This Is Me From Now On (Mix Series)

This Is Me From Now On (Mix Series)

by Barbara Dee


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Sometimes your life just needs a little jolt.

This is what Evie's new friend Francesca tells her, and soon enough, Evie's life has had something more like an earthquake. Francesca thinks life is dull unless you go after everything you want and say everything on your mind all the time—and sometimes that includes giving other people a little behind the scenes help to give them what she thinks they want.

Evie can't always tell if she's horrified or fascinated by everything Francesca convinces her to do, but ultimately, she comes to see friendship—and life—in a whole new light.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416994145
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Series: Mix Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,180,085
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 13 Years

About the Author

Barbara Dee is the author of several middle grade novels including Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have received several starred reviews and been included on many best-of lists, including the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, the Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, and the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Star-Crossed was also a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist. Barbara is one of the founders of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. She lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound dog named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.

Read an Excerpt

This Is Me From Now On

By Barbara Dee


Copyright © 2010 Barbara Dee
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416994145

I squinted at Francesca. Even outside in the glaring sunshine she looked fantastic: her skin was a golden tan, and her hair was the color of Kraft Caramels. ?So where do you want to go?? I asked, my teeth skidding on the last little slivers of ice cubes

?Oh, you decide,? Francesca said happily. ?You?re the expert.?

?I am??

?Well, you live here, don?t you? Where do you go when you want to have fun??

?I don?t know. The mall, probably. When someone?s mom can drive us.?

She made a face. ?Where else??

?The park. The movies. The stores on Elm.?

?Blah. Boring.?

?The ice cream place??

?Ooh, ice cream,? she said, clapping her hands. ?What a genius idea. Is it far??

?Sort of. Half a mile, maybe.?

?Oh, that?s nothing. I love to walk.?

I looked at her feet. ?Even in those shoes? They don?t look very comfortable.?

?Oh, they?re not. They?re bloody torture, actually. But they?re so epically gorgeous, don?t you think?? She took off her left shoe. I could see the side of her foot near her big toe looked pink and peely. She rubbed it, then put the shoe right back on and beamed at me. ?Besides, if Mother Darling saw me wearing them, she?d go berserk. So who cares about stupid blisters.?

I didn?t know what to say to that; it never occurred to me to want my mom to go berserk. The truth is, Mom went berserk all the time, over things like unwashed dishes and unmade beds, and I didn?t exactly find it entertaining. And why did Francesca just call her own mom ?Mother Darling?? She talked really, really strangely, like everything she said was in quotation marks or something

We walked long blocks without saying very much. The air was so hot, it was almost chewy, and I could feel the sweat trickling down my armpits, even though this morning I?d snuck some of Grace?s powder-fresh deodorant. Francesca was definitely limping by now. Once or twice I saw her stop and rub her foot, but she never complained or took her shoe off again. Finally she pointed across the street. ?Is that the ice cream place, Evie? It looks like heaven.?

?I wouldn?t go that far,? I said. ?But I really like their chocolate chip.?

She wiped her forehead. ?Yum, chocolate chip. My absolute favorite.?

We crossed the street and went inside. Oh, I should tell you that I Scream for Ice Cream (I know, I know: dumb name) was owned by Zane?s dad, and Zane helped out there sometimes. Today was one of those days, probably because the place was packed with sticky first graders off the camp bus and moms sick of dieting all summer to fit into bathing suits and middle schoolers in denial about the end of vacation.

We got in line. As soon as we did, the door opened again, and two girls I knew from school walked in: Kayla and Gaby. Definitely cooler-than-me types, but I?d say lower-medium-nice

?Hey, Evie,? said Kayla, finger-combing her fakely highlighted long brown hair. ?What Team are you on? Hard or Easy??

?I don?t know. I haven?t read my letter yet.? This was true; I?d gotten my Seventh-Grade Team Assignment Letter last week, but I?d just stuffed it into my desk drawer.

Kayla smiled like she didn?t believe me. ?We?re both on Hard. What about Nisha and Lily??

?Hard,? I said. ?Like always.?

?Poor them,? Gaby commented. ?Hard has Espee.?

I nodded. Oh yes, I knew all about the Espee business. When my sister, Grace, took seventh-grade U.S. History, all she did?I mean literally, ALL SHE DID?was research and write bibliographies, sometimes until two in the morning. Her social life basically ended that year; the only thing she cared about was satisfying this insatiable monster she referred to as SP. I was, like, seven years old then, so I thought ?SP? stood for something too horrible to call a teacher out loud, like Scary Person or Sour Pickle. Finally I asked Grace what SP meant, and she said, ?Stephanie Pierce. She signs everything SP, so that?s what we call her.? ?To her face?? I?d asked. ?Of course not,? Grace had said, hooting at my stupidity. ?She?d vaporize you.?

Francesca, who I could have introduced at that point, was standing on her tippy-toes, even though she was nearly six feet tall with those all-of-the-above shoes. ?What does that sign say?? she asked too loudly. ?Mochaccino Supremo? What?s that?? And then she turned around and grinned at me. ?Deeply gorgeous boy. Behind the counter.?

In back of me, Gaby started giggling. I?ve always hated the way she sounded when she laughed, kind of like a car alarm

?That?s Zane,? Kayla announced. ?He?s in eighth grade.?

?Zane,? Francesca repeated still-too-loudly. ?What an odd name.? Then she stared at me with her huge, smoky green eyes. ?You?re in love with him, Evie, aren?t you??


?I?m psychic about these things. I should have warned you.?

?Yes? Next in line?? Zane called out

?Oops, my turn!? Francesca walked right up to Zane, gave him a dazzling smile, and asked, ?So, Zane, what do you recommend??

I could have died. What did he recommend? Gah. Didn?t she even know how to order ice cream like a normal human being? I could hear Gaby and Kayla laughing, maybe about Francesca, maybe about me. And then I saw Zane hand Francesca a tiny plastic spoon and one of those little paper cups they used for free samples

Francesca took a spoonful of whatever-it-was. ?Ooh, lovely,? she said. She pointed to some other kind of ice cream in the case. ?What?s that??

?Triple Fudge Marshmallow Chunk. Try it,? said Zane, handing her another paper cup

?Yumyumyum,? said Francesca when she?d taken a bite. ?What?s that??

He read the label upside down. ?Um, Golden Brownie with Caramel Fudge Ripple.?

Francesca clutched her chest like she was having a heart attack

So Zane handed her another free sample

?Bliss,? Francesca said. ?I?ve never tasted anything so epically delish!?

?Aaaa, come on, dude, we?re waiting here,? snarled some high-school-looking boy three customers behind me.

?Be right with you,? Zane answered. But he just kept handing Francesca free sample after free sample. And Francesca just kept pointing at the ice cream freezer and saying ?lovely? and ?yummy? and ?Ooh, what?s that?? Finally a grouchy mom with one of those sticky camp kids called out, ?Excuse me, but is this line ever moving?? And then the sticky camp kid yelled at her, ?Mommy, you said I could have ice cream NOW!?

I felt a jabbing poke on my shoulder

?Hey, Evie, aren?t you with that girl?? Kayla was asking


She tilted her highlights toward Francesca. ?Her. The one eating up half the freezer.?

?Her name is Francesca,? I said. I was about to add, ?I don?t even know her,? but I stopped myself. After all, they?d heard her call me Evie; they?d almost definitely also heard about her psychic powers.

Suddenly, Sticky Camp Kid started screaming his head off, and Grouchy Mom was telling him, ?You?ll get your ice cream in TWO MORE MINUTES, buddy,? like it was a threat aimed right at Zane, and I thought: Okay. If I don?t do something NOW, Francesca Pattison is going to start a riot in here. Everyone in this line is going to leap into that freezer and start scooping ice cream with their bare hands And maybe throwing it at her like snowballs. And even though walking over to Francesca was like posting on YouTube that we had some kind of official connection, at this point I really didn?t think I had too much of a choice

So I went over to her. She was pointing at a melty-looking tub of Rainbow Cotton Candy. ?Ooh, that looks interesting,? she was commenting to Zane. Then she noticed me. ?Have you ever tried that flavor, Evie??

?Not really. But I bet it?s great.? I added under my breath, ?Just order something, Francesca. Okay??

?Are you all right?? she asked me, scrunching up her forehead like she was worried about my health

?Yes! Just please, please hurry up.?

?Oh, sure.? She put her tiny paper cup and her plastic spoon on the counter, smiled at Zane, and said, ?It?s all spectacular, Zane. But I?m afraid I?m absolutely stuffed. I?ll have to come back for a cone some other time.?

He blinked his gold-hazel eyes. ?You mean you?re not buying anything??

?Oh, no thank you. But Evie will, I think.?

We watched her clomp to the door.

?I?ll have a chocolate chip cone,? I said quickly. ?Single scoop, please.?

When Zane handed it to me, our knuckles sort of banged into each other, and it shocked me just how freezing his hand was. I mean, he was scooping ice cream all day; of course his hand would be icy cold. But it made me feel weird, like I wanted to run home and knit him some gloves. And the crazy thing is, I don?t even knit.

So instead I reached into my pocket and gave him every bit of money I had?four dollars and fifty-three cents.

?That?s for Francesca too,? I said. Then brilliantly I added, ?Uh, sorry, Zane.?

?No problem,? he muttered. I watched him stuff the money in the register without even counting it. Then he did this cool little head-jerk to toss his long, wavy bangs out of his face. ?Next??

?Bye, Evie, see you at school!? Gaby called out

?What school?? I answered. I grabbed a fistful of napkins and walked out into the scorching heat

Francesca was standing right in front of the door, shading her eyes. ?What kind did you get? Chocolate chip? I adore that flavor. It?s my absolute favorite!?

?You said that before.? Already it was starting to drip down the sides of my cone, so I licked it fast. ?Then why didn?t you get any??

?Because . . . well, chocolate chip is always exactly the same.? She did that heart-clutching thing again. ?And there were so many other flavors. And they all looked so scrumptious. Evie, don?t you ever get utterly bored??

?No.? I wrapped a napkin around the soggy cone. ?The thing is, Francesca, I?m pretty sure Zane thought you?d pick a flavor. Eventually. And then pay him for it.?

She looked shocked. ?Oh, I would have. But of course I couldn?t.?

?Why not??

?Because I don?t have any money.? She pulled out her shorts pockets. They were totally empty. ?See?? she said, smiling sweetly.

Okay. Okay. I had no idea what I was supposed to say to that. Because what did she think she was doing just now? Ice cream research? And why hadn?t she just told me that on the way over? I?d have loaned her some money; I?d pretty much paid for her anyway. I mean, I didn?t even know what to think about a person who could act the way she just had.

And in front of so many people. Including people I knew. People I?d be going to school with in just a few more days

Gah. It was just too horrible. And embarrassing. And weird. So for the entire walk home I tried really, really hard to tune her out. She was going on and on about some gelato place she went to once in Rome or something, but I just made myself think about Zane, and whether or not he blamed me, and also how much longer I could go without opening my Team Letter. And I concentrated extremely hard on my lopsided ice cream cone, trying to catch the drips before they splattered on the sidewalk

? 2010 Barbara Dee


Excerpted from This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee Copyright © 2010 by Barbara Dee. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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This Is Me From Now On 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In This is Me From Now On Barbara Dee has created a marvelous new novel for tweens. This laugh-out-loud funny novel will hold the reader's attention from first page to last, thanks to a great plot. The characters are terrific too. There's nothing not to like about this engaging new novel from Ms. Dee. Give it a chance -- I'm certain you'll be glad you did!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Barbara Dee. She always writes a very good story. This time the story centers on Evie, a seventh grader. She is a part of a trio of friends and has gotten into a rut. In walks Francesca. She is a little strange. She has moved in with her aunt, who lives next-door to Evie. The adults throw Francesca and Evie together, and even though she is odd, Evie feels sorry for her and the two start to have adventures. Her two other friends feel threatened and stop talking to Evie. Through many mishaps and misunderstandings, Evie learns a lot more about what it is to be a friend. I love Barbara Dee's writing. The characterizations are amazing. Francesca is well-written and she is very interesting. She has a backstory which is sad and makes you understand why she is doing the things she does. Evie's two other friends are silly but very realistic. I teach fifth grade and the fights girls have are very real but most of the time very silly. I loved THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON, and thanks to Barbara Dee for another great book!
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Evie's new neighbor Francesca is a free spirit who wears wild clothes, always seems to be upbeat, and has her own ideas about the importance of homework. First thrown together by Evie's mom and Francesca's aunt, the two of them soon bond over a school project and a little matchmaking. But Evie's long time friends feel she's abandoned them; they don't trust Francesca and they want Evie back just like she was. This is Me from Now On by Barbara Dee is a snapshot of Evie's life at the start of seventh grade. She's no longer happy with the status quo, and in fact, one of her teacher's says it appears she needs to break out of the rut she was in the year before. But Evie finds that making changes can be confusing. How much of her own free spirit can she tap into without going further than she's comfortable with? How can she let her best friends know she wants to be on more equal footing with them without seeming as though she's rejecting them outright? How can she get the attention of a boy she likes and go out with him when her parents don't think she's ready to date? This is Me from Now On takes on a this confusing pre-teen time of life and turns into a witty, charming story focuses on the possibilities of reinventing yourself. Evie learns how to keep what she's always liked about herself while learning to take a few more chances and open up to new experiences. In the process she learns a lot about herself and a lot about her friends. Check out Dee's discussion questions on her website for ideas about what to talk about when you read this book. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 9 to 13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven,t read it yet? How many pages? Just asking
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You spelled supercalifrigilistexpialidocious wronge
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this!!!!!! It is one of those books where you just transform into another world!!!!! The world of evie, fraancesca, and everyone. Although zane is such a jerk annd espee is kind of a freak!!!! I love it anyway! My favorite book evr!!! :):):)
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Evie doesn't know what to think of the slightly crazy girl who moved next door. Francesca doesn't live by rules and she has ideas on how to live large and spontaneously. Evie keeps trying to reign in her new friend, who keeps trying to liven up Evie's life. Evie's two best friends aren't happy with the idea of Evie and Francesca walking to school together instead of doing the traditional first day of school routine. They are even unhappier when Evie and Francesca pair up for a school project. Soon after, Evie, Nisha, and Lily stop talking. They fight over Evie's time spent with Francesca and secrets shared. Evie's tired of them giving advice about her life. She doesn't know what to do about her crush on Zane. She can't help the partnership with Francesca, which includes spending time together. She can't help she and Francesca are caught up in the this ultra-secret plan involving two of their teachers. Evie certainly can't help straighten out this fight if her two friends only want to talk at a certain time, when she can't talk. Evie's not sure what to do, but she knows that something must change and get her out of her rut. My Thoughts: A cute tween novel about friendships, jealousy, life rules and balance. I liked loved the spirit of Francesca - her crazy outfits and the way she turned her nose up at rules. I liked how she wasn't driven by school work or friendships, but by her own ideas. Parts of this book were sad and touching, while other parts were laugh out loud funny and sweet.
Cajunbooklady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this one was an excellent middle grade novel. (also know as tween fiction) It really caught the dramatics of 7Th grade girls and I think Barbara did an excellent job of catching the pre-teen feeling of "OMG! My world is falling apart!" As adults we sometimes think that these problems aren't important but we tend to forget what it was like at that age.The cast of characters was excellent, as the author managed to show of so many types of personalities within this group of kids. The personal struggle that the main character, Evie, faces as she is trying to find her place in the world are very true to life.I think tweens and teens will enjoy this one because they'll be able to relate; probably pick out friends in real life who are like the characters in this book also. As an adult, I saw so many issues of growing up included in this book. Self-esteem, being yourself while trying to fit in, and accepting the consequences of the choices you make are just a few of the things that Barbara blends seamlessly into the story.Overall...Excellent! I hope you'll pick this up for your tween or one in your life.
GRgenius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book, definitely a perfect addition to a weekend reading list. Francesa and Evie are two girls thrown together by circumstance, but friends despite the common opinion. The way everday situations turn into outlandish adventures when they are together certainly proves that you can't always judge a book by the cover. The message within this seemingly frothie tale, is true to its core. We write our own what will yours say!
Ladybug83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sort of synopsis of This is me from now onEvie and her two best friends, Nisha and Lily, are happy with their lives and friendship until the day Evie gets a new neighbor, Francesca. Francesca is different, she is not like the other girls Evie knows, she both dresses and acts differently. When Evie is forced to work with Francesca on a school project it's a life changing experience.The girls suddenly has this brilliant idea, they're doing a project on the side, matchmaking for their teacher. It is so obvious who the lady is in love with, the woman just needs a few pushes in the right direction. Everyone needs a bit of happiness and needs to feel loved, right? What harm can they possibly do?Nisha and Lily doesn't like that Evie spends so much time with the new girl and the three of them have a fall out. On top of every thing that's going on in Evie's life her big crush asks her out on a date.My thoughts:This is me from now on is a sweet and funny story and I bet tween girls would love it. The book reminded me of the time when I was the same age as the main character, Evie. I loved reading the book and remembering things from the time when I was younger, it was great fun.I think most girls can relate to some of the issues Barbara Dee writes about, such as dealing with jealousy when you feel like your best friend is drifting away and bonds with another girl. You get scared, hurt and insecure which in some cases will result in anger(even when you're not really angry).Evie is a sensible girl, perhaps a bit to sensible? When she meets Francesca it's like she got a vitamin shot. It changes Evie view on what she wants and she learns to be more true to herself as a person. Sometimes we need to take some chances and get our butt out of our comfort zone.Francesca lives with her aunt and the family quarrels about where she's best of staying. Her parents have almost abandoned her, the just visit when they feel like it. It just broke my heart, no wonder she is so obsessed with making everyone she likes happy.The one thing I would have liked to be explored a bit further in the novel was Francesca and her life. Perhaps there is room for a sequel?This is me from now on is recommended for tween girls or adult girls like me who likes to remember those days ;) It is a light read that I bet young girls would devour on a warm summer day.The cover:Gives me all the right associations, summer, friends and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, well, you might have read the sample, and the sample might have been boring, but that doesn't mean that the whole BOOK is boring! In fact, I take recomendations from my friends, and I end up buying the books (mostly)! Once I took a recomendation from my Mom, and, well, lets just say that adults aren't very good at reccomending books for children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five stars. Vvyvybuffghjmr
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I have the book at my house and I dont need to buy it so ,YAY!