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  • Ellen K. Reichman

Emma, the Only

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

An excerpt from my forthcoming book:

Hi, I’m Emma, and my best friend is Mr. Rogers, our miniature Schnauzer.

He’s the same age as I am. Ten. My human best friend Zara told me one year in a dog’s life is seven in a human’s life. So that makes him 70. But I’m not sure if that’s true. Zara says a lot of stuff and not all of it is true. She once told me if you eat too many marshmallows, your skin becomes soft and squishy. I know that can’t be right. That’s just how she is.

Mr. Rogers is cuddling next to me in the back seat of our Toyota. His breath smells like the inside of a porta potty.

I don’t know if he can tell I’m mad.

I don’t want to look at this house my parents found. My mom wants us to move so my Grandma Bunny from Florida can live in the little attached house next to us. That’s because Grandma Bunny is 85 and lives in a condo all by herself. My mom doesn’t think she can live alone because she’s old, falls a lot and forgets to take her medicine. Bunny is not my grandma’s real name. I forget what it is, and she does actually remind me of a bunny with her white hair and big ears. They don’t stand straight up or anything, but they seem a little too big for her head.

It’s not fair to move from the home I lived in all my life. All Mr. Rogers life too. We will still live in the state of Washington but in a completely new neighborhood. A new school. I’ll need to find new friends, which isn’t easy for me. I pretty much just like Zara. And I don’t even like her all the time.

As we pull into the driveway, my mom turns to me and chirps, “Isn’t it lovely, Em?” I mean it. She chirps sometimes. Like a bird.

“Not really,” I say in a non-chirping voice.

“Emma, be nice,” my dad says.

“I am nice. I’m here, aren’t I?”

I am glad to get some fresh air because not only does Mr. Rogers have bad breath, but he has also been farting nonstop.

I put my face in his fur as if he could protect me from all this. Knowing Mr. Rogers, he just might.


Praise for Emma, the Only

“I love the voice in ‘Emma the Only.’ It’s fun, funny and kid-friendly. We are right inside Emma’s point of view, and I love her from page one."

-Janet Fox. Award winning Author of nine books to date.

“I love Ellen’s writing. She is deeply insightful and is able to capture the subtlest forms of human emotion. Her characters are nuanced, real, and relatable. Her stories are rich and textured. I find her writing unputdownable.”

-Megha Kaushik: published author of “Fred Goes Home” and “The Cat is Not a Dog, and the Dog is Not a Cat.”

“Ellen Reichman has a superb style of writing from a child’s point of view. She has mastered the art of talking, acting and feeling like a child and is able to entertain children and adults with her amazing storytelling. Her work is funny, heartfelt and hard to put down. She is truly a gifted writer.

-Gaye McCallum, writer; former librarian/teacher of gifted education.


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