The Monster at the End of This Book

Mary Bullock and I went to the library last week. In homeschool terms, we call this a field trip. In real life terms, we call this mommy has an $18 late fee.

How is it even possible to have an $18 late fee? I don’t know. But they hold their books hostage there until you pay them, so there went the money.

Anyhow, without even looking for it, this book jumped out at me. And my heart! My heart skipped a beat.


I haven’t thought about this book in about three decades, but when I picked it up I felt like a five year old again: WHAT? A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK?


It’s the same feeling I get when I see old clips of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Like, what has happened here? How am I an adult now? Can somebody please get me a snack? Does that happen to you?

I remember so specifically reading Superfudge and that moment where their hands meet in the popcorn box? I must have gone back over that paragraph dozens of times. And I remember my mom bringing home a box of birthday gifts for me from a conference the year I turned eight. I don’t know what else was inside except The Secret Garden. I stayed up half the night reading it. In third grade it was Sweet Valley High. I went back and read all the Sweet Valley Twins later, but I felt like pretty hot stuff reading a book about high school girls when I was still wearing my hair in pigtails and listening to Debbie Gibson. I remember having nightmares about Into the Dream (can I get an amen?) and buying Go Ask Alice at the Waldenbooks at the mall with my $5 Friday night spending money.

I can trace most of my life in books. Good books, bad books, terrible books I refused to finish, books I was desperate to re-read immediately upon finishing.

But there was never a monster at the end of those books.

Only this one.



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