Continuing the Story

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Continuing the Story

winding-roadIf the queries I receive are an indication, many writers see whatever story they’ve created as just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. “You think the story ends here?” they’ll say. “Just you wait, mister! Just because Timmy and Jimmy rescued Wiggles the dog doesn’t mean their adventure has ended!”

I’ve blogged about unlikely sequels before and don’t want to rehash too much of what I’ve already said, but I got to thinking recently about some children’s books that had unexpected, and pretty damn good, follow-ups. Some examples include Beverly Cleary’s Dear Mr. Henshaw and the subsequent Strider qualify, Richard Peck’s trilogy of tales involving Grandma Dowdel, and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, the lesser known follow-up to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

So I’m wondering, gentle readers, what titles you wished had produced sequels that never made it into print. Did you want to see what other sorts of violence could be committed to animals after finishing To Kill a Mockingbird? Perhaps wonder what  sorts of colored plants sprout up in other locations at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows? If you could continue any classic book for children, which would it be?

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Upstart Crow, Upstart Crow. Upstart Crow said: Now on the Upstart Crow blog: Continuing the Story (http://tinyurl.com/yk7p5gz) […]

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  2. I have some suggestions:

    1) Babe the Tasty Pork Chop — sequel to Babe the Gallant Pig

    2) YouTube of a Disturbed Teen — sequel to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    3) Real Housewives of Connecticut — sequel to The Babysitters Club.

    4) Drag Me To Hell — sequel to Savvy. (Hmm, that’s odd.)

    5) Two Moon Casino and Resort — sequel to Walk Two Moons

    6) … And Into Bakersfield — sequel to Out of the Dust

    7) Babe the Urgent Bowel Movement — sequel to Babe the Tasty Pork Chop

    8) Under the Dome — sequel to Gone. (I kid, I kid the King.)

    9) The Youngest Jihadi — sequel to Home of the Brave (I kid, I kid the wife.)

    10) The Indian in the Vacuum Cleaner — sequel to The Indian in the Cupboard

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  3. I hate emoticons. Especially when they’re automatic.

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  4. I wanted every Judy Blume book to have sequels; I think Superfudge was the only sequel I read.

    I remember wanting Witch of Blackbird Pond and Island of the Blue Dolphins to continue, too. I liked being pulled into historical settings.

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  5. Gone with the Wind.

    I mean, I understand that the story had to end that way. I do. I grudgingly accept. 🙂

    But still I find myself wishing that Margaret Mitchell would have caved and written a sequel.

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  6. . . . Where the Lilies Bloom—forever drawn to any story or profile out of Appalachia. Also, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day leaves lots of room to the wild imagination . . . or Willy Wonka and the Coffee Factory . . . .

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  7. (perhaps you know) . . . a sequel was written to Gone with the Wind, not by Margaret Mitchell, though. Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley was fantastic, but the made for TV movie was so, so.

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  8. Eoin Colfer’s The Supernaturalist would be fun to revisit – perhaps as the Super Duper Naturalist.

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  9. There was also Rhett Butler’s People, which didn’t really sell in the way Scarlett had.

    And Michael G., if you hate emoticons so much, why do you always pepper them in your emails to me? Clearly you put the sunglasses-wearing-smiley next to Under the Dome because you fear the King will read your list and smite you down, you craven punk.

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  10. Is there an emoticon with a spit take? Thanks Michael… now I have to wipe the coffee off of my monitor.
    On the serious side, though at the time, I longed for another adventure in the Ozark’s with Billy and his redbone hounds… I just can’t see a sequel living up to the original. The last time I read it to my boy we started crying at about the halfway point. I am also a huge Roald Dahl fan… but Wonka’s glass elevator didn’t fly for me the second time.

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  11. Nancy Drew. I can’t believe she just solved the one crime. And then there was that unbearable unresolved sexual tension between her and the pleasingly plump Bess Marvin.

    Wait, what…they’re still cranking out sexless Nancy Drew mysteries?

    The sequel I’ve always wanted is apparently coming–Francis Hardinge is giving us a new installment to Fly By Night. Mosca Mye could totally take Nancy Drew in a fight.

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  12. I wish there were sequels to The London Eye Mystery. The author had intended the novel to be the first of a series.
    But she hadn’t planned on dying.
    Perhaps she is in heaven right now, sitting on a fluffy cloud, sipping an ambrosia latte, her golden Macbook on her lap …

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  13. It’s true, Stearns used to have to cut the emoticons in Gone. In this one scene I wrote where coyotes are ripping into pre-schoolers? I thought it could totally use a smiley face. He was all, like, no way.>/i>

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  14. I always wanted to know how the rats made out in the valley in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM. Couldn’t Jeremy have flown the family out for a visit?

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  15. Billy and his redbone hounds… hmmm, is that a band, or a guy chasin’ Razorbacks and Black Bears with dogs?

    I mean, if it’s Razorbacks, gotta be couple hounds ripped — or kilt!

    Haste yee back 😉

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  16. I wouldn’t have minded reading about the giants from The BFG escaping their London pit, munching on school chiddlers, and exacting revenge on that tattletale traitorous runt and his orphan friend Sophie.

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  17. I have to echo the GONE WITH THE WIND sentiment. It left me with a voracious appetite for more. But in terms of kidlit I’d like to continue: CHARLOTTE’S WEB.

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  18. Wow… thanks Haste yee, two spit takes in one day. Hell if I knew blogging was this much fun I would have started long ago.

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  19. Yes, Michael and Martha, I do know about the other sequels. Thanks. 🙂

    I haven’t read them, though I’m sure they’re well written and compelling. I guess it just doesn’t feel the same not coming from the author herself. Only Margaret Mitchell knew what really happened with Scarlett and Rhett. *sigh*

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  20. Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. Not quite a classic, or a book for children, but I really need to know what happened after the book ended.

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  21. Am I the only one who didn’t wish for sequels–and generally still doesn’t. I enjoy series, don’t get me wrong, but I get frustrated when I get to the end of a new book that’s really good and oh look, yet another sequel. It so rarely is as good, never does as well (children’s librarian–looking at circ stats)

    There’s something to be said for being left wondering and wishing there might be more but getting to make up in your own mind what happened after that. We don’t always need the author to tell us and I feel like at present they feel they have to….

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