We invited publishers to tell us about all-consuming reads that caused them to miss their stops.
Lara Starr, senior publicist, Chronicle Books
I recently started Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle. As the mother of a teenage boy who doesn’t talk much or tell me anything, I was thrilled to have pitch-perfect insight into the adolescent male mind, even (especially?) when it’s thinking about things I’d rather not think about. I was only about 50 pages in when I looked up and realized I was the last person on the ferry. I skedaddled out of my seat just as the deck hand was heading toward me to give me the heave-ho. I’d heard so much about the book from so many pals and colleagues that I couldn’t wait to get back on the ferry that afternoon to read more!
Rachel Griffiths, executive editor, Scholastic Press
I have a rule: any book that makes me miss a stop on the way to work is a book I’m going after. It was a horrible commute on the day I read Just a Dog by Michael Gerard Bauer—itchy winter coats, stifling and stuffy even though it was freezing outside, train car so jammed with people that my Kindle was inches from my nose. But soon that all fell away as I got sucked into the story of a family and a dog, with storytelling so sweet and so sad that soon I was crying. Then runny-nosed sobbing. On the subway. With people giving me odd looks and trying to edge away. I didn’t even notice until I was at Union Square, a full two stops past Scholastic’s office. My pride took a blow, but I got the book.
Jennifer Corcoran, director of publicity, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
While I was at Disney Publishing Worldwide the office was located in White Plains, N.Y., for a time. I began listening to audiobooks during my drive from Hoboken to pass the time. One morning I was so engrossed in The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan that I missed my exit off the Major Deegan Expressway onto Route 287—I was in a particularly involved part of the story and the voice talent is so good. Suddenly I was in unknown parts of Westchester. Thank goodness for my trusty GPS!
Kait Feldmann, editorial assistant, Scholastic
I nabbed a galley of Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck and became consumed by it on my way to work. I didn’t miss my subway stop, but once I reached the elevator I must have missed my floor at least a dozen times. I ended up staying in the elevator until I finished, riding up and down and up and down as employees came and went. When I finally closed the book I had become so immersed in its world that it took a moment staring blankly at the buttons to remember where I was supposed to be going.
Artie Bennett, executive copy editor, Random House Children’s Books
My wife and I have a standing joke. I tease her that whenever she gets on a subway, no matter where she’s headed, she ends up in Queens. Last year, we took a glorious 10-day sojourn in the Canadian Maritimes, highlighted by a visit to Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. Somehow I had made it to this advanced age without having read Anne of Green Gables. I resolved to right this long-standing literary wrong once I got home from vacation.
One evening after work, I was delighted to find a seat on my usually overcrowded F train. I would get to curl up with Anne for the entirety of my hour-long commute. Chapters passed and my enchantment grew. Then I happened to glance up, for surely I was close to home by now. I was unnerved, though, to see that my train was making incorrect stops. Seneca Avenue!? What the heck? To my everlasting humiliation, I had ended up in Queens! All because of an imaginative, impetuous, carrot-topped orphan.