June 21, 2013


Did you miss me?  I've been off having delightful adventures in Philadelphia.

Here are some phun Philly photos . . .

Our nephew's prom coincided with my sister's birthday.  Happy to be there for both occasions!

Ellen and Kyle

 Kyle's date, Marissa, was lovely . . .

I also had the great pleasure of visiting with my 10th grade English teacher, Myra Durlofsky.  We've kept in touch for over 30 years.  I so loved her that I made her a character in one of my novels.  Here she is . . .

Myra Durlofsky

Our family summer party took place during our visit.  Lots of laughing and swimming and baby cuddling and, of course, eating . . .

I had so much fun visiting with family and friends.  There were graduations.  There were celebrations.  There were wild Wii championships.  It was fantastic.

Then I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with my niece in the city.

Here she is on the steps of her new apartment . . .


She cooked great meals and was an excellent tour guide.  The first evening, we watched the sun set over the Schuylkill River, then saw the public art displays behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Donna and Nicole

 We hiked all over the city . . .

City Hall and the Love Statue

And visited LOTS of bookstores.

Bookstore cat getting cozy on a display of new books

One of my favorite parts was spending time in the library on Vine Street.  (Not the first library in the country, which was created by Benjamin Franklin, but the first library system in the country.)

Inside the Free Library of Philadelphia
Of course, we had to visit the children's department.

Along the walls were framed posters for Children's Book Week.  Here's one of my favorites . . .

This one is from 1964
I was marveling at the collection when I recognized one of the librarians.

"Did you use to work at the Northeast Regional Library?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.

She's been in the system for 37 years (19 of which were at my childhood library, that I loved so much).

Donna and Irene R. Wright, Head, Children's Department

I told her how much that library and the people who worked there meant to me.  I told her that I became an author of children's books for Random House.

When I handed her a card, she said, "We have your books!"

And indeed they did . . .

Not all the places I saw were filled with joy.  When we drove past the Mutter Museum, one of the settings in my new book, I saw something that made me gasp -- the rubble of the building at 22nd and Market Street that collapsed recently, killing six people.

There were flowers and memorials placed along the side

Despite the sadness of this, it was good to spend time in my home city.  And wonderful to spend time with family and friends.

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