Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Answers to Last Group of First Line/Paragraphs

by Susan Berger

These are the answers to the last group of first line/paragraphs. Eight of them are first books. (I thought it was nine, but I got fooled by the N.E. Bode bio)

1 Fern Drudger knew her parents were dull. Ridiculously dull. Incredibly, tragically dull. 
The Anybodies by N.E. Bode Illustrated by Peter Ferguson
(First book in the series. Pen name for Juliana Baggott) 

2. October 19th 1998 3:30PM
A dripping faucet.
Crumbs and a pink stain on the counter.
Half of a skin black banana that smells as old as it looks.
If I look at these things and at nothing else, concentrate on them and stay still, and don’t make any noise, this will be over soon and I can go home without Cameron’s dad ever knowing I’m here.
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
(This book was a Cybil finalist. Sara was the Keynote speaker at the SCBWI winter Conference this year.) 

3. We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck. 
Feed by M.T. Anderson
(First book National Book Award finalist.) 

4. Crooked Creek Middle School Morning Announcement request
Feb 2
Mr. Cooper Please announce that today’s scheduled meeting of the American Society of Fun Facts has been cancelled because the club’s president is stuck in In-School Suspension . (thanks a lot)
The Defense of Thaddeus A Ledbetter by John Gosselink 
(First book)

The School of Fear 
The wilderness outside Farmington Massachusetts 
(exact location withheld for security purposes) 
Direct All correspondence to PO Box 333 
Farmington, MA 01201 

Dear Applicant,
I am pleased to inform you of your acceptance to the summer course at the School of Fear.
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
(This is a second book. Her first was The Makedown. I used a line from that in my last post. School of Fear will now be a four book series and a movie)

These next five are Cybil Finalists for mid grade fiction. I searched their list for first books. (Not easy.) There were more, but I couldn’t look inside the on Amazon 

6. I’d just been busted for giving the chimpanzees water balloons when I first heard something was wrong at Hippo River. 

7. Fiona Finkelstein had a bad feeling. It was the kind of bad feeling she got when she just knew Mrs. Miltenberger has packed a corned beef sandwich in her lunchbox, even thought she’s told her a gazillion times that she HATES corned beef more than she HATES anything else. Especially after learning that there was actually no corn in it. If there was one thing Fiona flat-out could not stand, it was food that lies. 

8. The first day of summer vacation is important because what you do that day sets the tone for the whole summer. That’s why my best friend Elliot Berger is coming over to watch the Daily Show episodes I’ve recorded. Mom and I used to watch them together. She always said that the host, Jon Stewart, stood up for the little guy, which is funny because Jon Stewart is a little guy-five feet seven inches. According to Wikipedia, the average height for men in the United States is five feet nine and a half inches. Let’s just say I can totally relate to Jon’s height issue.
How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart
(I think this is a first book.) 

9. You wake up and you’re fourteen. The world is your supersized soda waiting to be guzzled, right? Wrong. My birthday tasted more like Coke that went flat. 
Kimchi & Calimari by Rose Kent.
(First book. Nominated for several awards. Her second book was nominated for a Cybil) 

10. It’s a perfect night to run away, thought Fadi, casting a brooding look at the bright sheen of the moon through the cracked backseat window. It reminded him of the book From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler. 
Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai.
(First book. I would look this one up on Amazon and read the whole first page. It’s excellent.) 

Jan. 15, 2010
Dec. 5, 2009
Here some links to older first line posts. 
I think I will search the Cybils for YA for the next one.
Write on!


  1. I haven't read any of these. I bet my daughter would love the Fiona book.

  2. Such a great idea to do a series of posts on first lines, Susan. Imagine being Fern Drudger (great last name) and knowing your parents were dull. I'm embarrassed to admit I'm not familiar with any of these books.

  3. I was wondering about Feed. What is it about?

  4. These posts often inspire me to read the books. I want to read Fiona too, Cheryl.
    LeeRaeLynne here is a short book review of Feed just for you
    Plot Summary of Feed
    "Titus is an average teenager in America's future: He spends his days e-chatting with friends, buying the coolest new clothes and catching the hottest parties, on or off-planet. And like everyone else he knows, Titus is forever hard-wired into the constant advertisement-information barrage known as The Feed.

    During a Spring Break party on the Moon, Titus meets up with a girl named Violet. She seems a little out of sorts: She likes to actually speak with her mouth, rather than just e-chat through the feed, for starters, and she has serious reservations about the forced consumerism that has packaged every person into a neat demographic cube. When a hacker's attack temporarily disables the feeds hooked into Titus, his friends and Violet, Titus and Violet spend their recovery time together, and he starts to learn more about this strange girl and the odd past which sets her apart from the vast majority of society. But it soon becomes apparent that something is wrong with Violet's feed, and Titus must reconcile the only life he knows with Violet's terrible, eye-opening vision of the truth."

  5. Thanks Susan, that synopsis sounds very inviting if I had not already read a review of the book describing a ton of foul language throughout the book. If this is true, is this really a good YA book to promote? I admit to not reading it. We will have to defer to Mr. L. F. who has read it and really liked it. Does it have too much bad language, or is that only one online reviewers opinion?

  6. Wow. These lines really pop, don't they? Definitely they make want to read these books (the ones I haven't already). Thanks for these interesting posts, Susan.

  7. I don't recall any @#%*$! language in The Feed. However the book's vision of the future is frightening and not as far off as you think.
    Streaming Sam


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