Young Mary Elizabeth relates the humorous misadventures of her brother Louis and the other wacky members of her unpredictable, very odd family.
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Barbara Robinson has written many popular books for children, including The Best School Year Ever and My Brother Louis Measures Worms and Other Louis Stories. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is an ALA Notable Children's Book and was filmed as a television movie.
In Her Own Words ...
I grew up in a small southern Ohio town, and began writing when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, as a hobby and for fun. I'm happy to say it's still fun today, probably because every book I write has to be a book that I also want very much to read. I'm like the reader who turns the page to see what happens next - except, of course, that the page is blank. But I then get to fill it up with whatever seems exciting, funny, scary, happy or sad ... and with characters who become as real to me as my next-door-neighbors - so real, in fact, that sometimes they just step in and show me 'what happens next.'
Since I'm one of those writers whose story ideas spring more from people than from plot, I spend a lot of time with my characters, so they tend to be people I like to spend time with - even the wild and woolly Herdmans, who inhabit two of my books, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Best School Year Ever. I have a special fondness for the Herdman adventures, probably because boys and girls have told me that these are their favorites, and that's the most important thing to me.
Since leaving my small town - though I don't think writers ever really leave the place where they grew up; certainly the flavor of a small town is present in everything I write - I've lived in Pittsburgh, Boston, and, now, in a suburb of Philadelphia where I write, read a lot (boys' and girls' books mostly because they're the best), walk two or three miles a day, watch baseball games and, when the mood is on me, bake terrific cookies!
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