Lily Speaks! (Young Women of Faith: Lily Series, Book 10)

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9780310702627: Lily Speaks! (Young Women of Faith: Lily Series, Book 10)

The sanctity of the Girlz Only Club is at stake! When Lily and Suzy both get selected for the school-wide seventh grade speech contest, an unforeseen battle ensues. Lily starts getting mysterious notes and phone calls 'encouraging' her to drop out of the contest, but it only makes her more determined to stick it out. In the meantime, the Girlz Only Club seems to be divided in its loyalties. What started as a friendly speech contest among classmates and friends turns into an all-out winner-take-all match. When Lily encounters the pain and disappointment of competition, she ultimately learns that winning isn't everything. Find out how Lily overcomes her feelings of jealousy, envy, and self-doubt to become a better winner in the end.

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About the Author:

Nancy Rue has written over 100 books for girls, is the editor of the Faithgirlz Bible, and is a popular speaker and radio guest with her expertise in tween and teen issues. She and husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now live in Tennessee.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The next time someone tells you to ‘amscray,’ ‘go chase your-self, ’ or ‘come clean,’" Lily Robbins said to her class, "you’ll know exactly what to do. Slang changes, but people never do." She let out a long, slow breath and forced herself not to go running back to her seat so she could melt into a puddle of relief. Mrs. Reinhold had said to pause at the end of the speech to maintain poise—or something. Right now, Lily was more interested in maintaining her dignity. I really should’ve gone to the bathroom before she called on me, she thought. But if anyone noticed that Lily was dying to get away from the podium, they weren’t showing it. The seventh-grade accelerated English class burst into applause. There were even a few whistles thrown in, which Lily was sure were coming from her best friend Reni. Still, it wasn’t a bad feeling having everybody cheer. It almost made the pre-speech agony worthwhile. "Thank you, Liliana," Mrs. Reinhold said in her cobwebby voice. "Here is your outline. All right—next—oh, in fact, last— we will hear from Suzanne Wheeler." Lily took her outline from Mrs. Reinhold, but her eyes went to Suzy—her other closest friend. Lily had been terrified to give her first middle-school speech, so she knew Suzy was probably about to throw up. Suzy got nervous when she had to open a milk carton with people watching. Lily had told the other Girlz—Reni, Kresha, and Zooey— just that morning that she wasn’t sure Suzy could make it through a whole speech. Lily sank into her seat, still zoning in on Suzy, who finally looked at her. Lily gave her a firm nod. You can do this, girl, it said. We prayed and everything this morning. You can do this. For an instant, Suzy’s fragile black eyebrows relaxed from the knot they were tied in, and a small smile eased across her lips. "You go, girl," Lily whispered. Suzy gave the tiniest of nods, barely stirring a strand of her silky dark hair. Then she took a deep breath, gazed out at the class, and began to talk. For the first few words, her voice was faint, and Lily had to squeeze her hands together to keep from calling out, "Speak up, Suzy!" Mrs. Reinhold had gone on for almost a whole class period about what she was going to do if she couldn’t hear somebody. Something about cupping her hand around her ear and saying, "Eh?" But suddenly Suzy’s voice went up a few notches and began to sound warm. Her hands relaxed on the sides of the podium so that her knuckles were no longer white, and she looked around at the class as she spoke with her eyes shining. Not once did Lily see her glance down at her copy of the outline. If Lily hadn’t known better, she’d have thought Suzy was enjoying herself up there. I sure didn’t, Lily thought. I was scared to death the entire time. When Suzy closed with her last line, the class broke into applause before Suzy could even do her pause. Her little face lit up, and she cocked her head to one side, splashing her hair against her cheek. That seemed to make the class clap even louder. Lily was right in there clapping with them, although for just a moment, she couldn’t help thinking it would be nice to have hair like Suzy’s. Lily’s mane was red and curly and wouldn’t splash against her cheek if it were soaking wet. Suzy really was fun to look at. "Well, then," Mrs. Reinhold said as she closed her grade book and came up the aisle to the front of the room. "This was not bad for a first round of speeches. Not bad at all." That was high praise coming from strict, stone-faced Mrs. Reinhold, and it gave Lily the courage to look at her outline. A. Very nice work, Mrs. Reinhold had written. Lily let out another sigh of relief. "Would you hold it down, Robbins?" Ashley Adamson hissed from the seat in front of Lily. "You sound like a bus back there." Lily did what she’d learned was best to do when it came to Ashley— ignore her. "Now," Mrs. Reinhold was saying. "I didn’t tell you this before we started giving our speeches because some of you were already biting your fingernails up to your elbows." Lily glanced down at her chewed-up nails and quickly slid her hands under her thighs. "You have just competed in the first level of a speech contest," Mrs. Reinhold went on, "which is being held statewide for all seventh graders. Two of you will go on to compete with students from the other seventh-grade English classes for the school title, and the winner will go on to the county competition. One speaker from that tournament will go on to compete on the state level." Marcie McCleary’s hand went up. "Yes?" Mrs. Reinhold said, her voice clipped. "Is the state tournament out of town? Because if it is, I can’t go. My parents won’t let me go on school trips out of town." "You don’t need to concern yourself, Marcie," Mrs. Reinhold said. "You are not one of the two contestants I have selected from this round." "Who are they?" Ashley said. Is there no end to Ashley’s cluelessness? Lily thought. Mrs. Reinhold glared at Ashley and then said, "I believe that the two best speeches for this competition were given by Liliana Robbins and Suzanne Wheeler. They will be our class representatives to the seventh-grade contest."

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