Don’t tell me your teacher assigned a book report on Queenie and Arthur! And now you’ve come here for help. Maybe even in hope of a book report actually written by the author of the book himself, and therefore bound to be the right stuff. But guess what: my school days are over! I never have to do another book report in my life. Or figure out when two trains starting from X and Y will meet, or any of that stuff. I laugh at X and Y!
Sorry about the book report. I never meant to add to your burden. First and foremost – as in any novel, in my opinion – the Queenie and Arthur books are meant to entertain. A writer of fiction can do all sorts of other things, too, but if no one’s entertained enough to keep turning the pages, what have you got? A tree falling in the forest. That’s what you’ve got - as in that old problem in philosophy: if a tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it, how do you know it made a sound? Arthur can hear that falling tree from a long way off, by the way, much farther than you, although he might not know what happened. Queenie can hear it, too, and know the cause, but she finds the whole subject boring.
People say, “How did you get in the minds of a dog and a cat?” And the answer is what I just hinted at: the imagination. It’s the most powerful of all the writing tools, more than vocab, or sentence structure, or grammar. I believe that all of us are born with an imagination. And, like a muscle, you can make it stronger by using it. For muscles, you can pump iron. For the imagination, you can sit in the shade and let your mind wander. When you get good at it, you can make your mind wander in the direction you want it to.
I hear you: none of this helps on the book report. Okay. Here’s a little crumb. Before you write anything, step back and ask yourself: What is this about? What do I want to say? What is the engine that will drive this book report, story, or novel? In the case of the Queenie and Arthur mysteries, it’s a two-stroke engine. Stroke one is their rivalry. Stroke two is their love of the Reddy family – Harmony, Bro, and Mom – and life at the Blackberry Hill Inn in the Green Mountains of Vermont.
And here’s something the other kids might not know. The vs. in the book titles stands for versus, meaning against. It’s originally a Latin word meaning towards – in other words, towards conflict. Looping in a little Latin is guaranteed to raise your grade every time! Try it and see.
Peter Abrahams (aka Spencer Quinn)
From New York Times bestseller Spencer Quinn comes book 2 in the laugh-out-loud series about the most epic rivalry of our time . . . Arthur the dog vs. Queenie the cat.
Queenie the cat has a BIG problem. And for once, it's not the slobbery, overly-excited creature who also lives at Blackberry Hill Inn. Sweet Lady Emsworth, the neighbor's prize cow, has disappeared, meaning no morning cream for Queenie. And when Queenie's not happy, NO ONE is happy . . .
Things aren't looking great for Arthur the dog, either. His beloved humans, twins Harmony and Bro, are distressed about the strange activity in their town. Mysterious hi-tech people are suddenly very interested in nearby Catastrophe Falls, bills are piling up at their mom's inn . . . and now the twins might be hiding a fugitive?!
Arthur is desperate to help but for some reason, no one seems to think he's up to the task. (Could that be because he can't remember what happened more than ten seconds ago? Surely not!) Can Arthur save the day-and become a hero in Queenie's eyes-without making a disastrous splash?More info →
New York Times bestseller Spencer Quinn returns with a laugh-out-loud series about the most epic rivalry of our time . . . Arthur the dog vs. Queenie the cat.
From the outside, Queenie the cat and Arthur the dog appear to have a lot in common. Both pets live in the charming Blackberry Hill inn. They both love their humans, twins Harmony and Bro. They both have a fondness for sausage.
But that doesn't change the fact that they are mortal enemies.
Goofy, big-hearted Arthur loves everyone he's ever met . . . except the snobby, scheming cat who's devoted her life to ruining his.
Queenie is a bit choosier. And who can blame her? When you're brilliant AND exquisitely beautiful, you can't be expected to rub tails with commoners. Especially not slobbery dogs.
But when the twins' beloved cousin is framed for murder, Queenie and Arthur must work together to clear his name . . . something Queenie finds even more distasteful than inexpensive caviar. Can two enemies put aside their differences long enough to solve the mystery?More info →