Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Line Answers

by Susan Berger

Here are the answers to the first lines I posted on December 9, 2010.

1. “NO WAY,” I hissed through the slatted dressing room door, “I am not coming out.”

2. Fox Street was a dead end. In Mo Wren’s opinion, this was only one of many wonderful distinguishing thinks about it.

3. I was born into the sovereignty of nerds from which few have escaped and of which even fewer have had sex. For thirteen harrowing years nerdiness reigned supreme, leaving me unattractive and socially awkward with little more than a stellar report card to call a friend.

4. Frannie Lawrence believed in secrets. The Things you didn’t talk about the way words said out loud could. Words made the bad things too real sometimes. Beter to keep silent with the hurt locked safely away.

5. I HAVE A PERFECT MOUTH. That is, at least according to my dentist, AKA my dad, AKA Dr. Dad.
Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein BTW.

6. It all started with Aldwyn’s whiskers beginning to tingle- the way they always did when he was hungry. Food had been getting hard to come by these last few months.

7. My earliest memory is fuzzy. Not because of time but because I’m looking out of a full body jumper. It’s sea foam green. My mom has cinched the head so tight that my vision is a fleecy porthole.

8. I pulled up on the front of my pink leotard and turned to the mirror to look at my large behind. No change there. I stretched the fabric tightly across my chest and frowned. Almost a sophomore and still no need of a bra. So much for cutting all those carbs. The calories would always hit us black girls in the wrong places.

9. “Hey, chubbo quit hogging the sidewalk!” Kenny Thompson yanked the front of his bike off the ground, circled around eight-year-old Macy Carver, and stuck out his tongue.

10. The sign in front of St Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten and Lost read CRUSHINNG THE SPIRIT OF CHLDHOOD SINCE 1898.
(First book. This is going to be a trilogy. The second book will be out in August, 2011)

These ten new lines are all from picture books. Seven are from first books. One is from a book that has now yet been published.

1. Nestled in the soft earth beside the path you see a yellow spider.

2. Everything was just dandy till that Emily Post book showed up.

3. The jungle was quiet.
Suraj, the tiger cub wondered why.
Then Rassi arrived and gave him the news.

4. My friend Lincoln says you have two dads. That’s right poppa and daddy.

5. Everyone told Lily Hippo she was too loud.

6. Beep Beep. Sheep in a jeep on a hill that’s steep.

7. Mama love to sing. Her singing was always a happy part of everyday life. But everything changed the day after my seventh birthday.

8. Pitter, patter
Plam, plam
On my window pane

9. I took the moon for a walk last night.

10. Once upon a time Chicken Licken was standing a round when a piece of something fell on her head.

I really wanted to post the first line from When the Wind Blew which is Margaret Wise Brown’s first book. Margret wrote Good Night Moon and I thought it would be fun to see the first line from the first book she sold. But I couldn’t find it. If anyone has a copy, I would love to know the first line.


  1. Thanks! I haven't read any of these and now I definitely want to!

  2. This is such a neat idea. It's amazing the way a first line can set the stage.

  3. Thanks for posting first sentence lines from Picture books and the images of the books, too. Great inspiration and self-reflection on how our own first sentences match up to this standard of excellence.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards


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