Chase R.'s Top Ten Reasons Not to Move to the Country
By Michael J. Rosen
(Candlewick Press (MA), Paperback, 9780763620882, 152pp.)
Publication Date: October 2007
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"When his family moves to a rural area, Chase fights culture shock. . . . Animal rights activists and urban transplants will connect." — BOOKLIST
Fourteen-year-old Chase Riley has just moved with his parents from Columbus, Ohio, to a farmhouse in the country, but it may as well be on another planet. For starters, there’s a plague of cicadas, but that’s nothing compared to the awesome appearance of deer in the woods — or strapped to hunters’ cars. Chase seeks refuge at his computer, blasting off droll commentary, until a freak accident involving his own dog changes everything. And that’s when he begins devising The Plan.
A Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year
A West Australian Young Readers Book Award Reading List Selection
For nearly twenty years, he served as literary director at the Thurber House, a cultural center in the restored home of James Thurber. Garrison Keillor, bless his heart, called it (sorry) "the capital of American humor." While there, Rosen helped to create The Thurber Prize for American Humor, a national book award for humor writing, and edited four anthologies of Thurber's previously unpublished and uncollected work, most recently "The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties" and "Talking Poodles, " happily published by HarperCollins as well.
In his capacity as editor for this biennial, Rosen reads manuscripts year round, beseeching and beleaguering the nation's most renowned and well-published authors, and fending off the rants and screeds from folks who've discovered the ease of self-publishing on the web. Last summer, Rosen edited a lovely book, "101 Damnations: The Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells;" while some critics (all right, one rather outspoken friend) considered this a book of complaints, Rosen has argued that humor, like voting and picketing and returning an appliance that "worked" all of four months before requiring a repair that costs twice the purchase price, humor is about the desire for change. It's responding to the way things are compared to the way you'd like things to be. And it's a much more convivial response than pouting or cornering unsuspecting guests at dinner parties.