Screaming Mummies of the Pharoah's Tomb II (Tales from the House of Bunnicula Series #4)by James Howe, Brett Helquist
Howie Monroe, that intelligent, brave, not to mention cute-as-a-button wirehaired dachshund puppy, is crushed when he receives a bad review for one of his books. But Howie is undaunted. He'll win the coveted Newbony Award -- or die trying! Enlisting the aid of his good friend Delilah, Howie embarks upon his first collaboration. but working together is a nightmare. Can Delilah ever stop writing about poor orphans on the prairie? Can Howie ever stop his overuse of adjectives? And will either of them stop fighting long enough to finish the book?
Alternating between chapters of the developing saga and entries in Howie's own writing journal, this new tale of Howie is a side-splitting look at the trials and joys of the writing life.
Read an Excerpt
I'm never going to write again!!!!!!!!!!!!
Uncle Harold, who is this really smart dog I live with who's written all these books about our rabbit, Bunnicula, who our cat, Chester (who is also really smart) says is a vampire because...
I forgot what I was trying to say.
Proof! I can't write! I'm never going to write again!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, now I remember.
Uncle Harold (who isn't really my uncle, I just call him that) says that he's gotten lots of bad reviews and that I shouldn't let one bad review get to me. Ha! Easy for him to say. He's been writing for a katrillion years and his books have sold a katrillion copies, even if he has gotten some stinko reviews. But I've written only three books. I've just gotten started. Nobody will want to read my books after what Canine Quarterly my former favorite magazine in the whole world!! had to say:
Howie Monroe writes with energy and a sense of humor, but he is a literary lightweight. Pack his books to while away the time when you're going for an extended stay at the kennel, but don't be looking for him to win the Newbony Award any time soon.
A literary lightweight!!!!!!!!!!!!
Would a literary lightweight know how to use as many adjectives as I do? Or exclamation points!!!?
Oh, what's the use? If I'm never going to win the Newbony Award, why should I even bother to write?
I wonder what the Newbony Award is.
Howie's Writing Journal
My friend Delilah, who is this beautiful and REALLY SMART dog who lives down the street and happens to be one of my best friends in the whole world and is maybe even my girlfriend, although I've never told her that, not in so many words, anyway, well, Delilah said the Newbony Award is about the biggest award a book can be given. She said her owner, Amber Faye Gorbish, reads Newbony books all the time. I told her Pete, who is Amber's boyfriend and one of the two boys who lives in the house with me (Toby is the other one), reads stuff like the FleshCrawler books by M. T. Graves. Those books are soooooo cool. My favorite is #28: Screaming Mummies of the Pharaoh's Tomb. It's about these twins who find a time-travel machine in their grandfather's attic and...
Anyway, Delilah said that books with titles like Screaming Mummies of the Pharaoh's Tomb never win the Newbony Award. I asked her what does win. She thought about it for a long time.
"Books that are sad," she said finally. "And take place a long time ago."
"Screaming Mummies of the Pharaoh's Tomb takes place a long time ago," I pointed out. "And it's sad. Especially the part where the screaming mummies crumble into about a katrillion pounds of dust."
Delilah gave me a look. If it was a look in a Newbony book, it would have been described as "withering."
"It also helps if the characters are poor and somebody dies," she went on. "Or if the main character, usually a child and preferably an orphan, goes on a long journey. Alone. Oh, and it should be a book girls will like."
A story started taking shape in my mind. (It's amazing how that happens when you're a writer.) I pictured a poor (but cute) dachshund puppy, all alone in the world, without a penny or a parent to call his own, setting off in search of...something...and it's a long time ago, like last week, maybe, and...somebody dies.
I told Delilah.
"You need help," she said. "I've read a lot of Newbony books. Maybe we could write the book together."
I wasn't sure I liked that idea. I've never written with somebody else. Besides, I wanted to win the Newbony myself. But then, I figured, half a Newbony is better than none.
"Okay," I said. "But can it still be about a poor (but cute) puppy? And could he be named Howie Monroe?"
Delilah didn't love that idea, but I reminded her that I am a published author, so I should get some say.
"Okay," she said, "as long as his friend a girl puppy named Delilah has an important part."
"Deal," I told her.
Newbony Award, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!
Text copyright © 2003 James Howe
Illustrations copyright © 2003 by Brett Helquist
Meet the Author
James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including the modern classic Bunnicula and its highly popular sequels. In 2001, Howe published The Misfits, the story of four outcast seventh-graders who try to end name-calling in their school. The Misfits is now widely read and studied in middle schools throughout the country, and was the inspiration for the national movement known as No Name-Calling Week (NoNameCallingWeek.org), an event observed by thousands of middle and elementary schools annually. There are three companion novels to The Misfits: Totally Joe (2005), Addie on the Inside (2011), and Also Known as Elvis (2014). Howe’s many other books for children from preschool through teens frequently deal with the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Dear readers, the book 'Bunnicula' is off the hook. It is one of my fave. books. I read the whole sieres and it R-O-C-K-S, ROCKS. I even started my own 'Bunnicula' book. And I'm starting my 2nd book I love it so much. -lollypop kisses