Read this book at your own risk. My big sister, Maxine Colleen Maloney, said that if this pack of lies ever got published, she'd get my birthday officially canceled. And make me regret that I was ever born.
Excerpted from My Big Sister Is So Bossy She Says You Can't Read This Book by Mary Hershey Copyright © 2005 by Mary Hershey. Excerpted by permission of Yearling, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
So I guess I'm going to be ten for a long time. And if you get caught reading this, she just might come after you. Maxey says she has everyone's address. (And she means everyone.) But this isn't any pack of lies. Lies are what caused this whole mess, and I swore when it was all over, I'd never lie again. Not even to be polite. Not even under torture.
It looked like a regular Friday morning at my house where I live in Tyler Wash, Texas. Which is famous for hail the size of snow cones and the winningest girls' basketball team. But it wasn't just any old day. It was the day that my fourth-grade class was picking our Discovery Project partners for St. Dominic's annual Science Olympics. It was a decision that could make or break your whole year.
"Stop staring at me, you little freak!" Maxey yelled in our bedroom, wrapping her arms around her bony white shoulders.
"I wasn't staring," I lied. She'd been bragging to her best friend, Philomena Finch, that her breasts had doubled in size in just a week. Naturally, I was curious. Far as I could tell, all she was growing was a big fat story about them.
Maxey glared daggers and pulled on an old undershirt. Ever since she turned twelve, she'd been very sensitive about me looking at her. Like all of a sudden her body is rated R, and I'm too young to see it.
Mom came to the door armed with her blow-dryer, curling iron, and the Look. It's the look she wears at the high school where she's coach. When she eyeballs you like that, it means you're about to get benched. Her players weren't the regional champions by accident. She worked them hard, but it paid off.
"Listen up, you two! If I hear any--more--yelling from this room today, you'll both be cleaning the garage tonight--do you hear me? Maxey, you got that? Effie?"
"Yes, ma'am," we said with two big sighs, and got busy making our beds. There was never any use arguing with Mom first thing in the morning. She woke up as Coach Maloney and didn't tolerate any funny business. She would usually turn back into a sorta nice mother after work. If she wasn't too tired from yelling and blowing her whistle all day.
I gave my comforter a final tug and set my pillow over the torn spot so Mom wouldn't see. It was just a worn-out tear, not an accident tear. Maxey had one, too, and I told her we weren't to tell Mom about it because we couldn't afford new comforters, so don't even ask. If we could get new ones, we would definitely not get any with bunnies on them like the ones we had now.
Our whole room was pretty much Bunnyville USA. Mom decorated it back when we were little girls and we had a dad living with us and we had money. There were bunnies hopping all over our beds, even the pillows--and bunny wallpaper, bunnies riding bicycles across our closet doors, bunny throw rugs, and a very scary bunny night-light that made big giant ears and whiskers on our ceiling in the dark. Maxey used to tell me that shadow was really the devil.
I sat down and tried to comb the curly knots out of my hair before Mom got her hands on it. She was about ready to cut it all off, but I promised her I'd take good care of it. I inherited a head full of wild red hair from my mom, and Maxey got stick-straight white hair with matching white eyebrows. We don't know where she got it. (For the record, Maxey is very pretty, but you didn't hear that from me.)
My sister went over to her secret stash in the closet that she didn't think I knew about. I stood up and walked over to the mirror across the room so I could spy on her better. This is a great trick I have that Maxey hasn't ever figured out. (I have a secret stash, too, but nobody in the universe knows about it.) She pulled out some makeup, which she's not allowed to wear until ninth grade, and stuffed it into her pocket. I added this to my mental list called "Things Mom Doesn't Know (Yet!) about Maxey." So far I had seven things on my list. And number three involved a boy and some serious kissy face. When I got up to ten things, I was going to sell the list to Maxey.