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On Tour: The Backup Singer


Shanice Stevenson was your pretty average tomboy skater-chick punk.   Like her plastic orange flip-flops and tossled braided hair, she prided herself on just being a little bit different than everyone else around her.   Sure, her mama was black and her daddy about as white as they came, but she never really considered that part of what separated her from her peers.
Until her cousins moved in for the summer...

Read an excerpt!



"Are you even black?"

Shanice Stevenson dragged her heel on the sidewalk, bringing her inline skates to a halt. With a flick of her ankles, she spun herself around to face the girl that had spoken to her with such malice.

The two teenaged boys accompanying her also skid to a stop and turned towards the unfamiliar voice.

Elijah Greer, the taller of the two boys, skated over and took his friend by the arm. "Come on, Nice," he said, gingerly, trying to diffuse the situation. "We aren't looking for any trouble. Lets skate."

The newcomer stood in the middle of the sidewalk, hands perched on her hips. Her eyes were fixated on Shanice, almost challenging her to give an answer. The girl appeared to be in her mid-teens like the trio before her, but she wasn't a familiar face in their tight-knit neighborhood.

Chill, nice, chill. Dont be stupid and dont give her the satisfaction. Just get away from her.

Yeah, easier said than done.

The other boy, Parker Blevins, looked uneasily from one girl to the other. Shanice knew the look in his eyes-he wasnt really afraid of what she might do, but he was just being over-protective as usual. Their friendship went a long way back, and he had a way of always looking out for her.

"Nah, lijah," she replied, "I'm good."

The girl shifted her weight from one hip to the other in an exaggerated show of impatience. Her tight, spiraled curls bounced with her, lightly brushing in front of her eyes. Lifting a perfectly manicured hand to swipe the hair from her face, she sneered at Shanice. The white and Carolina blue colors in her Sean John shirt and matching basketball pants highlighted her almond-shaped eyes and dark skin perfectly.

Shanice shuffled her feet a bit in her well-worn black inline skates. Stuffing her hands in the pockets of the army-green pants that hung loosely from her own thin waist, she returned the smug smile. Shanice Stevenson was not one to usually back down from a challenge.

"Come on, Shanice," Parker pleaded. "Lets just roll. This isn't worth the trouble."

Suddenly, Shanice rolled her eyes and released a "psh" from her lips, flipping her palm towards the girl. Turning her back to her, she stated to the boys, "Let's go. Youre right, Parker. It's not worth it. Thats only my cousin Tawny."

~On Tour:The Backup Singer, Barbour and Co.

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Copyright 2003 Barb Huff and Barbour and Co. All Rights Reserved
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Copyright 2005 Barb Huff
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