Maggie's mouth dropped open. "I don't believe it. You got discovered?" "Well," Annabel said, "maybe not exactly discovered. But maybe very close to being almost discovered." When aspiring actress Annabel sees the movie company vans roll into her neighborhood, she is determined that this will be her big break. With her friend Maggie by her side, Annabel schmoozes her way onto the set and lands a role as an extra! She stays up all night watching scary movies and screaming at the top of her lungs to practice for her part. However, when the day of shooting arrives, everything goes wrong and Annabel's five seconds of stardom turn into a disaster. But her career's not over yet. Annabel doesn't know it but the director has some tricks up his sleeve...Annabel's mishaps will have readers laughing out loud in this follow-up to Annabel the Actress starring in Gorilla My Dreams.
Chapter One: Friday Afternoon, Hudson Street
Annabel was an actress. She wasn't famous yet. She wasn't a star. But she knew someday she would be.
Meanwhile, she practiced her acting all the time.
Today on the way home from school, she stopped in the middle of the street. She turned to her best friend, Maggie. She put her hand over her eyes.
"I'm all alone," she moaned. "All, all alone."
"No, you're not," Maggie said. "I'm here."
"I am a pitiful orphan," Annabel insisted. She squeezed her eyes shut. She made a little sobbing sound.
"I have no mother and father. I haven't a friend in the world."
"You're acting, aren't you?" Maggie asked.
Annabel took her hand from her eyes.
"I was practicing Loneliness. Did you feel sorry for me?"
"Um -- not very," Maggie had to admit.
"You're right," Annabel said. "I didn't really feel the loneliness."
"Maybe you need to suffer more," Maggie suggested.
"I think I'd rather just practice more," Annabel said.
They stopped at the corner of Hudson Street to wait for the walk signal.
Just as the light changed, a truck zoomed past them. It was white, with a tree painted on the side. The tree had round leaves, like silver dollars.
"Hey! Where's the fire?!" Maggie yelled as the truck sped off.
"I've seen that truck somewhere." Annabel stared after it as it screeched around the corner onto Central Avenue.
She closed her eyes, and tried to remember.
"Silver tree... Silver -- " Her eyes snapped open.
"In the movies!" she said. "Silver Tree is a movie company!"
"What's a movie company doing here?" Maggie asked.
"Making a movie!"
Annabel shrieked so loud that the beagles who lived in the corner house started to howl.
"Why would anyone want to make a movie in Westfield?" Maggie wondered.
"They make movies in lots of places," Annabel said. She was so excited she couldn't stand still. "Not just in Hollywood."
She grabbed Maggie by the shoulders. "And sometimes they use regular, ordinary people!"
"Wow!" Maggie suddenly understood what Annabel was thinking. "You mean -- "
"Yes!" Annabel shouted. "This could be it! My Big Break!"
She let go of Maggie's shoulders. She raced off down Hudson Street.
"Where are you going?" Maggie yelled.
She caught up with Annabel on Central Avenue.
They heard a loud engine behind them. A huge eighteen-wheeler rumbled past. A flatbed truck trailed after it. Both trucks had silver trees on their doors.
"I knew it!" Annabel cried. "Follow those trucks!"
The two trucks continued down Central Avenue. They stopped across from the Westfield Shopping Plaza, right near the entrance to Memorial Park.
When Annabel saw what was happening on Central Avenue, she froze. She clutched Maggie's hand.
"Pinch me," she said. "I think I must be dreaming."
Ellen Conford is one of the most popular authors of contemporary novels for preteen and teen readers. Her previous books include the Jenny Archer series, Felicia the Critic, Frog Princess of Pelham, and A Night to Remember. She lives in Great Neck, New York.