Excerpt from The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

A Novel

by Melanie Benjamin

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin X
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2011, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


It would be a pretty story, indeed, if I could say that I never did! Yet I have to admit that I was so eager to be allowed my first foray into that large world that I became rather mischievous.

Full of high spirits, so delighted to be where I was, at first I could not be induced to remain in my seat. At the time, you might recall, country school desks were one long table affixed to the perimeter of the room, three-quarters of the way around.

On a dare, I discovered that I was small enough to fit neatly underneath the desk without having to duck my head; basking in the approval of my schoolmates, I took it a step further. Whenever the schoolteacher's back was to us, I would slide off my perch - several large books piled on top of one another - and duck beneath the desk. Then I would run along, barely stifling my giggles as I pinched and poked at my schoolmates' legs: the little girls' sensible woolen pantalets, the boys' worn and patched knees. I was so nimble that they could not catch me; I could run around the entire room and reach the end of the desk almost before the first child had reacted to my lively tugs with a squeak or a squeal.

"Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump," Mr. Dunbar, our teacher, would sputter. "Sit back down immediately!" He would try to catch me, but being the imp that I was, I could elude his grasp easily; he was inclined to heaviness (from the many tarts and pies that the older female students showered upon him), and would flail about, breathing laboriously. By the time he straightened himself up, his face red, his oily hair hanging down upon his forehead, I would be sitting primly in my seat, seemingly oblivious to my classmates' giggles.

Excerpted from The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin. Copyright © 2011 by Melanie Benjamin. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Mercy Lavinia

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Pachinko
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • Book Jacket
    Wolf Season
    by Helen Benedict
    Rin Drummond's nicknames include "Pit Bull" and "Dragon." She's a tough-as-nails Iraq War ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Dry by Jane Harper

Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Eternal Life
    by Dara Horn

    The award-winning author returns with an ingenious novel about what it would mean to live forever.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Milk Lady of Bangalore
    by Shoba Narayan

    A charming story about our deep connection to the animals who live among us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Mothers of Sparta

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir

A dazzling literary memoir with shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott and Jenny Lawson.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A M I A Terrible T T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.