Authors: Lucy Ruggles
Tags: #Fiction - Young Adult
Copyright Â© 2008 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
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Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2007909633
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If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware
that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and
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publisher has received any payment for this “stripped” book.
itchie, up!” Connie Torres commanded as she stepped through the piles of clothes and CDs on her fourteen-year-old daughter's bedroom floor. “Last day of school!” She clapped her hands cheerfully before disappearing down the hall.
In the bed, Mitchie stirred and groaned. Her hand shot out from under the covers and grabbed a CD labeled
from the nightstand. Without looking, Mitchie popped the disc into the CD player and pushed
Instantly, the chords of a pop song filled the room. It featured vocals by none other than Mitchie Torres herself. As the beat intensified, Mitchie threw off her covers and jumped out of bed. She pulled her long, brown hair back, and singing the words she knew by heart, she opened her closet and peered in.
What to wear? The jean miniskirt? She held it up to her hips. Nope. The skirt was looking a little too mini. Shorts? Nope. Same problem. Pants, she thought. Maybe? Grabbing a pair of capris from a hanger, she tried them on. Better, but not perfect. Then she spied leggings, and inspiration flared. A skirt, leggings, a T-shirtâthe perfect, not-too-dressy, last-day-of-school outfit.
In the middle of putting on a long necklace, Mitchie was hit with an idea. She hurried from her closet to her desk, where she grabbed a journal. On the front, in bold letters, was written “Mitchie's Songs.” She furiously scribbled some lyrics on a blank page. Satisfied with the new verses, Mitchie smiled, put the journal away, and continued dancing out of her room, down the hall, and into the kitchen, where her mother had set out breakfast.
Mitchie plopped down at the kitchen table, and began to scarf down an omelet. On the television, an entertainment show discussed the most recent antics of Shane Grayâmusician and hottie.
“The pop-star phenomenon, Shane Gray,” the television reporter intoned, “may have gone too far this time when he stormed off the set of his new video after someone gave him a grande nonfat latte instead of his legendary Venti soy chai latte with extra foam. This final stunt cost his label thousands of dollars, but may cost him his record deal.”
Mitchie sighed. Shane Gray had everything. Why would he want to ruin it?
“The message is clear,” the reporter went on. “He needs to clean up his act. And to give him time to do it, the Connect Three summer tour has been canceled.”
The report was almost over when Mitchie's mother sat down in the seat next to her.
“Look what I found in the crisper,” Connie
said, tossing a colorful, glossy booklet onto the table. “A Camp Rock brochure. Or should I say another Camp Rock brochure?” she added.
“Hmm, look at that!” Mitchie said, faking surprise. She shoveled another forkload of omelet into her mouth. So maybe the hints she'd been dropping about going to Camp Rock this summer hadn't been as subtle as she thought. But if she got in, all her dreams could come true.
“So, you have no knowledge of how this brochure got into the refrigerator?” her mother asked. “Or the one taped to the vacuum cleaner?”
“Sweetie,” Connie continued, “I know you want to go to this camp, but we just can't swing it right now with Dad expanding the store and my catering business just taking off, and â¦ I'm sorry,” she said gently.
Mitchie's mood deflated. Deep down she had figured Camp Rock was out of the question, but a girl could hopeâ¦
“I know,” she said, standing to take her empty plate to the sink. “Well, gotta go. Last day of school. Don't want to be late.”
he halls were abuzz with last-day-of-school energy. Students were joking with each other as they joyfully dumped old notebooks, tests, and quizzes into the overflowing garbage cans.
Mitchie opened her locker to find a year's worth of clutterâcrumpled papers, worn-out pencils, leaky pens, and textbooksâjammed in at odd angles.
She sighed and began throwing various items into the trash. A Camp Rock brochure caught her eye. She sighed and tossed it into the trash, too.
She was still cleaning a few minutes later when Sierra, a lanky girl with glasses, walked up and opened the locker next to Mitchie's. Sierra was Mitchie's best friendâher only friend.
“Let me be the first to say xin xia ji!” Sierra exclaimed, acknowledging summer's arrival. “Guess who got an A-plus in AP Mandarin?
Sierra screamed excitedly, but Mitchie didn't feel like joining in the celebration of her friend's achievement just now. She was too distracted by a group of popular girls floating down the hall.
“Ugh,” Sierra groaned. “The Queen Bees are here. If we don't move, they won't sting.” She rolled her eyes, but Mitchie watched the girls enviously.
“Don't you ever wonder what it would be like to be one of them?” Mitchie asked.
Sierra gave her friend a suspicious look. “Are you feeling feverish?” She jokingly put her hand on Mitchie's forehead. “So,” she said, changing the subject, “how'd it go this morning?”
“It didn't,” Mitchie said dejectedly. “Camp Rock is a no-go.”
“But you haveto go! Camp Rock is, like, the music camp. Everybody who wants to be somebody in musicâ” Sierra stopped when she saw the unhappy look on Mitchie's face. “âAll of which you already know. Sorry.”
Mitchie swept the remaining junk from her
locker into the trash and closed the door one last time. “Me, too. I was so excited to go and have a summer that's all about music.”
Sierra closed her own locker and put a hand consolingly on Mitchie's shoulder. Then she asked the only thing she could. “So, what are you going to do this summer?”
nfortunately, Mitchie's dreams of a rock-filled summer were replaced with the harsh reality of waiting tables. Not the glamorous break she had imagined, but it would keep her busy and hopefully earn her some cash.
She was still bummed, however, when she got home the evening after her first shift. The smell of burgers wafted through the house. Following the scent, Mitchie walked into the backyard. Her mother greeted her with a plastic plate holding a large, juicy hamburger.
“Our world-famous Torres burger!” Connie
Mitchie's father, Steve, waved from his spot manning the grill.
“Uh â¦ I'll pass,” Mitchie said, feeling slightly nauseous. She had seen enough hamburgers for one day.
“Okay,” her father said, his eyes twinkling despite the sad expression on his daughter's face. “I can't stand it. Tell her.”
“Tell me what?” Mitchie asked, confused.
Her mother's face broke into a wide smile. “You're going to Camp Rock!” she cried.
Mitchie's mouth fell open as she stared at her parents in disbelief.
“Actually,” corrected her mother, grinning as she sat down at the picnic table, “we're going. Connie's Catering is going camping.”
As the words sank in, Mitchie let out a loud shriek and began jumping up and down.
Connie unfolded her napkin in her lap as her daughter continued to celebrate. “Business is slow in the summer,” she explained. “This is a steady job, and you get to go to camp for a discounted rate. But you have to help out in the kitchen.”
Mitchie didn't care. She would clean the bathroom, too, if they asked. “Thank you,” Mitchie said, wrapping her arms around her mother and then her father. “Thank you, like, a million times!”
“I think she's excited,” her father said, shooting a wink at his wife.
Connie nodded, and Mitchie beamed as she squeezed them tighter. She was going to Camp Rock!
itchie's eyes were wide as she took in the scene passing outside the car window. Her mother steered their van by a huge sign at the camp entrance that read, CAMP ROCK. Once on the grounds, Mitchie saw SUVs and tiny sports cars pulled up in front of the check-in area. Rustic cabins dotted the campgrounds.
Campers and counselors roamed around. They had name tags resembling backstage passes dangling from their necks. From what Mitchie could see, it looked as if the campers had already started to form groups: the goths had found each other, the hip-hoppers, the emos, the angry-chick music girls, the heavy-metal heads, the country crooners, and, of course, the rockers. One group had pulled out sheet music and was singing a cappella. Another was jamming intently on their instruments.
“Excited?” Connie asked.
“A little â¦ okay, a lot,” Mitchie conceded. “Major. Yes, yes! Thanks, Mom!” she gushed. “I'm gonna have so muchâ”
Mitchie's attention was stolen midsentence by a girl stepping out of a white stretch limo. The light caught the girl's long, blonde hair as she gabbed on her rhinestone-encrusted cell phone. Two assistants dutifully unloaded her designer luggage from the trunk of the limo.
Mitchie's mouth dropped. So that's what the Queen Bee of Camp Rock looked like. Before she could get a closer look, Connie drove the van behind the mess hall.
One thing was clearâthis was going to be a very interesting summer.
nd then my mom got me backstage passes to Shane's concert,” Tess, the Queen Bee that Mitchie had just spotted, said rather casually into her cell phone. Ella and Peggy, speaking to Tess on their cell phones, fell into step beside her. The two girls made up Tess's entourage. Wherever she went, they followed.
“Too bad they canceled the concert,” Peggy said, still speaking on the phone even though Tess was less than a foot away.
“Whatev,” Tess answered. “I'm sure he's invited to my mom's big record party next month.”
“Your life? Perfect.” Ella observed with a shade of envy.
Tess's life did seem pretty perfect. She was rock royalty. Her mother, T.J. Tyler, had topped the charts more times than Tess could remember. There was even a special “Grammy room” in their house just for T.J.'s music awards.
“Yeah, but whatev.” Tess sighed into the
phone. Before she could go on, she spied a group of girls singing last year's hit song, backed by three guys beat-boxing. She stopped in her tracks. “Wannabes,” she scoffed as she closed her phone with a sharp snap.
Peggy shut her phone also. “Yeah,” she agreed. Then, “Wait, aren't we?”
Tess glared at her. “No. Because this year, we're going to win Final Jam,” she said confidently.
“That will be so awesome,” Ella gushed, her cell phone still attached to her ear.
Tess and Peggy looked at each other and then at their friend. “Uh, Ella,” Tess said with a smirk, “we're off the phone.”
“Oh, yeah,” Ella replied, still into the phone. “Call me back.”
Tess and Peggy rolled their eyes. Ella wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but she knew how to sing backup vocals.
The cabin Mitchie and her mom would be bunking in was quaint though bare. Sunlight streamed in through the screened windows and onto the twin beds. Mitchie threw her duffel bag on the bed closest to the door and turned toward her mom. “Settled,” she said quickly.
But instead of her mom, a man responded from outside. “That's great,” the voice said.
Curious, Mitchie and Connie watched as an aging rocker with short hair, faded jeans, and a worn T-shirt entered the cabin.
“Brown Cesario,” the man said, extending a hand. “Camp director slash founding member and bass guitar of the Wet Crows. You must be Connie Torres, our new cook.”
“That's me,” Connie said, shaking his hand. “And this is my daughterâ” She turned to introduce Mitchie, but her daughter, and summer kitchen assistant, had slipped out. “âWho is already gone!”
Brown laughed. “She probably just wanted to get out there and get to it. When the music calls, you gotta answer.”
“You should meet her,” Connie said, laughing
at Brown's assessment. “She's got a great voice. Oh, I'm bragging!”
“Gotta brag,” said Brown. “Learned that from the Mickster.”
Connie looked impressed.
“Backed him up for years on the bass guitar! Great times, but not as great as the time I toured with â¦”
Connie nodded politely. She had a feeling she wasn't going to be able to start dinner for a whileânot with Brown in the middle of a story.