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The Fame Game
My Sister's a Pop Star
by Kimberly Greene
Hi, I'm Sam, welcome to my blog! Guess what? My sister Danni is THE number-one, superstar pop princess - and my life's totally crazy! I can't wait for Danni's world tour to end so we can get to be a normal family again. Well, as normal as you can be with Danni's slimeball agent hanging around. I definitely think he's up to something - and I have a sneaky feeling I'm not gonna like it...
Click click click, clack clack click.
Sam’s fingers were flying around the old laptop keyboard. She was way too focused on her writing to hear her mom yelling at her from the other side of the apartment. After the third “Samantha” (each one a little louder and more intense), Rose pounded forcefully on her daughter’s purple bedroom door.
Sam was so jolted that she flew out of her chair. She landed on a pile of T-shirts she had yet to put into the moving box with the words “Sam’s Stuff! Important Clothing – Don’t Even Think About Touching” written in big red letters.
“What? What?” she yelled out.
Rose opened the door and popped her head in. “I said we have to leave for the concert in exactly fifteen minutes. Honestly, Sam, when you’re at that computer, it’s like nothing else exists.”
Sam, having heard this many times before, rolled her eyes. “I got it, Mom. Fifteen minutes. I’ll be ready.”
Rose leaned in a little more. “I’m not kidding, Little Bit. Finish your blagging and get ready to go.”
Rose turned and closed the door without seeing Sam’s face scrunch up in annoyance.
“It’s called a ‘blog’, Mom!” she yelled out. “A blog! I’m a blogger! I do blogging! Blog, not blag, blog!”
There was no response, only the clicking of Rose’s heels on the wood floor as she hurried off. Sam mumbled to herself, “And now that I’m twelve, everybody needs to recognize that I’m almost a teenager and stop calling me ‘Little Bit’.”
Sam sighed. Lately, it felt as though nobody had time for her. She was used to being ignored and overlooked by lots of people, like Mr. Wattabee, the grumpy manager of the stables where she worked, or Inga, the snotty little sister of Sam’s best friend Olga, but the lack of attention from her mom and her sister had really become a super sore spot for Sam over the past weeks. Oh, well. She had to finish tonight’s blog before leaving for the big show. Sam jumped back into her chair, cracked her knuckles, and got back to her thoughts.
This has to be the most exciting night of my entire twelve-year-old life! Danni’s tour is finally ending, and it’s our last night here in the apartment! I’m excited about moving, but I’m also kind of sad...
Sam froze. She thought for a moment, came up with a better word, deleted “sad”, and resumed typing.
...melancholy, I’m very melancholy to be leaving this place.
Sam stopped typing. She took a massive slurp of orange cream soda from the bottle on her desk. As she looked up at a photo of herself and her big sister Danni, Sam let out a little burp. She giggled in embarrassment, until she remembered she was alone in her room; no sense being embarrassed when there’s nobody around to laugh at it. She returned to her typing.
This will be a short blog entry ‘cause I have to get ready for Danni’s concert, her last one! I’m so happy that ...
Sam stopped again; since anyone anywhere with access to the Internet could read her web-log, she always had to use the most interesting words. She thought, deleted the word “happy”, and resumed typing.
...ecstatic that my big sister is finally coming home! One year may not sound like a big whoop, but it feels like for ever. I’ve missed having Danni around. I know that it’s totally not cool to say, but it officially stunk not having her home. At first it was fun getting letters from all the different places she visited, but the last couple of months she’s been too busy and I’ve only gotten one stinky postcard. And I can’t even remember the last time Danni called just to talk to me. Who knew I would actually miss her snoring and her making fun of me? Anyway, starting tomorrow, we get our normal life back; no more tours or TV shows (after that stupid interview thing later tonight), no more Mom flying off to make sure Danni is doing her schoolwork, just our little family, and our amazing new home! I borrowed Olga’s cellphone (remember Olga – my best friend – I’ve blogged about her before) because it can take pictures (how wicked is that?). So, my next blog entry will have a bunch of cool photos of the new house, my HUGE new room, and me and Danni.
Sam looked up again at the photo taped to the top of her laptop. She smiled as she remembered her and Danni posing in front of the cruddy old tour bus with that ugly yellow banner that read “Danni Devine’s Malls Across America Tour”. Hard to believe that had been a whole year ago. Sam took another sloppy slurp of soda and let out a bigger burp. She thought about how completely not normal it was to have her sister suddenly be famous. She began typing again.
Robert (Danni’s agent, I’ve blogged about him before) keeps snidely telling me I have no idea how popular my sister has become, and not just here in the United States, but all over the world! I can’t imagine folks in Canada or Mexico or China talking about Danni. I never realized how freaky it would be to have everyone on Planet Earth know my sister. Seriously, it seems like everybody knows WHO she is, but they don’t know HER, the everyday, nail-chewing, bulldozer-snoring person.
Sam smiled at her witty writing, but suddenly a flash of thought hit her hard. She bit her lip and scrunched up her forehead the way she always did when she was worried about something. She began typing again very slowly.
I wonder if I should erase everything I’ve written here over the past year. Maybe all the personal stuff I’ve shared on this blog is going to cause trouble. This is a very strange situation. Before Danni was famous, I had no problem putting anything in my blog because it was just another online journal by just another nobody. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m still just another nobody, but now that my sister isn’t, is it bad to have so much stuff about us (me, Mom, and Danni...and Robert) open for the whole world to read? Of course, I’m making a pretty big, fat assumption that people are actually reading all this. For all I know the only person who’s ever seen this has been Olga (Hi Olga!).
Sam heard Rose’s heels clicking down the hall, coming towards her room again. She couldn’t go now, not when she was in the middle of such an important blog entry. Sam ran to her bedroom door and stuck her head out into the hall.
“I’m exactly ten-point-two minutes away from being ready to go, Mom!”
Rose opened her mouth to respond, but Sam had already slipped back inside her room and closed the door.
Sam leaned against her door with both hands covering her mouth. If Rose heard her giggling, she’d be busted and forced to leave immediately.
Rose yelled back, “Sounds good. Don’t forget your hat and jacket,” and clicked back to the other end of the apartment.
Sam leaped back into her chair, focused on the computer screen, and frantically looked for the button that would let her search the list of all her old blog entries. She found it, clicked it, and a huge list of dates appeared on the screen. As she scrolled through the long list, Sam gave herself a mental pat on the back for using such entertaining titles for her entries. She smiled at some of her wittier writing, “Somebody Please Tell Me I Was Adopted”, “My Family is Nuttier Than a Snickers Bar”, and her favourite, “I Vote Robert Ruebens off My Island”.
Sam drew in a sharp breath as she spied one of her earliest entries, entitled, “The Facts of My Life”. She gritted her teeth as she remembered writing a lot of personal stuff in that particular blog. Her hand trembled as she reached out to click on that link.
The page popped up and the very first line made Sam cringe. Oh, man, I’d forgotten I wrote that, she thought as she read her entry from a long time ago.
Sam Devine’s Blog
Entry #2: The Facts of My Life
After having a very frustrating argument with my sister last night (not even worth mentioning...but she was wrong!), I hunkered down and reread one of my favourite books (The Diary of Anne Frank). It got me thinking that my blog might not be very interesting because I haven’t told you anything about me, and it’s hard to be interested in a story when you don’t know the main characters, so this might be a long blog, but it should be a particularly memorable one!
I am Sam, Sam I am (LOL). Seriously, my name is Samantha Sue Devine. I love to read and I love to write. Someday I will be a great author, but for now I’m happy to practise writing by keeping this online journal. In this blog, I plan to write about my life, my dreams, and (at least for the near future) how much I wish Robert Ruebens would get a clue and quit being so evil to me (more about that later).
I love horses and plan to also be a famous equestrian. My family nicknamed me Little Bit (a name I used to love but now I’m thinking is way too “little kid”) because I used to run around the house pretending to be a pony. I’ve been working my whole life (okay, since I was eight) at the SuAn Stables, over in the fancy part of town. Mucking out stalls is pretty gross, but each wheelbarrow of horse poop I remove gets me a whole hour of riding time. For a kid with no money, that’s been a great set-up.
But I’m not a kid with no money any more. This is where I need to introduce you to the rest of my family, my mom Rose and my big sister Danni.
My mom is beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that she’s so old (she’s, like, thirty-seven) because she looks so young and wears clothes you’d never expect somebody’s mom to wear. I don’t look a thing like her. Mom has shiny dark hair; I have average brown hair. Mom has blue eyes; I have green eyes. Mom adores the colour pink; I despise it; I love purple. Mom is very petite and graceful; I’m always tripping over my own two feet. Mom tells me all the time how much I look like my dad, but he died a long time ago, so I can only try to find the resemblance through a bunch of old pictures.
Mom grew up winning all the beauty pageants her mother entered her in, and there were a lot of pageants! In fact, Mom was supposed to be in the Miss America contest, but she ran off and got married instead. This is why I’ve never met my grandparents; they weren’t too happy about my mom “throwing her life away”, so they disowned her. Mom didn’t care, she was really happy being married to Mr. Daniel Devine. He was a soldier, so he and Mom got to go and live in Guam (it’s a tropical island that’s owned by the United States — but since it’s only a territory, the people who live there can’t vote for president!). That’s where Danni was born.
My big sister Danni (Danielle Ann) was a pretty, blue-eyed, bald, baby girl who grew up to be a beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde kid (she did eventually get some hair). Today, my sister is a wicked gorgeous sixteen-year-old! She’s the girl other girls seem to want to be...at least, that’s the way it looks from my perspective. Danni isn’t brain-surgeon smart, but she’s not dumb, either. She just has a tough time thinking things through and making decisions for herself. I’ve never understood that. If somebody tells me something, I don’t immediately accept it; I take a minute to consider if it makes sense. Danni pretty much believes whatever you tell her. I worry that if she does become famous, this will make it easy for people to take advantage of her.
Anyway, back to my life story. So my mom is living in Guam with my dad and sister, when she finds out she’s going to have another baby (me). This is where the story gets sad.
My dad told my mom that she should make up with her parents, so he bought a ticket for her and Danni to fly back to the United States mainland to see my grandparents. He took Mom and Danni to the airport and kissed them goodbye. That was the last time they saw him. He died in a car crash that night. Mom got the news when her plane landed. She says she sat down in the middle of the airport, hugged Danni, and cried for about two hours.
After she stopped crying, Mom decided she wasn’t going to run home and let her parents rule her life again. She opted to stay on at the local army base until I was born, but she had no idea what she would do next.
See, my mom had graduated high school, but she hadn’t gone to college. She could ride a motorcycle (that was how she and my dad met) and she could look pretty, but neither of those things could lead to a well-paid job. Mom decided that, once I was born, she would become a model – not one of those skinny, fake-looking models strutting down a runway, but the smiling mom model you see in washing powder ads.
So I grew up on that army base. Mom got a job in the daycare centre there, so we got to live in one of those cute little base houses. Between her widow’s pension, her daycare salary, and the little extra she brought in with those “smiling mom” modelling jobs, Mom made sure that me and Danni grew up never knowing how tough things really were, money-wise, I mean.
Danni was always bugging Mom to let her go on one of her modelling shoots, but Mom didn’t think it was a good place for a kid to be hanging out. Finally, when Danni was ten, Mom caved in and took her to her next modelling gig. The photographer took one look at Danni, with her big blue eyes and long blonde hair, and demanded that she be in the pictures, too. Mom protested, but Danni made it clear that she wanted to do it, and the photos were really amazing!
Danni began to get her own modelling jobs and made enough money to enter a small beauty pageant. Mom was none too pleased with this, but she figured that one good loss would end Danni’s fascination with the whole pageant thing. Besides, Mom had always told us that “you don’t know if you don’t try”, so she wasn’t in a position to tell Danni not to try.
And wouldn’t you know, but Danni wins that pageant! Along with a trophy and a tiara, Danni received a cheque for five hundred dollars! Danni begged Mom to let her enter another pageant, then another, and soon Danni was the reigning beauty queen in her age range. Even better, Danni was bringing in enough money to allow Mom to quit her job at the daycare centre and focus on helping Danni continue in the pageant world.
I never gave a hoot for any of that beauty stuff. One time Danni dragged me along to a class at a beauty salon where I managed to irritate the instructor so much that he whipped a handful of curlers at me and kicked me out of the class and the salon – for ever.
Here’s the part of my life where I have to talk about Robert.
Robert K. Ruebens is a music agent. He has made a lot of money helping other people make their musical dreams come true. Robert is okay-looking, but he spends so much time and money on his hair, teeth, and fancy clothes that he seems more handsome than he really is. I think Robert is a rat. Mom says that Robert is not a bad guy; it’s just that he’s so focused on his job that if you aren’t directly related to what he’s doing (making money), then he doesn’t see you, hear you, or acknowledge your existence. In other words, he’s rotten to me.
Mom likes to tell people it was fate that brought Robert into our lives; truth is, it was a clapped-out car with a lame transmission and bad brakes.
Me, Mom, and Danni were in Los Angeles, California, so Danni could compete in the Miss Fifteen-and-Fabulous beauty pageant. Mom was driving up a steep hill when the transmission slipped and our car began to roll backwards. Mom tried to brake, but the car kept going. It was scary; we all screamed, but the car didn’t go very far. It only rolled a couple of feet — what stopped it was the car behind us. We rushed out of the car and found Robert sitting behind the wheel of his now-smooshed 1962 Mercedes Gull-wing convertible (it was a really cool car...was). Robert was shocked. Mom apologized over and over again. She was babbling about how sorry she was when reporters and television cameras began to descend on the scene. Suddenly a reporter shoved a microphone in Mom’s face and asked her how it felt to have almost flattened one of the most powerful men in the music industry. Robert was pale and just kept repeating, “My baby, just out of the shop,” in a trembling voice.
Not to brag, but it was me who saved the day. I walked over to Robert and told him that he should be grateful that he wasn’t hurt. When he began to wail about how much it was going to cost to fix his car, I calmly explained that we had no money yet; however, Danni was going to be a superstar singer someday and if Robert were to represent her he’d get his car money, and a lot more.
Robert was so stunned by a little kid talking business that he stopped whining. He looked at Danni. She was pretty enough to be a pop star, but how did he know that she could sing? I convinced him to attend the pageant that night so he could see Danni up onstage and hear her sing in a real, live performance. Robert did, and the minute he heard Danni sing, he knew he’d found his next big star. Mom signed a big fat contract that very night.
For the past three months now, Danni has been working with the best producers to record the perfect CD. She just turned sixteen and Robert is about to release her music and send her on the road for a tour of every big mall in the United States! He keeps saying that Danni will be an immediate smash! Radio stations around the world will play her music. Her videos will be shown day and night. Her CD will fly off music-store shelves. If everything works out the way Robert has planned, by the time she turns seventeen, Danni Devine will be a worldwide sensation and the number-one superstar pop princess on the planet!
I don’t know about all this. It sounds way too good to be true and I don’t like the idea of Danni being gone for so long. If it all does happen, will it make our lives perfect? I mean, everyone dreams of being rich and famous, right? But what I wonder is, will it really work out that way in real life? Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
Sam sat very still. Wow, she thought, he really did make it all happen. Robert may be a creep, but the man can do his job.
She mulled over the blog entry. It did have an awful lot of personal stuff, but that’s what journals were supposed to contain. Her thoughts were swirling around in her head. She could always leave it for now and discuss it with Olga in the morning. Yeah, that might be the best thing to do. As she continued thinking through the situation, Sam absent-mindedly reached out and grabbed her bottle of soda. She took her biggest, sloppiest slurp yet, and let out an immense burp, the kind that makes the walls shake and the windows rattle.
Sam slammed her hands over her mouth and tried not to giggle; she’d been busted!
Kimberly Greene has toured the world as a singer, dancer, actor and director, performing for audiences on stage, in concert halls, and even in the Vatican City for the Pope. She now teaches and runs her own company, promoting an empowering blend of entertainment and technology in education. Kimberly lives in California where her rare free moments are spent walking her two dogs or chasing after her two cats. "My Sister's a Pop Star" is her first novel.
Sparkly and pastel covered, Kimberley Greene’s two books about pony mad Samantha’s experiences as a sister to teen pop star Danni are enormously appealing to nine to twelve year olds. But these books have added value. Green hopes that Sam will be ‘inspirational to the kid who’s not the Queen Bee’. For those who are tired of the ‘mean-girls’ American high-school scenario, these books will be very welcome.
Wow. I expected this book to be brilliant but it was triple brilliant! I absolutely loved it, it was just my sort of book. Firstly, I loved the cover! Purple is my favourite colour and the characters on the cover were truly amazing. Rui Ricardo (the cover illustrator) did a wonderful job! Secondly, the plot was really gripping! I read all 276 pages in three hours; every time I was about to finish reading something in the story would pop (pun not intended!) up and I would have to keep reading to see what happened next. This was an extremely enjoyable book!
Milelong Bookshelf Blog
I am in LOVE with this book! Kimberly Greene has the power to keep you hooked, but not so there's so much drama, that you can't keep up. Greene is so talented, that you just want more and more. I know I'm gushing but - who cares? She's my new favourite person! I am so glad there is a sequel to this, and better still, I have the sequel! If there wasn't I would be in deep depression, and would refuse to leave my room. The cover of this is so sweet and quirky. It kinda shows the book it is, not genre wise - but that it's cool, and quirky.
The Beaucoup Preview book blog
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what a book!!!
WOW what a book. I got my copy from the library and it's great. I give it 9/10.
sammy, 28th April 2011
I love this Book
Hi I'm called Samantha (Sam for short!) and I'm 11 years old. I love this book so much and have just finished reading it for the 1st time on holiday! I relate to Sam in the book sooooo much so, I love it sooo much. I am gonna start reading I'm so not a popstar tonight!!!!!!!! But I need to, soooo badly, get My Life on TV. Samantha, Over and out!!!
Samantha (AKA: Sam!), 7th April 2010
the awesomist book ever
This is such a good book I have read it 5 times. Its funny as well as sad sometimes...
cat, 28th September 2008
my sister's a pop star
I love the book!! I read it 3 times, it is so good!! Kimberly Greene is a great writer! Keep up the good work!
Kaitlyn Domansky, 25th July 2008
HELLO my name is Brooke and I am 10 and I love your books I have read your book 6 times and I'm going to read it another MILLION times more.I LOVE YOUR BOOKS.
brooke, 4th June 2008
My sister's a pop star
I thought this was the best book ever as it has everything I ever wanted. I would say it was a comedy but it's also a bit girlie. It was described in a way that made it seem like you were really there. My favourite character was Blu because he was very kind and helpful. I would recommend it for 8 years and over. Overall I would give it a 100000/100000!
Rannoch Graham, 19th March 2008
My Sister's a Pop star
I am submitting this review on behalf of my daughter. She is 7 years old and an extremely well read child (it's more rare to see her without a book than with one stuck to her fingers!). She describes this book as being 'The best book I have ever read'. She must have over 300 books in her room, all well-thumbed, so this is indeed a compliment. Any more Kimberley Greene offerings for us to purchase at all? If not, then please hurry!
Nikki Gannon, 24th February 2008
My sister's a pop star
Hi Kimberly, I'm 8, well I'm gonna be 9 the 21st of Dec. I love your book, I want to be your fun num 1. It's really interesting and mysterious. I've read it twice and I'm gonna read it again. I think you are a great author and I want to be an author like you.
Bea, 8th December 2007
A GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi my name is Keely I am 12. I think this is a great book and I recommend it. I am still reading it. It's all about a girl and her sister Dannie. Dannie is a pop star and Sam is looking forward to moving in to a new house. When she gets there she finds out that there is a TV show going to be filmed. And then she runs to her room only to find it is pink (Sam hates pink). Well to find out more read it, it is a great book!!!!!
Keely colliton, 2nd December 2007
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