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WHERE IS MAMA?

Posted by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Lee Bennett Hopkins
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on Thursday, 24 March 2011 in My Journal

Several have asked: "Where's MAMA and MAMA & HER BOYS? Both books are alive and well in paperback with Boyds Mills Press.

MAMA, my first novel, appeared in l977 with Alfred A. Knopf. 1977! Close to a quarter-of-a-century ago -- and now with a new generation of readers. Ted Lewin did the jacket art. The book was quite well reviewed. PW stated "The not-to-be-missed first novel..." The late-Zena Sutherland said: "You'll remember MAMA!" MAMA & HER BOYS came out in l981 at the suggestion of Charlotte Zolotow at Harper & Row. In l981, l982 both books appeared again in hardover from Simon & Schuster. PW noted MAMA & HER BOYS was "Lighthearted and touching...(packed) with merriment and an understated lesson about different kinds of love and companionship."

Both books were breakthrough books, especially MAMA, dealing with a working-class, single parent who steals for the survival of her two young sons. Yes, this is a fictionalized account of my growing up with an extraordinary Mother. It was some life...one filled with LOVE.

MAMA on GARDENING: "Real plants are for people who sit home all day long and do nothing. When you're a hard-working woman, you don't have time to fool around with dirt and pots and water. Plastic plants are easier. All you have to do is dust them off once in a while."

MAMA on CHRISTMAS: "I never remember the Three Wise Men saying anything. The reason they were called the Wise Men is because they kept their mouths shut."

MAMA on MAMA: "Just remember, your Mama's always right -- most of the time."

Both books are filled with LOVE. As the upstairs neighbor, Mrs. Rand tells the young son: "Lovin' sometimes creates a lot of problems,but it solves many of them, too. Lovin' has the power to change things. It can change this whole, wide, sometimes confusin' world. And in the end, lovin's better than stealin'" After 24 years children, teachers, and librarians are still reading the books and writing to me about them.

I send you all -- lovin'!

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