Special excerpt for YA contemporary novel Wish by Grier Cooper

Welcome. Today’s spotlight shines on the YA
contemporary novel Wish by Grier Cooper.

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Cooper (also known as the writer in a dancer’s body) is a California based
writer, photographer, and dancer. She received her professional training from
the School of American Ballet and performed worldwide with the San Francisco
Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Today she lives in a
seaside hamlet with her husband, daughter and Coco Chanel (a black standard
poodle). She draws on over thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and
performer to create stories and art to inspire others.
A little
bit about Wish:
Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the
stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost
16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of
Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders
– the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List
of Forbidden Things for Dancers.
But Jesse is the
least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it
simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders.
As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain
balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from
going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she
can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she
must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.
Excerpt from Wish:
Headlights appear and we both turn
our heads. The car screeches to a stop inches away from our feet. The passenger
window rolls down. “Hurry up and get in,” Mom says. “Mrs. LaRue is watching
your brothers. We have to jet.” It’s the freaking Christmas voice.
She eyes Jesse. “Oh,” she says. “Who
do we have here?”
Why me? “Mom, you know Jesse. Jesse
Sanders. Remember?”
“Right.” Her hand flies to her mouth
dramatically, like she’s starring in her own private soap opera. She giggles.
“Of course I do.”
I quickly get in. “We should go.
Right, Mom?”
She giggles again. I roll my eyes as
I close the window. Jesse smiles sympathetically.
Mom guns it and I fall back against
my seat. “How was rehearsal, sweetie?” She swivels her head to look at me.
Right then, I know we are headed for
trouble. “Mom! Mom, look out!”
There’s a tremendous thud as she
drives onto the turnaround island in the middle of the driveway. The car bucks
and lurches sideways. My head whips back against the seat rest.
“Jesus, Mom! You just drove on the
She giggles in response. “Now, Indy,
you know I don’t see well at night.”
“Mom, hey! Slow down!”
She doesn’t break speed as the car
crashes down off the island. She pulls a Hollywood stop on her way out of the
driveway, narrowly missing an oncoming car. The driver leans on his horn but
she doesn’t even seem to notice.
“Are you hungry?” she asks. “Cuz I’m
I stare at her like the
four-wheeling lunatic I now know her to be.
And Jesse saw the whole thing.
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