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Black Cats and Ballet Slippers

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Gemma Mayfield believes there is witchcraft going on at her middle school…can she unravel the truth about her teacher?
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Sales price: $4.50
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Rating: 5/5
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Author: Iva Valentino
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 Black Cats and Ballet Slippers

by Iva Valentino

Genre  Middle Grade

Tags  Witches, humor, middle school, ballet, black cats, teachers, Halloween

Release  March 7, 2014

Editor  Gloria Oren

Line Editor  Greta Gunselman

Cover Designer  Cora Graphics

Words  26531

Pages  98

ISBN  978-1-77127-501-9

Price  $4.50


 

Back Cover

Gemma Mayfield feels like middle school is a lot to bite off and chew. School, ballet classes, and planning on how to get Trevor Davis to ask her to the Halloween Dance are a tough balancing act. On top of that, Gemma is convinced that her science teacher, Ms. Pruett, is a witch.

When things start getting fishy at school, Gemma knows that Ms. Pruett is behind it all! Students are getting spells placed on them and start to go missing. Gemma and her best friend, Izzie, vow to stop Ms. Pruett from doing any more damage. Will they be able to save Middleton Middle School from witchcraft?


 

Excerpt

Okay, so something REALLY strange is going on. Boys are from a different planet, but right now a few of them at Middleton are acting like they’re from a different universe. (Wait. Does this make sense? Is there more than one universe? Ugh. Maybe I should have paid more attention last year in Astronomy.)

So, by the time I got to Ms. Pruett’s class, I had already worked myself into a super version of “I Don’t Wanna Go To Class Because I’m Creeped Out!” mode. I walked into the Science Laboratory, and I swear I felt the cold of Building 400 smack me right in the face. I’m not kidding.

Of course Ms. Pruett was at the door, acting like her sweet old lady self (ha ha, I know better), and was welcoming all the kids into the classroom. I just kept my head down and muttered a hello as I passed. Staying below the radar was the goal. Then I sat down at my lab table and shivered a bit.

Joey sat down at the table just a second later. Normally he is really loud and obnoxious, cracking jokes, and calling to the other Soccer Jocks across the room. Today he was quiet.

“Hey,” I said, trying to be friendly. I thought maybe we could commiserate on us both having spells cast on us. Joey responded with a “hey” but didn’t say much else. Hello? Was this the Joey I knew?

“So, Joey, are you feeling okay?” I asked. “You know, after yesterday…”

Joey didn’t say anything, but began writing on a piece of paper. He folded up the piece of paper and passed it to me. I gave him a questioning look. He gave me a weird look back that I couldn’t decipher. The note was as follows:

     Hey Gemma,

     Sorry I gave you a hard time yesterday about the “Cute Boy” list. It was kind of rude of me.

     Joey

That’s when it hit me that Joey hadn’t recovered from Ms. Pruett’s spell. For me it was just temporary, like a few minutes. But Joey was acting weird. It had to be the spell.

“Um, thanks,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.” I then started taking out all my school stuff so that I could look busy and not have any more awkward moments with Joey until he felt better. He was taking longer to recuperate.

After class I headed straight down toward the lunchroom. On the way there, I saw Trevor going in the opposite direction past me. Our conversation went like this:

            Me: “Hi Trevor!” (with a big smile and enthusiasm)

            Trevor: “Oh, hi Gemma.” (with zombie-like attitude)

            Me: “Okay, have a good lunch!”

            Trevor: “Okay, thanks. Bye.”

            I wondered where he was going, in the opposite direction from the lunch room when it was lunchtime. It took me another couple of moments to realize that the ONLY classroom in that part of campus was Ms. Pruett’s room. He was headed back toward Building 400!

            Yikes! I turned myself around in mid-stride and turned back the way I came. I knew there was no way possible that Trevor would be going to Ms. Pruett’s. Why would anyone in their right mind be going there by themselves?

            I didn’t want Trevor to think I was stalking him, because of course I would never do that. But just in case that’s what it appeared to be, I used as much stealth as possible. I walked in the shadows and stopped to peek out behind bushes and building walls. I saw him up ahead…just before he ENTERED MS. PRUETT’S CLASSROOM.

            My mouth fell open, and I just sort of stared at the door for a while.

            Weird things are going on here at Middleton. And I think Ms. Pruett’s behind it all!


 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Reviews

Wednesday, 17 September 2014
I loved this book. Gemma is such a fun character. I enjoyed reading her diary and seeing the world through her eyes. I think it is funny how Gemma thinks her teacher is a witch and putting spells on students. Thanks, Iva, for an entertaining read.
kay lalone
Friday, 13 June 2014
“Black Cats and Ballet Slippers” had me hooked from the get go! It is well-written in journal style and appeals to the targeted audience! Girls of this age experience many of the issues of the MC, Gemma, and I laughed out loud with the way some of her entries were expressed! With mystery and love in the air, what tween wouldn’t get lost in the pages?! Great job, Iva Valentino! I also give five stars!

Sheri Chapman, author of “Eyes with No Soul”
Sheri Chapman
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Ladybug Lin here.

BLACK CATS AND BALLET SLIPPERS is a laugh a moment read, that's so well written, it'll remind those of us knitting with stegosaurus rib b

Iva Valentino tells us all about Gemma's plots, plans, and worries in the voice of her diary. Each entry takes us from Monday, October 10th at 4:00 PM...with Halloween on the not too distant horizon...all the way through Tuesday, November 1st at 3:30 PM and the post Halloween unraveling of the scariest truths.

Gemma tells us EVERYTHING...including her panic over giving herself a home cut because she decides her hair needed "feathering", and the MAJOR DISASTER this sets off.

BLACK CATS AND BALLET SLIPPERS is a fun read, and one that will have every middle school girl pumping her fist in the air going..."I've done that!" or, "OMG she loves her Trevor just as much as I love my Lance!"

Excellent book...a laugh riot...engaging...and a top notch tale for the Middle Schoolers among us.

BLACK CATS AND BALLET SLIPPERS by Iva Valentino has expertly earned

FIVE STARS

NICE JOB MS. VALENTINO.
Lin Holmes
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