Series: The Fantastic Diary of Bathsheba Clarice de Trop
By Leila Rasheed
Dear new Diary,
I have a surprise for you. It is a BIG surprise. (Don’t worry – it’s also a GOOD surprise!)
You are going to be so thrilled when I tell you!!!
Are you sitting down???
...No, you are lying flat on my desk while I write in you. Obviously. Okay, just breathe deeply, and try to stay calm.
I can just imagine what your life was like on the shelf at Paperflo’s. Pretty dull, no?? No one to talk to except other diaries. Nothing to talk about because no one had written in you yet. Maybe you wondered who would pick you up and take you home. Who would write in you? Would you be hearing the thrilling details of a spy’s secret life?? Or the love confessions of a wacky teenager??? Or the rotten poetry of a spotty computer geek????
Well. No. It’s FAR more exciting than that! Because – the hand that picked you up and took you home was MINE. The hand that is writing in you now, belongs to ...
(I hope you are remembering to breathe deeply and stay calm ...)
BATHSHEBA CLARICE DE TROP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes!! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!! THE Bathsheba Clarice de Trop!!!
You never thought you would belong to a celebrity, did you?
Yes. It is I. Heroine of Bathsheba’s Amazing Party, Bathsheba’s Brilliant Best Friends, Bathsheba Saves the Day, Bathsheba Glamour Queen and the Smugglers of Doom and Bathsheba Shops (vols. 1, 2 and 3). And all those other amazing, astonishing, bestselling a million times over books which my mother – the charming, beautiful and intelligent Mandy de Trop – writes about ME.
Me me me me me me me me me me me me!!!
Isn’t it exciting?
Aren’t you thrilled??
You are SO LUCKY!!!
You are going to be hearing ALL ABOUT ME!!!!
And we can be best friends, right?
Because that’s what a diary is, isn’t it?
A Girl’s Best Friend.
No. Don’t thank me. I know it’s an honour for you, but after all, I’m just like you, really.
Only FAMOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And less papery.)
Ooo, there is Natasha, the housekeeper, calling me for supper. I do wish she would not call me “Bath”, though. I must have a Word with her, like Mummy does.
Mummy isn’t home yet.
I keep running out on to the landing because I think I hear the front door opening and it might be her, but it is always just Natasha bashing pans in the kitchen.
She might still get home in time for supper. I do hope so!
Mummy is so extraordinarily busy writing about me that sometimes I don’t see her for ages. Sigh.
9:08 p.m. and sixteen seconds-ish.
No Mummy, as usual. And Natasha had lots of work to do, so I had supper on my own. I ate my lasagne in front of the television in the small sitting room with lots of cushions round me like a family. But even the small sitting room can feel awfully big and empty when it is just you and Doctor Who in it.
I had a Word with Natasha. I said, “Natasha, maybe when you call me for supper, instead of shouting ‘Bath, grub’s up’, you could shout ‘Bathsheba Clarice de Trop, grub’s up’.”
Natasha laughed and laughed in a very disrespectful way, and said, “Bath, love, if I did that you’d never get any supper. I’d be too busy saying your crazy name to cook anything.”
I do not have a crazy name! Although I suppose it is a bit difficult to say. Bath-Shee-Bar. Cla-rees. (It’s French!) Der Troe, like toe. (It’s aristocratic!) Maybe you could repeat it after me, dear Diary, or maybe not, as I have just remembered you do not have a mouth.
Anyway, Bathsheba is a name for a Heroine! And a Film Star, which is what I am going to be when I grow up. It is glamorous and dignified, unlike Bath. I mean, she might as well call me Shower Curtain and be done with it.
I pointed this out to her, but she just said, “Hurry up and eat your dinner, Butterball.”
I wish she would not call me Butterball, either.
It makes me sound dumpy, which I am NOT. Very.
Oh, but I am so glad you are here, dear Diary!!! It will all be better now I have someone to talk to. I mean, write in. Sometimes it does get a little dull being all on my own. This evening, for example, I was so bored I tried to help Natasha make the lasagne, but she said “No chance, Bath, don’t you remember what happened last time? I don’t want another visit from the fire brigade!”
I don’t think that is fair: anyone could mix up minutes and hours in a recipe. It is not my fault the tinned tomatoes burst into flames.
Anyway, while I was eating my supper, it struck me, dear Diary, that, being a book, and having lived on a Deprived Shelf all your life, you may not actually have read many other books.
And therefore it is possible – just possible – that you may not know all about me already.
Although probably you will have caught a glimpse of the novelty key rings, or the bookmarks, or seen other, not-famous girls, with their Bathsheba – The Best by Far! T-shirts. (Aren’t they great? I’ve got twelve!)
Maybe I had better fill you in on what you’ve been missing. (Don’t worry. The books are available, priced £5.99, from all good bookshops. You could ask for a box set for Christmas. There is still time to learn ALL ABOUT ME!!!)
Where shall I start?
Well, I am just always either
1) saving the day
2) having extraordinarily glamorous sleepovers with my amazing best friends, Aurelia Windsor-Battenberg and Fifi LaQuiche-Lorraine.
Aurelia and Fifi and me like to spend our time shopping in Harrods or Saks Fifth Avenue (if we are in America) or Gucci or Pucci or Prada. Aurelia has smooth chestnut hair and is very refined and intelligent. She wears glasses but they are such expensive ones that she looks even better when she’s wearing them than when she’s not. She is fifteenth in line to the throne. Fifi has curly black hair and is extremely French and also a champion showjumper. Her mother is a supermodel and her father is related to the Prince of Monaco.
You are probably wondering why I am complaining about being bored when I could be out shopping or drinking lattes with my super-amazing friends, and, um, that is quite a good question. The thing is, Aurelia and Fifi have both got measles, or possibly something more glamorous, so sadly they cannot be with us today. I know it is a really big coincidence that they have both got it at the same time, but things like that sometimes happen, and it does NOT mean it is not true.
Well, anyway, I do not have measles, and I am just more glamorous and intelligent and champion-showjumper-y than either Fifi or Aurelia, and, also, I have Natural Leadership Skills. Plus, I have blonde hair, which is just the colour of champagne, and is beautifully wavy, NOT frizzy.
Aurelia and Fifi and me go to a very select boarding school called St. Barnaby’s. I just love boarding school! I am head of all the school, even though I am only in Form One (if you want to know why, read Bathsheba’s Victory). And I am captain of the hockey team (Hail, Bathsheba) and of the swimming team and the riding team, and I am also house librarian and form monitor and more or less everything else too. Plus, I always star in all the plays our drama club puts on. I am top of my class in everything, including cookery, where my lasagne is always the best. I am just soooo good at everything that it is actually a bit embarrassing sometimes!!!
But right now I am not at boarding school. It is the start of the holidays. As it is the holidays, I expect I will have an adventure soon. I have saved the world thirteen times (Bathsheba Crime-Fighter, Bathsheba Leads The Way, Bathsheba Triumphant, Bathsheba the Brilliant and lots and lots of other books).
I have also:
Foiled a smugglers’ plot
(Bathsheba on the Beach)
Discovered hidden jewels in an old farmhouse
(Bathsheba at Strawberry Fields Farm)
Driven off pirates
(Bathsheba’s Caribbean Crisis)
Solved the murder of a catwalk model
(Bathsheba’s Paris Plot)
Prevented a prize pony from being pony-napped
At the end of my adventures I always make a joke that everybody laughs at, even the baddies, whom I have tied to chairs. And then my boyfriend, Brad, picks me up in his skyblue Ferrari, and we drive off to the opera, or the beach, or a fashion show, or something else equally brilliant.
Oh yes, dear Diary! I have a boyfriend!!
Blush blush blush blush blush blush blush!!!
He is tall and handsome, and he has dreamy green eyes and a permanent suntan. He is sixteen and he can already drive, because he is American. He is a champion surfer and also a member of Mensa. He gives me diamond rings all the time because his father is a zillionaire computer genius and also descended from royalty.
So obviously, it’s AMAZING being me!!!
Whenever it starts feeling as if Mummy has not been home for a whole week or maybe two, I just think as hard as I can: I am Bathsheba Clarice de Trop! My life is FANTASTIC!!!!!
And it works. Usually.
Bathsheba Clarice de Trop thinks she’s a star. Well, her mum is a world-famous novelist whose books are all about the amazing adventures of her fabulous daughter, and of course the stories must be true. But when Bathsheba is confronted by her down-and-out father, and discovers that her role in the fantastic new Bathsheba film will be played by hot US actress Avocado Dieppe, she has to face reality. She might not be as famous as she liked to think, but maybe she can still be a star in her own right. Meet Bathsheba – a star in the making from a hugely funny and talented new writer. Girls will love the hilariously delusional and touching world of Bathsheba, a captivating new character.
“"Very funny and thoughtful Bath ... is a character you won't forget."”
The School Librarian journal
Having survived an earthquake, house fire and being bombed all before the age of 11, Leila Rasheed moved from Libya back to the UK. Leila has an MA in Children's Literature and Creative Writing. She started working at Reading Is Fundamental, a children's literacy charity, before moving to Belgium, and now works as the children's bookseller for Waterstone's in Brussels.
The shortlist for Wigan Libraries Explore Book Award is compiled from the most issued books in the borough with some advice from children's librarians. Voting has been taking place throughout the first part of the year and the winner will be announced soon.
Read the following reviews or write one of your own.
“CHIPS , BEANS AND LIMOUSINES !!!!!!”
I really , really believe this book is FANTASTIC and FABULOUS and all the other words that describe fantastic !!! I have read all three diaries like three times each and I NEVER got bored....I read the first diary in ONE day because no, I COULDN'T put it down .... Bath is my favorite book character and I hope she existed ans she was one of my BFF's....She inspired me to write a diary every single day and also to LOVE acting !!!!!
“chips, beans and limousines”
I really liked reading the book as it was exiting as I wanted to read on and on and once I finished it I couldn't wait for the next one so I rushed and got it so I am in the middle of reading Sock, Shocks and Secrets which I will also send you a review about thnkx for making such great books xxxxxxx
kylah louise parry x
“Chips, Beans and Limousines”
This book is great I've read the 2nd book and they are both great I could not put it down.
I Love this book! You can read it again and again, And it will never get boring!
“chips beans and limousines”
hi everyone!!!. this book has been my favourite ever it is soooo cool its very emotional at times but at the end its fantabulous (as Bath would say) you HAVE to read/buy it thanks for reading love XxxxxxxxxxxxxxMolzxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX
“CHIPS, BEANS AND LIMOUSINES”
I love this book it is the best book I have ever read in my life I seriously couldn't put it down for one second. It's a bit like my life it's not amazing but I make out it is and I love making up words like you. My favourite word is FANTABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“The Best Ever !!!!!!!!”
Chips Beans and Limousines is the best book I have ever read. At the start I was like wow ! its a book about a young celebrity but once I got into it I could not stop. I went to bed at 11 and read this till one its fantastic!
“Chips, Beans and Limousines, by Leila Rasheed”
This book was absolutely brilliant! Even though it's aimed at girls a few years younger than myself, I thought it was an amazing book. It was the first 5* book on my review site, www.dragonflybookreviews.blogspot.com
I thought the book was funny but emotional at the same time!I also liked the way it had a happy ending. I will definitely recommend it.
“chips , beans and limousines”
This is the best book I have ever read it is totally cool, from the boastiness to the incredible likeness of Bathsheba Clarice de Trop and by the way I love this book so much that I even know how to spell her name off by heart lol.xox
“The character of Bathsheba de Trop is a great one. Bathsheba has created a wonderful life for herself to hide the fact she's a friendless child, with a mother who pays hardly any attention to her, and she has never been to school. She's larger than life, and has adopted the persona of the Bathsheba in her mother's famous books to hide her insecurities. So many girls of this age don't feel comfortable with themselves, and I can imagine many would identify with wanting to pretend to be someone far more exciting than they actually are. Bathsheba is very funny, and although she does come across as being spoiled in the beginning, the humour and the fact the reader knows there's more going on than first appears, keeps you reading. The reader realises a lot quicker than Bathsheba does that she's deceiving herself. Beneath the fluffy diary writing style of this book is a very poignant story, which is very well pitched at the 9-12 age group. The book is well plotted and paced, and not a particularly long read, so it can be finished very quickly. This would make it an ideal story for less confident or reluctant readers. The lasting impression I was left with after reading this book was that it featured a very positive message. It stresses the importance of how you shouldn't pretend to be something you're not, and loving yourself just the way you are - you don't have to have lots of expensive belongings to be a nice person, as it's actually the pleasure you take in the small things around you that really matter.”
“This funny and frank diary records the glamorous – and not so glamorous – life of the daughter of a famous authoress. Bathsheba’s outpourings to her dairy capture the details of her life with all its hopes, dreams and disappointments.”
Julia Eccleshare - www.LoveReadingforKids.co.uk
“This is an absorbing, insightful read with lots of 'in between the lines' information showing more of the real girl than she knows herself.”
“This book by Leila Rasheed will have young girls laughing out loud at the hilariously delusional, but loveable Bathsheba.”
youfirst Magazine Summer 2008
“Most children will have dreamed of achieving celebrity status. The life of a star must seem incredibly alluring, especially when things aren't going so well in the real world. Pretending to be an icon is even easier for Bathsheba Clarice de Trop as her mother is a world famous novelist whose books are all about the amazing adventure of her fabulous daughter. She eagerly adopts this fictitious persona, but a series of events force her to face reality and consider whether there's more to life than being a celeb.”
“There are two aspects to Bath's life - in the one life she is, as she introduces herself to her new diary, the gorgeous Bathsheba, glamorous heroine of writer mother's books. She is pretty, popular, clever and daring. She foils kidnappings and saves the world between being head girl and games captain. She has stunningly beautiful friends and seven wardrobes!!!!!!!!!!!!! (She is very fond of exclamation marks!!!!!) But as we read on, Bath, as her mother calls her, slowly reveals the reality. She is an only child who does not attend school but has a tutor. Her mother is always too busy for her and is only concerned that Bath might leave marks on the furniture. The housekeeper, Natasha, fed up with her play acting thinks she's a 'silly little girl'. She does indeed have seven walk in wardrobes- her mother does very well out of her books. But she has no friends and isn't particularly sporty. These two worlds are brought into conflict as her shabby looking Father reappears after six years in prison and her Mother has an offer to make the books into a film - naturally Bath assumes she will play the part - attends the press conference where her dreams are humiliatingly exposed. This is a moving story of a vulnerable girl totally isolated who has taken refuge in another world. As the two worlds collide she must face reality and make some grown up choices. By the end she has developed a relationship with her Father and made a real friend. Chips, beans and limousines is a very enjoyable short first novel by Leila Rashid. Very funny and thoughtful Bath (" Do I look as if I've got taps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!") is a character you won't forget. The story races along and will appeal strongly to KS3 girls. Recommended.”
Roz Charlish - School Librarian journal
“This book was brilliant, although it's quite short. It's a sweet book about a girl who thought she had everything realising that she doesn't have very much at all.”
Dragonfly Book Blog - 5* review
“Bathsheba is a bit stupid, a brat and spoiled but despite that I did kind of like her. She is funny. I am still not sure if she is in her own fantasy world or if she is just lying to her own diary.”
Sarah Garrity, Gracemount High - Reviewed in Teen Titles, issue 42, September 2008
“I like the diary style of the book which made it easy to read.”
Claire MacDonald, Gracemount High - Reviewed in Teen Titles, issue 42, September 2008
“I really enjoyed this book. The further I read, the more I loved the story. I felt sorry for the Bathsheba having to make a choice over fame and fortune when what she desires so much is to go to live with her dad and the only real friend she has. Bathsheba is a girl who is shoved aside because of her mum's fame and only wants a normal life. I loved the characters and I loved the way the book was set. I think the book was really great and I would read any other books done by this writer. Overall, I would suggest this book to teenage girls who love reading fictional books.”
Mhairi Brodie, Craigroyston High - Reviewed in Teen Titles, issue 42, September 2008
“The first story, Chips, Beans and Limousines, introduced this wonderful little character who is a cross between Milly Molly Mandy and a WAG. The second book, Socks, Shocks and Secrets, sees our heroine grow in stature and learn some valuable lessons in life… Humour is also the key to the success of the books, which have been described as ‘Louise Rennison without the snogging'.”
Carousel Guide to Children's Books
“Highly recommended for younger readers by the Red House Children's Book Award 2009 in their pick of the year. "Our testers loved dipping into child celebrity Bathsheba Clarice de Trop's diary and reading all about her incredibly glamorous lifestyle. But are her super shopping trips, fantastic friends and amazing holidays too good to be true?"”
Red House Children's Book Award pick of the year - highly recommended
“This is the first in a fantastic trilogy by Leila Rasheed, who used to live in Brussels and worked at the Waterstone's bookshop. Home-schooled Bathsheba Clarice De Trop has no friends so she has to make her own fun. She's slightly delusional and thinks she's a star because her mum is a world-famous novelist whose books are all about the amazing adventures of her fabulous daughter. In reality, though, Bathsheba is a lonely girl marked by the absence of her dad who's in prison. Bathsheba's upbeat personality is simply brilliant, and she turns out to be a much nicer person as the true reasons behind her drama-queen antics gradually unfold. While aimed at pre-teens, I found it enormously entertaining. I'll be looking out for the other two books in the series: Socks, Shocks and Secrets and Doughnuts, Dreams and Drama Queens.”
The Bulletin - Brussels English language magazine
“Bathsheba Clarice de Trop thinks she’s a star. Well, her mum is a world-famous novelist whose books are all about the amazing adventures of her fabulous daughter, and of course the stories must be true. But when Bathsheba is confronted by her down-and-out father, and discovers that her role in the fantastic new Bathsheba film will be played by hot US actress Avocado Dieppe, she has to face reality. She might not be as famous as she liked to think, but maybe she can still be a star in her own right.”
Bookbabblers - book of the month
“This hyper read gets 9/10 from me.”
Nayu’s Reading Corner