it, even though she's only little and didn't
to spoil the picture.

I minded so because it's such a special book. It used to be our mum's when she was a little girl. She gave it to me. Snow White's mum died when she was born so she got this stepmother who looked so lovely that her magic mirror said she was fairest of them all. But she was evil and mean and dead jealous when the mirror said Snow White was the fairest now, so the stepmother tried to have her chopped into bits and then she poisoned her with an apple and she fell down dead and was kept in a glass coffin until a handsome prince came by (
) and brought her back to life. The wicked stepmother was so maddened that she boiled with rage and her shoes stayed so red hot she couldn't take them off and she had to dance until she died.

She must have had awful blisters. I've got one where my old sneakers are rubbing. Dad doesn't always get it together when we need new shoes. It's not his fault he's so busy. Yes it is. I'm not making excuses for my dad anymore. I can't stick him now. And I especially can't stick her.

I'm going to add to my worry.

I wish she was wicked.

That sounds daft. Mr. Speed will think I'm seriously weird. Mind you, Mr. Speed is a little bit weird himself. He's speedy, like his name. He whizzes up and down the school corridors, he dodges round the desks in the classroom, and he skips across
the playground. He really
skip once when Claire brought a skipping rope to school. He could do all sorts of fancy footwork too—but then he tripped and fell over and said a
rude word. He's not a bit like the other teachers.

This Worry Web Site is all his idea. It's instead of Circle Time. You know, when you all sit in a circle, fidgeting, and you're meant to discuss your problems. Sometimes it's dead boring because someone like Samantha bangs on about missing her dad. Everyone always feels sorry for Samantha because she's so little and pretty with lovely long fair hair. Even Mr. Speed has a special smiley way of looking at her that makes me sick.

Sometimes Circle Time is terribly embarrassing because someone stupid like poor William confides the sort of problem that should stay a deadly secret. He told the whole class that he wets the bed and his dad yells at him and makes him cry and his mum says she can't keep up with washing his sopping sheets. Some of the kids giggled and poor William looked as if he was going to cry again. Mr. Speed got
fierce with the gigglers and praised William for being so honest and sensible over a tiny physical problem that happens to heaps of people—but even Mr. Speed couldn't stop half the class calling poor William Wetty Willie in the playground.

So maybe that's why he came up with the Worry Web Site idea.

“I've designed the supercool, wacky, wicked Web site on the classroom computer, OK? Any time you have a problem, access the Worry Web Site when it's your turn on the computer and type it in. You don't need to put your name. Then we can all contribute our comments and suggestions—just as long as they are
, get it?”

We got it.

Everyone started typing in their worries. Someone had a good long moan about their sneaky sister and their brainy brother.

Someone was worried about being bottom of the class.

Someone wrote about having scary nightmares.

Someone was sad because their pet rat had just died.

One of the boys wrote that he liked one of the girls a lot. That made everyone giggle—and Greg went very pink. Hmm! I wonder who he fancies?

Someone else went on and on.
Oh boo hoo, it's so sad, I miss my dad, etc, etc.
We all know who
was. At least Samantha can still see her dad when she goes to stay with him and his new girlfriend.

Well, I see my mum. Sometimes. I have to take my little sister, Hannah, so she can get to know our mum.
She left when Hannah was just a baby. Mum had Depression which made her very sad so she cried a lot and then ran off. When she ran off I guess Dad and Hannah and I got Depression too because we all felt very sad and cried a lot as well. It felt very scary when Dad cried so I told him that it was OK.
look after him and Hannah now.

I do look after both of them. I've been almost like Hannah's mum. When she was a baby I fed her and washed her and dressed her and changed her (yucky, but you have to do it). I cuddled her lots and played peekaboo and do you know something? The very first word she said was
. That's my name.

She's said millions and millions and millions of words since. She is a total chatterbox. She's in the preschool class at my school and Miss Morgan obviously adores her—though she always gets into trouble for talking. She even talks during Story Time. She doesn't mean to be naughty. She just likes to join in.

I read to her at bedtime from my special book of fairy tales. She likes “Red Riding Hood” best, especially the wolf bits. “Oh, Grandma, what big teeth you've got,” I say in a teeny tiny Red Riding Hood voice, and then Hannah shrieks, “All the better to EAT YOU ALL UP!” and bounces up out of bed at me, gnashing her teeth. Once she bit me on the
nose by accident. She can be a very boisterous baby sister.

favorite fairy tale is “Snow White.” When I read the start of the story out loud and say that Snow White's hair is as black as coal and her skin as white as snow and her lips as red as berries, Hannah always shouts, “
berries!” and stabs at the picture with her finger.

“That's you, Holly,” she says.

I wish! I don't look the slightest bit like Snow White. I
got red lips (especially if I've been eating red M&M's) but I often have a red nose too (I get lots of colds). My hair is straggly mouse (though my
are sometimes as black as coal). Snow White is as pretty as a picture.
picture in the book is beautiful, with tiny glass mirrors and red apples all round the border and Snow White herself is wearing a white dress embroidered all over with tiny gold stars. Snow White is small too, not that much bigger than the Seven Dwarves, and she's thin as a pin. I am not pretty. I am as plain as an empty page and a bit on the podgy side too.

I don't care. I take after my dad. I used to be glad. I used to love my dad
much. Whenever he collects us from the After School Club he always says, “Where are my special girlfriends?” I have always been his Big Grown-up Girlfriend and Hannah his
Teeny Tiny Girlfriend. But now Dad has a real girlfriend. I'm scared she's going to come and live with us and be my stepmother and it's not fair.

“Yes, it is so fair,” said Hannah. “We
her to be our mother.”

“No, we've
a mother already. You remember, Hannah,” I said.

“Not really,” said Hannah.

We haven't gone on a visit to our mum for quite a while. We
to, but the last time we didn't get on with Mum's new boyfriend, Mike.

“Oh yes! He shouted and we cried,” said Hannah.

“You cried. I'm not a baby,” I said.

“You did so cry, I saw. I don't like that Mike.
our mum,” said Hannah.

“Yes you do,” I insisted. “No, I like our
mum much, much, much more,” said Hannah.

You will never guess who this new mum is going to be. Miss Morgan. Yes,
Miss Morgan. Hannah's teacher.

“I love her to bits,” said Hannah happily.

Dad loves her to bits too.

I suppose I used to like her just a little bit myself. I used to take Hannah into her classroom every morning. Dad has to drop us off at school very early or else he'll be late for work. Miss Morgan is always
there, though. I used to like seeing what she was wearing. She doesn't look a bit like a teacher. She's got long hair way past her shoulders and she wears long dresses too, all bright and embroidered, and she has these purple suede pointy boots with high heels. She looks as if she's stepped straight out of my fairy-story book.

I liked the way her preschool classroom looked too. It was all so bright and cozy and small. I'd hang about for a while, keeping an eye on Hannah, showing her the sink and the giant building bricks and the powder paints and the playhouse. I especially loved the playhouse. I hadn't had much time for playing since Hannah was born. I suddenly wanted to scrunch up small and squeeze in through the tiny door and squat safe inside, too little to do anything else but play.

I didn't, of course. I'm not daft like poor William. But Miss Morgan saw me staring, and the next day when I dropped Hannah off she asked me if I'd be sweet enough to tidy up the dolls and the little beds and tables and chairs because all those four-year-olds had got them all higgledy-piggledy.

I sighed a bit, like I didn't really want to, and then I leant through the open window of the playhouse and sorted it all out. It was kind of fun. I don't know why. Doing it for real is no fun at all. Still, the
playhouse dolls didn't whine or fidget or refuse to put their arms in their sweater like
I could mention.

The next morning Miss Morgan said, “Guess what, Holly, the playhouse is in a mess
.” I sighed and said, “I suppose you want me to fix it?”— and so it got to be a habit. I also put fresh water in the sink and cleaned up the sandpit and tested out the building bricks to see if there were enough to make a proper fairy-tale palace like the pictures in my book. Hannah didn't join in these early-morning games. She just wriggled onto Miss Morgan's lap and chattered to her nonstop.

BOOK: The Worry Web Site
7.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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