Lincoln Peirce is a cartoonist/writer and the creator of the comic strip Big Nate. It appears in more than two hundred U.S. newspapers and online daily at comics.com.

Lincoln Peirce lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Maine.

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Horoscopes

Some people place a lot of faith in horoscopes; others think they’re complete poppycock.  I’m closer to the poppycock side of things, but I still find astrology kind of fascinating.  I’d never consider basing any kind of major decision on the random writings of some newspaper astrologist, but like many people, I do get kind of a thrill when I read something in my horoscope that seems accurate or prescient.  How did I make consulting my horoscope part of my daily routine?  Easy answer:  in most of the newspapers I’ve read during my lifetime, the astrological forecast is printed on the comics page or close to it.  After reading the comics, my eye naturally wanders over to the horoscopes (and to another of my favorites, the crossword puzzle.)

But in this internet age, horoscopes aren’t just in the newspaper; they’re all over the place online.  Tonight, as I tried to figure out what to blog about, I glanced at an astrological website and noticed that it included not just daily horoscopes, but MONTHLY forecasts.  July is just getting started, so I decided to see what the stars and planets might hold in store during the next four weeks or so.  And here’s what the stars and planets told me:

If you're a writer or in the communications or sales industry, you might finish up a major project near July 1. Whatever the details behind it are, you'll feel inspired and optimistic about the outcome. Another possibility is that you'll have a deep and meaningful conversation with your sweetheart. You might be afraid to reveal your emotions initially but soon realize you have nothing to fear at all.  Hmm.  I’m afraid I’m not very close to finishing up a major project.  The fact is, I’m just STARTING a major project:  the final art for BIG NATE BLASTS OFF.  I’ve only done 18 pages worth, which means I have 200 to go.  As for having a deep conversation with my sweetheart:  my wife did ask me tonight to take out the garbage and recycling.  So I’ve got that going for me.

If you have any children and need advice, why not seek the help of one of your siblings? It appears that you'll receive heartfelt, sound advice from your brother or sister early this month. On July 15, you might consider going back to school to study for an advanced degree, license or certification. You might have plenty of ambition and energy to move forward with this decision but you'll need to be patient. The red tape and other paperwork needed to put this into motion might be quite frustrating. Still, it'll be worth it.  At the moment, I’m not in need of any advice about my children; but if I were, I’d certainly seek out my brother for heartfelt, sound advice.  I don’t think I’d ask my sister, though.  I don’t have a sister.  I also have no plans to go back to school for an advanced degree.  My school days, I’m delighted to say, are over.

On July 25, Venus turns retrograde and until July 31, an old friend might come back into your life. After July 31 and until September 6 you might struggle with feeling less than appreciated from higher ups. This might also be a time to consider whether or not you're using your talents to the best of your ability. Honest examination now about where you are professionally can lead to greater rewards after September 6.  So now I know that on July 25, Venus turns retrograde.  You know what else happens on July 25?  I’m going to Fenway Park to see my Boston Red Sox play the Detroit Tigers.  Sadly, this horoscope says nothing about whether or not the Sox will win that day.  Given the way the season is going so far, I’m not planning to get my hopes up.

So there you have it — my horoscope for July.  Not a lot of specifics there, just a hodgepodge of vague suggestions.  That’s okay, though.  I don’t really need a horoscope to provide guidance and direction.  I’m too stubborn to follow those kinds of suggestions.  That’s a common trait of us Scorpios.

Mon, 07/06/2015

Whirlwind Trip to San Francisco

Hello!  I'm going to keep this entry somewhat brief, because it's already quite late and it's been a long day of traveling.  I just flew from San Francisco to Newark, NJ to Portland, Maine (missing my regular Monday night Men's League hockey game in the process), so I'm kind of tired.

San Francisco was great fun, though.  I was there for the American Library Association convention, where I signed books, ran into a few cartoonist/author friends (like Mo Willems, Dav Pilkey, and recent entry into the middle-grade novel world, Ruben Bolling), and spoke at a reception sponsored by the Will Eisner Family Foundation in honor of librarians who've been awarded grants for their support of comics and graphic novels.  San Francisco also happens to be the home of one of my very favorite people -- my cousin Laurie -- and she met my wife and me for dinner on Friday night.  We also took in a ball game on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park, home of the defending World Series champs, the San Francisco Giants.  They beat the Rockies 6-2 behind the outstanding pitching of Madison Bumgarner, last year's World Series MVP.  (By the way, the pictures shown above are 1.) the view from our hotel room, and 2.) the view from our seats at the game.)

So as you can see, we squeezed a lot into just a couple days in San Francisco.  I would have liked to see more of the city, because I haven't spent much time there before, but that will have to wait for another trip.  It's time to get back to work.  With the exception of a family wedding in mid-July, I won't be doing any traveling for awhile.

Before I sign off, I'll leave you with two fun facts about San Francisco that relate to Big Nate:
•    For many years, there was a restaurant in San Francisco called Big Nate's Barbecue.  It was owned and operated by former NBA star Nate Thurmond.  (See photo below.)
•    Remember how a fortune cookie played such a big part in the first novel, Big Nate:  In A Class By Himself?  Well, the fortune cookie was created in San Francisco in 1914 -- not in a Chinese restaurant, but in a Japanese Tea House!

 

Tue, 06/30/2015

On To You

Time for another email exchange with Kozo, my pen pal from Japan.  Here's the email he sent me along with this "Andy Capp" cartoon:

Hi Lincoln,
 
I sometimes fail to understand rather simple English.  What does Andy mean by “ She is on to me”?  Is this a common expression?
 

And here's how I responded:  

Hi Kozo,

Thanks for your question!  It's easily answered.  When someone is "on to you," it means they suspect or know what your true intentions are.  For example, let's say a man is planning to rob a bank.  He walks in and out of the bank several times, pretending he's just a customer when in fact what he's really doing is planning the details of his robbery.  After walking in and out of the bank for the fourth or fifth time, he notices that a police officer is following him.  The man might think to himself:  "That policeman is on to me."  In other words:  even though the man is pretending to be a bank customer, the policeman suspects that he is planning to rob the bank.

So in the cartoon, Flo remarks that, in her opinion, fishing just looks like an excuse for Andy to sit around drinking beer.  Others may fish because they like eating fish, or because they enjoy the challenge of it, or because they just like being outdoors.  But Flo obviously knows her husband very well, and she knows none of those reasons explain why Andy is fishing.  He's fishing because he likes sitting around drinking beer and doing nothing.  When Andy says "She's on to me," he's privately admitting that Flo is right.  He doesn't care about fishing.  He just wants to relax and drink beer.

Hope that helps, Kozo.  Write anytime!

Best wishes,

Lincoln


For those of you unfamiliar with "Andy Capp," it's a British comic strip.  It was created in 1957 by a cartoonist named Reg Smythe, and it has continued since Smythe's death in 1998.  It's currently credited to a trio of Mahoney, Goldsmith & Garnett.  "Andy Capp" (a bit of a pun on the word "handicap") started as a single-panel feature but Smythe eventually turned it into a true strip.  Andy, the title character, is a chronically unemployed fellow whose hobbies include darts, snooker, and drinking beer.  His wife, Florrie (often called Flo) works as a house cleaner.  In the early days of the strip, Andy's chronic drunkenness was the strip's dominant theme, but as attitudes about alcohol use changed over time, the focus of the strip shifted away from Andy's intoxication and toward his overall laziness.  "Andy Capp" was one of my favorite strips when I was a boy -- partly because I liked the drawings, and partly because, like my friend Kozo, I learned some things about language.  Before I began reading this strip, I'd never heard words like "vicar," "snooker," or "charwoman."  

That's all for this time.  Tomorrow I fly to San Francisco for the American Library Association annual conference.  Cheers!

Fri, 06/26/2015

Drawn Together Recap

Hi, everyone.  I'm back from my whirlwind trip to Los Angeles for Drawn Together:  Cartoonists Unite To Support Los Angeles School Libraries.  We had a great turnout at the event, and it was great fun -- though not without a couple of stressful moments!  Anyway, first let me point out the pictures shown here.  The first one is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.  It's certainly a striking building from the outside, and inside it's just as spectacular.  I took the next three photos of Jeff Kinney, Stephan Pastis, and Dav Pilkey in the green room about an hour before we took the stage.  (I like to take headshots of people to document events, and the guys were kind enough to indulge me.)

Now, what about the stresses I mentioned?  Well, for me the biggest difficulty involved -- surprise! -- technology.  On the day of the event, we got to the concert hall early to pre-sign books and run through our power points to make sure everything was working okay.  I was showing about 35 slides, and as I quickly previewed them on the giant screen over the stage, they all looked great -- except for one.  It was a slide that was supposed to show the covers of all seven Big Nate chapter books, but for some reason, only three of them were showing up on the slide.  I had the powerpoint on my laptop, and the slide looked fine in that version, so I offered to transfer a clean copy of the powerpoint over to the computer being used in the concert hall's control room.  But -- surprise #2! -- my computer froze.  It was only after repeated attempts, a couple of reboots, and some tech support from Jeff that we managed to make the transfer.  And by this point, we were starting to run out of time.  Finally, we succeeded in loading a good copy of my powerpoint onto the control room computer.  I ran through my slides again to make sure, and everything looked A-OK.  Problem solved.

But there was another problem.  Our celebrity hostess who'd graciously agreed to emcee the event, Emmy Award-winning actress Julie Bowen, was supposed to arrive at the hall by 12:15 to get ready for the 1:00 show.  She did not arrive by 12:15.  Or 12:30.  Or 12:45.  Or 1:00.  She was caught in horrible traffic, and we faced the very real possibility of starting without her.  But kids and their parents were still making their way to their seats at 1:05, so we had a little wiggle room.  Finally, Julie arrived at 1:15, and we were able to start the show by about 1:25.  (A huge thank you to all the folks in the audience for their patience!)

Then it was time for our presentations.  I went first, and -- surprise #3! -- when the "problem slide" appeared on screen, it had reverted back to its earlier, incomplete appearance.  It really wasn't a big deal, and I just blipped over it.  But I still can't understand the technology behind such an issue.  Why would a powerpoint slide appear complete one moment and incomplete the next?  I'm sure some tech-savvy folks know the answer, but I certainly don't.  

Then Stephan, Jeff, and Dav all did their presentations (Dav also had a powerpoint issue:  a couple of his slides actually DISAPPEARED), and they were all terrific.  We took a couple pictures with Julie Bowen, then zipped off to the lobby, where we signed posters, books, and bookmarks for the better part of two hours.  I hope all the folks who attended had fun; I certainly did!

(P.S.  This weekend also marked the first time in my life I've ever sung karaoke!  Jeff is a huge karaoke fan, and we all went out later that night and warbled some tunes into the wee hours.  Thank goodness no video or audio of my performance exists!)

Tue, 06/23/2015

Drawn Together Is This Weekend!

There's still time for one final plug:  if you're going to be in or near Los Angeles on Saturday, June 20th, please consider attending DRAWN TOGETHER:  CARTOONISTS UNITE TO BENEFIT LOS ANGELES SCHOOL LIBRARIES.  I'll be appearing alongside my friends and fellow author/cartoonists JEFF KINNEY, DAV PILKEY, and STEPHAN PASTIS for a fun-filled afternoon of presentations and signings at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA.  Interested?  You'll find information here about purchasing tickets for the event:

http://www.drawntogetherla.org

Just last night, Stephan and I did a phone interview about Drawn Together with our friend Tom Racine of TALL TALE RADIO.  You can listen here:

http://www.talltaleradio.com/episode-219-stephan-pastis-and-lincoln-peirce/

I'll be flying back home on Sunday, and will tell you all about the weekend's happenings right here next week.

Work continues on the illustrations for BIG NATE BLASTS OFF.  A neighborhood kid asked me recently:  WILL YOU BE INVENTING A NEW SECRET CODE FOR THE NEXT BOOK?  The answer's no.  The code for BLASTS OFF will be the same one I used for LIVES IT UP.  That's consistent with what I've done thus far in the series:  I've created a coded alphabet four times, and each of those alphabets has been used for two books.  It would have been pretty dull to use the same code for all eight books; but on the other hand, I think it would have proven too difficult to invent eight different alphabets.  I decided early on that I was only going to create codes based on two shapes -- the square and the circle -- and I wanted to keep the designs simple and straightforward.  If the symbols were too complicated or overly detailed, I thought they might be difficult to read once my original illustrations were reduced in size and printed in the books.  Plus, I couldn't use color.  All the illustrations are in black and white.  Given those restrictions, I decided that inventing a new code every TWO books would work just fine.  And it has.  There'll be plenty of hidden messages to decode in BIG NATE BLASTS OFF!

Fri, 06/19/2015

Title Talk

Hi, everyone.  My apologies for posting only one blog entry last week.  Our daughter Dana graduated from high school, and that meant a baccalaureate ceremony and luncheon on Thursday, commencement and a family dinner on Friday.  I decided to focus on all the festivities and take a break from blogging.  But now the school year is officially over.  The last domino to fall was on Saturday, when Dana's lacrosse team got knocked out of the playoffs in the semifinals.  She's no longer a high schooler!

Anyway...let's talk about titles.  As I've mentioned before, book #8 will be called BIG NATE BLASTS OFF.  It's a title I've had in mind for quite some time.  Here's a review the first seven books and how I arrived at the titles..

The first book, for quite some time, was going to be called simply BIG NATE.  But at some point, my editor said that the sales staff felt a subtitle would be helpful.  After some brainstorming, I came up with BIG NATE:  IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF.  There was some apprehension that it might be too wordy, but I liked it.  It not only sums up how Nate feels about himself, it's also a bit of a play on words.  After all, Nate ends up in detention (for multiple infractions) by the book's conclusion, so he really IS in a class by himself -- literally.

The titles for books 2 and 3 were both suggested by my friends at HarperCollins.  I agreed to BIG NATE STRIKES AGAIN before I even started writing the book; but once I laid out the storyline of Nate and Gina working together on a project about Ben Franklin, the title seemed apt.  After all, Ben Franklin is renowned for having surmised that lightning carries an electric charge -- and when lightning hits, it STRIKES.  Not only that, the subplot of book 2 involved fleeceball, a type of indoor baseball -- and STRIKE is a word used frequently in baseball.  STRIKES AGAIN really was a great title for that storyline.  Similarly, the title of book 3, BIG NATE: ON A ROLL, hints at the fact that something that rolls -- a skateboard -- will play a major part in the story. 

The next two titles I thought up myself.  The title of book 4, BIG NATE GOES FOR BROKE, provides a clue about the story:  Nate BREAKS a bone in the book, and he and his P.S. 38 classmates also BREAK the ridiculous winning streak of their rival, Jefferson Middle School.  I called the fifth book BIG NATE FLIPS OUT because in the story, Nate's entire world is FLIPPED upside down:  his friendship with Francis is jeopardized, and he also undergoes a dramatic change after being hypnotized by Teddy's Uncle Pedro. 

The great folks at HarperCollins suggested the next title:  BIG NATE:  IN THE ZONE.  The title, which I liked immediately, gave me the idea for the storyline, in which Nate endures a stretch of very bad luck, after which his luck shifts in such improbable fashion that suddenly, he can do no wrong.  When you're on a hot streak like that, you're sometimes said to be IN THE ZONE, so the title really matched the narrative very well.  The title of book 7, BIG NATE LIVES IT UP, was meant to be somewhat ironic:  LIVING IT UP means having a great time, but for much of the book, Nate's not having a great time at all.  He's stuck in a role as the reluctant "buddy" to a new kid with whom he has very little in common.  But the title also refers to the book's final chapter, in which the word UP describes the prize-winning conclusion to the scavenger hunt won by Nate's Non-Stoppers.

Which brings us, finally, to BIG NATE BLASTS OFF.  This title was actually suggested to me by a student in a Texas elementary school several years ago.  He suggested that the final book in the Big Nate series should be called BLASTS OFF, and that the story should involve Nate riding a rocket ship into outer space.  Well, space travel isn't part of the story, but BIG NATE BLASTS OFF is still a really good title for this book.  I won't explain why just yet.  What I WILL tell you, though, is that the entire story is written, and I've started work on all the finished drawings.  I hope to have them done sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  So the next few months will be pretty busy!

Tue, 06/16/2015

Classic Comics

If you've read BIG NATE LIVES IT UP, you know that part of the story involves Nate's discovery of a kindred spirit -- Edna Birkdale, a student who attended P.S. 38 one hundred years ago, and who obviously shared Nate's love of cartooning.  Nate not only appreciates Edna's talent, he's also enough of a comics historian to see the similarities between her cartoons and some of those that were popular a century earlier.  In the drawing shown here, from page 131 of BNLIU, Nate mentions a few newspaper strips from the Early Golden Age of Cartooning:  Happy Hooligan, The Katzenjammer Kids, Krazy Kat, Thimble Theatre, and Little Nemo In Slumberland.  For me, this drawing was a real treat to work on.  I drew (as best I could) pictures of Krazy Kat & Ignatz Mouse, Popeye the Sailor, and Little Nemo.  I also thoroughly enjoyed working on Edna's comics in the rest of the book.  Drawing in a style reminiscent of classic comic strips was great fun, and gave me a renewed appreciation for the cartooning genius of those early masters.

It also reminded me of how I discovered some of those early comics in the first place.  (I've probably blogged about this before, but any story that highlights the importance of books and libraries is worth repeating!)

I was a freshman in high school, and was rather aimlessly poking around the school library during a free period when I discovered this book:  THE SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION OF NEWSPAPER COMICS.  I hadn't been looking for a book about comics; in fact, I'm sure it would have never occurred to me to search the library for a book celebrating classic comic strips.  You just didn't see any books about comics in libraries back then -- let alone books like this one, which examined comic strips in a scholarly way and discussed them as a unique American art form.  This was a couple of decades before the internet, so archives of classic comics were very difficult to find.  Some of the great comic strips from those halcyon days were still in production -- I read chestnuts like Mutt & Jeff and Li'l Abner in The Boston Globe when I was a boy -- but just as many of them had been retired by their creators decades earlier.  Reading this book was a revelation.  Many of the strips it featured -- strips that had been household names for generations of readers -- were entirely new to me.  It felt as if I had discovered a magical world that nobody but me knew about...and among my fellow students, that was largely true.  None of them shared my interest in these great comics of the past.  But in the years since, I've met several cartoonists who, like me, found this book almost 40 years ago and were just as enchanted as I was.

Nowadays, of course, it's easy to learn all there is to know about classic comics on the internet, and today's young & aspiring cartoonists are the lucky beneficiaries of all that information.  But I was lucky, too -- lucky that my high school library saw fit to include this book on its shelves, and luckier still that I happened to find it.  Perhaps I was on the road to becoming a cartoonist no matter what, but there's no doubt in my mind that THE SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION OF NEWSPAPER COMICS played a huge part in the choices I made in the years to come.  In the computer-free days of my youth, one book made a world of difference.

Tue, 06/09/2015

Drawn Togther

Do you live within a manageable drive of Los Angeles?  If so, maybe I'll see you at a very special event coming soon to that great city:  DRAWN TOGETHER:  CARTOONISTS UNITE TO BENEFIT LOS ANGELES SCHOOL LIBRARIES.  It's taking place on Saturday, June 20th at 1:00 pm in the spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall.  I'll be joining my friends JEFF KINNEY (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), DAV PILKEY (Captain Underpants), and STEPHAN PASTIS (Timmy Failure) for a fun-filled afternoon of presentations and signings, hosted by the Emmy Award-winning actress, JULIE BOWEN

This is the second Drawn Together benefit.  The first took place in Oklahoma in September of 2013 after much of the town of Moore was wiped out by a tornado.  Jeff immediately started brainstorming about ways to help; specifically, he wanted to find a way to raise some money to assist in rebuilding Moore's school libraries.  He asked me, Dav, and Stephan if we'd like to team up with him, and that's just what we did.  There were two events that weekend:  one in Tulsa, the other in Norman, on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.  We each gave a short powerpoint presentation about ourselves and our books, and then we signed hundreds of Drawn Together posters for hundreds of kids.  It was great fun, and all four of us cherished the opportunity to give something back to school libraries, which have been so supportive of all of us through the years.

This year, there'll be only one event instead of two -- but the venue is much bigger, and we're hoping to see at least as large a turnout as we had at the two events in Oklahoma combined.  And once again, all proceeds will benefit school libraries.  Each of our publishers has generously agreed to donate 400 books; we'll pre-sign those the morning of the event, and they'll be on sale at a discounted price.  I'm looking forward to seeing my colleagues again, watching their presentations, and meeting all of you who are able to attend.

Interested?  You can find out more about Drawn Together and buy tickets at http://www.drawntogetherla.org

Hope to see you there!
 

Fri, 06/05/2015

A Thank You to Mrs. Campbell

Based on my depiction of characters like Mrs. Godfrey and Coach John, you might think that my childhood was chock-full of nightmarish teachers.  And it was.  But I had plenty of GOOD teachers, too.  One of them was my 7th grade math teacher, Mrs. Campbell.  (That's not her real name; I've changed it to protect her privacy.)

Recently, I received an email from a teacher in my hometown, telling me that Mrs. Campbell will be retiring this month after 43 years of teaching.  I was asked to write a letter to Mrs. Campbell, to be included in a book of reminiscences from former students.  I was pleased and proud to do so.  Here's what I wrote:

Dear Mrs. Campbell,

I suppose, now that I'm 51 years old, that it wouldn't seem inappropriate for me to address you by your first name, but I can't imagine doing so.  Our former teachers remain fixed in memory exactly as we remember them -- which means you'll always be Mrs. Campbell to me.

What a wonderful teacher you were!  I've probably forgotten most of the math you taught me, but who cares?  I'm of the belief that the knowledge dispensed in a classroom is just about the LEAST important factor to consider when assessing the impact a teacher can have on a young life.  What really matters is the kindness an adult shows a child, and how that kindness contributes to the student's sense of well-being.  You had a gift for making your students feel loved, respected, and safe.  That's what remains when all the textbook learning fades away.  When I write the words "You were a great teacher," what I'm really saying is:  You are a beautiful person.  That was clear to me even as a 12 year-old boy, and I'm sure it's as true today as it was almost forty years ago.

I became a teacher myself, briefly, before I got started in my current line of work.  For three years, I was the art teacher and baseball coach at a Jesuit high school for boys in New York City.  I thought of you often during that time, and I tried to become the kind of teacher to those boys that you'd been to me.  I appreciated your setting the bar so high.  Your example gave me something to aspire to.

Mrs. Campbell, thank you for making a difference in my life, and congratulations on 43 years of teaching.  I wish you a long and happy retirement.

With very best wishes,

Lincoln Peirce
 

Tue, 06/02/2015

Head Injuries

Over in the comic strip world, Nate is dealing with the aftereffects of a mild concussion after being beaned in a Little League baseball game.  Head injuries are no laughing matter, obviously, but in my ongoing quest to depict Nate as an authentic kid, I thought it was high time he dealt with something that seems to affect just about every young person who plays sports at one time or another (not to mention college and pro athletes).  Concussions really have become an epidemic in recent years.

It wasn't always this way, of course.  It's only been during the last decade that concussions have been more thoroughly researched.  Before that, nobody seemed to take them very seriously.  When I was a high school hockey player, I was once knocked unconscious during the second period of a game.  I was revived in the locker room, where a teammate's father, who happened to be a doctor, looked at my eyes and asked me to specify how many fingers he was holding up.  When I answered correctly, he sent me back into the game.  I didn't give it a second thought.  Neither did my parents, my coach, or any other players on the team.  I'm positive I suffered a concussion -- I remember having headaches and feeling sick for days afterward -- but nobody ever used that word.  And there were no safeguards in place back then to protect the developing brains of young athletes.

Nate, fortunately, lives in a different era.  His doctor and his father are taking no chances.  They've forbidden him from reading or looking at any screens for a week.  And if P.S. 38 is at all progressive, his school has done some baseline testing of Nate's cognition, reflexes, etc. when he's at 100% -- data to use in comparison to his condition after his injury.  Plus, Nate's doctor has probably made him aware that having suffered one concussion, he's now more likely to suffer additional concussions.  He's more susceptible. 

And now a few words about panel #4 in the cartoon shown here.  When our kids were little, we took a family trip to Mont Tremblant in Canada -- about an 8-hour drive.  Our daughter Dana was in kindergarten or first grade at the time, and wanted to listen to books on tape during the trip.  She had her own little tape player and headphones in the back seat of the car, so she was equipped to listen to whatever book she liked.  And the book she was especially fond of at that time was one of the late Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones books.  After only about an hour in the car, Dana's headphones stopped working...but she wanted to continue listening to the book.  So she did.  For the next seven hours.  I have no problem with the Junie B. Jones series.  But after that trip, I DID have a problem with the voice actor hired to read the Junie B. Jones books.  Seven hours of her and I was ready to drive off a bridge.  Nate clearly feels the same way!
 

Fri, 05/29/2015