Betsy Byars
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The 18th Emergency

by Betsy Byars

Betsy Byars
Children's Author, Newbery Award Winner

in association with

The Plot

The school bully is out to get Mouse Fawley, and while Mouse is waiting for that terrible event, he thinks of 17 other emergencies (lion attack, the appearance of sharks, strangulation by boa constrictor) all of which he can handle.

Betsy Says

Every school has its own bully. In my grammar school it was the Fletcher brothers everyone was afraid of. I really wanted to name the bully in the book Fletcher, but those Fletcher boys are still out there somewhere. I thought up the name Marv Hammerman. After the book was published the phone rang one day and this man said, "Is this Betsy Byars?" I said, "Yes." He said, "This is Marv Hammerman." I almost dropped the phone. It turned out he was a teacher and had started reading the book to his class. He took it well, but I've started using names like Smith and Brown.

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Betsy Byars
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