Emily Wiggins is poor and timid, without a drop of self-confidence. When unexpectedly orphaned, she is left all alone except for her turtle, Rufus. What in blinkin' bloomers should Emily do? Emily's neighbors, Mrs. Ready, Mrs. Aim, and Mrs. Fire, have the answer. Emily must travel by stagecoach to honorable Aunt Hilda. What a hootin', tootin' grand idea! But Miss Catchum of the Catchum Child-Catching Services will get a big bonus for making Emily live with her next of kin, vicious Uncle Victor. How in ding dong dickens will Emily escape Miss Catchum? It will take all the gumption and cunning of fellow orphan and traveler, Jackson, to help Emily find her confidence, conniving spirit, and the truth behind why Uncle Victor wants to claim her. But how in flippin' flapjacks will Emily outsmart Uncle Victor?
Painted on the door of the carriage was a sign that read
Catchum Child-Catching ServicesTrumpet Junction Branch
Orphans, Strays, and Roustabouts
Rounded Up Quickly
Emily jumped behind a mail cart so fast that she bumped into a boy in a faded brown jacket.
"Hey!" he said. "Watch where you're going!" And then, "You're an orphan too, aren't you?"
"How did you know?" she asked him.
He shrugged. "Saw you trying to hide from the Child Catchers, just like I used to do." From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Copyright © 2010 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Excerpted by permission of Yearling, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
“Through my books I can be many different people, living in many different places, and doing all kinds of interesting things. I can recapture feelings from childhood or project myself into the future. Or I can take a real problem I may be experiencing and work it out on paper. Writing, for me, is the best occupation I can think of and there is nothing in the world I would rather do.”—Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 135 books. Her work has been honored by the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, and the Children’s Book Council.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Newbery Medalist Phyllis Reynolds Naylor grew up in Anderson, Indiana, and Joliet, Illinois. She loved to make up stories and write little books when she was growing up, and sold her first story when she was 16 for $4.67.
Naylor worked as a teacher and an editor before she began to write full-time in 1960. She sold her first book for children in 1965.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with her husband, Rex who is a speech pathologist. They have two grown sons and four grandchildren.
“I think I wanted to be a writer because my parents read aloud to us every night until we were about 15 years old. They read Grimm’s fairy tales, the Bible storybook, all of Mark Twain’s books, Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows—and I think I probably felt that if listening to stories was so much fun, writing them would be even better. And it is. I love being involved in the characters and plot and just the whole mess of writing, it’s such a wonderful mess to me.
“I would like readers to develop more tolerance for people who are different, for ideas that are different, to come to realize that sometimes there isn’t just one right way to do something. People see different possibilities in a situation, and the solutions they come up with may be very different.”
About Her Books
“It was fun for me to do the Boy-Girl Battle Books series. I think I enjoyed them as much as the kids, and according to the stacks of letters I received, they liked them a lot. The idea for the series came to me when I was speaking at a school, and as the kids filed noisily into the gym, one teacher yelled, ‘If you don’t settle down, I’m going to seat you boy/girl/boy/girl.’ The gym was so quiet you could hear nothing but breathing. ‘Aha!’ I thought. The universal theme! The antagonism between boys and girls, ages 9 to 12. In one chapter, the girls may be one up on the boys; in the next, the boys may have the upper hand. There are twelve books in all, ending with Who Won the War.
I also enjoyed writing Faith, Hope and Ivy June. I think most girls have secrets, and Ivy June and Catherine are no exception. I loved researching the Kentucky setting for this book, and comparing the life styles of these girls--one in the city, the other in the mountains.”
AUTHOR FUN FACTS
Born: January 4, in Anderson, Indiana
Previous jobs: Third Grade Teacher, Editorial Assistant, Playground Supervisor
Hobbies: Snorkeling, Swimming, Piano, Theater, Reading
Favorite books: All kinds—scary, funny, serious. Mark Twain was her childhood favorite.
Favorite foods: Chocolate, Pizza
Favorite clothes to wear: Comfortable, colorful shirts and jeans
Favorite colors: Green and blue
THE GRAND ESCAPE
—Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List
ONE OF THE THIRD GRADE THONKERS
—A Child Study Association Children’s Book of the Year