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Excerpt from “Little Me, Big World”

Chapter 2: my friends on my street


I rush home from my first day of school and throw my backpack on the floor. It’s 3:30 and my mom won’t be home from work for another hour and a half. I don’t have to be home till 6:30 so I have 3 hours to check in with all my friends and see what’s going on. My home friends are the other street kids. The ones in my neighborhood who are allowed out after school till dark. We are all different ages, but we play together all summer, school breaks and after school. We’re the street kids.

I head to my neighbor Sarah’s house. She’s in 7th grade now and she isn’t home yet so I run up the street to Kathy’s house. Her and Augie are already in front of the TV with huge bowls of fruity pebbles watching MTV music videos.

“Hey, guys!” I say and I run past them and in to Kathy’s kitchen to help myself to a giant bowl of cereal too. Kathy’s house has the best cereal selection.

“Hey Jess!” they reply.

Kathy lives up the street on the corner. I met her one day when I was playing in the field across from our dead-end street. She taught me how to make flower crowns and then we went to her house to eat cereal and watch Beaches.

Kathy is beautiful. She has straight strawberry blond hair, green eyes and a million freckles. She is one year older than me and she has a way older brother and sister. Her parents are divorced and her father lives with her grandparents (his parents) the next street over. In fact, we have to cut through that backyard to get to the Rock.

The Rock is a place in the woods that overlooks a lake. We go here to swim or hang out when we want to be alone. The Rock is my favorite place in the world.

Augie lives the next street over. He’s Kathy’s age, so they are in the same grade. That’s how I met him. His parents are divorced too. His father works as some sports news something and has Emmy’s in the family room. His mom moved to Milford and owns an ice cream shop that we sometimes go visit. We eat ice cream and play Nintendo in the basement with Augie’s younger brother Ben.

Ben is my sister’s age, 3 years younger, but they aren’t friends really. I usually leave my sister home when I go to Augie’s house but sometimes, she comes to hang out with us. When Augie’s parents divorced, Ben went to live with his mother and Augie stayed with his father. Augie’s father is away a lot on work, so his Grandmother watches him a lot. She lives next door with Augie’s great grandmother. Augie is Italian, brown eyes, brown hair and a little on the chunky side, like me. He’s the funniest person I have ever met and he’s always up for an adventure.

Once we are all sitting down, they tell me about their classes and lockers and how you’re not with the same teacher all day and you have a different teacher for English, Math, Science and Social Studies. You also have Art, Music, Gym and a language class. They got to pick between Spanish or French and they both picked Spanish.

There are two teams in each grade because there are 3 Elementary schools combining into one Middle school and there are all these new kids. Kathy already has a boyfriend who’s in fifth grade at North Mianus Elementary and we are going to walk down there after we finish our cereal and get dressed. Middle school sounds awesome and I am so happy that I am here with them and not home.

Kathy finishes her bowl first and heads to her sister’s room to find something cool to wear when she sees her boyfriend. I will never have a boyfriend, I don’t think. The last kid who liked me was Patrick and when he tried to kiss me, I punched him cause that’s gross, and that was the end of that friendship. Then he moved away. I’m pretty sure that Deacon likes popular Rebecca along with every other boy in our grade.

Kathy puts on a hot pink mini skirt and a neon green tube top with different neon-colored squares all over it. She layers two pairs of scrunchie socks for added color and coolness and then we raid her sister’s makeup bag. Kathy pumps the mascara wand like a pro and applies mascara, lip gloss and blush. Augie and I apply some gloss because it smells and tastes like strawberries.

While she’s getting ready Augie and I try on all her sister’s clothes and laugh at each other. I pick a black tube top with a neon green fluffy skirt and Augie puts on her prom dress and stuffs the chest with tube socks, and we laugh till we cry. When Kathy’s ready, we head out. Augie says he’s going home to drive his dad’s Bronco in his driveway and smoke his grandma’s cigarettes. He invites us but we say maybe next time because Kathy has a date….

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Little Me, Big World… Excerpt

Hi Everyone! I am so proud of my new YA fiction book. I really enjoyed writing it and I really hope you enjoy reading it.

Chapter 1: 5th grade me


Hi. My name is Jessica. I’m about to be 10 years old.  I am going into 5th Grade at Riverside Elementary School.  My teacher this year is Mrs. D and she is very strict. In fact, she is known as the meanest teacher in the entire school. I heard she once hit a kid with a ruler because they spoke without raising their hand.


I can tell this year is going to be tough. One of the biggest reasons is that I don’t have many friends in my grade. I am not like the popular girls. I’m not a Girl Scout, I don’t have pretty clothes, and I don’t do gymnastics.  Every year in elementary school it seems my friend circle shrinks a little more. This year I have about 3 girlfriends left that talk to me, Joey, Rebecca and Azra.


Besides my 3 school friends I have a secret crush on a boy named Deacon in my class. He is so cute. I have liked him since the 4th grade but he’s popular and I am not. Still, I hope that maybe he’ll notice me one day, so I try to suck in my tummy every time he walks by. He never notices me, but he is the cutest boy I have ever met.



Even if he did notice me, I don’t know how to speak in front of him. I just freeze and I don’t say anything. Nothing is better than something stupid, right? I don’t need any more reasons for everyone to laugh at me in school. I’ve made it pretty easy to be laughed at already.

In second grade I peed my pants at recess. In third grade I threw up in a popular kid’s mom’s brand-new minivan on a class trip to the beach. In fourth grade I faked a sprained ankle when I really just broke my toes running away from my oldest brother. I decided to use my other brother’s old crutches. I thought that it wasn’t actually lying, I did break my toes, it just wasn’t I-needed-crutches-serious.


The nurse called my mom and I had to go back to school the next day and walk on my heel with my toes taped together… No crutches. I got made fun of for a month. I plan on lying low this year and just trying to make it to middle school.


I live in a little town called Riverside. It’s nice, minus the not having very many friends at my school.  It’s the first day of school.  My summer felt long, and I loved every minute of it and now I am stuck back at school all day. The weather is nice at least.

September is my favorite month of the year. I love fall, and it just so happens that my birthday is also in September. I walk very slow to get to my new class. We are the top of the top now. 5th grade. The last grade before you go to middle school and become the smallest all over again. None of my friends are in my class this year so I have to wait till recess to even talk to them. This is going to be terrible.



I walk in and see that my assigned seat is right in the middle of the entire class. I totally prefer the sides. I hate being in the middle of anything. My class neighbor is this girl Rebecca. Not Rebecca my friend in another class: Rebecca the most popular girl in the entire school. She also hates me for reasons that I have never figured out.

One time I heard her telling Stephanie, a girl who was my friend in 2nd grade, that I smelled funny and dressed like a boy. I do dress like a boy, that’s true. My clothes are mostly hand me downs from my two older brothers. Today I am wearing brown corduroys and a mustard yellow t-shirt. At least my shoes are new.


My hair is long, straight and boring brown. I am trying to grow my bangs out, but they are only long enough right now for me to tuck them behind my ear. No matter what they always fall forward.  There’s this boy named Tim that calls me bald eagle because I have a scar on the top of my head, right in the middle of my scalp. A big bald spot from when I had cradle cap as a baby. My mom said I scratched it so much I made it scar so no hair ever grew there. I tell people that I fell down the stairs and my hair got stuck on bubble gum and it ripped it out and then no hair ever grew back…..


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