Title: Confessions of a Cornhead Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Word Count: 38000
Twelve-year-old Bernie Taylor wants to be an actress but not a country-music lovin’, beef-eatin’ actress you’d expect from Cornville, Illinois. She wants to perform in Chicago, just like her mom did before she died of breast cancer. Winning a scholarship to performing arts camp is her ticket out of town, but her rival, Dixie, is intent upon crushing Bernie’s dreams.
I don’t know too many Hollywood actors who thank their math teachers in their acceptance speeches for teaching them algorithmic equations, and I won’t be the first.
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Bernadette Taylor…Thunderous Applause…Walk to stage, careful not to trip on my one-of-a-kind, single-shouldered, midnight blue dress......I’d like to thank the academy for recognizing my talent. Ryan, Taylor, Johnny…to be able to act with such fine Hollywood legends has been a dream.
I write my acceptance speech in my math notebook, along the edge next to the spiral binder. I'm having a hard time getting through class today. Is algebra even necessary? I don’t know too many Hollywood actors who thank their math teachers in their acceptance speeches for teaching them algorithmic equations. I won’t be the first.
“What are you writing, Bernie?”
I know that corn syrup voice, sugary, and fake.
“None of your business, Dixie.” I shut my notebook and gather my books, waiting for the bell to ring and bring me one day closer to getting out of Cornville Middle School and into Chicago where I’ll be a big star, just like Mom, before she got that dumb tumor.
“Sketching your wardrobe again, Bernie?” she asks.
I don’t answer.
“Think you looked cute in that…What was it? A bolero? How about stiletto heels, too?”
I hear laughter all around her. Why won’t the bell just ring? I did look good in my fur trimmed bolero over my lime green tank and dark denim jeans. What do these kids know about fashion? And like I would wear stilettos to school? Seriously. Someday they’ll be looking at my pictures in fashion magazines and trying to find cheap knock-offs to look just like me, when I’m a big actress, like Mom.
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