Monday, December 28, 2009

Answers to Last Group of First lines

By Susan Berger

Here are the answers to the last December post on first lines . I hunted for the new first lines in the library. One of them inspired me to sit down on the floor and read the whole book. Which ones do you know? Which ones would you like to read? Please send me some of your favorite first lines and I will use them. I am also looking for first lines from your unpublished work.

1. It was not that Omri did not appreciate Patrick’s birthday present to him. Far from it. He was really very grateful - sort of. It was, without a doubt, very kind of Patrick to give Omri anything at all, let alone a second hand plastic Indian that he himself had finished with.

The Indian in the Cupboard Lynne Reid Banks

2. Alexander Brand was a secret agent. He had saved the world on more than a dozen occasions.

Nerds Michael Buckley

3. In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of the name of Canty, who did not want him. On the same day another English child was born to a rich family of the name of Tudor, who did want him. All England wanted him too.

The Prince and the Pauper Mark Twain

4. On Monday in math class, Mrs. Fibonocci says, “You know, you can think of almost everything as a math problem.”

Math Curse Jon Scieszka Illustrated by Lane Smith

5. Prologue: The night was cold and dead and so felt Clarence’s heart.

Chapter one first line: Hanging outside the gates of the city of Dunce was a sign that read

No gnomes

No mages


The Farfield Curse Brian Ambric

6. I live in a yellow house surrounded by a white picket fence. The enormous elm tree in front of my house has birds chirping away in it. As I sit quietly by my dormer window at my antique wood desk, I see two squirrels chase each other in the front lawn. I smile. The garbage man waves at me. I wave back. I have a Size 0 body and perfectly applied make-up. My sister comes in and gives me a hug.

Yeah, right! In your dreams.

Wet Foot Dry Foot Hilde Garcia (not yet accepted for publication)

7. Mr. Piggott lived with his two sons, Simon and Patrick, in a nice house with a nice garden, and a nice car in the nice garage. Inside the house was his wife.

Piggybook Anthony Browne

8. I’d never given much thought to how I would die –though I’d had reason enough in the last few months-but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.

Twilight Stephenie Meyer

9. The morning the rainbow came, Genevieve's sheep were still white. Or rather grey and dirty brown and sheep tend to be.

Rainbow Sheep written and illustrated by Kim McDougal

10. In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines

Madeline written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmaus

New first lines

1. “Hey Killer! How’s your Boyfriend?”

2. It began one summer about thirty years ago and it happened to four children.

3. That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me.

4. She says she didn’t mean to. She says she found them in my room, and they were so good she couldn’t help showing them to mom.

5. Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.

6. Out in the hottest, dustiest part of town is an orphanage run by a female person nasty enough to scare night into day.

7. Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in a castle

8. Worms dangles in Aunt Jessica’s kitchen: red worms swarming over a lump of brown mud in a bowl. The bowl and the worms and the lump of mud were in a crossed stitched picture hanging above the stove.

9. Samantha shivered and wrapped her jacket tighter.

10. Not long ago in a large university town in California, on a street called Orchard Avenue, a strange old man ran a dusty shabby store.

1 comment:

  1. The first lines come from my chapter book in progress. It's title is "After Patty Killed Daddy".
    Here's the introductory paragraph.

    "Patty killed her Daddy. She never should have distracted him while he was driving. Now her daddy was dead, and she was paralyzed. It was her fault. She pulled the blankets up under her chin and hoped to hide from reality in her dreams."

    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer


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