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Authors: Eileen Spinelli

Another Day as Emily

BOOK: Another Day as Emily
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The Dancing Pancake
Summerhouse Time


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2014 by Eileen Spinelli
Jacket art and interior illustrations copyright © 2014 by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, 1745 Broadway New York, New York, a Penguin Random House Company.

Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Spinelli, Eileen.
Another day as Emily / Eileen Spinelli;
illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. — First edition.

p. cm.
Summary: “Susie is jealous when her brother is deemed a town hero, so she finds solace in the poetry and reclusive lifestyle of Emily Dickinson.”—Provided by publisher Trade paperback ISBN 978-0449-80987-7 — Library binding ISBN 978-0-449-80988-4 —
eBook ISBN 978-0-449-80990-7
[1. Novels in verse. 2. Family life—Fiction. 3. Dickinson, Emily, 1830–1886—Fiction.
4. Recluses—Fiction. 5. Self-acceptance—Fiction.] I. Lew-Vriethoff, Joanne, illustrator.
II. Title.
PZ7.5.S68An 2014

The illustrations in this book were created using pen and ink, then Adobe Photoshop.

Printed in the United States of America

May 2014

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.


To Barbara Rosencrans
and Linda Steen





Writing is a solitary thing, and yet I’ve never written a book entirely by myself.


My grandson Will Merola researched nineteenth-century baseball for me. A peek behind the curtain into the world of theater was furnished by my friend and playwright Y York. My friend Patty Beaumont told me how one catches a chipmunk on the loose.


If you like this book, you should note the name Michelle Frey, my editor—and her assistant, Kelly Delaney—and add your thanks to mine.


And my sweet husband, Jerry, has once again done his duty as First Reader.


Mrs. Harden nearly died today.

I know because I was there.

I saw her slumped

on her kitchen floor

looking white as an egg.

I wasn’t there

from the beginning, though.

Only from the time

my little brother, Parker,

went missing.


It seems Parker wanted to

drive somewhere

on his new trike.

He’s only allowed to go

one house up

each way.

And only if he tells someone

where he’s going.

He obeyed the first rule.

(Mrs. Harden lives next door.)

But he forgot the second rule.

He told no one.

He drove to Mrs. Harden’s.

He parked in her driveway.

He knocked at her back door.

She invited him in

for a cookie.

That’s how it started.


Before Mrs. Harden

could reach the cookie jar,

she had what grown-ups call

“a spell.”

Parker saw her collapse.

He remembered his safety lessons.

He climbed on a chair.

He reached for the phone.

He dialed 911.

This is where I come in.

I find him

shouting to the dispatcher:

“Emergency! Emergency!”


I’m here because

Mrs. Harden and I

are supposed to paint posters

for her women’s club bake sale.

Paints and rags and poster board

are sitting on her craft table.


Mrs. Harden and I do lots of

projects together.

She is sort of an honorary

grandmother to me.

(My real ones live across the country.)


I crouch on the floor

next to her.

I take her hand.

It’s cold and clammy.

I pat it.

“It’s me. Suzy,” I tell her.

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Harden. Help is on the way.”


The ambulance comes.

The EMTs wheel Mrs. Harden

off on a stretcher.

Now Dad is in the driveway

asking what happened.

Neighbors mill around

shaking their heads,


Mrs. Capra pats Parker

on the head.

“So you’re the little hero.”


Dad calls Mrs. Harden’s nephew, Paul.

Mrs. Harden is a widow. No children.

A couple years ago she gave us

Paul’s phone number “just in case.”

Paul says for us to lock up

his aunt’s house.

He asks us to hold her mail,

take in her newspapers,

keep an eye on things

until he finds out

what’s what.


Back home,

Parker is all monkey-faced

(which is what he calls

being upset).


I give him a hug.

“Don’t worry,” I tell him.

“Mrs. Harden will be okay.

She’s in good hands now.”

(I don’t tell him

how worried I am.)


Parker sniffles.

“Yes, but Mrs. Capra

called me a

I’m not little, Suzy.

I’m four and a half.

I’m a

Parker pumps

his (little) fist in the air.

“I’m Hero Boy!”


Wait till Mom finds out.

She likes Mrs. Harden

almost as much as I do.

Mom’s in Arizona right now,

taking care of Grandma Fludd,

who recently had a bad fall.

Gee—two people I know

in the hospital.


My best friend, Alison,

says bad things come

in threes.


Uh-oh, I think.

BOOK: Another Day as Emily
7.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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