Dawns book, p.8
When I met Sunny to go to school the next morning I showed her the cover. “It’s great,” she said. “And your autobiography is so thick.”
“Once I got started I just kept going,” I told her. “I feel sort of older after thinking about all the things that have happened to me so far.”
“I know what you mean,” Sunny said. I could tell by her voice that she was thinking about her mother having cancer.
We were both quiet as we walked toward school.
Sunny broke the silence. “Do you want to read my autobiography?” she asked.
“If you’ll read mine.”
“Okay,” she said with a big grin. “Let’s share them after we get them back.”
A wave of fear passed through me. Maybe Sunny wouldn’t like me so much when she learned that I had read a baby-sitting client’s private mail and ruined their daughter’s summer. And how would Sunny feel, I wondered, when she read that I had been embarrassed by the way she dressed when her parents were hippies? And would she think I was stupid not to have seen that my parents were headed for a divorce? Would she think I was vain to be so proud of getting Clover and Daffodil Austin out of their house when I smelled the electrical fire?
We’d reached school. Before we went inside Sunny said, “Dawn, when you read my autobiography you’re going to learn things about me that I’ve never told you.”
“So are you,” I said. “I wrote about something I did that I’m not proud of.”
“Me, too. I hope you’ll still like me after you read it.”
We were both laughing as we hurried across the schoolyard to our homeroom.
I was glad that Sunny was going to read my autobiography. I realized that what she read wouldn’t change her feelings toward me. And that nothing she wrote in her autobiography would make me change mine. In fact, I was pretty sure that we’d be better friends than ever after we read one another’s autobiographies.
I was unbearably nervous all weekend wondering how I would do on my first big assignment since I returned to school in California. What if our English teacher, Ms. Granger, didn’t like it? I wondered if I should have written a short section about each year of my life instead of saying so much about a few incidents that were scattered over thirteen years.
It was a nerve-wracking weekend for Sunny, too. We decided that the only way to deal with our case of nerves was to go to the beach with Jill and Maggie on Sunday. Surfing helped me forget for awhile. And going to Maggie’s house to preview a film that hadn’t been released yet made some more time go by. The next thing I knew it was Monday morning and I was in first-period English class.
“Well, I had a busy weekend,” Ms. Granger said. She gestured to the huge pile of notebooks and folders on her desk. “I must say I know a lot more about you guys than I did on Friday.” She winked at us and smiled. “Over all, class, you did a fine job. I’m impressed with you as writers and as thoughtful human beings. Give yourselves a hand.”
We all clapped.
“Now,” she said, “I suppose you’d like to get your autobiographies back and see your grades.”
“Ah, come on. It’s not that bad. If you put the effort in your work, it’ll show in your grade.”
I still felt nervous. What if the effort I had put into my work didn’t show?
I folded my hands so I wouldn’t bite my nails while I waited through all the names that came before she called “Dawn Read Schafer.”
I went to the front of the room and took my autobiography from Ms. Granger. She smiled as she handed me my book. Was that a good sign or was she smiling at me out of pity?
I rushed to my seat, put the book on my lap, and opened it. A note was paper-clipped to the inside cover.
I sighed with relief. It must have been a pretty loud sigh because Ms. Granger and the whole class burst into laughter. I laughed, too. It was great being home.
The author gratefully acknowledges
for her help in
preparing this manuscript.
About the Author
ANN M. MARTIN is the acclaimed and bestselling author of a number of novels and series, including Belle Teal, A Corner of the Universe (a Newbery Honor book), A Dog’s Life, Here Today, P.S. Longer Letter Later (written with Paula Danziger), the Family Tree series, the Doll People series (written with Laura Godwin), the Main Street series, and the generation-defining series The Baby-sitters Club. She lives in New York.
Copyright © 1995 by Ann M. Martin
Interior art and cover drawing by Angelo Tillery
Cover painting by Hodges Soileau
All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Inc., Publishers since 1920. SCHOLASTIC, THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB, and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
First edition, 1995
Ann M. Martin, Dawn's Book