Contest Winners: First Lines of Children’s Books Rewritten for a Pandemic

Thanks to all who entered the contest to rewrite your favorite first lines of children’s books for a pandemic. The panel of judges had a hard time choosing from such creative and funny entries. So they picked two winners. As a result, each winner can choose a charity (St. Jude, Feeding America, or Doctors Without Borders), and I will donate $50 to each of the two chosen charities.

Here are the two winning entries:

Winner: Ms. Yingling

From Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth:

The original:

There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in.

The rewrite:

There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself— especially during the pandemic. When school was in person, he longed to be remote, and when he was remote he longed to be in person.

 

Winner: Christine Sarmel

From Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie

The original:

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.

The rewrite:

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for toilet paper, Clorox wipes, a package of yeast; they didn’t have none, but I came back with a dog.

 

Thanks everyone for playing along! Wishing you a safe and happy 2021!

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Dorian Cirrone
Dorian Cirrone's most recent middle-grade novel is the award-winning,THE FIRST LAST DAY. She has published several books for children and teens. Visit her at www.doriancirrone.com
2 Comments
  1. I love all the fun bookish-but-not-so-bookish things you’ve been posting. Really a bright spot in my day!

  2. These are great. Congrats to both.

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