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Kline, Suzy 1943–

Kline, Suzy 1943–

Personal

Born August 27, 1943, in Berkeley, CA; daughter of Harry C. (in real estate) and Martha S. (a substitute school teacher) Weaver; married Rufus O. Kline (a college teacher, newspaper correspondent, and children's author), October 12, 1968; children: Jennifer, Emily. Education: Attended Columbia University; University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1966; California State College (now University), Hayward, Standard Elemen-

tary Credential, 1967. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Presbyterian. Hobbies and other interests: Writing, walking, dancing, sports, reading, movies and plays, spending time with grandchildren, traveling with her husband.

Addresses

Home—Willington, CT. E-mail—Suzy@SuzyKline.com.

Career

Author and educator. Elementary schoolteacher in Richmond, CA, 1968-71; Southwest School, Torrington, CT, elementary teacher, 1976-2000. University of Connecticut, Storrs, graduate instructor in teaching children's literature, 2001-03. Presenter at schools and workshops.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN, New England Reading Association, Connecticut Education Association, Torrington Education Association.

Awards, Honors

Best Books designation, Christian Science Monitor, 1985, and West Virginia Children's Book Award, 1987-88, for Herbie Jones; International Reading Association Children's Choice Awards, 1986, for Herbie Jones, 1987, for What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, 1989, for Horrible Harry in Room 2-B, 1990, for Orp, and 1991, for Orp and the Chop Suey Burgers; School District Teacher of the Year Award, State of Connecticut, 1987; Probus Educator of the Year Award, 1988.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Shhhh!, illustrated by Dora Leder, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1984.

Don't Touch!, illustrated by Dora Leder, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1985.

Ooops!, illustrated by Dora Leder, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1987.

The Hole Book, illustrated by Laurie Newton, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

Molly's in a Mess ("Molly Zander" series), illustrated by Diana Cain Blumenthal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Molly Gets Mad ("Molly Zander" series), illustrated by Diana Cain Blumenthal, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.

"HERBIE JONES" SERIES

Herbie Jones, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1985.

What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1986.

Herbie Jones and the Class Gift, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1987.

Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1988.

Herbie Jones and Hamburger Head, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

The Herbie Jones Reader's Theater, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Herbie Jones and the Birthday Showdown, illustrated by Carl Cassler, Putnam (New York, NY), 1993.

Herbie Jones Moves On, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.

Herbie Jones Sails into Second Grade, illustrated by Sami Sweeten, Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.

Herbie Jones and the Second Grade Slippers, illustrated by Sami Sweeten, Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.

"HORRIBLE HARRY" SERIES

Horrible Harry in Room 2-B, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1988.

Horrible Harry and the Green Slime, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Horrible Harry's Secret, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.

Horrible Harry and the Dungeon, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Horrible Harry and the Purple People, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2000.

Horrible Harry at Halloween, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2000.

Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2001.

Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.

Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

Horrible Harry and the Locked Closet, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2004.

Horrible Harry and the Goog, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2005.

Horrible Harry Takes the Cake, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2006.

Horrible Harry and the Triple Revenge, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2006.

Horrible Harry Cracks the Code, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.

Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2008.

Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters, illustrated by Amy Wummer, Viking (New York, NY), 2008.

"ORP" SERIES

Orp, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

Orp and the Chop Suey Burgers, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.

Orp Goes to the Hoop, Putnam (New York, NY), 1991.

Who's Orp's Girlfriend?, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Orp and the FBI, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.

"MARY MARONY" SERIES

Mary Marony and the Snake, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Mary Marony Hides Out, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1993.

Mary Marony, Mummy Girl, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1994.

Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.

Marvin and the Mean Words, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1997.

Marvin and the Meanest Girl, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.

"SONG LEE" SERIES

Song Lee in Room 2-B, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1993.

Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.

Song Lee and the Leech Man, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.

Also author of plays for local elementary school. Contributor to Instructor magazine.

Adaptations

Several of Kline's books have been adapted as audiobooks. James Larson adapted Horrible Harry in Room 2B and Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade for a touring stage production, 2008.

Sidelights

As a former elementary schoolteacher, Suzy Kline knows a lot about kids, and as a writer she has inspired young children with a love of reading that she hopes they will retain throughout their lives. Her award-winning chapter books feature endearing and realistic characters such as third grader Herbie Jones; second-grade stutterer Mary Marony; a basketball-crazy middle schooler who answers to the nickname "Orp"; Horrible Harry, the rambunctious nemesis of his second-and third-grade teachers; and Song Lee, the object of Harry's affections. Kline also has a sure-fire ability to create true-to-life plots, which she relates using plenty of down-to-earth humor. Her "characters are all well defined, with their own unique personalities finely drawn," noted Cheryl Cufari in an appraisal of one of Kline's books for School Library Journal. Pat Leach, reviewing a book from the "Mary Marony" series in the same periodical, added that "Kline understands the dynamics of relationships in the primary grades." Observing the long-running popularity of Kline's stories, Carolyn Phelan noted in Booklist of the publication of Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears that "not many series reach the 20-year mark, but [Kline's "Horrible Harry" series] … is still going strong."

Kline was born in Berkeley, California, in 1943, and her first foray into writing occurred at age eight, when she wrote a series of letters to her ailing grandfather in Indiana. After high school she attended Columbia University for a year before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, to earn her bachelor's degree in 1966 and her teaching credentials the following year. In 1968 Kline got a job teaching in an elementary school in Richmond, California, where she remained for three years. She also married Rufus O. Kline, a local college teacher and writer, and together they had two daughters. In 1976 the Kline family moved to New England, and they have made their home in Connecticut ever since.

Kline's first titles for children were picture books. In 1984's Shhhh!, an energetic, chatty youngster lists all the people who tell her to pipe down during the day, until she tiptoes out of doors to make all the noise she possibly can before she settles down to being quiet again. Called "delightful" by School Library Journal contributor Lisa Redd, Shhhh! portrays "a situation common to all children." Don't Touch! finds young Dan similarly reprimanded: sharp edges, hot pans, wet paint, and the like are barriers to his curiosity. Finally, he gets hold of some modeling clay, which he can touch to his heart's content in this picture book that Joan McGrath noted in School Library Journal should be "satisfying to kids who are constantly admonished to keep hands off."

Kline introduced the first of her popular elementary-school characters in Herbie Jones. A reluctant reader, Herbie tries to get out of the "slow" class while finding that causing trouble seems to impress his peers. Finally, he sets his mind on his schoolwork, and his grades start to climb. Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper offered a favorable assessment of Kline's "shrewd depictions of childhood concerns," and added that Herbie is joined by "a fine supporting cast of characters." What's the Matter with Herbie Jones? finds Kline's young hero in a romantic muddle as he falls head over heels for Annabelle Louisa Hodgekiss. When his friends catch him reading poetry and being seen with a GIRL in public, they take swift—and humorous—action to save their comrade in a book that Cooper called "a fun read."

Other books featuring the popular third grader include Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, "another sure winner," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic. In Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, Herbie tries out for the local baseball team coached by his favorite uncle, while he is bumped up to an attic bedroom when Grandpa comes for a long-term visit in Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic. Kline has expanded the elementary-grader's saga by returning to his second-grade years in chapter books such as Herbie Jones Sails into Second Grade, which finds the boy relieved to find a likeable male teacher at the head of the class and happy to make a new student friend. Youngsters "venturing into chapter books will also enjoy Herbie's previous home-and-school-centered adventures," assured Phelan in her Booklist review of Herbie Jones Sails into Second Grade.

In Horrible Harry in Room 2-B, readers meet the impish Harry as seen through the eyes of his best friend, Doug. Dubbed "horrible" in a lighthearted way, Harry loves to play practical jokes, especially when they prompt screams of terror from second-grade girls. Kline illustrates each of Harry's antics in short chapters; in Horrible Harry and the Green Slime, he not only concocts some nasty green slime, but drapes the school with spider webs and gets involved in other mischief, fitting "comfortably into the genre of light classroom realism," according to Betsy Hearne in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Horrible Harry's Secret teams Harry with fellow classmate Song Lee, a Korean girl who has a water frog that eats liver—a sure-fire magnet for second-grade boys. Harry is attracted to more than the frog, however, and falling for Song Lee sends him into a tizzy. "Harry's appeal is that he's both ‘gross’ and vulnerable," according to Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman, who found Kline's classroom tales full of kid charm. Commenting on Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, Rochman stated that "Kline evokes the farce of the classroom, and just a glimpse of the hurt, too." In Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, Song Lee invites Harry, Doug, and some of their classmates on a trip to Mountainside Amusement Park; Harry is delighted until his archnemesis, Sidney, tells him about one of the rides, which features a thirteen-storey elevator drop. As the tale continues to play out in what Booklist critic Kay Weisman deemed a "breezy text," Harry, who was once stuck inside an elevator, has to face his fears.

Harry and his classmates "loop together," and all end up in the same third-grade class as their adventures continue. In Horrible Harry Moves Up to the Third Grade, Harry must again confront Sidney when Sidney kills Harry's pet spider. "Harry's many fans will clamor for this enjoyable story," assured Booklist contributor Lauren Peterson. Harry disappoints his classmates by not dressing as something scary in Horrible Harry at Halloween. He explains that he is LAPD Sergeant Joe Friday of the popular television program Dragnet, and when one of his classmates realizes part of her costume is missing, it is up to Harry to solve the mystery. "Harry's detective work is delicious," praised Rochman in her review of the story for Booklist. Class 3-B goes on a riverboat trip in Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, and everything goes swimmingly until Song Lee discovers that Sidney is missing. The class scrambles to make sure that the boy has not gone overboard, prompting Ashley Larsen to write in School Library Journal that fans will "enjoy the class's exploits." Also reviewing Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, Phelan predicted in her Booklist review that readers will "happily climb aboard" to spend more time with Class 3-B.

In Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, Harry and Song Lee agree to work on a project on dragons together, only to realize that they have completely different ideas about dragons. When Harry calls Song Lee's dragon "stupid," their fight begins. Karen Hutt, writing in Booklist, commented that "Kline perfectly captures the difficulties of learning about differing opinions." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews praised the author for allow- ing "the young protagonists to solve their own problems … with light adult intervention, good intentions, and gentle forgiveness."

In Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, Harry is at his troublemaking again. When Sidney tries to get Class 3-B to tease Harry for wearing a necklace, Harry explains that the charm he is wearing is actually a mini-microscope, with which he can see the kingdom of mushrooms. He offers to show his classmates, but in order to do this they have to sneak off school grounds during recess, which is against the rules. The children follow anyway, and when their teacher asks where all the mud came from after recess Harry tells her a lie. Now his classmates must decide whether they should support Harry's fib or tell their teacher the truth. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews called Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins "another winner," and Rochman deemed Kline's chapter book "one of the best" in the "Horrible Harry" series.

Room 3-B celebrates the winter holidays in Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, but Harry does not seem to be himself. Friend Doug begins to worry when Harry's crush on Song Lee appears to have faded, but when the teacher finds out that Harry's great-grandfather has gone to live in a nursing home, she takes the whole class to visit, which cheers the boy up considerably. "The depiction of Harry's sadness … is sensitive," commented Phelan. Harry also makes appearances in Horrible Harry and the Goog and Horrible Harry Cracks the Code, a "simply written" tale featuring drawings by Frank Remkiewicz that, paired together, "vividly portray elementary-school life," according to Phelan.

Song Lee has several books in which she is not just the object of Harry's affections, but is the focus of the story. In Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, she brings a pet to school and someone leaves the cage door open. "Amusing characterizations, snappy dialogue, and a happy ending" distinguish this book, according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. Although Song Lee is shy, her sensitivity to animals and troubled classmates surfaces in Song Lee in Room 2B, prompting Maggie McEwen to remark in School Library Journal that "Kline has an exceptional talent for capturing the language, humor, and group dynamics of a primary-grade classroom." In Song Lee and the Leech Man, Sidney tattles on Song Lee, and Harry vows to avenge his friend. When Harry's practical joke on Sidney fails, Harry ends up falling in the pond, covered with leeches. "Song Lee comes to the rescue and saves the day," wrote April Judge in Booklist. In Song Lee and the "I Hate You Notes," someone is sending hate notes to Song Lee, even though she is the nicest person in the class. Although she is hurt by the notes, she gets her revenge in a very creative and unhurtful way.

Orville Rudemeyer Pygenski, Jr., survives elementary school only with the use of a nickname, Orp. When he starts an "I hate my name" club during the summer vacation after sixth grade, he realizes that he is not alone in wishing his parents had been a little less creative when he was born. In Orp Goes to the Hoop, the young teen decides that a good way to avoid chores is to join the middle-school basketball team. Ultimately, he becomes one of the team's star players, balancing his new sport with a long-distance romance with a girl named Jenny Lee. Orp's social life gets complicated in Who's Orp's Girlfriend? when two different girls at school catch the boy's eye, while longtime pen-pal Jenny Lee announces that she is coming for a visit. "Kline's gentle humor, well-paced plot, and likeable characters" are "just right" for middle-school readers, wrote Booklist contributor Chris Sherman. Orp and the FBI profiles Orp and his private detective agency, Famous Bathtub Investigators (FBI), and his rival, sister Chloe's CIA (Chloe's Investigation Agency). "The plot develops smoothly … [and] the level of suspense is maintained," commented School Library Journal contributor Carol Torrance, the critic deeming Orp and the FBI "a fun addition" to Kline's entertaining series.

Kline's first heroine to have her own series was second grader Mary Marony. In Mary Marony and the Snake, Mary fears being teased because of her speech impediment: she stutters. Her fears are realized when at least one student, mean Marvin Higgins, makes her school day miserable. Fortunately, with the help of a speech teacher, Mary gets her stutter under control. When she is the only one in her class brave enough to pick up a snake that has gotten loose in the classroom, Marvin's taunts can do little to tarnish her reputation among her classmates. "Any child who's been teased (that is, any child) will enjoy Mary's triumph," Roger Sutton asserted, while School Library Journal contributor Gale W. Sherman suggested: "Make room on the shelves for this one—young readers will love it."

In the entertaining Mary Marony, Mummy Girl, Halloween is around the corner and Mary wants to be a mummy—but where to find a costume? Without permission, she rips up her bedsheet, which works fine as a costume but makes her mom more than a little upset. Kline's spunky protagonist is "resourceful," dealing with both her stutter and "other challenges in a positive manner," maintained Elaine Lesh Morgan, describing the book in School Library Journal. Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, hailed by Booklist critic Stephanie Zvirin as "one of Kline's best," raises the moral question of whether cheating is always wrong. In Marvin and the Mean Words, bully Marvin takes the spotlight, learning what it feels like to be the target of someone's taunting. Rochman noted that "Kline's touch is light," and praised the reality of her classroom scenarios. Marvin returns in Marvin and the Meanest Girl, in which he squares off against girl-bully, Lucy Tinker. The taunting escalates until Marvin learns that Lucy's grandmother has just died, and she is being mean to cover up her own hurt. "The school action is fast, the talk is lively," wrote Rochman in Booklist.

Third-grader Molly Zander's series began in 1999 with Molly's in a Mess. The stories are narrated by Molly's best friend Morty, the more-cautious of the pair. In her first adventure, Molly gets in trouble for accidentally knocking off the principal's hairpiece. When she and Morty explain, Molly is forgiven, but she nonetheless seeks revenge on Florence, the girl who told on her. Though Molly manages to embarrass Florence in front of the whole class, she and Florence both learn some lessons about how to treat their peers, and eventually become friends. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that Molly's in a Mess "exhibits her usual flair for elementary school antics." In Molly Gets Mad, it looks like her friendship with Morty might be over. The two friends have an ice-skating race, which Molly wins, but only because Morty breaks his ankle in the process. When Molly becomes sullen when no one congratulates her as the winner, Morty tells her she is a poor sport and realizes too late that he may never be able to make things right. However, the friendship flickers back to life when Morty cheers Molly on during a game of hockey. "The real action here is off the rink," commented Pat Leach in a School Library Journal review of Molly Gets Mad, and Booklist critic Ellen Mandel praised Kline's depiction of "Molly's humorous and true-to-life antics."

"Most of my stories have been inspired by the classroom, my family and my childhood," Kline once commented. "Everyday life is full of stories if we just take the time to write them." Since her retirement from teaching in 2000, Kline has been able to travel from her native New England and devote more time to visiting students in other parts of the United States; as she once noted, "I always take my pocket notebook with me and jot down things that inspire me to write a new story." For example, she credits "some wonderful custodians and teachers" she met during her career for providing details on story and settings for Horrible Harry and the Goog, an installment in her popular series that finds Herbie's cat Goog prowling the South School teachers' lounge, teachers' restroom, and boiler room.

"I think I could go on forever writing about Herbie Jones and Horrible Harry and Song Lee," Kline added. "To me, these series are about family, friendships, and the classroom, three things that are so close to my heart. Most of all, I am blessed with a strong Christian faith, and that has made all the difference in my life."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 1985, Ilene Cooper, review of Herbie Jones, p. 1666; December 1, 1986, Ilene Cooper, review of What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, p. 579; December 1, 1990, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry's Secret, p. 751; October 1, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, p. 327; August, 1993, Chris Sherman, review of Who's Orp's Girlfriend?, p. 2062; November 15, 1994, Kay Weisman, review of Mary Marony, Mummy Girl, pp. 601-602; April 15, 1995, Mary Harris Veeder, review of Orp and the FBI, p. 1500; October 1, 1995, April Judge, review of Song Lee and the Leech Man, p. 316; December 1, 1995, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, p. 636; April 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Marvin and the Mean Words, p. 1334; February 15, 1998, Kay Weisman, review of Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, p. 1012; October 15, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade, p. 422; May 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes, p. 1594; August, 1999, Lauren Peterson, review of Molly's in a Mess, p. 2058; September 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry at Halloween, p. 241; November 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Marvin and the Meanest Girl, p. 540; September 1, 2001, Ellen Mandel, review of Molly Gets Mad, p. 106; December 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, p. 643; June 1, 2002, Karen Hutt, review of Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, p. 1740; March 15, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, p. 1327; September 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, p. 134; May 1, 2004, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Horrible Harry and the Locked Closet, p. 1499; April 15, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry and the Goog, p. 1456; February 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry Takes the Cake, p. 55; August 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Herbie Jones Sails into Second Grade, p. 95; May 1, 2007, Carolyn Phelan, review of Horrible Harry Cracks the Code, p. 49; February 1, 2008, Carolyn Phelan, review of Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears, p. 40.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1984, review of Shhhh!, p. 29; December, 1985, review of Don't Touch!, pp. 70-71; December, 1986, review of What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, pp. 70-71; May, 1989, Betsy Hearne, review of Horrible Harry and the Green Slime, p. 227; July-August, 1991, review of Orp Goes to the Hoop, pp. 266-267; June, 1992, Roger Sutton, review of Mary Marony and the Snake, pp. 266-267.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 1994, review of Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, p. 987; September 15, 2001, review of Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, p. 1360; April 15, 2002, review of Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, p. 572; February 1, 2003, review of Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, p. 233; June 1, 2006, review of Herbie Jones Sails into Second Grade, p. 575.

Publishers Weekly, October 30, 1987, review of What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, p. 72; September 8, 1988, review of Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, p. 135; March 3, 1997, review of Marvin and the Mean Words, p. 76; August 2, 1999, review of Molly's in a Mess, p. 84; November 1, 1999, review of Orp, p. 86; Septem- ber 25, 2000, review of Horrible Harry at Halloween, p. 65; June 9, 2003, review of Herbie Jones Moves On, p. 54.

School Library Journal, February, 1985, Lisa Redd, review of Shhhh!, p. 66; February, 1986, Joan McGrath, review of Don't Touch, p. 76; March, 1988, Dudley B. Carlson, review of Herbie Jones and the Class Gift, p. 192; April, 1989, Hayden E. Atwood, review of Orp, pp. 102-103; December, 1992, Cheryl Cufari, review of Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic, p. 85; April, 1993, Gale W. Sherman, review of Mary Marony and the Snake, p. 98; July, 1993, Julie Tomlianovich, review of Who's Orp's Girlfriend?, p. 86; September, 1993, Maggie McEwen, review of Song Lee in Room 2B, pp. 209-210; November, 1993, Cynthia Cordes, review of Mary Marony Hides Out, p. 85; September, 1994, review of Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, p. 187; December, 1994, Elaine Lesh Morgan, review of Mary Marony, Mummy Girl, p. 77; May, 1995, Carol Torrance, review of Orp and the FBI, p. 108; December, 1995, Suzanne Hawley, review of Song Lee and the Leech Man, p. 83; May, 1997, Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, review of Marvin and the Mean Words, p. 102; September, 1997, Carrie A. Guarria, review of Horrible Harry and the Purple People, p. 184; August, 1998, Suzanne Hawley, review of Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, p. 142; September, 1998, Linda Binder, review of Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade, p. 175; June, 1999, Pat Leach, review of Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes, p. 99; August, 1999, Maggie McEwen, review of Molly's in a Mess, p. 138; February, 2000, Pat Leach, review of Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon, p. 96; September, 2000, Janie Schomberg, review of Horrible Harry at Halloween, p. 202; August, 2001, Pat Leach, review of Molly Gets Mad, p. 155; November, 2001, Ashley Larsen, review of Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, p. 127; August, 2002, Laurie von Mehren, review of Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, p. 159; October, 2003, Eva Mitnick, review of Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, p. 65; November, 2004, Kristina Aaronson, review of Horrible Harry and the Locked Closet, p. 108; July, 2005, Lynda S. Poling, review of Horrible Harry and the Goog, p. 75; May, 2006, Diane Eddington, review of Horrible Harry Takes the Cake, p. 92; August, 2006, Kate Kohlbeck, review of Herbie Jones and the Second Grade Slippers, p. 90.

ONLINE

Suzy Kline Home Page,http://www.suzykline.com (April 15, 2008).

Autobiography Feature

Suzy Kline

Kline contributed the following autobiographical essay to SATA:

Some Autobiographical Reflections … about My Motivations for Writing, together with Notes about the People and Experiences That Shaped My Writing, and the Rewards I Get From It

The most important thing I own as a writer is my pocket notebook. I carry it with me all the time. When I was teaching for twenty-seven years, there were days when I would say, "Ohhhh … that would make a great story!" And then I would write down one or two words. That's all I had time for. But let me tell you, those one or two words I recorded during my school year became seeds for stories I wrote in the summer. I'd like to share a few story seeds from my old pocket notebooks. I'll begin with the one that motivated me to write the very first "Horrible Harry" book in 1988.

Stub Pencil

Twenty-five years ago, when I was teaching second grade at Southwest School in Torrington, Connecticut, I had a student named Robert. Every week Robert walked into my classroom he had a new complaint. This particular week it was the pencil sharpener. "It's so bad," he said, "I'm bringing my own." I said "Fine." And he did. It was a very small, white, plastic pencil sharpener that enabled him to sharpen his pencil shorter than anyone else. The day of our spelling test, Robert was writing with a pencil stub not much bigger than my wedding ring. "Robert!" I said. "Do you want a new pencil?" And he said, "No thank you, Mrs. Kline. I like writing with stubs." After he had taken his spelling test (and he had gotten 100 percent too!), I asked if I could see it more closely. And that's when Robert said, "Mrs. Kline, it's yours."

I know that pencil stub was the best gift I ever got from one of my students. I took it home and set it next to my typewriter. There's a story here, I thought. I'm making up a character and I'll name him Harry after my dad (because my grandfather told me my dad was mischievous when he was young. One example of that was my dad putting a cow pattie in my grandfather's mailbox!) Then I picked up the pencil stub, and thought. Harry does something with these…. he makes scary people! He uses all the scraps from the classroom floor like bits of clay and erasers, broken crayons, pieces of used construction paper. Harry's motive? To bring Doom to Room 2B with his Invasion of the Stub Pencils. Harry loves to scare people just for fun.

Sometimes I get letters from readers and they ask me if I ever had a Horrible Harry in my classroom. I sure did—every year! Some years I had two or three. But the truth is that although the Harrys could drive me nuts sometimes, they always made class more fun. And I loved each one!

(P.S. I keep Robert's stub pencil in a small box and share it with schools when I visit.)

Purple Hanger

One particular week, my students were coming to school earlier and earlier. On Monday, they arrived five minutes before the bell. I thought … maybe they love school and can't wait to get here. That was not the reason. Tuesday, my students were racing up the hall ten minutes before the bell. What was going on? I looked around our classroom. We had three frog tanks but there were no eggs yet. Wednesday, when a handful of students showed up fifteen minutes before the bell, I stepped out into the hallway and found out why.

I was teaching at a school that was one hundred years old, and we still had the original wooden hangers! The previous week, one of my wooden hangers broke so I brought one from home. One purple plastic hanger. I

put it on the rack with the other twenty wooden hangers. The reason why my students were racing down the hall was because they wanted to be the person to hang their jacket on the purple hanger! I immediately took out my notebook and wrote down two words, "purple hanger."

The following summer I wrote the book Horrible Harry and the Purple People. It all started with the color purple. The purple hanger was the seed for that manuscript. I usually have a muse, too, when I'm writing. This time it was the writer Lewis Carroll. I had been reading his book Alice in Wonderland to my class that year. "The Purple Party" at the end of Horrible Harry and the Purple People was definitely inspired by the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and explains why the theme—imagination—permeates the entire book.

Orange Sticker

Now that I'm a grandmother and not teaching anymore, I get a lot of my ideas from schools that I visit, and from my grandchildren. Two years ago when I would ask my grandson Jake how school was going, he always talked about an orange sticker. "What was that?" I asked. I knew he didn't get one and he was not happy about that. Jake explained to me that in his school cafeteria one person in each class found an orange sticker under their milk carton. That lucky person got a prize from the cook! I knew Harry, who was then developing an interest in detective work, would love to figure out who got an orange sticker in his class. But how? A mathematical code! I mentioned it once before in Horrible Harry and the Dungeon. Mr. Scooghammer is the suspension teacher and teaches Harry about the Fibonacci numbers. It would be easy to say that Mrs. Thunderburke, the cook, was taking a college math course and was going to use a special code. Harry would try to crack it! The orange sticker was the first seed for Horrible Harry Cracks the Code, which came out in 2007. The second seed for this book was …

The Ketchup Lady

When I was making an author visit at the Helen Keller School in Franklin, Massachusetts, I had the good fortune to meet Terry Fenton. She was a volunteer mother who helped out in the cafeteria. The kids called her the "Ketchup Lady." When I asked her why, she said she would walk around holding a large container of ketchup. If a kid was eating nicely she would squirt a ketchup happy-face on his plate. I was so charmed! It had to happen at Harry's school! I drew a picture of a ketchup happy-face in my pocket notebook! Now I knew the cafeteria setting for Horrible Harry Cracks the Code was going to be fun.

Chemistry Lesson

My daughter Jennifer came home from high school chemistry one day and said, "Mom, we made this great substance in class today. It's two states of matter." "Two?" I said. "How could that be?" And she showed me. We went to the sink and she got out some cornstarch and water. The ratio was two parts cornstarch to one part water. After she stirred it, she lifted some with her spoon and let it drip onto a plate. The substance flowed like a slimy liquid, but when it landed, it turned solid. It was so cool!

At the time, I was working on a chapter about Harry doing demonstration talks with his class. I didn't know what Harry would do. But I sure did now. He would make slime! And probably make it green. And that's how this story seed—a chemistry lesson—gave birth to Horrible Harry and the Green Slime. The author who inspired me for this book was E.B. White and his book Charlotte's Web. I read White's masterpiece to my class every year, and we so loved the character Charlotte, we had our own cobweb invasion, just like in Room 2B.

The Monster Ball

My husband's brother Doug came to visit us one summer for two weeks. He ended up staying with us for seven years. He moved up to the attic and made a face on a basketball. He called it the Monster Ball and pretended it could talk. When he came down to the breakfast table, he would bring the Monster Ball and pretend to be listening to it. Jennifer and Emily, my two daughters, would ask, "What did the Monster Ball say?"

Uncle Doug would say, "Just a minute, he's not through talking yet." And then, after a quiet moment, he would say something like, "The Monster Ball says that even though it's raining you're going to have a great day at school."

I decided to use this Monster Ball in my book Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball. And of course Uncle Dwight was based on our eccentric Uncle Doug. The six years that my husband coached Little League for Jennifer and Emily's teams provided lots of details for the baseball parts of the story.

Carl Sandburg's Poem, "Fog"

I have always loved Carl Sandburg's poetry. In the book What's the Matter with Herbie Jones? I had Herbie team up with Annabelle to write poetry. It was a great opportunity to use some of Sandburg's poems, like "Fog." Herbie was inspired by Sandburg too. That's why he wrote this gem, which I included in the book:

A daddy longlegs
comes across the sealing
It sits looking
over the bedroom
on its haunches
and then walks on.

Another poem below that Herbie penned is actually one I wrote in the third grade when I was on a Sunday drive with my parents. My maiden name was Weaver.

Let's go home.
Someones on the phone.
Lift up the reseaver
It's Mr. Weaver
Lets go home.

Yellow Scarf

One spring I spent a week visiting Cherokee Bend Elementary School in Mountain Brook, Alabama. While I was waiting for the fifth graders to settle in on the gym floor, a girl sitting in the second row had this very long yellow scarf on. I leaned over and said, "I like your scarf." She said thank you and then pointed out that it wasn't a regular scarf. I asked what she meant by that and she said, "It's actually magic. You can put your hand in it, and if you like, slip it over your head and wear it as a dress. "Really!" I said. I was so impressed. I got one just like it and set it down next to my computer. Which one of my characters would use this?, I thought. Annabelle of course! She is the character who is very much like my younger daughter, Emily. Emily has OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] and many times needs to do things a certain way. When Emily bought a paperback book at the bookstore, she would check every seam to make sure she got the most perfect one. I decided Annabelle would wear that yellow scarf the first day of school and tie it a special way.

As I typed, I didn't know what was going to happen next, but I knew a lot about that scarf. It was very long and would probably dangle on the desk behind her. Raymond Martin would be sitting there and be very nervous about coming to a new school and not reading very well. The scarf helped move the story! I began writing what Ray did with it, and how Annabelle responded. This episode was one of several in Herbie Jones Sails into Second Grade.

Haunted Bathrooms

During Halloween one year, the children were saying the bathrooms in our school basement were haunted. That seed turned out to be a wonderful one. I wrote the chapter "Haunted Bathrooms" for my first "Herbie Jones" book in 1985, Herbie Jones. The character, Herbie, is a lot like my husband, Rufus, who nearly flunked first grade but went on to earn his doctorate. Herbie is that underachiever who had lots of potential. Again, I was inspired by E.B. White and quoted Charlotte talking about being a spider.

My Stuttering

Many times an experience I have had is the seed for a story. When I was in elementary school, I had a stuttering problem. I especially couldn't say words that started with "W." It was tough because my name was Susie Weaver. I went to a speech therapist at Marin Elementary School. Actually, I had two wonderful ones: Doris Maier and Francis Clarke. They had me repeat very short phrases, and then would praise me for doing it. Pretty soon I got to sentences, and then longer ones. Their support and loving dedication made a huge difference in my speaking. Now I speak to schools all over the United States and I have them to thank for that!

I decided to have a character named Mary Marony who stuttered on M words. And like me, she would have someone who made fun of her, Marvin! A boy named Freddy always made fun of me! He would say, "Hi Su-su-suzie We-we-weaver!" I knew exactly how it felt to be teased like that.

When you write about a real situation, you usually change a few things, and I did in this case. But I also used other real experiences in writing Mary Marony and the Snake, like the snake that slithered away. It happened in my own classroom. My student Patrick Hickey brought a garter snake to school in a terrarium

and it escaped! Our janitor, Mr. Beausoleil, found the snake the next morning in the basement under the teachers' soda machine!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Many times a story seed for me is another book. I love reading aloud to my grandchildren! Sometimes we read for over an hour! I always read aloud to my class. And when I taught Children's Literature at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, a few years ago, I read aloud to my graduate students. It's so powerful to hear the story. It's one of the most important things a teacher can do. Some of my favorite read-alouds were Stone Fox, Charlotte's Web, My Father's Dragon, Velveteen Rabbit, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, The Phantom Tollbooth, Philip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon, Maybe, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

One year when I finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the kids were so disappointed that it was over that I decided to extend it with a special activity. I put twenty-four small chocolate bars on a round yellow table and asked the children to each choose one. In five of those bars was a golden ticket. I told my students, "If you find a golden ticket in your chocolate bar, you're not going to Charlie's Chocolate Factory; you're having lunch with me tomorrow in our classroom. We'll have pizza and chat about the book." Well, my class loved the idea!

Now, as it happened, the five winners were the five students least likely to want to participate in a book talk. But because it was a "prize," it must have held a special value. Boy was I surprised with the results! It was one of the most enlightening experiences I had as a teacher. Maybe it was the small numbers and extra attention; I don't know. But the conversation and joy we shared over that book was priceless. And it was shared with the most reluctant of readers!

At the time, I was thinking about writing another book about Mary Marony. I immediately gave the unwritten book a title, Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, and so the chocolate candy bar with the golden ticket became the most important story prop. I think it was my best "Mary Marony" book too, because it deals with cheating and all the suffering it causes.

Earwig Report

I love reading the letters I get from readers. I feel really bad that I can't answer them as often as I would like. Sometimes I get months behind in my correspondence. But … each one I do read is a gem.

One in particular was from Ethan D. Fitz of Hilliard Elementary School in Westlake, Ohio. Ethan loved earwigs and did research on them. When I was visiting his school, the librarian mentioned to me that there was a boy very much like Harry at her school. Ethan loved

slimy, creepy, crawly things just like Harry in my books. So I asked to see Ethan. Ethan told me how he climbed up in his maple tree in the backyard after a rain and, using a dangling rope, caught earwigs! I was fascinated. He said he could send me his study on them. I told him I would love to read it. Ethan mailed that delightful report to me and that report was the seed for my 2008 book, Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears. In the book, Harry is into earwigs! He digs one up just under the school fence and calls it Edward.

I had Miss Mackle reading fairy tales to her class in that book because I love them. When I was teaching in college, I shared the ten elements of a fairy tale with my graduate students. I had a few of my characters discover them in the story. A writer has to be careful not to be didactic! I'm listing all ten just in case a SATA reader is interested in writing a fairy tale like Miss Mackle's class.

If a story has four of these elements it may be considered to be a fairy tale:

  1. Starts with "Once upon a time …"
  2. Ends with "… happily ever after."
  3. Objects and/or animals talk
  4. Good character
  5. Evil character
  6. Royalty and/or a castle
  7. A lesson to be learned
  8. Uses the numbers 3 or 7
  9. Magical event
  10. A task to be done, a quest, or a problem to be solved

Snack Attack!

When I was visiting Quaker Hill Elementary in Waterford, Connecticut, I bumped into a giant apple in the hallway. It was the gym teacher, dressed up in a huge red costume! The school was trying to encourage healthy snacks and this giant apple would suddenly appear in a classroom and see how many kids were eating nutritious snacks. What a great story seed! I used it in my book Horrible Harry and the Triple Revenge. Another seed for this same book was Pajama Day at North Boulevard School in Pompton Plains, New York. It got me thinking about what kind of pajamas Harry might wear, and when I came up with the answer, I knew what trick Harry would play on Sidney for a second revenge!

The Light-bulb Necklace

When I was writing Horrible Harry's Secret, I couldn't think of what love gift Harry would give to Song Lee. It was a real writer's block. It was late December and almost time for our school break. One of my students, Joey Fasciano, approached me with a gift. "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Kline," he said. I smiled and said "You didn't have to do that." And Joe responded, "Well, Mom was going to throw it out anyway." I opened it up and there was a light-bulb necklace. They were small christmas-tree lights, all dead, and strung together. I absolutely loved it! "Would you mind if I used your gift in my next chapter?" I asked. "Sure!" Joe answered. My students have been a wonderful resource for me. It's why I always dedicated my "Horrible Harry" books to them while I was teaching. Each year, I listed their names to show my appreciation.

My Fifth-Grade Wedding

When I was ten, I married Randy Heinrich in the tennis court. He gave me a pretend ring and I wore it around my neck on a string. When I was having lunch with my editor in New York City, I happened to mention this and she said she got married in kindergarten! Maybe it was time for Harry to get married, I thought! So I wrote the manuscript "Horrible Harry Gets Married" and read it to my students. After recess, Mary Anne Boulanger, the other second-grade teacher, told me that my students had a mock wedding out on the playground. I was charmed! She asked if I had read them a story about a wedding, and I said "Yes, my new manuscript." "Well," Mary Anne said, "I wonder if it ended the way your story did though. Right in the middle of the ceremony, a boy ran by and shouted ‘KICKBALL GAME!,’ and the guy playing Harry took off!" I just laughed. No. My story did not end that way, but I was going to rewrite the ending that night. Thanks to my students, my story became more realistic. And I changed the title to Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding.

Justin O. Schmidt's Pain Index

I often ask my husband, Rufus, for a good source when I want to learn something. I was writing Song Lee and the Leechman and I wanted to find out a few fascinating facts about insects. Rufus suggested I take a look at

Justin O. Schmidt's Pain Index. He was a scientist who did fieldwork on insect bites. He went out and got bitten by all kinds of insects! Then he charted their sting—how much it hurt and for how long. I loved it! Harry and his classmates would be fascinated with this new information! I could have Professor Guo, who was leading Harry's class on a field trip to a local pond, share some of it. This seed also helped me to show the ribbing Harry and Sidney often engage in.

Green Smorgasbord

Every year on St. Patrick's Day, my class would have a green smorgasbord. It was amazing what my students would bring for it: grapes, green peppers, snap beans, green-colored hard-boiled eggs!, lime Jello, pistachio pudding, a jar of pickles, green-onion potato chips, green cookies, and green-frosted cupcakes. While they were eating, I would read from The Wizard of Oz about the Emerald City where everything was green! It was such a special day I decided to use it as the backdrop of a conflict between Mary and Song Lee. Song Lee, Ida, and Doug get to go to the school kitchen because their green items need refrigeration. When they put their items in the refrigerator, they see Harry's ants! "Don't tell anyone," Mrs. Funderburke says. "Harry wants his ants to be a surprise." Keeping this secret from Mary causes a real conflict between the girls and provided the friction needed for the chapter, "Green with Envy" in Song Lee in Room 2B.

*

Questions

I always enjoy the questions I get when readers write to me, and when I visit their school. Below are the popular ones and some of my favorites. I have made my answers more elaborate for SATA readers!

Q: Who helps you write?

A: My editors, and especially my husband, Rufus. I wouldn't be an author today if it weren't for him. He loves to read and write himself, and is a natural editor. He'll ask me a question or give me frank criticism that really helps me rewrite the story. Rufus has always been great with one-liners. When I finish a book, I often ask Ruf to title it for me because I'm not very good at thinking of titles. Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball was originally called Herbie Jones and His Uncle. You can see how the former title is much better—that was Rufus's idea. And when I wrote a story about Harry being afraid to go on an elevator ride very much like the Tower of Terror at Disney World, Ruf named it for me: The Drop of Doom. It was so good I used it for my title, Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom. My first published chapter book, Herbie Jones (1985), was dedicated to Rufus because he helped me with it so much.

And, he is a lot like Herbie, an underachiever. Rufus nearly flunked first grade but went on to earn his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California at Davis. On October 12, 2008, we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. He's the love of my life.

Q: How long does it take to write a book?

A: It depends. My first book was published in 1984. It took me one night to write. It was a two-page, double-spaced manuscript for a picture book called SHHHH! I must have said, "Shhhh!" a hundred times that day to my class, and when I got home and was having dinner with my family, Jennifer said, "Pass the green beans, please." My response was "Shhhh!"

"Do you have a problem?" Jen asked me. Yes, I thought! I was on automatic with that word. I went to my desk and wrote SHHHH! that very night.

Now Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic took me four years! My editor told me, "Suzy you have the setting: the attic. You have the characters: Herbie, Annabelle, and Raymond." You have to have something happen in that attic that's scary! Four years later, I came up with two things: one I made up, and the other really happened. A water rat had come up into our attic and terrified me! I changed the animal for the book and made it a raccoon which turned out to really move the story along.

Q: What is your favorite book you wrote?

A: My favorite book was the hardest one to write, What's the Matter with Herbie Jones? It's the story about a third-grade boy who falls in love with Anna-

belle Louisa Hodgekiss for a day and a half. There was one chapter called "Herbie in the Soup" that I had to rewrite twenty-seven TIMES! When I told my beloved editor, Ann O'Connell, that I had written it already twenty-six times, she said to do it again. The chapter was flat, and not funny. Her criticism was very helpful (although I gritted my teeth when I was doing all those rewrites!). I think that this book is one of my very best, and I think it was because I spent so much time rewriting it.

Q: How do you get published?

A: It's kind of like a rough roller-coaster ride. It took me three years and 127 rejections before I got my first book published in 1984. But I could see some progress when my rejections got longer. The first six months I got postcards with no name on it, and no comments. Then in December of l981, I got a rejection with my name on it and I was thrilled! The editor, Ann Schwartz, said that although she didn't want my manuscript, "Phoebe at Twelve," she wanted to see more of my work. I taped her letter on the bathroom tile right next to our bathtub and read the last two lines over and over. They inspired me to keep trying. Then I got a two-page rejection with criticism from Beverly Horowitz at Dial, so I knew I was making progress. Once I got a letter from an editor saying he liked my manuscript, "Emily's Birthday Party," adding it might even make a good series. Two days later, I got a letter from the same editor saying he was fired, and they weren't taking any of his ideas. So "Emily's Birthday Party" never got published. There are lots of ups and downs, but if you have written a good story, and you don't give up, you might just get it published.

Q: How important is not giving up?

A: It's everything! I have one important example of this from my college days. I was at UC at Davis during the winter semester of 1962. I was taking an eight o'clock psychology class. That first day when I walked into the large lecture hall, I noticed Rufus, my future husband, sitting in the second row with a few buddies. His head was buried in his hands. He looked just like Rodin's The Thinker, meditating over some dilemma. My two friends, Betty and Janet, followed me to the front row. I wanted to nab those seats right in front of him. Every day, we sat in the same seats. It's kind of a quirky thing that people would do that, but we did it in those days.

During those next two months, I found out several things about him. Rufus was very witty and would make loud comments that would elicit laughter from the class and even the professor sometimes. I knew he was not only brilliant but funny. It was love at first sight for me. Not for Rufus. After a couple of feeble attempts to get his attention—Like, could I borrow a pencil? etc.—I decided to take the bull by the horns. Our Malcolm Hall Dorm dance was coming up and I wanted to ask Rufus, a complete stranger, to it! If it wasn't for another friend, Phyllis, I wouldn't have done it. She stood in the phone booth with me and kept encouraging me to call. How did I get Rufus's number, you ask? It wasn't easy, but in 1962, you could go to the Student Co-op on the green at Davis and look up any student's address and phone by going through white index cards. There were long trays of them! All I knew was that the "thinker's" first name was Rufus, so I went through every card until I came to the K's. I finally found the first Rufus. The card said "Rufus Kline," so I took a chance.

I remember the conversation very well. I think I had practiced it for an hour.

"Are you the Rufus in Psychology 1A Class?"

"Yes," a deep voice replied rather hesitantly.

"Hi, my name is Susie Weaver, you don't know me, but I sit in front of you."

Rufus was quiet for a moment. "Are you the blonde?"

"No." (That was Janet Kluge.)

Then Ruf said, "Are you the redhead?"

I said no again. (That was Betty Calloway.)

"I'm the tall brunette in the middle," I explained.

The next silence must have been a full minute. I was dying!

Then, when I asked him, he mumbled, "Okay."

It was divine! Really! I was so excited. We went to the dance and had a wonderful time. He gave me a beautiful wrist corsage of yellow roses and I saved it. What followed was a five-year courtship—and it weathered my going back to Berkeley to get my degree, and my one year in New York City. I saved every letter Ruf wrote and I still have them tied together.

After I finished my senior year at Berkeley and got my teaching credential at Cal State, Hayward, we got married. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. Ruf was working on his doctorate in anthropology at UC Davis and his used red MG broke down. I was driving a used yellow Mustang that zipped around just fine, and I think that made Ruf think about setting a date. He needed a car. "Do you want to get married next Saturday?" After six years of dating and wondering if we ever were going to tie the knot, hearing those decisive words were terrific. I didn't care if it meant no big wedding, no guest list. The main character, Rufus Kline, was going to be there and that's all I cared about. I am so glad I didn't give up! If I had, I wouldn't have been an author, or given birth to Emily and Jennifer, or had my five precious grandchildren: Jake, Mikenna, Gabby, Saylor, and Holden. So when it came time to face 127 rejections, I had some practice persevering.

Q: Which book was Harry the horriblest?

A: (I don't think there is such a word as horriblest, but I loved this question from a fifth-grade girl.) I had to think about this one. Finally, I came up with my answer. It had to be Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins because he got his friends to break a school rule: leaving the playground!

The seed for this book was the hole in our school fence! It had been there for three years. It was just big enough for one child to squeeze through. It presented a dilemma for me as a teacher too. When we played kickball, sometimes someone would kick the ball over the fence. Since I only had one red rubber ball, I discretely asked one of my students to crawl through the hole and retrieve it from the empty lot. It was usually just a few yards away. This experience made me think about Harry and his friends. How would they respond to a hole in the fence?

At the same time I was mulling this over in my mind, I took a group hike through at state park in Connecticut looking for fungi. When we came across the stinkhorn mushrooms, I stopped in my tracks! Harry would LOVE these putrid-smelling specimens! That would be the reason why Harry would crawl through the hole in the fence and break a school rule: to see the kingdom of mushrooms growing behind the white oak tree! When Doug saw them, I would have him say, "It was like nothing we had ever seen before. Ten mushrooms poked through the earth like white thumbs wearing olive green helmets."

Q: Why did you give Harry a fear of elevators?

A: My sister Nancy, who I adore, has a terrible fear of elevators. She got stuck in one once and had a panic attack. That was it! She will walk up nine flights of stairs rather than ride in one now. I have a fear of heights; it's very hard for me to ride a plane so I always drive or take a train when I visit schools.

We all have little fears, so I knew Harry would have one too. The "fear of elevators" came to me one summer when I took a mother-daughter trip to Disney World with Emily. She said, "Mom you're fifty, you've never been to Disney World. It would be a lot of fun. You could talk to your students about going on the Tower of Terror. They would be impressed!" The Tower of Terror? It took me all week to get up the nerve to ride that thing. I was petrified with fear. You can see that in my souvenir photo. I'm sitting in the back row leaning on Emily!

When I survived dropping thirteen floors and got my breath back, I decided Harry would have to experience something like this. I would say he got stuck on an elevator when he was four, and the one thing he couldn't do was ride elevators! I could have Song Lee having her end-of-the-year party at an amusement park so Harry would have to face his fear. I loved writing Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom because I had a chance to show how friendships help us through difficult times. Song Lee's support and encouragement made all the difference to Harry.

Q: How come you usually have science in your "Horrible Harry" books?

A: Because I LOVE science! It was one of my favorite subjects to teach when I was a teacher. Science is Harry's favorite subject too (besides recess and lunch). Harry loves smelly, slimy, creepy, crawling, horrible

things. That often is what science is about! I've listed ten "Harry" books below that feature a particular topic:

  1. Horrible Harry and the Green Slime—States of Matter
  2. Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion—Study of Ants and Ant Behavior
  3. Horrible Harry and the Dungeon—Study of Monarch Butterflies
  4. Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade—Spider Studies and Rocks and Minerals
  5. Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon—Moon Studies
  6. Horrible Harry at Halloween—Water Experiments
  7. Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins—Study of Mushrooms/Fungi
  8. Horrible Harry and the Locked Closet—Study of Volcanoes
  9. Horrible Harry Takes the Cake—Animal Studies
  10. Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears—Earwig Studies

Q: Do you have children?

A: Yes I do. Two beloved daughters. Both of them were great scholars and athletes, and graduated from the University of Connecticut where they met their husbands. Jennifer is married and lives in Bedford, New Hampshire, with her husband, Matt DeAngelis, and their two wonderful children, Jake and Gabby. Emily is married to Victor Hurtuk and lives ten minutes from my house, in Tolland, Connecticut. They have three beautiful children: Mikenna, Saylor, and Holden.

Q: Do you have pets?

A: Five cats. Hoag is our ginger cat. Deja and Vu are twin brothers that were orphaned at a barn. Teeter is grey and white and very old. Our newest is a kitten, Eve. We got her on Christmas Eve.

Q: Have you written a book about any of your cats?

A: Yes. Tux. Tux was with us for over fifteen years. He only had one eye. He got caught in a dumpster and had to have surgery, but he did just fine afterwards getting around. Tux inspired me to write Horrible Harry and the Goog. Goog was really our cat Tux.

Q: What is the name of your favorite team in sports?

A: UConn! My husband and I have season tickets for the football games and we always follow them when they go to bowl games. We don't miss a UConn basketball game either! Go Huskies!

Q: Why do you have Harry's grandfather in a nursing home?

A: When my mother and dad got older, they lived in the downstairs apartment of our house on Hoffman Street in Torrington, Connecticut. It was wonderful having them participate in our daily family life. Mom helped watch Jennifer and Emily after school when I

was teaching. She also took care of Dad, who was in a wheelchair. After Dad died, Mom continued to be independent until she was ninety. It was too hard for her to be alone, so we chose a nursing home nearby us in Willington, Connecticut.

During the years 2001-2007, I visited Mom several times a week. Mom helped me think through so many things, even when she was almost ninety-seven! She was my first best friend. I kept a notebook of our conversations. I got to know Mansfield Manor pretty well. I saw firsthand how Mom would light up when I walked into her room. She enjoyed playing Bingo and winning a prize, listening to piano concerts there, and having cheese-and-cracker snacks, but none of those things could compare to having family or a friend visit.

I am so thankful she held each of my five grandchildren in her arms, and every Halloween got to see Kenna and Saylor and Holden's costumes. I also know the heartache that comes with that kind of a living situation. A nursing home is nothing like home. Granddad Spooger is at Shady Glen. Harry's Wednesday visits make his day. Harry appreciates his Granddad Spooger; he is one of his best friends. Friendship has no age requirements.

Q: When did you first start writing chapter books?

A: When I was in the fifth grade at Marin School in Albany, California, I had my favorite teacher in elementary school, Mr. Vance Teague. I was fortunate to have

him for two years: fifth and sixth grade. He was very innovative. Every Wednesday at ten o'clock, we got to write on anything for a whole forty minutes. I couldn't wait for Wednesdays, and every Wednesday I wrote a chapter about "The Missing Ink Blotter." I never got an E for excellent, or an O for outstanding, I always got S+'s. But my teacher did something very special when we finished our stories. He asked us to read them aloud over a microphone so every word could be heard. When it was my turn, I could tell by the way my classmates were listening that some day I would be an author. I thank Mr. Teague for making me feel like that.

When I was at Albany High School and took seniors honors English, I had Mr. Robert Ruebman. He was the teacher I adored. He would read great literature and poetry aloud, and encouraged us to read and write on our own. I dedicated my book Who's Orp's Girlfriend? to him.

Q: Did you really know a Horrible Harry?

A. Yes. My dad. And I loved him very much. Every three weeks or so, my dad would leave a note by the phone that said, "Gone Fishing. Harry." Mom would wince and for a while be very angry. She thought he was being a "Horrible Harry" those times, not choosing to give her advance notice. Dad loved going to Clear Lake Oaks, California, to fish. It was a three-hour drive from our house. Once in a great while he would take us. He always stayed at Indian Beach, which had six cabins near the water. He'd stop off first at the bait shop and get a bucket of minnows and a white carton of night crawlers. Then he'd fish on the pier for hours, saving every croppie, blue gill, catfish, and bass to bring home in a bucket of ice for a fish fry. We didn't use plastic bags then. Newspaper mostly. I loved sitting next to Dad when we fished. We'd keep our eye peeled on our red bobbers. We rarely said anything. We just sat quietly together.

Dad was just the opposite of Mom. She was deep, loved conversation, music, and literature. Dad was uncomplicated, very simple, very much in the now like Horrible Harry. My dad and Horrible Harry live in the present moment. The red bobber was what was important, not what happened years ago. I felt so special being able to share Dad's fishing moments. I would watch him scrape the scales of each fish he caught on a wooden table at the pier. He would scoop out the "innards" as he called them and plop them into a barrel. It was smelly and

disgusting. When one of the fish was pregnant and he scooped out yellow eggs, I would turn away and feel bad. Dad said he was sad too, and then moved on.

Dad looked a lot like Clark Gable or a present-day George Clooney. He was a very handsome man named Harry Weaver, son of David Weaver, the farmer. His friends called him Buck. I know Mom was infatuated with him. She had met Dad at a card party in Fairmount, Indiana. They were playing bridge. It was love at first sight for Mom. They dated off and on. She wrote to him at Wabash College when she was at the University of Michigan. During the Depression in 1934, Dad was driving an ice truck and he delivered ice to all the houses in her neighborhood. On one particular day, she ran out and asked him to marry her, but she put it in more of a business proposition. She said she needed someone to run her farm since her mom and dad were gone. Dad said, "Sounds fine to me." And then later that night he called and asked to speak to Mrs. Weaver. Mom said she was completely charmed. They were married for forty-eight years until he died in 1982.

When I was in third grade, I started writing regularly to my grandfather in Fairmount, Indiana. I wrote mostly about his son, "Harry," my dad. I would write about his Sundays mowing the lawn while Mom and my sister Nancy and I would go to church. When we came home, he would be sitting on the stoop smoking a Pall Mall cigarette (Ugh!). Sometimes I would "sit on a house" with Dad on the weekends. We would set up all the saw horses along the way that had a sign pointing to OPEN HOUSE. Since the homes were usually empty, Dad would bring a chair for himself, and I would sit on the floor. Dad brought our Philco radio so we could listen to the old radio shows, and they were wonderful. I LOVED those afternoons listening to Amos and Andy, Francis the Talking Mule, Our Miss Brooks, Lux Radio Theater, Tarzan, and Dennis the Menace. My Aunt Walneta told me that my weekly letters to Granddad made him live a few more years. That made me feel awfully good; it also made me realize the rewards of writing.

Q: Herbie Jones and Raymond Martin both come from families with money problems. Did your family have money problems too?

A: Mom and Dad always had money problems. I know that's why my characters Herbie Jones and Raymond Martin had them. It was the lifestyle I grew up with. My parents were real-estate salesmen and had a very hard time selling houses regularly. During the dry spells, Mom and Dad got very creative with their cooking. Dad made a wonderful pot of navy beans with a ham bone. Mom made Indiana spaghetti go a long way—that was the kind that was put in a casserole and served over several meals.

Mom became a very good knitter too. She knit me a beautiful maroon suit when I was in kindergarten at Vista Primary School. I remember my teacher sent me to the principal just so he could see how beautiful it was. Mom got a second job as a substitute teacher. I remember her keeping a cardboard file of activities for each month. She also worked part time as a clerk at Hinks on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. When she didn't have customers in her linen department, she was supposed to fold the towels. Some nights she would come home with teary eyes. Her manager had criticized her for not folding them neat enough and Mom was afraid of losing her job.

During the time I passed from third grade to fourth to fifth and finally sixth, Mom saved enough pennies to buy a used piano and some sheet music. I remember every tune she played from that Sigmund Romberg album: "Deep in My Heart, Dear," "I Bring a Love Song," "Softly as a Morning Sunrise," and "Wanting You." I remember being eleven in 1954, sitting next to her at the piano, and singing our hearts out together.

When Mom was very young growing up in South Whitley, Indiana, she had a baby grand piano and lived in a mansion. Her dad was a banker and was president of the Farmers Bank in town. But when the Depression hit, her family lost the bank and had to pay back all its shareholders. My granddad had died the year before in a car accident—in those days they didn't have stop signs, and as he was chugging along, a car sideswiped him. He never recovered. Neither did my grandmother. She was so devastated by the financial loss and the loss of her husband that she took her own life. I knew when Mom sang those Sigmund Romberg songs, she was dealing with the sadness of having lost her parents and her South Whitley homestead.

Q: Do you have a theme you use a lot in your writing?

A: Yes. A good friendship endures all things. The reason why I write about friendship so much in my "Horrible Harry," "Herbie Jones," and "Mary Marony" books is because I have such vivid memories of my own friendships as a young girl. A strong friendship helps weather the toughest of times, the most painful moments, and hurtful acts. Harry and Doug's friendship lasts because they forgive each other. Herbie and Raymond accept one another with all their warts and weaknesses! Song Lee and Mary and Ida make time for each other. All of them encourage each other's interests.

I met Terry Chaplin in third grade in 1951. She's the best listener I know. And a true, loyal friend. We continue to be best friends today! She and I both went to Marin Elementary School in Albany, California, and then Albany High, and the University of California at Berkeley. Over the years we shared our marriages, her divorce, the death of my son to SIDS [sudden infant death syndrome], and the joyful, sometimes painful growing years of our children.

Terry and I would go to her house a couple of times a week to play a game of Clue, eat tomato sandwiches, and sip Cokes. It was such a treat to have my very own bottle. Terry's dad worked at the Coca Cola plant in Oakland and he was always bringing home a case of Coke. My family couldn't afford such delicacies as a six pack of soda.

Terry's mom and dad kept a tally of our growing height on their kitchen wall. There was something very comforting about that. I would watch the dark pencil marks go up big notches every year. I would stand with my heels pressed against the wall, and Mr. Chaplin would put a book on my head and make a mark just below it. We started when I was five foot and finished nine years later with a measurement of five foot nine and a half—almost five foot ten! Terry was an inch and a half shorter, but considered tall too. It wasn't until we left for Berkeley that they decided to paint their walls.

Every summer I went with the Chaplins for a two-week vacation. Sometimes another dear friend, Kathy Moulton, would come too. It was so exciting! We camped

out at Donner Lake, Lake Tahoe, Shasta Mountain, Mt. Lassen, and along the Pacific Ocean near the Redwoods. At night, I would make up stories and Terry and Kathy would laugh. I learned about the different smells of manzanita, sequoia, redwoods, and Jeffrey pines. I learned to identify paper birches and quaking aspens. We took walks with the rangers and learned about the history of each area. At night we had a campfire and watched the sparks make their way to the sky scene of a thousand stars! We always spotted the North Star, the big dipper and the little dipper, and Orion's belt. Like Harry, my friends and I shared a love for science.

I lived in Albany, California, at 1038 Peralta Street. Most of the time, though, my friends and I played at Terrace Park. There was a huge hedge in my backyard that separated my house from the park. After we made a hole in it, we had a secret passageway to the best play yard in the world. A slide, teeter-totter, jungle gym, and sand! And then there were picnic tables for bag lunches on Saturdays, and a huge green lawn for kickball and baseball, and near the Recreation Hut was a tetherball where I practiced daily winding that ball around the pole. Inside the hut was a constant ongoing contest of some kind—in ping pong or checkers or chess, and I loved learning about each one. In the summer, the small dugout pool in the cement was filled with water no more that three and a half feet deep, but we thought it was our own private pool!

On rainy days, I would write with my friend Robin McConahy. She and I wrote a novel together in seventh grade, and felt very good about that. Sometimes we would take turns reading it aloud. Robin and I have kept in touch over the years and we still visit one another today. She's a retired high-school counselor and grandmother now.

When I was at Albany High School in Albany, California, I met a girl who became my other best friend, Charla Pinkham. She was two years older than me, a pom-pom girl, and starred in the Junior Class Play. We had the same gym period and took the same typing class. I loved her honesty, humor, and enthusiasm. She and her friends were responsible for getting me elected to cheerleader. We all ran in groups but were voted individually, and after my group came out to do a cheer at our school assembly, she and her friends shouted "Vote for Susie Weaver!" They even had made signs. I was the only girl in my group to win, and I owe that largely to Charla. I loved being a cheerleader. We didn't have girls' basketball teams like Mom did when she was in Indiana. She was high-point girl at South Whitley High, and Dad had gotten a basketball scholarship to Wabash. There was no girls' team in the late 1950s at Albany High. You had a choice of four things if you were a girl: Be in the rooting section, be a majorette, be a pom-pom girl or be a cheerleader. I chose the last one. I remember losing my voice after several games, but I was always loving it, and felt like we really did help our Cougars win games.

I've been blessed with good friends throughout my life. When I taught at Southwest School, I made friendships that will last a lifetime. I get together regularly with my teacher friends. They're like sisters to me. Once a year, we have an overnight visit, usually at my house. This year, 2008, will be our eighth reunion!

Q: Sometimes you have a character pray when he's in a jam. Like when Herbie prayed about his dog, Hamburger Head, and Horrible Harry and Doug prayed about their teacher moving to Oklahoma. Is faith important to you?

A: Yes. When I was sixteen I was walking along the beach at Honeymoon State Park in Oregon. When I came to a tall redwood, I stopped for a while. There was so much light. I felt God's presence, and said, "Lord, take my life, and make it yours. Fill me with your love and your strength. Use me where ever I go." When I was growing up, Mom would drive my sister and me to the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley to hear Dr. Munger speak. He was such an inspirational speaker. After Dr. Munger, there was Dr. MooMaw, and then Dr. Palmer. Listening to these ministers each week made Jesus' words come alive for me. I began collecting favorite passages from the Bible and lines from spiritual writers for a special notebook I keep close by. Here are some of my inspirational favorites:

"Nothing can separate you from the love of our lord," Romans 8:38-39

"Always be thankful," Colossians 3:15

"It's not what you do but how much love you put into it that matters," Mother Teresa

Q: What are the rewards of writing for you?

A: When I get a letter from a parent or teacher that tells me my books were the ones that turned their children on to reading, I just beam! That means so much to me! If my stories can grab a reluctant reader, I am thrilled. And when I go to schools and get a chance to talk with children, I am amazed to see how many have read my books and love my characters. It's a joy to see how they respond to my books with their own writing and art. I can't believe that I actually get paid for what I love doing so much. Writing!

Q: Anything new happening with your books?

A: Yes! I am very excited that James Larson, artistic director for the award-winning Omaha Theater Company and Rose Theater, is bringing "Horrible Harry" stories to the stage in 2008! His national touring company will produce Horrible Harry in Room 2B and Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade. Children from schools all over the United States will be able to see these stories acted out on stage! I am just thrilled and can't wait to see the production when it comes to Connecticut in 2008. I always thought Horrible Harry and Herbie Jones would make great live theater. It's an honor to have Dr. Larson include Horrible Harry among his long list of wonderful live productions.

And … the "Horrible Harry" books have a new artist, Amy Wummer! I think she brings new energy and a fresh look to the series. Frank Remkiewicz, my beloved illustrator of twenty-two "Horrible Harry" books, will be leaving. His illustrations have created loveable characters and realistic settings. I will always be one of his fans! Although I was saddened by his departure, I understand his need for more time. Frank told me that he loved working on the art for the series but that it had gotten to be too time consuming. I wish him the very best on his new projects!

Q: Has there ever been a mistake in one of your books?

A: Yes! I can think of several right away! I have Mr. Jeffrey Oppenheim's second-grade class in Las Vegas to thank for letting me know about the first one. They wrote to me via my Web site, and I was so happy to respond. I mentioned their names in the paperback reprint of Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon. They were absolutely right! Alan Shepard was the only astronaut to play golf on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didn't get a chance! If you have a hardbound copy in your library, it may not have been corrected.

The other mistakes were with the art and I have a fourth-grade girl from Michigan to thank for one keen observation. She asked why the pink note on the cover of Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes was not folded into eighths like the text said. I looked at the cover and my eyes BULGED! The interior art was correct. The pink notes were folded into eighths, but the one on the cover was folded in 12ths! Horrors! And it still has not been changed.

The other art error was really my fault. When Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball came out I called my editor right away. That Monster Ball on the cover didn't look like a monster! It had a big smiling face. The kind I would make on a child's spelling paper. My editor told me that I didn't describe the Monster Ball in the text, which was true! I write a lot of dialogue. That's what I love! But this time, my NOT describing the Monster Ball cost me a little. The artist, Richard Williams, obviously felt the Monster Ball was a kind being and so drew him like that. And he's a wonderful artist that I respect very much. The original Monster Ball that Uncle Doug created (see above Monster Ball) had an eye patch, and drool, and glaring eyebrows. So writers, when you have a certain picture in your mind about something in your story, be sure to describe it.

Q: Do you have any disappointments about your books?

A: Only a few. I am sorry that the Herbie Jones Readers' Theater went out of print. I loved creating those plays from the first "Herbie Jones" books. When I visit schools, I always use a skit with the teachers. My one consolation is that Scholastic Books has printed a dozen of them and uses it as a bonus for teachers. At least teachers who request it can get it. I'm happy about that!

And I'm disappointed that my "Orp" books went out of print. The reviews for those books were wonderful! Orp was an ordinary seventh grader who started an "I Hate My Name Club," created a booth for a school fair that was unique, made chop-suey burgers at a cooking contest, led a basketball team to victory, and tried unsuccessfully to have two girlfriends. He also did some detective work about the strange happenings in a vacant house next door. I'm hopeful one day they might be reprinted.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I just finished Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters, which Amy Wummer is currently illustrating. It will be out in late 2008. The story seed for this book was a visit I made to Byron Bergen Elementary in Bergen, New York. I got to meet a dedicated librarian, Joyce Cullum, who kept a real big blue mailbox in her library. The children had special jobs managing the mail at Byron Bergen, and I could just see Song Lee and Mary and Doug and Harry and ZuZu and Ida and Sidney jumping into that activity. The author who inspired me for this book was Eileen Spinelli and her book If You Want to Find Golden. Harry discovers poetry! This was the poem he wrote for the color brown:

"If You Want to Find Brown" by Harry Spooger

If you want to find brown,
go barefoot on a farm after it rains.
Step in the mud and
Wiggle your toes!
Feel the muck
Ooze between your piggies and moo twice!
If you want to find brown.

And I just finished writing something for Dan Gutman's Let's Save the Planet by 100 Authors. The title may change before it goes to press, but the idea is wonderful. We need to exchange ideas about how we can preserve our planet and eliminate waste. I read some of the entries by other authors and they were great! It was a project I was happy to participate in.

Q: What tips do you have for struggling writers?

A. I have two. First, carry a notebook and collect your own story seeds. Write down one or two words about something you notice, or think is really fascinating. Keep your notebook in your pocket so it's always

handy. Who knows what might inspire you? Each one of you has your own unique voice so your story seeds will be different from someone else's.

Second, read a lot of books. We learn so much from other authors, and many times they can inspire us to write. When I read Rhoda Blumberg's essay on "The Truth about Dragons," I was inspired to write Horrible Harry and the Dragon War. I didn't know there were two kinds of dragons. I loved reading about them! There was the dangerous European one that spits fire and green smoke, drinks blood, and kidnaps maidens. Then there was the Asian dragon that sips cream, munches on bamboo, and brings good luck! I knew which dragon Harry and Song Lee would like. It was the beginning of a story about a friendship that gets tested.

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Kline, Suzy 1943-

KLINE, Suzy 1943-

Personal

Born August 27, 1943, in Berkeley, CA; daughter of Harry C. (in real estate) and Martha S. (a substitute school teacher) Weaver; married Rufus O. Kline (a college teacher, newspaper correspondent, and children's author), October 12, 1968; children: Jennifer, Emily. Education: Attended Columbia University; University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1966; California State College (now University), Hayward, Standard Elementary Credential, 1967. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Presbyterian. Hobbies and other interests: Writing, walking, dancing, sports, reading, movies and plays, playing and reading with her four grandchildren, traveling with her husband, taking her mom to church.

Addresses

Home 43 Liska Rd., Willington, CT 06079. E-mail Suzy@SuzyKline.com.

Career

Elementary schoolteacher in Richmond, CA, 1968-71; Southwest School, Torrington, CT, elementary teacher, 1976-2000. University of Connecticut, Storrs, graduate instructor in teaching children's literature, 2001-03. Makes author visits to schools and conducts workshops for teachers.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN, New England Reading Association, Connecticut Education Association, Torrington Education Association.

Awards, Honors

Best books, Christian Science Monitor, 1985, and West Virginia Children's Book Award, 1987-88, for Herbie Jones; Editor's Choice, Booklist, 1986, for What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?; International Reading Association Children's Choice Awards, 1986, for Herbie Jones, 1987, for What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, 1989, for Horrible Harry in Room 2-B, 1990, for Orp, and 1991, for Orp and the Chop Suey Burgers; School District Teacher of the Year Award, State of Connecticut, 1987; Probus Educator of the Year Award, 1988.

Writings

for children

Shhhh!, illustrated by Dora Leder, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1984.

Don't Touch!, illustrated by Dora Leder, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1985.

Ooops!, illustrated by Dora Leder, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1987.

The Hole Book, illustrated by Laurie Newton, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

Molly's in a Mess ("Molly Zander" series), illustrated by Diana Cain Blumenthal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Molly Gets Mad ("Molly Zander" series), illustrated by Diana Cain Blumenthal, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.

"herbie jones" series

Herbie Jones, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1985.

What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1986.

Herbie Jones and the Class Gift, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1987.

Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1988.

Herbie Jones and Hamburger Head, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

The Herbie Jones Reader's Theater, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Herbie Jones and the Birthday Showdown, illustrated by Carl Cassler, Putnam (New York, NY), 1993.

Herbie Jones Moves On, illustrated by Richard Williams, Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.

"horrible harry" series

Horrible Harry in Room 2-B, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1988.

Horrible Harry and the Green Slime, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Horrible Harry's Secret, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.

Horrible Harry and the Dungeon, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Horrible Harry and the Purple People, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Horrible Harry Moves up to Third Grade, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2000.

Horrible Harry at Halloween, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2000.

Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2001.

Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.

Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

Horrible Harry and the Locked Closet, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2004.

Horrible Harry and the Goog, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 2005.

"song lee" series

Song Lee in Room 2-B, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1993.

Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.

Song Lee and the Leech Man, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.

"orp" series

Orp, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

Orp and the Chop Suey Burgers, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.

Orp Goes to the Hoop, Putnam (New York, NY), 1991.

Who's Orp's Girlfriend?, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Orp and the FBI, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.

"mary marony" series

Mary Marony and the Snake, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Mary Marony Hides Out, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1993.

Mary Marony Mummy Girl, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1994.

Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.

Marvin and the Mean Words, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 1997.

Marvin and the Meanest Girl, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.

Also author of plays for local elementary school. Contributor to Instructor.

Adaptations

Several of Kline's books have been recorded as audiobooks.

Work in Progress

A prequel series of "Herbie Jones" books, beginning with Herbie Jones Likes Ice Cream Cones, for Putnam.

Sidelights

Suzy Kline should know a lot about kids; she has devoted much of her adult life to working as a secondgrade teacher and more recently a third-grade teacher, inspiring young children with a love of reading that she hopes will remain with them throughout their lives. The author of several series of award-winning books featuring realistic characters like third grader Herbie Jones, second-grade stutterer Mary Marony, a basketball-crazy middle schooler who goes by the nickname "Orp," Horrible Harry the rambunctious nemesis of room 2-B (and 3-B once he and his friends move to third grade), and the object of Harry's affections, Song Lee, Kline has a sure-fire ability to create true-to-life plots, which she relates in a humorous way that includes plenty of down-to-earth humor. Her "characters are all well defined, with their own unique personalities finely drawn," noted Cheryl Cufari in an appraisal of one of Kline's books for School Library Journal. Pat Leach, reviewing a book from the "Mary Marony" series in School Library Journal added that "Kline understands the dynamics of relationships in the primary grades." Critics have consistently complimented Kline's books as stories that would genuinely fit into an everyday classroom setting.

Kline was born in Berkeley, California, in 1943. Her first foray into writing occurred when she was eight years old. She once explained, "I wrote letters to my grandfather in Indiana, telling him what was happening at our house. It seemed to me that he missed his sonmy dadvery much, and he would be interested in hearing about him. Our home in California was three thousand miles away. My aunt told me that my letters helped him live a little longer, which made me feel really good about writing."

After high school Kline attended Columbia University for a year before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her bachelor's degree in 1966; she earned her teaching credentials the following year. In 1968 Kline got a job teaching in an elementary school in Richmond, California, where she remained for three years. She also married Rufus O. Kline, a local college teacher and writer, and together they had two daughters. In 1976 the Kline family moved to New England, and they have made their home in Connecticut ever since.

Kline's first books for children were picture books. In 1984's Shhhh!, an energetic, chatty youngster lists all the people who tell her to pipe down during the day, until she tiptoes out of doors to make all the noise she possibly can before she settles down to being quiet again. "Delightful," lauded School Library Journal contributor Lisa Redd, noting that the book portrays "a situation common to all children." Don't Touch! finds young Dan similarly reprimanded: sharp edges, hot pans, wet paint, and the like are barriers to his curiosity. Finally, he gets hold of some modeling clay, which he can touch to his heart's content in this picture book that Joan McGrath noted in School Library Journal should be "satisfying to kids who are constantly admonished to keep hands off."

Kline introduced the first of her popular elementary-school characters in Herbie Jones. A reluctant reader, Herbie tries to get out of the "slow" class while finding that causing trouble seems to impress his peers. Finally, he sets his mind on his schoolwork, and his grades start to climb. Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper offered a favorable assessment of Kline's "shrewd depictions of childhood concerns," and added that Herbie has "a fine supporting cast of characters." What's the Matter with Herbie Jones? finds our young hero in a romantic muddle as he falls head over heels for Annabelle Louisa Hodgekiss. When his friends catch him reading poetry and being seen with a GIRL in public, they take swiftand humorousaction to save their comrade, in a book that Cooper, writing in Booklist, called "a fun read." Other books featuring the popular third-grader include Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, called "another sure winner" by a Publishers Weekly reviewer, in which Herbie tries out for the local baseball team coached by his favorite uncle, and Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic, as Herbie, now a fourth grader, is bumped up to an attic bedroommuch to his dismaywhen Grandpa comes for a long-term visit. Kline has also begun a new series of "Herbie Jones" books that find Herbie in the second grade; the series kicks off with Herbie Jones Likes Ice Cream Cones.

In Horrible Harry in Room 2-B, readers meet the impish Harry as seen through the eyes of his best friend, Doug. Dubbed "horrible" in a lighthearted way, Harry loves to play practical jokes, especially when they prompt screams of terror from second-grade girls. Kline illustrates each of Harry's antics in short chapters; in Horrible Harry and the Green Slime, he not only concocts some nasty green slime, but drapes the school with spider webs and gets involved in other mischief, fitting "comfortably into the genre of light classroom realism" according to Betsy Hearne of Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Horrible Harry's Secret teams Harry with fellow classmate Song Lee, a Korean girl who has a water frog that eats livera sure-fire magnet for second-grade boys. But Harry is attracted to more than the frog; falling for Song Lee sends him into a tizzy. "Harry's appeal is that he's both 'gross' and vulnerable," according to Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman, who found Kline's classroom tales full of kid appeal. Commenting on Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, Rochman stated, "Grade-school teacher Kline evokes the farce of the classroom, and just a glimpse of the hurt, too." In Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, Song Lee invites Harry, Doug, and some of their classmates on a trip to Mountainside Amusement Park; Harry is delighted until his arch-nemesis, Sidney, tells him about one of the ridesa 13-story elevator dropand Harry, who was once stuck inside an elevator, has to face his fears. Kay Weisman of Booklist commented on Kline's "breezy text."

Harry and his classmates "loop together," all ending up in the same third grade class, and their adventures continue. In Horrible Harry Moves up to the Third Grade, Harry must again confront Sidney, who in this book kills Harry's pet spider. "Harry's many fans will clamor for this enjoyable story," assured Booklist contributor Lauren Peterson. Harry disappoints his classmates by not dressing as something scary in Horrible Harry at Halloween. He explains that he is Sergeant Joe Friday of the LAPD, and when one of his classmates realizes part of her costume is missing, it's up to Harry to solve the mystery. "Harry's detective work is delicious," praised Hazel Rochman in her review for Booklist. Class 3-B goes on a riverboat trip in Horrible Harry Goes to Sea; everything goes swimmingly until Song Lee discovers that Sidney is missing. The class scrambles to make sure that he hasn't gone overboard. The book focuses less on Harry than previous titles, but Ashley Larsen in School Library Journal noted that fans will "still enjoy the class's exploits" and Carolyn Phelan, writing for Booklist, said that readers would "happily climb aboard" to spend more time with class 3-B.

In Horrible Harry and the Dragon War Harry and Song Lee agree to work on a project on dragons together, only to realize that they have completely different ideas about dragons. When Harry calls Song Lee's dragon "stupid," their fight begins. Karen Hutt in Booklist commented that "Kline perfectly captures the difficulties of learning about differing opinions." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews praised Kline for allowing "the young protagonists to solve their own problems with light adult intervention, good intentions, and gentle forgiveness." In Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, Harry is at his troublemaking again. When Sidney tries to get class 3-B to tease Harry for wearing a necklace, Harry explains that the charm he's wearing is actually a mini-microscope, with which he can see the kingdom of mushrooms. He offers to show his classmates, but in order to do it, they have to sneak off school grounds during recess, which is against the rules. The children follow anyway, but when their teacher asks where all the mud came from after recess and Harry tells her a lie, the children have to decide if they should support his fib or tell the truth. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews called the book "Another winner," and Hazel Rochman of Booklist called it "one of the best" in the "Horrible Harry" series. Room 3-B celebrates the winter holidays in Horrible Harry and the Holidaze. Harry isn't up to his normal antics, however, and his friend Doug begins to worry when even Harry's obvious crush on Song Lee seems to have faded. The truth is that Harry's great-grandfather has gone to live in a nursing home, and when the teacher finds out, she takes the whole class to visit, which cheers Harry up entirely. "The depiction of Harry's sadness is sensitive," commented Carolyn Phelan in Booklist.

Song Lee has several books in which she is not just the object of Harry's affections, but is the focus of the story.

In Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, she brings yet another pet to school and someone leaves the cage open. "Amusing characterizations, snappy dialogue, and a happy ending" distinguish this book, according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. Although Song Lee is shy, her sensitivity to animals and troubled classmates in Song Lee in Room 2B prompted Maggie McEwen to remark in School Library Journal that "Kline has an exceptional talent for capturing the language, humor, and group dynamics of a primary-grade classroom." In Song Lee and the Leech Man, Sidney tattles on Song Lee, and Harry vows to avenge her. When Harry's practical joke on Sidney fails, Harry ends up falling in the pond, covered with leeches. "Song Lee comes to the rescue and saves the day," wrote April Judge in Booklist. In Song Lee and the "I Hate You Notes," someone is sending hate notes to Song Lee, even though she is the nicest person in the class. Song Lee is hurt by the notes, but gets her revenge in a very creative and unhurtful way.

Orville Rudemeyer Pygenski, Jr., survives elementary school only with the use of a nickname, Orp. When he starts an "I hate my name" club during the summer vacation after sixth grade class, he realizes that he is not alone in wishing his parents had been a little less creative when he was born. In Orp Goes to the Hoop, the young teen decides that a good way to avoid chores is to join the middle school basketball team. Ultimately, he becomes one of the team's star players, balancing his new sport with a long-distance romance with a girl named Jenny Lee. "Something for older Matt Christopher fans," recommended a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books contributor, "who have noticed girls." Orp's social life gets complicated in Who's Orp's Girlfriend? when two different girls at school catch his eye, while longtime pen-pal Jenny Lee announces that she is coming for a visit. "Kline's gentle humor, well-paced plot, and likeable characters" are "just right" for middle school readers, wrote Booklist contributor Chris Sherman. Orp and the FBI tells of Orp and his private detective agency, Famous Bathtub Investigators (FBI), and his rival, sister Chloe's CIA (Chloe's Investigation Agency). "The plot develops smoothly the level of suspense is maintained," commented School Library Journal contributor Carol Torrance, who added: "A fun addition."

Kline's first heroine to have her own series was Mary Marony, a new second-grader at school. In Mary Marony and the Snake Mary fears being teased because of her speech impediment: she stutters. Her fears are realized in at least one student, meanie Marvin Higgins, who makes her school day miserable. Fortunately, with the help of a speech teacher, Mary gets her stutter under control, and when she is the only one in her class brave enough to pick up a snake that has gotten loose in the classroom, Marvin's taunts can do little to tarnish her reputation among her classmates. "Any child who's been teased (that is, any child) will enjoy Mary's triumph," Roger Sutton asserted, while School Library Journal contributor Gale W. Sherman suggested: "Make room on the shelves for this oneyoung readers will love it." In the entertaining Mary Marony Mummy Girl, Halloween is around the corner and Mary wants to be a mummybut where to find a costume? Without permission, she rips up her bedsheet, which works fine as a costume but makes her mom more than a little upset. Kline's spunky protagonist is "resourceful," dealing with both her stutter and "other challenges in a positive manner," maintained Elaine Lesh Morgan, describing the book in School Library Journal. Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, hailed by Stephanie Zvirin of Booklist as "one of Kline's best," raises the moral question of whether cheating is always wrong. In Marvin and the Mean Words, bully Marvin takes the spotlight, learning what it feels like to be the target of someone's taunting. Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, noted that "Kline's touch is light," and praised the reality of her classroom scenarios. Marvin returns in Marvin and the Meanest Girl, in which he squares off against girlbully, Lucy Tinker. The taunting escalates until Marvin learns that Lucy's grandmother has just died, and she's being mean to cover up her own hurt. "The school action is fast, the talk is lively," wrote Hazel Rochman in Booklist.

Third-grade Molly Zander's series began in 1999 with Molly's in a Mess. The stories are narrated by Molly's best friend, Morty, who is the more cautious one of the pair. In her first adventure, Molly gets in trouble for accidentally knocking off the principal's hairpiece. When she and Morty explain, Molly is forgiven, but Molly is out for revenge on Florence, the girl who told on her. Though Molly manages to embarrass Florence in front of the whole class, she and Florence both learn some lessons about how to treat their peers, and eventually become friends. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that Molly's in a Mess "exhibits her usual flair for elementary school antics." In Molly's second book, Molly Gets Mad, it looks like her friendship with Morty might be over. The two friends have an ice-skating race, which Molly winsbut only because Morty breaks his ankle in the process. When Molly gets in a snit because no one congratulates her and Morty tells her she's a poor sport, it seems like they'll never be able to make things right. But Morty finds himself still cheering her on when she's playing hockey. "The real action here is off the rink," commented Pat Leach in School Library Journal. Ellen Mandel in Booklist praised Kline's depiction of "Molly's humorous and true-to-life antics."

"Most of my stories have been inspired by the classroom, my family and my childhood," Kline once told SATA. "Everyday life is full of stories if we just take the time to write them." Since her retirement from teaching in 2000, Kline has been able to travel from her native New England and devote more time to visiting students in other parts of the United States; as she told SATA: "I always take my pocket notebook with me and jot down things that inspire me to write a new story. My newest 'Herbie' (the prequel series) and Horrible Harry and the Goog books have many story details from the schools I visited this year." She credits "some wonderful custodians and teachers" for providing details on story and settings for Horrible Harry and the Goog, which finds Herbie's cat Goog prowling the South School teacher's lounge, teacher's restroom, and boiler room.

"I think I could go on forever writing about Herbie Jones and Horrible Harry and Song Lee," Kline added. "To me, these series are about family, friendships, and the classroom, three things that are so close to my heart. Most of all, I am blessed with a strong Christian faith, and that has made all the difference in my life."

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, August, 1985, Ilene Cooper, review of Herbie Jones, p. 1666; December 1, 1986, Ilene Cooper, review of What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?, p. 579; October 15, 1988, p. 410; November 1, 1988, p. 484; November 1, 1989, p. 553; December 1, 1990, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry's Secret, p. 751; July, 1991, p. 2048; July, 1992, p. 1941; October 1, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding, p. 327; August, 1993, Chris Sherman, review of Who's Orp's Girlfriend, p. 2062; November 15, 1994, pp. 601-602; April 15, 1995, p. 1500; October 1, 1995, April Judge, review of Song Lee and the Leech Man, p. 316; December 1, 1995, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, p. 636; April 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Marvin and the Mean Words, p. 1334; February 15, 1998, Kay Weisman, review of Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, p. 1012; October 15, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of Horrible Harry Moves up to Third Grade, p. 422; May 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes, p. 1594; August, 1999, Lauren Peterson, review of Molly's in a Mess, p. 2058; September 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry at Halloween, p. 241; November 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Marvin and the Meanest Girl, p. 540; September 1, 2001, Ellen Mandel, review of Molly Gets Mad, p. 106; December 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, p. 643; June 1, 2002, Karen Hutt, review of Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, p. 1740; March 15, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, p. 1327; September 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, p. 134.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1984, p. 29; December, 1985, pp. 70-71; December, 1986, pp. 70-71; May, 1989, Betsy Hearne, review of Horrible Harry and the Green Slime, p. 227; July-August, 1991, review of Orp Goes to the Hoop, pp. 266-267; June, 1992, Roger Sutton, review of Mary Marony and the Snake, pp. 266-267.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1989, p. 295; July 15, 1994, review of Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt, p. 987; September 15, 2001, review of Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, p. 1360; April 15, 2002, review of Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, p. 572; February 1, 2003, review of Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins, p. 233.

Publishers Weekly, October 30, 1987, p. 72; March 3, 1997, p. 76; September 8, 1988, review of Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball, p. 135; August 2, 1999, review of Molly's in a Mess, p. 84; November 1, 1999, review of Orp, p. 86.

School Library Journal, February, 1985, Lisa Redd, review of Shhhh!, p. 66; February, 1986, Joan McGrath, review of Don't Touch, p. 76; March, 1988, p. 192; April, 1989, pp. 102-103; July, 1992, pp. 69-70; December, 1992, Cheryl Cufari, review of Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic, p. 85; April, 1993, Gale W. Sherman, review of Mary Marony and the Snake, p. 98; July, 1993, p. 86; September, 1993, Maggie McEwen, review of Song Lee in Room 2B, pp. 209-210; November, 1993, p. 85; September, 1994, p. 187; December, 1994, Elaine Lesh Morgan, review of Mary Marony Mummy Girl, p. 77; May, 1995, Carol Torrance, review of Orp and the FBI, p. 108; December, 1995, p. 83; May, 1997, Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, review of Marvin and the Mean Words, p. 102; September, 1997, Carrie A. Guarria, review of Horrible Harry and the Purple People, p. 184; August, 1998, Suzanne Hawley, review of Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom, p. 142; September, 1998, Linda Binder, review of Horrible Harry Moves up to Third Grade, p. 175; June, 1999, Pat Leach, review of Song Lee and the "I Hate You" Notes, p. 99; August, 1999, Maggie McEwen, review of Molly's in a Mess, p. 138; February, 2000, Pat Leach, review of Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon, p. 96; September, 2000, Janie Schomberg, review of Horrible Harry at Halloween, p. 202; August, 2001, Pat Leach, review of Molly Gets Mad, p. 155; November, 2001, Ashley Larsen, review of Horrible Harry Goes to Sea, p. 127; August, 2002, Laurie von Mehren, review of Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, p. 159; October, 2003, Eva Mitnick, review of Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, p. 65.

online

Suzy Kline's Home Page, http://www.suzykline.com/ (April 1, 2004).

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