Jane Blond International Spy
By- Brianna Schatt & Stan Schatt
Genre- Middle Grade
Publication Date- October 19th
Fourteen year old Jane thought getting through high school was difficult enough with her dad in prison and her mother dating. Throw in being bullied by the popular girl who has everything- it’s completely unbearable. But when terrorists kidnap a boy she cares about, she knows she is the only one who can save him. International Spy, Jane Blond, must prevent terrorists from blowing up her school during the President’s visit. She’ll need all of her courage along with the help of a teen with CIA secrets, a friend with Asperger’s and a parrot with an attitude.
About the Authors-
Dr. Stan Schatt spent many years as a futurist responsible for forecasting future technology products and markets for Fortune 500 companies. He served as a Fulbright Professor and taught at Tokyo University, USC, and the University of Houston. He is the author of over thirty books ranging from science fiction and paranormal mysteries to young adult novels. Schatt is a technology expert who has been quoted in the New York Times, Fortune, and BusinessWeek as well as CNBC.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Stan-Schatt
Author Website: www.StanSchatt.com
Tula never showed an ounce of self-doubt, and some kids like someone who always knows what’s ‘in’ or trendy and what’s not. If someone mentions a music group whose music she doesn’t like, Tula makes that person feel like a moron. Similarly, if she mentions one of her favorite groups and some girl has the courage to say that the group sucks, Tula acts like that girl is too dumb to live and ignores her from that point on.
She has a perfect body and wears perfect clothes; boys fall all over themselves just so they can sit next to her. She looks eighteen even though she’s fourteen like the rest of us.
Now Tula walks everywhere surrounded by her entourage. They laugh at whatever joke she makes, no matter how lame or hurtful. When she told Anouk that she looked like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Melanie and Hannah almost fell over from laughing so hard. When she said my nose looked like the kind of sausage they fed dogs in Uzbekistan, I stood there too stunned to think of anything clever to say. When Jennifer complained in English class that someone took the pen she left on her desk, Tula suggested that our teacher, Mr. Brand, search my backpack because “some families specialize in theft.” I turned bright red and wished I could make myself invisible.
Our school’s hefty tuition meant that kids either come from very wealthy families or they’re very smart and Broxton has them on full scholarships. Anouk aces every test and attends on a full scholarship. Mom never told me, but I figure that Dad prepaid my tuition for this year before he was arrested, which meant that this year would probably be my last.
I didn’t want to think about next year. Everyone knew that Roosevelt High, the closest public high school, had a terrible reputation; I heard that even the girls organized themselves into gangs. The brick fence that surrounded Roosevelt made it look like a fort. All the entrances had metal detectors and armed guards who frisked students and searched their backpacks.
While I didn’t have Tula’s money or Anouk’s brains, I inherited Dad’s stubbornness--as well as his temper. I wouldn’t give up without a fight. I decided I’d do my cheerleading routine and then challenge Tula’s efforts to blackball me. In any event, the other kids watching the tryout finals would see just how good a cheerleader they lost because Tula hated me. I wondered how things were done in Uzbekistan. Tula and her friends there probably bribed the judges in order to win.
I had trouble concentrating in chemistry, even with Mr. Penzoni, my favorite teacher. I couldn’t stop thinking about the cheerleader tryouts. I kept imagining the absolute worst things that could possibly happen—a terrible habit of mine. So, while Mr. Penzoni explained equilibrium equations, I imagined myself leaping in the air and then stopping just short of achieving a clean split. I visualized being stuck there with my legs spread, unable to stand up or sit down because of two pulled hamstring muscles. Tula and her friends would laugh so hard that they’d be gasping for breath. Suddenly, Mr. Penzoni asked a question and then he glanced at me. I hadn’t been paying attention, so I prayed he wouldn’t call on me. I saw a glimmer of a smile on his face, and then his eyes left me and settled on Jennifer. He called on her, and I felt myself relax a bit.
I headed back to the gym when the class ended and changed into shorts before joining a few other girls on the soccer field. I noticed several students as well as some parents in the stands. I recognized Melanie’s mother sitting not too far from Bruce. He’s the one boy who is always finding excuses to talk with me. I prayed he would keep still.
For some reason, Bruce and I often wind up working together on projects for world history class. I’m a pretty good writer, and Bruce qualifies as a computer genius. I didn’t want anyone thinking that we were anything more than just classmates. In fact, the very idea just grossed me out. Come to think of it, how did he know I was in the finals?
Ms. Houseman had chosen four finalists for the one cheerleader opening. I practiced my routine for the tryouts all week, but I never did the complete routine cleanly. One time I landed my backhand spring but my legs got tangled doing the splits; the next time I landed everything but my shoulder stand. I felt sick because I knew Tula and her friends would fall down laughing when I landed on my butt. Anouk waved at me from the stands. At least I had one friend there, although I knew she’d have to leave soon for one of her after school jobs.