It was the day of the One Direction concert and Chloe and her group of best friends were super-psyched because they had tickets.
Then, her parents got involved with a last-minute, must-go family event in Nantucket on the same summer day. The concert was now a no-go for Chloe and her sixth-grade pals. Doors slammed, tears flowed and Chloe’s precious copy of “City of Bones” was dropped in disbelief. The teenage drama was about to begin.
That’s the opening scene in a new book, “Summer with a Twist.” Written by Doherty Middle School sixth-grader Citra (pronounced Cheet-ra) Tenore, it’s 234 pages of middle-school girl drama that realistically captures the issues that bother Chloe at this point in her life.
Those four yucky boy cousins whom she must spend a weekend with lead her long list of annoyances. Her younger brother is also on that list, while having the whole middle row in the family’s SUV to herself on long drives is super cool, so that’s not among her current crop of grievances.
“I wanted the story to be real ... I wanted the reader to hear Chloe,” said 12-year-old Citra, who has a real-life younger brother, too.
The daughter of John and Rina Tenore, the first-time author spent several months last year working on the self-published piece of fiction, at times sequestering herself in her bedroom at night for five-hour marathon writing sessions.
The characters are loosely based on people in Citra’s life, while some of the pre-teen mishaps and freaky issues in the book are exaggerated versions of her own experiences.
Citra said she hoped to “... make every pre-teen feel like they’re looking in a mirror” when they read about Chloe, a smart, sarcastically funny character.
“I just really wanted this book to be a real story about a middle-schooler. ... I write about what bugs us, that’s all,” said Citra, who is bugged by silence and clowns, but loves thrill rides at amusement parks. “... It’s writing with real thoughts, words and emotions about the things that pre-teens experience.”
She dedicated the book to her fourth- and fifth-grade teachers at South Elementary School, who always encouraged her to write, Citra said.
Fifth-grade teacher Melissa Nussbaum said she was honored to be one of the teachers Citra acknowledges in her book.
“I was shocked that Citra wrote and published an entire novel in nine months,” Nussbaum wrote in an email. “Citra was a thoughtful, creative writer in fifth grade. She always took great care editing her work."
Nussbaum added, “What I remember most about Citra and her writing was that she needed a lot of encouragement to share her stories with others. But when she did, her audience was always entertained and impressed.”
The very shy Citra remembers reading a story out loud in fifth grade and that experience helped her come out of her shell.
“I remember how that made me realize just how much I enjoy entertaining others through my writing,” she said.
Citra will formally launch “Summer with a Twist” at a reading and book-signing later this month at Memorial Hall Library. Copies of her book ($8.99) will be available for purchase and signing.
Then she will turn her attention back to the next book in the series of Chloe’s middle-school adventures.
IF YOU GO
What: Launch for pre-teen author Citra Tenore’s debut book, “Summer with a Twist”
When: Saturday, May 30, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St., Andover
More information: www.CitraTenore.com