Name: Judy Mintz
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Tagline: In CHICKADEE, a 57,000-word contemporary, realistic YA novel, sixteen-year-old Emma Daley struggles with her sexuality.
1ST 250 Words:
If anyone asks, I’m straight.
I’m sixteen and I’ve never had sex, not that you have to sleep with someone to know if you’re attracted to them. I could have, had sex. I’ve had boyfriends. I like boys. I don’t spend all my time drooling over them like my friends do. They’re not that interesting to look at. Sometimes I catch myself staring at a pretty girl, you know, to study her makeup. Sometimes they’re not wearing makeup.
If anyone asks, though, I’m straight.
Normally this isn’t something I spend a ton of time thinking about, but some girl from Sweden is coming to live with Mom and me and I’m sweating the loss of my personal space – in advance. I barely slept last night thinking about it, so I was beat and running late this morning. I slung my pack over my shoulder and went out the front door, ignoring my mom’s predictable, “Emma, take your coat. It’s cold out!” As I walked down the hill, I pulled on my gloves, the kind without fingers, and fished my ear buds out of my back pocket.
Waiting at the bus stop was the usual morning crowd. Jon towered over the rest of them.
“Hey, Emma! What’s the deal with your exchange student?” he asked.
I pulled out an ear bud. “My what?”
“Your exchange student. You know, that alien you’ve been freaking out about.”
“She’s still coming. I’m still freaking. And Mom’s still trying to make it sound like fun.”