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Crystal
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Crystal
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Sixteen-year-old Crystal knows she's blessed. She is drop-dead gorgeous and in the beginning stages of a glamorous career as a model in New York City. At first, modeling is exciting. But soon, her life...
Sixteen-year-old Crystal knows she's blessed. She is drop-dead gorgeous and in the beginning stages of a glamorous career as a model in New York City. At first, modeling is exciting. But soon, her life...
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Description-

  • Sixteen-year-old Crystal knows she's blessed. She is drop-dead gorgeous and in the beginning stages of a glamorous career as a model in New York City. At first, modeling is exciting. But soon, her life becomes less and less about her, and more and more about her body. Crystal wonders if her new life is worth giving up everything -- her friends, her beliefs, and her self-respect.

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One

    Jee-sus called my na-ame

    Early in the morning

    Crystal Brown rocked with the beat as she stood in the front row of the gospel choir. Her best friend, Pat, was leading what had to be the last song of the morning. Victory Tabernacle's air-conditioning, which had never worked that well, was down again, and droplets of sweat ran down Crystal's body under the gray-and-gold robes.

    I heard him call my na-ame

    Early in the morning

    Crystal watched as Sister Mason lifted a large brown hand to chase a fly buzzing around her newly straightened hair, the tambourine in her other hand never missing a beat as it slapped against her thigh.

    Jee-sus called my na-ame

    Early in the morning

    Reverend Curry was already on his feet and making his way to the pulpit as the congregation ended the song in joyful unison.

    And I-I will fol-ol-low Him

    'Praise His holy name.' Reverend Curry's deep voice filled the church.

    There was a chorus of amens as the congregation responded.

    'Before we leave this morning' -- Reverend Curry patted the perspiration from his forehead -- 'let us thank the Lord one more time for the blessings He has bestowed on us. Let us bow our heads in prayer one more time, even though we know that we cannot thank Him enough...'

    More amens followed and Sister Jenkins raised her hands to the heavens, the nearly white palms contrasting sharply with the rich darkness of her face.

    'Lord, walk with us today wherever we may go...' Reverend Curry's eyes were closed. 'Keep our feet from straying and our minds on higher ground...'

    Crystal glanced at the big clock in the back of the church. It was twelve-thirty, she would have a good hour to get to the studio.

    'Let men walk in love with their wives and let parents walk in love with their children...Let us feel Your presence no matter how high we stand or how low...'

    Crystal glanced over at Loretta and saw the only White woman in the church sitting with her head bowed.

    'Let us understand that there is no greater gift in the world than Your sweet mercy...and no greater words in all the world than these we offer today.'

    There was a shuffling about as the entire congregation stood.

    'Our Father, Who art in heaven...Hallowed be Thy name...Thy kingdom come...Thy will be done...'

    'You going to do some modeling today?' LuWanda Feelings combed her hair out in front of the mirror in the dressing room as she talked. 'I saw that lady out there.'

    'I'm going to meet a photographer,' Crystal said.

    'Reverend Curry say anything about you working on Sunday?'

    'I told you I wasn't working,' Crystal said. She hung up her robe and put it on the rack. 'I'm just going to meet a photographer.'

    'How come you can't meet him during the week?' LuWanda asked.

    'Why you got to ask Crystal so many questions about what she's doing?' Carrie Smith stood with her hands on her hips. 'What she does is between her and the Lord. And she don't need you looking out for her, and I know the Lord don't.'

    'I was just asking!' LuWanda gave Carrie a look, then thought better of challenging the older girl. 'I was just wondering what a model be doing, that's all.'

    Crystal watched LuWanda walk off and catch up with some of the women in the senior choir.

    'That girl ain't gonna die no natural death,' Carrie said. 'She gonna nosey on out the world!'

    'She's okay,' Crystal said.

    'What's okay about her?' Carrie was straightening her dress in the mirror. 'Her sister told me that when they came to shoot that commercial, she stayed up half the night putting relaxer in her hair.'

    'She did?'

    'Yeah, she did,' Carrie said. 'And if she thought she could have been picked to go downtown as a model like you, she...

About the Author-

  • Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 6, 2002

    Myers penetrates the modeling world in this tale of a 16-year-old professional model living in New York City, first published in 1987, who learns some tough truths about what it takes. Ages 12-up.

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    HarperCollins
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