Monday, November 19, 2012

First Paragraphs with Links to the Books

By Susan Berger

These are the answers for the First Paragraphs posted on November 5th.

Both the pictures and the titles link to the books on Amazon.  The names of the authors and illustrators are linked to their websites. (Phew! A very Linky post.) I hope these  first paragraphs inspire you to read some of them.

1. Frannie James often dreamed about her missing mother. Nothing warm or fuzzy, of course, more like reruns of a half forgotten TV series. It was happening again. Her hands clenched as she slept. Would Mom smile? Just one loving smile….Please

I really enjoyed this young teen ghost mystery. Margot is the author of several picture books. This is her second mid grade book. She also gives wonderful writing advice.

2. “Hurry Zachary, bring me a diaper,” cried Mom. 
    “In a minute Mom. I’m feeding the bird,” said Zachary.
     “I need it right now,” Mom yelled.


Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep was awarded a silver medal in the 2012 Literary Classics awards. Kathy has included several games to play at the end and I love Jack Foster's illustrations.

3. You need something?

I can get it for you.

You have a problem?

I can solve it.

That’s why they come to me. By “they” I mean every kid in the school. First Graders up to eighth graders. Everyone comes to me for help and most of the time I’m happy to provide it. For a small fee of course.

Winner of the 2012 Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. Chris spoke at the 2012 SCBWI Summer Conference and he is as funny in real life as he is in this book. Great boy middle grade read. The sequel will be out soon.

4. I am lucky my sister is my best friend.
We do everything together.
Tengo suerte de que mi hermana sea mi    mejor amiga.Hacemos todas las cosas juntas.    
J’ai de la chance parce que ma sœur est  ma meilleure amie.On fait tout ensemble.

 My Sister Is My Best Friend by Nicole Weaver. A trilingual story. Illustrated by Clara Batton Smith.
This book received a Special Category award from the 2012 literary classics I love the trilingual format and had fun comparing and contrasting the sentences.

5.   The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I knew only from stories. The one just outside of town with the big blue letters: MANIFEST: A TOWN WITH A RICH PAST AND A BRIGHT FUTURE.

Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. This book does everything they tell us not to do as authors: It’s an historic novel told in several voices and in newspaper clips. It jumps back and for between 1917 and 1936 and it’s wonderful! It’s also the 2011 Newbery Winner

6. Logan
Logan didn’t have to open his eyes to know that morning had arrived. The sweet smell of cotton candy wafting into his room worked better than any alarm clock. He rolled over so his nose nearly touched the air vent.
 The Candy Makers by Wendy Maas.  My friend Caitlin Lovejoy, passed me this book and I can’t thank her enough. Wendy tells the same story from the POV of each of the four candy makers. The final chapters are told in third person as together they solve the mystery. I couldn’t put it down.

7. Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards bounded up the steps of Carver Middle School with a spring in her step and a welcoming smile on her face. She walked down the hall greeting her fellow eighth grade students. “Good morning, Cecil. How’s your dog recovering from his surgery?”

Save the Lemmings by Kai Strand I met Kai in Bend Oregon before she sold her first book, The Weaver. I bought a kindle copy of Save The Lemmings and devoured it. Fun read.

8. Jessica sat at the breakfast table of the grandparents’ beach house. She missed Mommy and Daddy. A tear dribbled down her cheek and fell into her cereal. “How long is a week, Grandma?” 

This charming book is a gold medal recipient for preschool books in the 2012 literary classics.


10. “Isn’t it cool living by the beach?” Bella asked her best friend, Britt.
“Yeah,” agreed Britt. “There’s always a surprise.”
“Britt, look!” exclaimed Bella. “Here is a surprise. A sea turtle. They’re not usually on the beach in daylight.”

But there she was. A beautiful Loggerhead.

Gold Award Recipient in the 2012 literary classics. I loved this story of the girls saving the turtles and Samantha Bell’s illustrations are a perfect complement to the words. Samantha illustrated my book GrowingUp Dreams and I am the proud owner of two of her lovely original drawings.

11. In the bright buzzing room

There was an iPad

And a kid playing Doom

And a screensaver of-

A bird launching over the moon

Goodnight iPad a Parody for  the next generation.
Written and illustrated by Ann Droyd (a pseudonym for David Milgrim.)
I saw this book at Barnes and Noble and bought two copies: One for me and one for my new granddaughter and her electronically obsessed father.  
Happy Thanksgiving to all. 
I am most thankful that this post is done.


  1. Sue, thanks for featuring Save the Lemmings and for the nice words! Much appreciated.

  2. What a cool post! All the books you shared sound great! MOON OVER MANIFEST was already on my to-be-read list. Interesting about the rule-breaking.

    Have a happy, happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks, Dawne. A Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  3. Thank you again for including Sea Turtle Summer in this lovely list of books. I've sent the post on its way in the world socially...Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  4. Thanks so much Sue for showcasing my book! I appreciate your kindness. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  5. Hey Susan! Thanks for the shout outs! Love the “first paragraphs”. Blessings

  6. Hi Susan, This was a fun post -- I love trivia and guessing games. I knew all the GAP books, at least! Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks, Penelope. Hope your was wonderful.


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