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The Greenlee Project

The Greenlee Project

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The Greenlee Project

243 pagine
8 ore
Jan 10, 2014


Greenlee Lynn Granger is about to find out how easily social media can be used as a malicious tool: a normal teen one day and ruined the next. Who knew a boy's affections would turn her life into such a nightmare? Becoming a designated 'project,' a joke in front of the whole school, turns Greenlee's life upside down. Relationships with her family and friends strained, she is forced to make mature decisions. Greenlee knows her choices will determine the future of her abusers. An emotional glimpse into the reality of cyberbullying. The Greenlee Project showcases the all-too-common anonymous and cruel betrayals of others through social media, of such magnitude that it devastates a young teen, her friends, family, and the community. Cyberbullying affects not just the victims, but everyone around them. After being the target of cyberbullying, what Greenlee does next is shocking.
Jan 10, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas, and resides there still. She's the award-winning author of YA, General Fiction, MG, Early Reader Chapter, and Picture books. Amanda is a multiple Gold Recipient of The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA), earning the award in multiple categories including YA, General Fiction, and Early Reader Chapter Books. She is a two-time Gold Medal winner of the Readers' Favorite International Book awards, a New Apple Literary Award winner, and an NTBF award winner. Amanda continues to write, speak, and conducts workshops for all ages. As the Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, in addition to her regular duties, she assists authors with their work and shares her writing and publishing experience with others through school visits, trade conferences, and writing workshops. Amanda was contracted to write a graphic novel for the Driving on the Right Side of the Road Program. The publication is part of the Driving on the Right Side of the Road (DRSR) program, developed by the Law-Related Education Department of the State Bar of Texas Law Focused Education, Inc., and the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center with funding from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Department of Transportation. The purpose of the program is to offer a preventive educational program to encourage responsible decision-making when it comes to obeying traffic laws and to following safe practices. The graphic novel titled “What If ? A Story of Shattered Lives” was adapted into a reader's theater for as few as five speakers or as many as twenty-six and remains part of the DRSR program. CAPTAIN FIN was based on a screenplay. Amanda was contracted to adapt the screenplay into a novel for director, actor, and producer Kevin James O'Neill.

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Anteprima del libro

The Greenlee Project - Amanda M. Thrasher


Chapter 1 – Greenlee

I’d rather be dead than climb those steps! Greenlee thought, staring at the concrete that would lead to her final bout of humiliation. It was a given that life, at least as she knew it, was over! Why had this happened to her? She stared up at the looming dark doors of Aubrey Marcus High School. They were not a very welcoming sight, and despite her best efforts, her feet simply would not move.

Greenlee Lynn Granger by name, designated project by default. A ruined teenager and barely a teenager at that! Fourteen years old, just a normal girl, not one of the beautiful people in high school, but popular enough, if only in her mind. She wasn’t as tall as she’d like, but hopeful that she’d have a growth spurt soon. With the usual multicolored wire-wrapped teeth, dishwater blond hair that she couldn’t do a thing with, and big brown eyes, Greenlee Granger was just another average girl living in suburbia. Well, until now.

She’d managed to dodge Marianne, her best friend, on the north side of the school. Greenlee wasn’t in the mood to talk, not even to her. She sat down on the bottom step of the stairs that led into the school, wrapped her arms around herself, and blinked away the tears that had welled up in her eyes. Wiping her face, she made a split-second decision to leave the school premises. Greenlee gathered up her backpack and the jacket that her mom had insisted she carry, and headed back toward the street. The consequences of this decision never crossed her mind. She left the grounds as quickly as she could. It would merely be a matter of time before the rumors, innuendo, and the never-ending questions were asked, followed by the incessant phone calls. In her heart, Greenlee wasn’t ready to face the world. Not yet.

You have to get it over with, sweetheart. It’s your first time back since all of this happened. It will take a little time, but we talked about this, remember? Greenlee’s mom had said that morning.

When her mom’s so-called words of wisdom ran through her mind, all she thought was how much they sucked! Her pace picked up as she replayed her mom’s unsound advice over again. It wasn’t that simple, Greenlee’d tried to explain. This was terrible! Her mom had offered to drive her to school that morning and to discuss her first day back with the principal, but Greenlee had been horrified at her mother’s suggestion. The image of her mom walking her down the hallway in front of everyone was too much and Greenlee burst into tears again.

Seriously, Greenlee had objected. That’s a terrible idea. I can’t do that. They’ll hate me even more than they already do! She softened her voice and said, Mom, just please don’t make me go back yet. I don’t think I’m quite ready for this. Not yet. But despite her objections, her mom pointed her toward the door.

You have to do this, you have to be strong and stand up for yourself. Do this for yourself. It’s what you wanted. Mrs. Granger had walked over and kissed her daughter on top of her head.

Greenlee, you’ve come so far. We’re so proud of you. You don’t realize it yet, but this, baby, it’s the last step. She’d hugged her and spun her around toward the door. Greenlee, this is it, you’ve got to do this! her mother had declared.

Greenlee’s eyes had been brimming with tears and she could hardly look at her mom. This would be the last and most painful step in this impossible situation that Greenlee would ever take. Her mom’s heart had sunk as the tears had streamed down her daughter’s face.

I really, really think I should go with you, her mother had said, but she knew as soon as the words had left her mouth that Greenlee would object, and she had been right. Greenlee had shaken her head and left for school.

Why her mom didn’t allow her to stay home one more day and wallow in self-pity, she didn’t really know. Curling up into a ball and shutting out the world was the only thing that appealed to her. Bed—she wanted to go back to bed, and pretend that none of this had ever happened. Greenlee knew that this was impossible. She’d come too far for that. She would have to face them, all of them, and then it would be done.

Students were rushing by her, gesturing and whispering as they headed into school. Greenlee pretended that she didn’t hear them, remaining silent. The snickers, stares, and fingerpointing were brutal. She scurried like a mouse, moving as fast as she could through the maze of students. I’m pathetic, she thought. I’ve become absolutely pathetic! Realizing that she had nowhere to go, she continued to place one foot in front of the other, with no particular destination in mind. Digging her hands deep into her jean pockets, she felt a crisp dollar bill that she’d forgotten about. Greenlee bent down and rummaged through her backpack. In a tiny zipped-up pocket, she found a crumpled and worn five-dollar bill. She managed to scrape up a few coins as well, with a combined total of just over seven dollars for bus fare. Pulling her pink hoodie up to cover her face, she walked down the street. Her phone rang a familiar tune and made her jump. It was Marianne. Greenlee didn’t answer it. She didn’t want to talk to her friend, certainly not at this moment. Then the familiar beep indicated that a voice-mail message was waiting. Surprising even herself, Greenlee deleted the message without listening to it. Tears welled up in her eyes again. She wiped them away with her sleeve, took a deep breath, and continued down the street.

Chapter 2 – Marianne

Marianne hit redial for the third time and it went straight to voice-mail. It was clear that Greenlee didn’t want to talk. Marianne left one last message, stressing that she was worried about her friend. She set her cell phone to vibrate and slid it into her pocket instead of her backpack. School rules aside, Marianne had made up her mind that she would answer her phone if Greenlee called. Marianne hated her English class and despised it even more now that Greenlee wasn’t there. Why hadn’t Greenlee answered her phone? Where was she? Marianne knew she couldn’t call Greenlee’s house. That would send up red flags that Greenlee wasn’t at school. She’d just have to wait it out. Anxiously Marianne brushed her fingers over her phone; still nothing.

Hey, where’s Greenlee?

Marianne turned around in her chair and glanced over her shoulder toward Eric. She thought that Eric was cute, not great looking, but cute. Her cheeks flushed as she struggled to think of something believable to say. He was staring at her, but the look on his face wasn’t sincere. He didn’t care about Greenlee or where she was. He was just being nosy. Marianne didn’t know where Greenlee was, and that was the truth. She said the first thing that popped in her head.

She’s sick.

Yeah, right! Whatever! he said snidely. Marianne couldn’t help but notice that he immediately turned toward a group of boys sitting in the corner, all of whom were waiting for an answer from him. He nodded smugly in their direction and chortled. All the boys began to laugh as well.

You’re such a moron, Marianne said in defense of her best friend, who wasn’t present to stand up for herself. Grow up already. She raised her hand to give them the finger but stopped midway when she realized that all eyes were on her. The English teacher rose up in full view, which forced her to lower her hand. She glared at Eric, eyes like daggers, warning him to back off. He scowled back at her, laughed, and turned away. The boys cut up, shoving each other as they checked their phones for new messages.

Marianne’s mind flashed back to what had happened to Greenlee, and she felt sick. Her immediate thoughts were with Greenlee. Once again she slipped her hand into her pocket to check her phone; still nothing. No missed calls, no voice-mail, no text. What was Greenlee thinking?

Marianne texted: RU OK?

She didn’t expect Greenlee to respond, but stared at her phone just in case she did. She slid the phone back into her pocket and tried to focus on what the teacher was discussing. She wondered if something else had happened to Greenlee that she didn’t know about. She hoped not. Marianne forced that thought out of her head, and wrote fake notes in her notebook so she wouldn’t draw attention to herself. She was worried and couldn’t focus, but didn’t know what else to do. For a split second she wondered again if she should call Greenlee’s house. No! She pushed that thought right out of her head. That was the last thing that Greenlee needed. Time, she just needed some time. With any luck, things would seem different by tomorrow morning, or at least Marianne hoped so.

The bell finally rang, but not soon enough for Marianne. She rushed out the door and down the hallway, eager to get to her locker. Marianne pulled out her phone and texted Greenlee one more time.

Marianne texted: Girl, you’re freaking me out. Call or text.

She hit send and stared at the phone. Marianne was starting to feel a tinge of anger surge through her body over this whole thing.

As she headed to science class, she navigated a path through the open-mouthed and staring students who surrounded her. Marianne wanted to avoid as many people as possible. Most kids had enough tact to say nothing, with the exception of Brittany, Laurel, and Kelsey.

Is Greenlee around? Laurel asked. "I need help with a project."

The three girls laughed.

Good one, Brittany replied, adding, "maybe she could help me too, with my new project."

Marianne didn’t respond. If she did, ugly wouldn’t begin to define how she’d react to the cruel words of the girls standing before her.

"Hey, tell Greenlee we’re really sorry the project wasn’t completed in a timely manner. If it had been, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. I mean, it wouldn’t have gotten this bad, you know what I mean?" Brittany said, glancing at Laurel and Kelsey, seeking approval of her last snide comment. The girls covered their mouths, rolled their eyes, and walked away laughing and making fun of a girl who wasn’t even present to defend herself.

Brittany, you’re pathetic. You absolutely suck! Oh, did I say that? Why yes, I think I did, Marianne yelled down the hallway at her, but none of the girls turned around.

Chapter 3 – There’s Nothing Wrong

Greenlee sat down on the concrete bench at the bus stop. She had no idea where the next bus was going, but she knew she was getting on it. Holding her backpack on her lap, she laid her head on top of it. When the bus came around the corner, she realized that her options were limited. She could either go back to school and face her peers, although not likely, or get on the bus and go wherever it took her. Greenlee didn’t want to see her mother or have her escort her back to school, which she knew she would do.

The bus seemed like the only logical option left. She had no idea where she was going and the bus would simply end up taking her somewhere, anywhere else but here. As the bus slowed to a stop, the exhaust fumes engulfed her. She blinked and shook her head from side to side, coughing and covering her mouth with her sleeve. She hadn’t noticed that there were other people waiting to board the bus, and she suddenly felt panicked and hoped that no one would recognize her.

Greenlee pulled her five-dollar bill out of her pocket and handed it to the bus driver as she climbed aboard. The bus driver stared at her as if she had forgotten something or hadn’t handed her enough money.

Where are you going, dear? a lady asked from behind her. The driver needs to know if you want a one-way ticket or a day pass. And the machine doesn’t make change. The lady half smiled and nodded toward the bus driver, prompting Greenlee to speak to her and tell her what she needed.

Greenlee forced a smile as she looked at the bus driver. She had no idea what to tell her. She didn’t know where she was going or where she wanted to get off. She usually walked everywhere she went or her parents would drive her. She wasn’t familiar with the bus system and she began to panic, turning bright red, as it occurred to her that she was holding up the line for everyone else.

One way, please, she said hoping no one realized that she had no idea where she was headed.

That’s too much money. Do you have any coins? the bus driver asked, tapping a screen in front of her with one hand and glossing her lips with the other. Greenlee showed her the coins and the driver said, Put in a dollar fifty. Greenlee did. Do you want a transfer? She nodded as if she knew exactly what that was, although she didn’t. As the driver handed Greenlee the transfer ticket, the older lady who stood behind her asked her a question that took her by surprise and she wasn’t prepared to answer. Are you okay, dear?

Greenlee wasn’t okay. She was anything but okay. Her heart sank as she forced a smile and pretended that all was well.

I’m fine, she said. Thank you for asking.

She had lied to a stranger to protect herself from the truth. Everything was wrong. Her life was over; she was sure of it, but how could she possibly go back now? She thought it had been handled, that it was finished, but was it, really?

The middle of the bus seemed like the perfect spot to appear less conspicuous to random strangers. Greenlee sat next to the window and placed her backpack beside her. A rumbling stomach reminded her that she hadn’t eaten yet. Glancing at her phone, she saw it was already nine-forty; no wonder she was starving. She had been up since five-thirty. Each time the bus stopped, she observed the people getting off and on, making a mental note of the particular stops they had made. Useless information she would never need, but it kept her mind busy. She kept reverting to the events that had taken place hours before. Abject public humiliation had been too much for her. Blinking away the tears that filled her eyes, refusing to let them fall, Greenlee watched the kind lady who had helped her as the lady stepped off the bus and walked away.

The bus pulled slowly away from the stop, and Greenlee closed her eyes. Her mind drifted backward. Laughter. She heard the laughter of the others ringing through her head, and saw the fingerpointing of her peers flash through her mind. She opened her eyes and stared out the bus window. Her cheeks were burning, flushed with embarrassment. How could she have been so stupid? How was it that she hadn’t known? She lay down in the seat and sobbed, and before she knew it, drifted off to sleep. It would have been better if she’d stayed awake. In her dream, she went back to the beginning of her nightmare.

Chapter 4 – Star Gazing

OMG, look at that! Marianne squealed, shoving Greenlee playfully into Audrey. Is he cute or what?

Greenlee and the others stared at the object of Marianne’s claims, and yep, sure enough, the new kid was even better than that. He was hot! Laurel and her crew would be all over him in a matter of time, that was for sure, and everyone standing around Greenlee knew it.

How come guys like that never look at girls like us? Marianne asked no one in particular, never once taking her eyes off him.

Speak for yourself, Audrey replied. I’m a goddess, a true boy magnet, and I’m sticking with it. I’m sure it’s working because he just checked me out! Audrey giggled and the other girls laughed as they continued to watch the new guy make his way down the hall.

He’s beautiful, Greenlee stated. All the girls stare at him like they’re watching a movie star, a model, or something. Sounds stupid, but look at them checking him out. I’m doing it and I feel like an idiot because I can’t seem to help myself. Speak of the devil and look who’s moving in!

The girls knew exactly what she meant and continued to watch him talk with the other guys at the lockers. Laurel and her crew slithered closer to the boys.

He’s got to be an athlete. Of course that won’t hurt his popularity, Caroline added.

Tall and dark with broad shoulders, he was impressive. The girls thought that he had brown eyes, but they couldn’t be sure. Not from this distance.

Greenlee tried to stare without being obvious, to stare without staring; it wasn’t easy. For a split second, Clay looked in her direction, and she almost died. Horrified, she squatted down and acted as if she’d dropped her pen. When she stood up, they were standing right in front of him: Laurel, Brittany, and Kelsey. Most of the kids in school called them the BP, short for the Beautiful People. The BP were laughing and flirting with him. Greenlee and her friends overheard them offering to escort Clay to class. Whatever, Greenlee thought.

We wouldn’t want you to be marked tardy on your first day ’cause you couldn’t find your class, Laurel announced loudly.

OMG, that is so stupid, said Marianne.

"He was already popular, but now that

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