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Everyone's a Critic

Cover of Everyone's a Critic

Everyone's a Critic

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Samantha writes a review of her sister's play for the school newspaper--but her honest opinions provoke some serious offstage drama!

Samantha is thrilled when she and her crush, Michael Lawrence, are assigned to write a review of the school play for the next issue of the newspaper. The Broadway revival will be a joint production between the middle school and the high school and is going to be the event of the school year, according to Allie, Sam's older sister.

But when Sam and Michael leave the theater, they're less than impressed. Allie performed well, but the show had some flaws--props and lighting malfunctioned and the lead actress forgot a few lines. So Sam and Michael turn in a review that is fair if not flattering...and the Drama Club is furious! To make matters worse, Allie accuses Sam of being jealous. Sam is faced with a big dilemma: Is it better to be honest, or flattering?

Samantha writes a review of her sister's play for the school newspaper--but her honest opinions provoke some serious offstage drama!

Samantha is thrilled when she and her crush, Michael Lawrence, are assigned to write a review of the school play for the next issue of the newspaper. The Broadway revival will be a joint production between the middle school and the high school and is going to be the event of the school year, according to Allie, Sam's older sister.

But when Sam and Michael leave the theater, they're less than impressed. Allie performed well, but the show had some flaws--props and lighting malfunctioned and the lead actress forgot a few lines. So Sam and Michael turn in a review that is fair if not flattering...and the Drama Club is furious! To make matters worse, Allie accuses Sam of being jealous. Sam is faced with a big dilemma: Is it better to be honest, or flattering?

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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.4
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    NEWSPAPER STAFF PLAYS MUSICAL CHAIRS. EVERYONE LOSES!

    Have you ever wished you knew everything? My name is Samantha Martone and I'll tell you a little secret. I'm supposed know everything, at least once a week.

    It's a little funny that I write a column for my middle school newspaper, the Cherry Valley Voice, called Dear Know-It-All, where I'm supposed to act like I know everything, which I don't.

    Here's another secret: I can't tell anyone I write the column--not my annoying older sister, Allie, who's always getting into my business, and not even my BFF, Hailey Jones. But those are the rules, and if I want to be editor in chief of the paper next year, I've got to stick to them.

    Sometimes people write in about boy problems. What do I know about boys, anyway? They remain a constant mystery to me. My forever crush, Michael Lawrence, who I've known since kindergarten and who still calls me Pasty just because I decided to sample an itsy-bitsy taste of paste once when I was five, still hasn't asked me out, at least I don't think so. I haven't asked him out either. At least I'm pretty sure. Hailey says that when I asked him over to work on a story, that was asking him out, but I'm not really sure. This year we've been closer than ever, since Mr. Trigg, our newspaper advisor, puts us together on big investigative stories all the time. Michael will call me or I'll call him to get together for Voice stuff, but then the story we're working on tends to complicate things and I end up getting confused. Are we just cowriters, or are we friends, or possibly more than that? It's hard balancing two things I love: being a good investigative reporter and Michael Lawrence.

    Trigger, or Mr. Trigg to the general public, says that it's a reporter's job to keep an open mind. It's our job to be good listeners and find out the real facts. It's not our job to know everything. We present the facts and the reader makes up his or her mind. So if I don't actually have to know anything, then I guess I'm doing a great job!

    This is what I have to put up with as far as not knowing how to read Michael Lawrence. Today I was late for the meeting we always have after the Voice comes out to review the issue. Usually I'm one of the first people there, and I tried to save Michael a seat. But I was having one of those days--you know those days when nothing goes right?

    First I slept past my alarm. Then Allie, who truly does think she knows everything, took back the green hoodie I was going to wear (after she was the one who gave it to me and told me how good it looked with my long reddish-brown hair!). Then, when I got to school, Hailey seemed annoyed. Our lockers are right near each other, and she was unloading her backpack. She gave me a quick glance and looked away. Hailey always looks great in a natural, sporty way. She's forever tan because she spends so much time outside playing sports and running around. Honestly, she'd look cute in a garbage bag. Today she had on a turquoise-and-white-striped long-sleeved T-shirt that looked great with her blue eyes. I glanced down at the old stretched-out purple sweater I was wearing and sighed. It was the only thing I could find that was somewhat clean after Allie raided my room.

    "Um, hello?" I said.

    "Hi," she said without looking at me, and went back to digging in the depths of her locker.

    "Are you mad at me?" I asked, my heart beating a little faster. I hated when Hailey was mad at me, which she hardly ever was. If she was, she usually had a good reason.

    She finally looked at me. "It's just that . . ." And then she stopped.

    "What?" I...

About the Author-
  • Rachel Wise loves to give advice. When she's not editing or writing children's books, which she does full-time at a publisher in New York, she's reading advice columns in newspapers, magazines, and blogs and is always sure her advice would be better! Her dream is to someday have her own talk show, where she could share her wisdom with millions of people at once, but for now she's happy to dole out advice in small portions in Dear Know-It-All books.
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    Simon Spotlight
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Everyone's a Critic
Everyone's a Critic
Rachel Wise
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