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Monday, February 2, 2015

Frozen in time

“Strength,” says Judith Viorst,  “is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”

One of the more popular family movies in 2014 was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – a “live” version of the a best-selling book by the multi-talented Viorst, who often has written about herself and her family.  Her “Alexander” series is based on the escapades of her youngest son – frozen forever at age 5 in Viorst’s clever stories.   Alexander’s real life brothers Anthony and Nick also are captured in time as Alexander’s brothers in the books. 

Viorst has written many other books for and about children, including the terrific The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, which looks at the death of a beloved pet, and the often poignant Sad Underwear, a collection of poems that examines a wide variety of feelings and experiences from a child's point of view.

Judith Viorst

A journalist first, this 84-year-old Washington, D.C. writer (it’s her birthday today) still writes often for The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Her “adult” books (and she’s written many) often focus on her own life experiences, many with a humorous twist.  When Did I Stop Being 20 and Other Injustices and How Did I Get To Be 40 and Other Atrocities – are written in such wonderfully universal language that they remain relevant 60 and 40 years after publication, great examples of writers’ moments taken from the daily life that swirls around every author, and just waiting to be shared.

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