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Today's quote:

Monday, October 19, 2020

H is for Happiness


This isn't just about me. It's also about the other people in my life - my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people (with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish) who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it."

Originally published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in 2013 under the title, "My Life as an Alphabet", this book came about because of an assignment the author, an English teacher living in Darwin (that's in Australia, Des; I thought I just mention this, since you now know more about your nearby Bridgeport than your country of birth), gave to his students: to write a paragraph for each letter of the alphabet, A through to Z, which sounded horrendous, particularly since the class was not very keen on writing. TWENTY-SIX paragraphs? But the amazing thing was, the students loved it. He got three-thousand-word assignments from kids who previously struggled to get a few sentences down.

One of his students (Alex Bamford) wrote a great assignment and she called it "My Life As An Alphabet". Hmmm, he thought, that sounds like a title for a book. So enter Candice Phee who decides that she must write a CHAPTER for each letter, rather than a paragraph. Candice is very strange in all sorts of ways. Suddenly other characters made their appearance: Penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Douglas Benson From Another Dimension and (his personal favourite) Earth-Pig Fish (who is a religiously confused goldfish). There is also an English teacher (called Miss Bamford, so Alex gets a mention as well) with a wandering eye.


Published in the USA as "The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee"


This delightful book for young adults has now been made into an equally delightful movie for young adults - and, well, not-so-young adults.

My only complaint is that in the book R stands for 'Revelations'. I would have preferred 'Reading' but the two are often the same, aren't they?

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