Linda Urban Hound Dog True

ISBN 13: 9780307942432

Hound Dog True

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9780307942432: Hound Dog True
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Custodial Wisdom: Day Two
Never use a metal ladder in an electrical storm. Bring an extra garbage can to the cafeteria on Turkey Drummettes day. Fix things before they get too big for fixing.
Just one week until school starts. One week until Mattie Breen is the new girl again. One week until she has to introduce herself—to try and make friends. Unless she can convince her uncle Potluck, the school janitor, to take her on as a custodial apprentice. Then she’ll be able to work with him at lunch and recess instead of needing
to be with all the other fifth-graders. All she has to do is stick to the custodial wisdom she writes in her notebook.
            Too bad her notebook doesn’t tell her what to do when that Quincy Sweet keeps popping up out of nowhere. Or how to talk to Mama about things that really matter. Or what to do when her carefully-thought-out apprentice plan comes crashing down around her. But maybe everything going wrong can begin to show Mattie what’s right. About sharing a part of herself. About doing one small, brave thing. About making a friend
she can trust with her secrets—a friend who is hound dog true.

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A Note from the Author

Dear Reader,

In Hound Dog True, Mattie Breen keeps a notebook of "Custodial Wisdom." In it, she writes her observations about the work her Uncle Potluck does—and a few of her own stories sneak onto the pages as well.

For the past few years, I have been keeping a notebook. Or rather, notebooks.

When I was a young writer, I liked the idea of keeping a notebook or diary, but I always felt that what I wrote in it needed to be Important, Well Written, and Spelled Perfectly (note the capitals!). I started a dozen different diaries, but always quit after a few pages. My life seemed dull...my writing lifeless. And my spelling? Well, I never was a very good speller.

Even as a grownup, I would buy beautiful blank books and never write a word in them, afraid that my words would not prove worth the paper I scratched them on.

I’m not sure what made me treat this particular notebook differently, but in 2008 I bought a notebook and promptly messed it up. On the very first page, I wrote: x-mas: papajohn’s Hoppinjohn’s grits. Already I had made a mistake. No way would this notebook be filled with perfection.

What a terrific thing that turned out to be—suddenly I was free of all those worries about perfection and pretty pages.

The next page of that notebook is filled with notes about the early work I was doing on Hound Dog True. There are misspellings and lots of questions—and some really good ideas that never would have come out if I had been trying for perfection!

Now my notebooks are filled with all the bits of my life: hangman games and grocery lists, research for my novels and reminders about books I want to check out at the library. I make notes about my works-in- progress and jot down snatches of dialogue I overhear in line at the farmers’ market. My notebooks are workbooks, scrapbooks, doodle pads, and datebooks. I have started some of my best stories by scribbling on pages wedged between meeting notes and travel itineraries. I feel lost when I don’t have a notebook around to scratch in.

Do you keep a notebook?

Do you fret about perfect spelling? About whether the stories you start in it will be worth writing? About what would happen if somebody accidentally got ahold of it and read what was inside?

Try this:

Get a notebook. NOT a fancy one. A simple one.

Write something simple inside. Describe the chair in which you are sitting. Make a list of all the birthday cakes you can remember eating (and when and where and what they tasted like). Tape in a photo of a place you’ve been or a place you’d like to go. Just put something on the page. Misspell something. Cross something out. Let the notebook become your notebook. Let it be as wild and messy and imperfectly perfect as you are.

--Linda Urban

Bonus Content: Photos from Linda Urban, author of Hound Dog True
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

Just a few of my notebooks. Some notes for "Hound Dog True"

About the Author:

Linda Urban grew up in Michigan with dreams of fame. Ballerina. Television star. Musician. She played the violin for a year, then begged her parents for a piano. Instead, her dad bought an organ at the mall. Although she has never competed in a Perform-O-Rama, she can still play the right-hand parts of “Up, Up and Away.” A former bookseller in California, Ms. Urban now lives in Vermont with her family. A Crooked Kind of Perfect is her first novel. Visit www.lindaurbanbooks.com.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780547850832: Hound Dog True

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ISBN 10:  0547850832 ISBN 13:  9780547850832
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2012
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9780547558691: Hound Dog True

HMH Bo..., 2011
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