Mitch and Amy by Beverly Cleary, George Porter, Tracy Dockray |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Mitch and Amy (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Mitch and Amy (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

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by Beverly Cleary, George Porter

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The adventures of a nine-year-old twin brother and sister who, despite constant bickering and fighting, support each other loyally in learning to read and spell, memorizing the multiplication tables, confronting the school bully, and making friends.


The adventures of a nine-year-old twin brother and sister who, despite constant bickering and fighting, support each other loyally in learning to read and spell, memorizing the multiplication tables, confronting the school bully, and making friends.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
With humor and warmth, Mrs. Cleary explores the underlying pride, jealousy, and attachment of her twin characters.

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Mitch and Amy MSR
Chapter OneMitchell's Skate Board

Mitchell Huff's day began like any other summer day'with a squabble with his twin sister Amy. At breakfast Amy grabbed a cereal box top and said, "I'm going to send away for the plastic harmonica that looks like an ear of corn."

"Oh, no you don't!" said Mitchell. "It's my turn to get the box top."

"It is not!" said Amy. "You got the last one."

"But it wasn't a good box top," said Mitchell. "How come you get all the good box tops?""I don't," said Amy. "You sent away for the pedometer."

"Yes, but it broke the first time I used it," said Mitchell."That wasn't my fault," said Amy.

"It's no fair," said Mitchell. "You always grab the good box tops, and then don't send away for things."

"Be quiet, both of you," said Mrs. Huff, "or I shall serve hot oatmeal every morning, three hundred sixty-five days of the year, and you won't have any box tops to send away."

Mr. Huff, who had to catch a bus to the city, glanced at his watch and said, "That ought to settle this morning's squabble."

"Okay, Mom. You win," Mitchell said amiably.

"Oatmeal, ick," said Amy.

After breakfast Mitchell went out to the patio to work on the skate board he was building out of an old board and a roller skate while Amy went to her room and began to play her cello. That's funny, thought Mitchell, sawing the board in two, nobody told her to practice.

There was something familiar about the catchy tune his sister was playing, and Mitchell grinned when he recognized that it was not her lesson, but the music from a television commercial. That Amy!

In a few minutes the cello was silent, butAmy's tune ran through Mitchell's head half the morning. He was pounding the last nail around the half of the skate fastened to the front of the board when Amy came out the back door.

"I thought I heard Marla come through the gate," Amy said. She picked a dandelion that had gone to seed in a flower bed and held it up to examine it more closely.

Mitchell gave the nail a final bang with the hammer and sat back on his heels, waiting for Amy to say something about his skate board, but Amy was looking at the ball of dandelion fluff as if she found it a thing of magic and, while Mitchell watched, she closed her eyes to make a wish.

Mitchell looked at his sister standing there in her playclothes with her knees bruised, her brown hair falling to her shoulders, and her summer freckles bright in the September sunshine. Her lips were puckered beside the dandelion's white head as if they had been drawn up by a string. He saw her chest rise as she drew a deep breath and held it for a moment.

Suddenly the temptation was too great for Mitchell. Gathering his breath he rose and moved swiftly and silently across the concrete on his rubber soles.

Whoof! Mitchell blew as hard as he could and sent every one of Amy's dandelion seeds dancing off into the sunshine.

Amy's eyes flew open, and for a moment she stared at the empty stem in her hand. Then with a yell of rage she flung it onto the patio. "Mitchell Huff!" she shrieked. "You spoiled my wish! I'll get you for this!" There was nothing dreamy about Amy as she began to chase Mitchell. Around and around the patio they went, sneakers pounding up on the bench and down on the concrete again, Mitchell ducking and sidestepping Amy and always managing to stay just out of her grasp.

"You're despicable!" cried Amy, who already read on the fifth-grade level or even higher, although she was about to enter the fourth grade. Mitchell felt his sister's fingers on his shirt and jerked away. Around and around they went, and as they grew short of breath they both began to laugh.

Mrs. Huff opened the back door and stepped into the patio with a jar of peanut butter and a knife in her hand. "You two," she said. "Stop it."

The chase slowed and came to a halt. "He blew'the fluff off'my dandelion'when I was about to'make a wish," said Amy, giggling and gasping and appealing for justice.

"I couldn't'help it," panted Mitchell. "She was just'standing there'all puckered up with her eyes closed and suddenly something came over me'"

"Something comes over you altogether too often." Mrs. Huff spread a gob of peanut butter on a pinecone tied to the branch of a crab-apple tree outside the dining-room window. "I saw the first chickadees of the season this morning, and I thought if I started putting peanut butter out again we might persuade them to stay with us for the winter. Amy, pick another dandelion, and I'll stand guard while you make your wish."

"It won't be the same," said Amy, but she found a second dandelion."Mitch, if you blow the fluff off Amy's dandelion this time, I'll spread you with peanut butter and leave you for the chickadees," said Mrs. Huff, as she smeared peanut butter between the scales of the pinecone. Since Amy had made a bird feeder out of the pinecone for a Brownie project in the third grade, Mrs. Huff had become interested in bird watching. "Mom's feathered friends" her children called the juncoes, sparrows, and chickadees that grew fat on her peanut butter.

"I'll try to control myself," said Mitchell, when his mother had finished with the pinecone. "It will be a struggle, but I'll try." He noticed that this time Amy did not shut her eyes; she remained vigilant until with one breath she had sent all the dandelion seeds flying out across the patio. "What did you wish?" he asked.

"As if I would tell you," said Amy.

Mrs. Huff screwed the lid back onto the peanut-butter jar. "I know what I wish. I wish you two would stop bickering. I'll be glad when school starts."

Mitch and Amy MSR
. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There young Beverly learned to love books. However, when the family moved to Portland, Beverly soon found herself in the grammar school's low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers.

By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and her other beloved characters were born.

When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, "From my own experience and from the world around me." She included a passage about the D.E.A.R. program in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (second chapter) because she was inspired by letters she received from children who participated in "Drop Everything and Read" activities. Their interest and enthusiasm encouraged her to provide the same experience to Ramona, who enjoys D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class.

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Artfrom the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively.

Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award.

Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children's literature, Beverly Cleary was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. And her popularity has not diminished. HarperCollins Children's Books recently announced that the film option for Cleary's classic book character, Ramona Quimby, had been sold to Fox 2000 and Denise DiNovi Productions. In addition, Portland, Oregon has proudly created The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, in the park where Beverly used to play.

Brief Biography

Carmel, California
Date of Birth:
April 12, 1916
Place of Birth:
McMinnville, Oregon
B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

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