Thursday, January 14, 2010

Answers to Last December's 2009 Group of First Lines

Here are the answers to the last December 2009 group of First lines. How many of them did you know?
by Susan Berger

1. “Hey Killer! How’s your Boyfriend?”
Juliet Dove, Queen of Love by Bruce Coville

2. It began one summer about thirty years ago and it happened to four children.
Half Magic by Edward Eager

3. That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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.
All American Girl by Meg Cabot

5. Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

6. Out in the hottest, dustiest part of town is an orphanage run by a female person nasty enough to scare night into day.
Saving Sweetness, by Diane Stanley Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
(This is the one I sat down and read. I loved it)

7. Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in a castle
The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer, Illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli

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.
Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech

9. Samantha shivered and wrapped her jacket tighter.
Dog Days by Sarah Laurenson (not yet published)

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.
The Egypt Game by Zelpha Keatly Snyder

Here are some new first lines. These are taken from picture book, mid grade readers and YA. Have you read them? If you were an agent would you read on? Would you, as a reader like you read them?

1. Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide world.

2. If I could give you just one word of advice, it would be…well, an incomplete sentence. Besides being grammatically iffy, I’m sure you’d agree that a single word of advice is rarely of much use.

3 Bliss to you. Bliss to you! Is me who is dog, Trixie Koontz, happy dog.

4. Sometimes you wake up and the world is just plain different.

5. It is universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.

6. I didn’t always live here, and by “here” I do not mean the La Brea Tar Pits where I am writing this down in a notebook –I mean Los Angeles. When I was a little kid, I lived in Chicago.

7. That summer, let’s see, I’m still living in the basement, my own private down under, in the little room Grim built for me there.

8. 12th day of September- I am commanded to write an account of my days; I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say.

9. Sometimes extraordinary things begin in ordinary places.

10. It was the middle of August 1966, and me and Wayne and Dad and about two hundred people were sweating and stinking in the auditorium of the Sand Mountain High School, home of the Mighty Mighty Miners.


  1. One of my very favorite first lines is the first line of Robert A. Heinlein's "Double Star"

    "If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owned the place, he's a spaceman."

    Still, by the way, a really fun read these many years later.

    Margaret Fieland

  2. Magiie, Doulbe star is one of my favorite book. I love and own everything Robert Heinlein wrote. I used one of his children's books in an earlier post. "Citizen of the Galaxy


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