Who Done It?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Scieszka’s anthology, which benefits Dave Eggers’s literary nonprofit 826NYC, 83 authors provide their alibis for the murder of editor Herman Q. Mildew (“the most hated man in ALL publishing,” as Peter Brown puts it). Most of the backhanded eulogies and professions of innocence that follow—from Libba Bray, John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lemony Snicket, Mo Willems, and many others—are two- to three-page essays. “Of course I wanted to murder Herman Mildew. Please understand, I want to murder people all the time, and I never do it,” writes Mac Barnett, who then lists other hateful people he hasn’t killed. Elsewhere, a murderous tweet comes back to haunt #gayleformanicepickkiller; an annotated illustration shows a suspicious looking Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown with straitjackets and voodoo dolls; and David Levithan riffs on William Carlos Williams (“herman mildew ate/ the plums/ that were in/ the icebox/ and I was pissed”). Jokes about royalty statements, missed deadlines, and editorial cruelty may be a bit inside-baseball for the average reader, but teens should be entertained by the range of imagination and humor on display, while seeing favorite authors in a mischievous new light. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Who Done It?
 
"Go buy this book for your kids. Every kid on the planet needs this book. And the extra bonus is that proceeds from Who Done It? benefit 826nyc, the literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers!"
—NCBLA Executive Director Mary Brigid Barrett
 
"Well worth a read."
The Guardian (UK)
 
"Wonderful and fun to read. Included in these pages is some fabulous description, lots and lots of creativity...[will] keep even the pickiest teen happy for hours."
—Tulsa Books Examiner

“Curl up and check out the laugh-out-loud alibis.”
Justine Magazine

"Who Done It? is essentially a who’s who of fabulous YA...And they’re all talking. But someone’s lying. The 'alibis' range from poetry to comics, and are hilarious."
—Persephone Magazine

“With a lively blend of self-incrimination and finger-pointing, Who Done It? will keep readers guessing to the end.”
—Shelf Awareness

"Filled with in-jokes and carried to ridiculous extremes by a mammoth stable of YA and children’s authors...clever."
—Kirkus Reviews
 
"The finger-pointing and self-incrimination begin in every form imaginable...David Levithan offers his alibi in verse....Indeed, the pen is being used mightily to drum up support for creative writing; proceeds from sales will benefit Dave Eggers’ (another among the accused) 826 program in New York."
—Booklist

"Jon Scieszka combines humor and Clue style campy mystery in his Who Done It?"

—Crimespree Magazine
"How did you get my phone number? Stop calling me or I'm getting the police involved."
—Maureen Johnson, author of The Name of the Star and The Last Little Blue Envelope

"Wah-huh?"
—Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay and Where I Went

"Who are you? Why are you writing down everything I'm saying? What book? What are you talking about?"
—Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Who Could That Be at This Hour?

"Papery. And rectilinear."
—Barry Lyga, author of I Hunt Killers

"Of all the books I've ever read, this was definitely the most recent."
—Jennifer Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

"If you already know who done it, this is not the book for you."
—Mo Willems, author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

"Deliciously cheesy."
—Jo Knowles, author of See You At Harry's

"Exceptionally rectangular."
—Kiersten White, author of Paranormalcy

"My God. It's full of words."
—Kieran Scott, author of the He's So/She's So trilogy
 
"Not enough pictures."
—Ricardo Cortés, co-author of Go the F--k to Sleep

"Cures everything from sleeplessness to insomnia."
—Natalie Standiford, author of The Secret Tree
 
"Wicked awesome."
—Lisa Brown, How to Be
 
"Who is Jon Scieszka?"
—Casey Scieszka, co-author of To Timbuktu

"I'll get back to you with a blurb as soon as I have some time."
—Leslie Margolis, author of Everybody Bugs Out

"This book is full of slanders, falsehoods, and outrageous defamations of character. In other words, it was perfect!"
—Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark and Grimm

"Without a doubt, one of the top 10,000 books of the year."
Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow

"Stays crunchy in milk."
—Gordon Korman, author of Swindle
 
"It makes an excellent step so I can reach all my shoes."
—Kate Brian, author of the Private series

"What an outrageous, hysterical, cheesy, fantastic, ingenious book!"
—Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf

"Funny, creative, and clever. Buy a copy for yourself and another for a young reader in your life."
—Beth Fish Reads

Kirkus Reviews
A routine writing exercise filled with in-jokes and carried to ridiculous extremes by a mammoth stable of YA and children's authors. Produced to benefit the creative writing program 826NYC, the anthology consists of alibis of various length offered by 83 (!) alphabetically ordered contributors accused of killing evil editor Herman Q. Mildew. Along with making frequent reference to cheese (the stinky sort, natch), pickles and frozen legs of lamb, some "suspects" protest their inability to meet any deadline (Libba Bray) or map out a scheme ("Plotting has never been my strong point. Just read any of my books," writes Sarah Darer Littman). Others protest that they adored the victim despite his habit of callously rejecting their story ideas, mistreating their manuscripts, insulting their pets, calling them at odd hours and bilking them of royalties. Dave Eggers and Greg Neri provide lists of explicitly described ways in which they did not kill Mildew, Mo Willems and Michael Northrup claim to have been off killing someone else at the time, and Elizabeth Eulberg, Mandy Hubbard, John Green, Lauren Myracle and several others shift the blame to fellow writers. Young readers, even the sort who worship authors, will find their eyes soon glazing over. Clever in small doses--tedious after the first few dozen entries. (author bios) (Belles lettres. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616951528
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Pages: 373
  • Sales rank: 491,819
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Scieszka
Jon Scieszka

Jon Scieszka is the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, The Stinky Cheese Man, and a truckload of other books that inspire kids to want to read. His work as an elementary school teacher and as founder of a literacy initiative for boys (www.guysread.com) drove him to create Trucktown, a crazy, fun action series for the youngest readers.

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Read an Excerpt

Who Done It?


By Jon Scieszka

Soho Teen

Copyright © 2013 Jon Scieszka
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781616951528

Introduction (by Jon Scieszka)

Ladies and gentlemen . . . and I use those terms loosely because I know you are all writers and illustrators . . . we have a bit of a situation.
     You were all invited to this party tonight because of your relationship with Mr. Herman Q. Mildew.
     Some of you were not fond of him. Others of you could not stand him. Most of you completely hated his guts.
     Mr. Mildew brought you to this abandoned pickle factory because he had something to tell you, something that he thought might make you very mad. And he wanted to see
all of you freak out live and in person.
     But that is not going to happen.
     You see . . . Mr. Herman Q. Mildew is no longer with us.
     He shuffled off this mortal coil, took the long walk off the short pier, has gone to glory, gave up the ghost, cashed in, checked out, kicked the bucket, went bye-bye.
     He is now a corpse, a cadaver, dearly departed, a stiff. The problem?
     Each and every one of you had a reason to send Mr.Herman Mildew to the Great Beyond. You are all suspects in his demise. And it is up to me—and the keen reader holding this book—to figure out: Who done it?
     As you well know, Herman Mildew was not a nice man.
     He was mean, arrogant, loud, large, obnoxious, cruel to small furry animals,  delusional, thoughtless, difficult, vulgar, negative, likely to take the last sip of orange juice and then put the empty carton back in the refrigerator, intolerant, sneaky, greedy, fond of toenail clippings and strong cheeses, hugely entertained by the misfortune of others, hateful, quick to anger, unforgiving, mean, gaseous, paranoid, belligerent, unreasonable, demanding, smelly, near-sighted . . . in short: an editor. Perhaps even your editor, or the editor of someone you admire.

     Some examples of his sadistic behavior, in no particular order:
• He enrolled Dave Eggers in True Romance’s Book-of-the-Month Club.
• He drew mustaches on all of Lauren Oliver’s author photos.
• He told Mo Willems what he could do with the Pigeon.

All this is true. So why did you accept this invitation?
     Never mind. The more important question is why a quick pat-down of this audience turned up:
• 1 poison-tipped umbrella
• 1 suitcase full of poisonous tree frogs
• 3 throwing stars
• 1 noose, 1 candlestick, and 1 lead pipe
• 2 snakes resembling speckled “friendship” bands
• 1 frozen leg of lamb

     What?
     Me?
     Why do I have a piece of piano wire hanging out of my trench coat?
     Why . . . why . . . not because Mr. Mildew once forced me to play
“I’m A Little Teapot” on the piano in front of hundreds of booksellers. And I wasn’t going to use it to strangle anyone in a most fitting way. I have piano wire because . . . because . . . because I was fixing my piano last time I was wearing this coat. I was just replacing the—
     Wait a minute! Our readers and I are running this investigation. We’ll ask the questions. And we want answers. We want alibis.
     Of course, before you begin, we are bound by law to advise you that you have the right to remain silent.
     But who are we kidding?
     You are (as mentioned) a bunch of writers and illustrators. You couldn’t remain silent if your life depended on it. You would sell your grandmother for an audience.
     So tell us your alibi.
     Convince us that you did not do in, cut down, rub out, bump off, put away, dispatch, exterminate, eradicate, liquidate, assassinate, fix, drop, croak, or kill the late, unlamented Mr. Herman Mildew.

J. R. and Kate Angelella's alibi
We were mad enough to murder, but please allow us to explain.
     We didn’t murder Herman Mildew. You can split us up—in fact, we encourage it—and you can scream and shout and shine a bright light in our eyes to see that we are telling the truth. We have nothing to hide here because we didn’t do it. We admit that we said we were mad enough to murder, but it’s not what you think. We were mad enough to murder, but not mad enough to murder Herman Mildew.
     (Is it all right that we use the past tense when we talk about Herman Mildew, or does that make us look guilty too?)
     It’s true—Herman Mildew was a rat of a man, who nibbled and nibbled and nibbled away at our words, chewing up and spitting out the most beautiful and meaningful  parts of our novel. He was never pleased with any draft that we turned in to him on time. He was never happy with our work. He always wanted more, or demanded a whole lot less.
     Herman Mildew was definitely the princess who slept on the pea.
     Herman Mildew was the Goldilocks to our bears.
     We agree; if he is, in fact, dead and he was, in fact, murdered, then it was most certainly someone he knew. It just wasn’t us.
     Yes, it’s true that he used to be our editor.
     Yes, it’s true that he didn’t like our book.
     Yes, it’s true that we wrote him into the final draft of our book as a villainous, spiteful tree-dwelling gnome.
     And, yes, it’s true that he fired us from his imprint after he discovered the aforementioned gnome’s name, hardly a fire-able offense.
     That being said, once we were fired, we were free from him. We were free from his yammering, and free from his pointless line edits. We didn’t have to falsely lie in our blogs about how brilliant and amazing our editor was to work with (a total lie!) or write a loving acknowledgement in the back of our book like Thank you, thank you, thank you so much, Mildew, we owe every success of this book to you (which would have also been a lie!).
     Are we guilty of being tacky, naming the villainous gnome after Mildew? Maybe.
Are we guilty of being mean? Absolutely.
     But are we guilty of murder? No, not his.
     We were mad enough to murder was meant as an expression, not a literal action. We never meant it to be real or even directed at Mildew. Simply put—the reason it was said was that we absolutely drive ourselves insane sometimes. Always talking like this—in the plural first person point of view, simultaneously, like we’re the same  person, always speaking as one. It’s enough to make one mad—maybe not mad like mad enough to murder, but more mad like mad like crazy.
     Are we making sense with this yet?
    Allow us to be clearer: we were once mad enough to murder, but after this falsified murder accusation we are madder like madder like incredibly annoyed, and quickly barreling toward madness like madness at the hands of the late Herman Mildew.
     How is that for clarity?

Continues...

Excerpted from Who Done It? by Jon Scieszka Copyright © 2013 by Jon Scieszka. Excerpted by permission of Soho Teen, a division of Random House, Inc.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    Who Done It?

    Who Done It is a young adult level book, featuring MANY authors sharing a reason they couldn't have killed Herman Q. Mildew. Personally, I thought it was epic. What do you think?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2013

    Who Done It is a collection of alibis from over 80 authors. They

    Who Done It is a collection of alibis from over 80 authors. They each add there reason why they couldn't have been the one to kill the worse editor in the world Herman Mildew . You get to hear some of the mean and awful things he did or said to them. They all have a reason for doing it and you just have to figure out which one actual did it.




    I liked most of the alibis the author came up with in this book. Each one has a unique and different reason for wanting to kill this man and a way they would do it. Most of the stories are around 3-5 pages for each author and you can see each ones style shine thru in the story telling. A few that stood out to me is the author who didn't need an alibi because she was to short to be a suspect but thunks they need to interview her as well. Another favorite of mine was how a twitter conversation causes one author to become a suspect. The cheese the editor loved to eat finds it's way into a lot of stories and they each give the cheese story a twist to make it theirs. There is tons of fantastic authors that contribute to this book and really to many stories to tell about each one. If you are looking for a light hearted Who Done It mystery by some fab authors give this a try. Some stories are wonderful and some of them fell flat all in all a good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Wow

    This is an amazing book that is sure to make you laugh. I love Mo Willem's entry and Maureen Perry's as well. GREAT BOOK!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Who killed Mr. Milldew?

    No one likes Mr. Milldew, in fact, everyone pretty much would love nothing better than to snuff the life out of his greasy heart.

    But alas! The man is found dead. Now, everone's a suspect from Mary Rosewood to Lemony Snickett. OVER 80FAMOUS & NOT SO FAMOUS AUTHORS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS HILLARIOUS "WHO DUNNIT?"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Sample is great

    Even though i just have the sample this book is one of the best books ive read. It is hilarious!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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