The Somebodiesby N. E. Bode
There is a city beneath New York City, one made by and for Anybodies. There you can find Bing Chubb's Ballpark, Willy Fattler's ever–changing Underground Hotel, and a castle whose spire sticks up into the dirt–filled sky...dangerously close to the rear ends of unsuspecting picnic–goers in Central Park. It's an extraordinary place, but it is in
There is a city beneath New York City, one made by and for Anybodies. There you can find Bing Chubb's Ballpark, Willy Fattler's ever–changing Underground Hotel, and a castle whose spire sticks up into the dirt–filled sky...dangerously close to the rear ends of unsuspecting picnic–goers in Central Park. It's an extraordinary place, but it is in danger of becoming ordinary because of the nefarious Blue Queen. Somebody has to stop her, and if anybody is going to, nobody is better than everybody's favorite Anybody. In her third quirky adventure, Fern takes on the biggest, baddest, bluest opponent ever. Yikes!
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
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- NOOK Book
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- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
By N. Bode
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
The City Beneath the City
The night before the annual anybodies Convention, Fern sat on the book-lined stairs of her grandmother's boardinghouse. She was eavesdropping on the heated argument in the kitchen. It was after dinner and stew smells hung in the air--all beefy and porky and, well, stewy. Fern couldn't make out every word of the argument. The boardinghouse was like a big ear stuffed with cotton--so crammed with books that sounds were muffled. (In fact, the staircase was like an upward tunnel through a mound of books that someone had dug their way out of.) Making the eavesdropping harder, the hobbits who lived in homes of grassy mounds out in the yard were singing what sounded like sea shanties, and the Indian, who usually lived in the cupboard, was playing a drum of some sort. Fern could only hear the argument when Dorathea and the Bone raised their voices.
"Fern needs to be among [muffle, muffle] Anybodies," the Bone said. "We must face the fact that she's royal now!" the Bone shouted.
This was true. Fern balled up her fist and shook it. "I'm royal now," she whispered urgently. "You tell her!"
Dorathea didn't like the fact that Fern was royal. It's too soon, her grandmother had told her. You aren't ready. But the Bone was proud and loved the idea of being royal-by-association. He'd grown up quite poor andlonesome, you see--the son of a fat lady in a circus. "What will it hurt her to miss a few days of long division?" the Bone said.
"Yes, yes!" Fern said. "What good is long division?"
Fern could hear dishes rattling in the sink. "She needs to know [clank, clank] . . . live in the real world," Dorathea was saying. "Royalty [muffle, muffle] . . . it won't do her any good at this point. It will just [loud chorus of sea shanty and drumming] . . . and spoil her."
But what if Fern wanted to be spoiled? She kind of did, and who could blame her, really? I want to be spoiled--velvet pillows, and miniature claw-footed bathtubs just for my feet, and chocolates in the shapes of squirrels or porcupines, life-sized, or whatever it is that the rich have nowadays. "Don't underestimate the importance of long division, and a real childhood," Dorathea said.
The argument was about whether or not Dorathea should take Fern to the Annual Anybodies Convention, which was always held at Willy Fattler's Underground Hotel, located near New York City.
Let me be more accurate: Willy Fattler's Underground Hotel isn't near New York City as much as it is under New York City, which is how it got the "Underground" part of its name.
Everyone knows that New York has a lot going on underground. Its subway cars with their shiny poles are filled with all kinds of people and their hats, shopping bags, umbrellas, schnauzers, and portable massage tables, all jiggering down dark tunnels into their unknowable futures. In fact, as this story starts, I was one of those New Yorkers--in disguise so that I could dodge my insanely jealous creative writing professor's murderous plots, of course! Imagine me holding on to the shiny subway pole, dressed as a confused bishop in a tall white pointed hat, or an elderly woman feeding Yum-Yums to her pet Chihuahua, its bony head poking out of her black pocketbook, or a sushi chef (which is very hard to say three times fast). I had no idea that, just below, there was a city beneath the city, an Anybody city, a shorter, more bulbously rotund version of New York City. This city beneath the city was warped, because it had to grow around steam pipes, aqueducts, and abandoned chutes of all sorts, the buildings twisting the way roots grow around water pipes. Its sky was dirt-packed and veined with the undersides of subway tunnels.
Fern had read all about the city beneath the city in The Art of Being Anybody--Chapter 16, "Anybody Locales," which featured a large, leathery foldout map. It wasn't just a crisscross of street names--6th and Apple, 32nd and Small Change--like a normal map. No, no. It included the names of the shops and buildings: Hoist's Deli, Melvin's Laundromat and Dry Cleaner's, Hyun's Dollar Fiesta. There were a few squat churches and synagogues, a portly mosque, a row of narrow courthouses, and a castle with a gate and a short pointy spire, which poked right into the dirty underside of Manhattan like a tack on a rumpy teacher's chair.
Fern was desperate to go to the city beneath the city, mainly because it was chock-full of Anybodies--a whole city of people like her, with her powers. She wanted to see exactly what such a place would be like, especially now that she spent most of her time clamped into a desk, surrounded by kids who didn't know that Anybodies existed, and taught by the brooding, whirling, yammering Mrs. Fluggery (who'd already accused Fern of having a head stuffed with doilies).
Doilies? Yes, doilies. Mrs. Fluggery was odd. She often didn't make any sense at all. She stuffed dirty tissues up her sleeves and had hair in the airy shape of the Washington Monument.
All day long Fern had to forget that she was an Anybody. She hated the rows of desks all shoved together, the kids all poking at one another and being mean, not to mention the gummy underside of everything. The kids were all smiley and do-right in front of the teacher, but then turned on you, ready to pinch or knuckle-punch--especially Lucess Brine (pronounced LOO-sess) or Lulu, as she liked to be called, even though it was a nickname that didn't fit her and no one ever called her that. Lucess was also a new student that year. She was a strange kid. Fern had never met anyone like her before. She was a bully, but apologetic about it . . . .
Excerpted from The Somebodies
by N. Bode
Copyright © 2006 by N. Bode.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
The elusive and charming N. E. Bode writes from a secret locale beneath a giant, unmarked tree in the middle of Central Park. Some great works born from this hidden perch include The Anybodies, The Nobodies, and The Somebodies. N. E. Bode would also like to mention the books of Julianna Baggott, trusted friend, who writes novels and poetry for grown-ups and lives in the Florida panhandle.
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this was a really good book. I read all of these books and They All Rock! I am a big fan of N.E Bode and i enjoy all of her writing ACCEPT THE SLIPPERY MAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The slippery map dissapointed me but I put the rest of her books on my xmas list! Read this!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry..there is a book before this one called The Anybodies. There is either one other one AFTER The Anybodies OR one after this one. :)
I love how you feel like he? she? it is reading you the book telling about his enemy that is the most boring writer ever is hunting him down and how it could be anybody writing the book. really the book is written by nebode awesome writer(*'-')
My step mom is home i will talk to you at 9 .sotty i keep having to leave. I really like you i just dont want my stepmom to find out and tell my dad. Cuz then he will probally beat the mess out of me. Do you like me too?