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Who Done It? Hardcover – February 12, 2013
The 10 Most Valuable Children’s Books and Affordable Alternatives
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This quirky mystery anthology is jam-packed with some of the most celebrated, award-winningest YA and children’s authors ever to be accused of . . . murder. The victim is boss/superior/editor Herman Q. Mildew, a man so despised, the list of suspects includes 83 authors. With the alibis curated (in alphabetical order, naturally) by Scieszka, the finger-pointing and self-incrimination begin in every form imaginable: some are illustrated, others use text/Twitter/IM-speak, and David Levithan even offers his alibi in verse and questions the benefits of bloodily murdering someone while the pen is mightier than the sword. The short bursts of writing create a sizable sampler for readers to choose from, gleaning from each entry the style and voice of everyone from Lemony Snicket and Libba Bray to Barry Lyga and Rita Williams-Garcia. Indeed, the pen is being used mightily to drum up support for creative writing; proceeds from sales will benefit Dave Eggers’ (another among the accused) 826 writing program in New York. Grades 8-12. --Jones, Courtney
Praise for Who Done It?
"Go buy this book for your kids. Every kid on the planet needs this book. And the extra bonus is that proceeds from Who Done It? benefit 826nyc, the literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers!"
—NCBLA Executive Director Mary Brigid Barrett
"Well worth a read."
—The Guardian (UK)
"Wonderful and fun to read. Included in these pages is some fabulous description, lots and lots of creativity...[will] keep even the pickiest teen happy for hours."
—Tulsa Books Examiner
“Curl up and check out the laugh-out-loud alibis.”
"Who Done It? is essentially a who’s who of fabulous YA...And they’re all talking. But someone’s lying. The 'alibis' range from poetry to comics, and are hilarious."
“With a lively blend of self-incrimination and finger-pointing, Who Done It? will keep readers guessing to the end.”
"Filled with in-jokes and carried to ridiculous extremes by a mammoth stable of YA and children’s authors...clever."
"The finger-pointing and self-incrimination begin in every form imaginable...David Levithan offers his alibi in verse....Indeed, the pen is being used mightily to drum up support for creative writing; proceeds from sales will benefit Dave Eggers’ (another among the accused) 826 program in New York."
"How did you get my phone number? Stop calling me or I'm getting the police involved."
—Maureen Johnson, author of The Name of the Star and The Last Little Blue Envelope
—Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay and Where I Went
"Who are you? Why are you writing down everything I'm saying? What book? What are you talking about?"
—Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Who Could That Be at This Hour?
"Papery. And rectilinear."
—Barry Lyga, author of I Hunt Killers
"Of all the books I've ever read, this was definitely the most recent."
—Jennifer Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
"If you already know who done it, this is not the book for you."
—Mo Willems, author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
—Jo Knowles, author of See You At Harry's
—Kiersten White, author of Paranormalcy
"My God. It's full of words."
—Kieran Scott, author of the He's So/She's So trilogy
"Not enough pictures."
—Ricardo Cortés, co-author of Go the F--k to Sleep
"Cures everything from sleeplessness to insomnia."
—Natalie Standiford, author of The Secret Tree
—Lisa Brown, How to Be
"Who is Jon Scieszka?"
—Casey Scieszka, co-author of To Timbuktu
"I'll get back to you with a blurb as soon as I have some time."
—Leslie Margolis, author of Everybody Bugs Out
"This book is full of slanders, falsehoods, and outrageous defamations of character. In other words, it was perfect!"
—Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark and Grimm
"Without a doubt, one of the top 10,000 books of the year."
—Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow
"Stays crunchy in milk."
—Gordon Korman, author of Swindle
"It makes an excellent step so I can reach all my shoes."
—Kate Brian, author of the Private series
"What an outrageous, hysterical, cheesy, fantastic, ingenious book!"
—Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf
"Funny, creative, and clever. Buy a copy for yourself and another for a young reader in your life."
—Beth Fish Reads
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Top customer reviews
The concept is brilliant, and I wish I'd thought of it. (Have I mentioned *I'm* an editor?) It's fun to read, with alibis ranging from "I couldn't have done it; I love Hermie even tho he doesn't like me to call him that and in fact has a restraining order against me" to "My alibi is a list of failed attempts at trying to murder him". The authors participating in the project write for children and young adults, so it was fun to read something (slightly) more adult.
I love that the proceeds benefit 826NYC, a literacy and creative program for kids. I hope lots of people buy this book so the organization gets tons of money.
However, there are just too many alibis. Although they are (mostly) original, after awhile they run together and it gets to be too much. I think this volume would have been better with at least 25 fewer. It also would have been nice to have had more illustrated alibis; there are only a few. Of course, I realize this was dependent on the authors who agreed to participate. I recommend getting a copy; just don't try to read it in one sitting!
As I said, if you are a YA insider, then you'll love the in jokes (In her entry Emily Jenkins, a beloved children's author, pokes fun at someone who might use a pen name, when in fact she writes YA under the name of e. lockhardt), not to mention the personality-filled, 1st person, humorous accounts from whichever author you love.
Check out some of the powerhouses featured (children's and YA authors, but all writing in an adult/young-adult way):
All in all -- a very fun read, either to sit down and read straight through, or to pick up here and there when you want a short reading fix.
The only disappointment is that you don't really get an answer at the end, though the twist is clever in itself, and it hardly had read as a serious fact-gathering mission to that point, so I wasn't surprised.
CONTENT NOTE: I was familiar with Jon Sciezcka's GUYS READ anthologies (fantastic!), so I automatically assumed that this was a collection for that same middle-grade 9 - 12 audience. It's not. It's definitely young adult, with a bit of mild profanity and some sexual references (about affairs and whatnot).
Most recent customer reviews
Herman Q. Mildew, hated book editor, is dead. Who Done It?Read more