A curse on cursive! Maggie doesn't really mean it when she vows never to read and write those wiggly, squiggly, roller-coaster letters. After all, she uses the computer. But everybody seems to be taking her revolt very, very seriously.
Maggie's parents say she'll enjoy it once she starts. Her teacher doesn't want to listen when she points out how untidy grown-ups' handwriting can be. And her classmates think it's a riot when her first try at signing her name makes it look like "Muggie." Now Maggie is too embarrassed to back down. Why can't she just go on printing her whole life?
Newbery medalist Beverly Cleary has penned a wise and funny book, filled with the perceptive humor that has earned her generations of fans.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
April 04, 2004
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
After her first day in the third grade, Maggie Schultz jumped off the school bus when it stopped at her corner. "Bye, Jo Ann," she called to the girl who was her best friend, sometimes. "See you tomorrow." Maggie was happy to escape from sixth-grade boys who called her a cootie and from fourth-grade boys who insisted the third grade was awful, cursive writing hard, and Mrs. Leeper, the teacher, mean.
Her dog, Kisser, was waiting for her. When Maggie knelt to hug him, Kisser licked her face. He was young, eager dog the Schultzes had chosen from the S.P.C.A.'s Pick-a-Pet page in the newspaper. "A friendly cockapoo looking for a child to love" was a description under his picture, a description that proved to be right.
"Come on, Kisser." Maggie ran home with her hair flying and her dog springing along beside her.
When Maggie and Kisser burst through the kitchen door, her mother said, "Hi there, Angelface. How did things go today?" She held Kisser away from the refrigerator with her foot while she put away milk carton and vegetables. Mrs. Schultz was good at standing on one foot because five mornings a week she taught exercise classes to overweight women.
"Mrs. Leeper is nice, sort of," began Maggie, " except she didn't make me a monitor and put Jo Ann at a different table."
"Too bad," said Mrs. Schultz.
Maggie continued. "Courtney sits on one side of me and Kelly on the other and that Kirby Jones, who sits across from me, kept pushing the table into my stomach."
"And what did you do?" Mrs. Schultz was taking eggs out of a carton and setting them in the white plastic egg tray in the refrigerator.
"Pushed it back." Maggie thought a moment before she said, "Mrs. Leeper said we are going to have to have a happy third grade."
"That's nice." Mrs. Shultz smiled as she closed the refrigerator, but Maggie was doubtful about a teacher who forecast happiness.
How did she know? Still, Maggie wanted her teacher to be happy.
"Kisser needs exercise," Mrs. Schultz said. "Why don't you take him outside and give him a workout?" Maggie's mother thought everyone, dogs included, needed exercise.
Maggie enjoyed chasing Kisser around the backyard, ducking, dodging, and throwing a dirty tennis ball, wet with dog spit, for him until he collapsed, panting, and she was out of breath from running and laughing.
Refreshed and much more cheerful, Maggie was flipping through television channels with the remote control, trying to find funny commercials, when her father came home from work. "Daddy! Daddy!" she cried, running to meet him. He picked her up, kissed her, and asked, "How's my Goldilocks?" When he set her down, he kissed his wife.
"Tired?" Mrs. Schultz asked.
"Traffic gets worse every day," he answered.
"Was it your turn to make the coffee?" demanded Maggie
"That's right," grumped Mr. Schultz, half-pretending.
Other than talking with people who came to see him, Maggie did not really understand what her father did in his office. She did know he made coffee every other day because Ms. Madden , his secretary, said she did not go to work in an office to make coffee. He should take his turn. Ms. Madden was such an excellent secretary -- one who could spell, punctuate, and type -- that Mr. Schultz put up with his share of coffee-making. Maggie found this so funny that she always asked about the coffee.
"Did Ms. Madden send me a present?" Maggie asked. Her father's secretary often sent Maggie a little present: a tiny bottle of shampoo from the hotel, a free sample of perfume, and once, an eraser shaped like a duck. Maggie felt grown-up when she wrote thank-you notes on their home computer.
"Not today." Mr. Schultz tousled Maggie's hair and went to change into his jogging clothes.
When dinner was on the table and the family, exercised, happy, and hungry, was seated, Maggie chose the right moment to break her big news. " We start cursive this week," she said with a gusty sigh that was supposed to impress her parents with the hard work that lay ahead.
Instead, they laughed. Maggie was annoyed. Cursive was serious. She tossed her hair, which was perfect for tossing, waving and curling to her shoulders, the sort of hair that made women say, "What wouldn't you give for hair like that?" or, in sad voices, " I used to have hair that color."
"Don't look so gloomy," said Maggie's father. "You'll survive."
How did he know? Maggie scowled, still hurting from being laughed at, and said, "Cursive is dumb. It's all wrinkled and stuck together, and I can't see why I am supposed to do it." This was a new thought that popped into her mind that moment.
"Because everyone writes cursive," said Mrs. Schultz. "Or almost everybody."
"But I can write print, or I can use the computer," said Maggie, arguing mostly just to be arguing.