Newberry Honor-winning author

Dear Reader:

In Brooklyn, there's a garden so small I could almost put my arms around it: Emily's garden. I stop to look at it whenever I go back. I walk from there along the streets my parents and grandparents must have walked when they were young. I keep looking up because in front of me is the most beautiful bridge in the world.

Ah, that Brooklyn Bridge. It's so delicate, so lovely. It's hard to believe that its hundredth birthday was a long time ago. It's hard to believe that men scrambled deep under the East River in caissons to begin that bridge, that they hung in chairs high overhead to finish it.

I wrote Water Street because I love Brooklyn and that bridge, and because a woman named Emily finished the bridge during a time when women stayed home. But more, I wrote it because the Mallon family is alive to me: Nory and Sean, Bird, and Thomas Neary, Bird's friend. The love they have for each other is like the love I find every day in my own family. And they remind me of what it must have been like to live in Brooklyn in those long ago days when the bridge was being built.

I hope you enjoy the story of these people. Maybe you'll go to Brooklyn as I do, and see Emily's garden and that beautiful bridge.

Patricia Reilly Giff

A House of Tailors Big Whopper

It’s Discovery Week at the Zigzag Afternoon Center! Everyone writes their discoveries on a big sheet of paper in the hallway. But Destiny Washington can’t think of anything new to discover. Before she knows it, Destiny has told a BIG whopper. And snooty Gina, who’s great at discovering things, knows all about it. Destiny has to find a way out of the whopper. In the end, she makes the best discovery of all.


Patricia Reilly Giff
Photo © Tim Keating

Patricia Reilly Giff is the author of the Polk Street School books and the Polka Dot Private Eye books, and a two-time recipient of the Newbery Honor for Lily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods.
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