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Excerpt from Feeling Sorry For Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Feeling Sorry For Celia

by Jaclyn Moriarty

Feeling Sorry For Celia
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2001, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2002, 288 pages

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Say you would even think about eating the oatmeal?

Well, JUST DON'T BOTHER WRITING TO ME, OKAY?

I don't want to hurt your feelings or anything, but I don't think I want to have anything to do with you.

The second thing that I have to say is that it's okay if you don't want to read this. If you want to just tear it into tiny little pieces and throw it away? Or you want to tip sulphuric acid all over it, or whatever?

That's okay.

I'm only writing it because of Mr. Botherit. He's our new English teacher and he seems really upset that the Art of Letter Writing is lost to the Internet generation, so he's going to rekindle the joy of the ENVELOPE. Next he's going to bring in a club and a saber-toothed tiger and rekindle the joy of the STONE AGE.

Anyway, but Mr. Botherit also organized the letter exchange because he's upset that our school has nothing to do with your school. He said that if two schools are exactly three blocks away from each other they should forge ties. I don't want to hurt your feelings or anything, but I think we've been okay so far without any tie forging. I think you've been okay without us too.

The good thing about this is that Mr. Botherit doesn't seem to know that Mrs. Cheerson, our old teacher? She gave us an essay to write over the holiday It was on To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read and it was good, and I think it's stupid to spoil a good book by writing an essay on it. So I didn't do it.

Mr. Botherit wrote these things on the board and he says we should put them in here. So I have to say them to you and I'm very sorry.

  1. My name: just look at the bottom of the letter, and it says it there.
  2. My interests: long-distance running, volleyball, making macrame plant holders (not really) (but really about the running and volleyball).
  3. My friends: my best friend is Celia Buckley (But she's not at school today--she didn't get on the bus this morning. You might not think that's very important but that's because you don't know Celia Buckley) My other best friend is my dog, Lochie.
  4. My holiday: I went skiing with my dad to Thredbo.

There are about twenty-five million other things on the list but this is boring and stupid. You don't care. You have probably put the sulphuric acid on this by now anyway and all my words are being wasted.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Clarry



Dear Ms. Clarry,

I know what you're planning to do right now. You're planning to take the bus straight to Celia's place.

Aren't you? You're going to check that she's okay, right? And if she's had a relapse of typhoid fever you're going to mop her brow and bring her cans of Diet Coke, right? And if she's run away to make a living playing her recorder on street corners then you're going to buy her a tie-dyed rug to stand on, right?

The Manager,
Best Friends Club




Dear Elizabeth,

I know just what you're going to do this afternoon. You're going to do a 10k run, aren't you?

The Trail Run is just eight weeks away now. You want to finish first, don't you? Or finish in the top ten? Or finish?

Don't you?

Yours ever,

The Society of High School Runners Who Aren't Very Good at
Long-Distance Running but Would Be if They Just Trained




!!!!OVER HERE!!!! ELIZABETH!!! ON THE TABLE HERE!!! A NOTE FOR YOU!!!

DEAR LIBBY,

THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOTE THIS MORNING. I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT IF YOUR LEGS GET FROSTBITTEN AND PURPLE FROM NOT WEARING STOCKINGS. AND YOUR FACE PEELS AWAY LEAVING YOU WITH NOTHING BUT BRAINS AND BLOOD AND EYEBALLS FROM NOT PUTTING ALOE ON IT, THEN DON'T COME CRYING TO ME.

Copyright (c) 2000 Jaclyn Moriarty. All rights reserved. Reproduced by the permission of the publisher, St Martin's Press. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

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