The Adventures of Autumn Day: My Big Fat Hairy Lies
by Melinda Wills McHugh and illustrated by Amy Borrell
Autumn Day gets teased a lot. The kids at school call her Summer, Winter and Spring. But worse are the names Flame Brain, Carrot Top and Tomato Head. Life can be hard when you’re a kid, but it’s definitely harder when you’re a red-haired drama queen called Autumn Day.
Today is her 9th birthday and Autumn, so desperate to be accepted and win over Aimee as her best friend, has told everyone (including ‘mean girl’ Sophie) she’s getting a pink phone – the latest and greatest that does everything! But what if she doesn’t? When Autumn’s lies start spinning out of control she realises she has a lot of growing up to do.
My Big Fat Hairy Lies is the first in The Adventures of Autumn Day series, for kids aged 7-12.
Here’s an exerpt:
After lunch Miss Scarlet gave us a scary thing to do. We had to think about our pets. Then we had to stand in front of the class and talk about them. Talking in front of the class makes me talk really fast and shake. I shake really badly. Sometimes I can feel my lips shaking and my eyes twitching. And sometimes my stomach feels like it has butterflies inside. Sometimes I would even prefer to be dead than talk in class. Or at least break my leg so I’m in hospital. Weird, I know. When I told Mum she said that it’s much easier when you talk about something you know. I asked her what I should do if I have to talk about something I don’t know. She said that I should imagine everyone naked. That’s disgusting.
I was the first one to talk. Miss Scarlet said that it was because my name started with A. I said so does Aimee’s and Ashley’s (that’s a boy in my class). So she said because it’s my birthday I could decide who went first. I decided that its’s better to get it over with. So I walked to the front of the class and took a big breath.
‘I have four pets. One dog, two fish and a pony.’ I stopped. I don’t have a pony. Why did I say that? I could feel the blood rushing to my face. Then my ears and neck started to burn. Because my skin’s so fair it sometimes goes blotchy and red. I hoped it wasn’t doing that now.
‘A pony? Wow!’ said Miss Scarlet.
The whole class started to talk at once. I heard, ‘Wow! A pony!’ followed by, ‘You’re soooo lucky,’ followed by, ‘I wish I had a pony’. Then they started to ask questions. Miss Scarlet turned to everyone and said that if they wanted to ask a question they should raise their hands first. So Aimee put up her hand.
‘Do you really have a pony?’
I nodded. Then I thought this might not be so bad. One good thing about having a pony is that she will definitely want to be my best friend!
‘But I’ve been to your house twice and I’ve never seen one.’
She turned to Maddy and Katie. They looked shocked. Sophie, Jenna and some others laughed. Miss Scarlet didn’t even tell Aimee to raise her hand before speaking again. She always told us to raise our hands!
‘Well that’s because … umm … because sometimes she stays with my grandma. She has a huge backyard and lots of grass. Like, I mean, heaps of grass. So she’s not at our house all of the time,’ I said. ‘Just part of the time.’
‘Well, is she there now?’
‘Umm … maybe, I’d have to check.’ Oh no.
‘What sort of pony do you have?’
Miss Scarlet told Maddy she had to raise her hand first.
‘But Aimee didn’t,’ she said.
‘Yes, well … ahem,’ she cleared her throat. ‘She should have. Now what was your question?’
I think Miss Scarlet knew. She knew I was lying and she was going to send me to Principal Riley’s office. Or worse! She would make me stand in front of the class with a big sign on my head saying ‘BIG FAT LIAR’. Or worse! She would make me stand in front of the class with a big sign on my head saying ‘BIG FAT LIAR’ and the kids would throw cream pies at me. I felt sick. I thought I was going to spew.
The Adventures of Autumn Day: My Big Fat Hairy Lies, Chapter 6, ‘Big Fat Liar’
Available from the publisher SilverWood Books, your favourite online bookstore and selected bookshops. Head to www.autumnday.co for more.
Chapter 1 is available to read on Amazon