Sample text for November blues / Sharon Draper.


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CHAPTER 1

NOVEMBER NELSON

TUESDAY, MARCH 30

November Nelson lurched to the bathroom, feeling faint and not quite in

control of her suddenly unsteady legs. She touched her forehead and found

it warm and glazed with sweat. Sinking down on the soft blue rug in front

of the toilet, she was grateful for the momentary stability of the floor.

But her head continued to spin, and her stomach churned. She lifted the

toilet lid, gazed into the water, and wished she could disappear into its

depths. Her breath became more shallow, and her nausea more intense.

Finally, uncontrollably, and forcefully, all her distress erupted and she

lost her lunch in heaves and waves of vomiting. Pepperoni pizza.

She flushed the toilet several times as she sat on the floor waiting to

feel normal again. Finally she stood up shakily, gargled with peppermint

mouthwash, and peered at herself in the mirror.

"You look like a hot mess," she whispered to her reflection. Her skin,

instead of its usual coppery brown, looked gray and mottled. She hadn't

combed her hair all day, so it was a halo of tangles.

November knew her mother would be home soon and would be angry to find out

she'd skipped school. She didn't care. Her thoughts were focused on the

package in her backpack. Even though she knew the house was empty, she

made sure the bathroom door was locked. She dug the little purple and pink

box out of her book bag and placed it on the sink. It seemed out of place

in her mother's perfectly coordinated powder blue bathroom.

With trembling hands she unwrapped the plastic and opened the box. She

read the directions carefully. She looked out of the small bathroom

window and watched the last of the early spring snow melting on the grass.

Everything looked the same, but she knew in her heart that it was all

different now.

November finally turned back to the little white tube in the box and

followed the instructions, which were written, she noticed, in Spanish

and French as well. Three minutes later the indicator silently screamed

the news that she already suspected. She was pregnant.

Copyright © 2007 by Sharon M. Draper




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Pregnancy -- Fiction.
High schools -- Fiction.
Schools -- Fiction.
African Americans -- Fiction.