Excerpt from:


co-written by Margaret Sutton and Linda Joy Singleton
     Judy turned on her flash and beamed it on the snowman as soon as she stepped out on the porch. It was a latticed porch that made checkered shadows on Mr. Snow's fat middle. Once down the steps, he could be seen more clearly. The tracks the young people had made earlier when they built the snowman were entirely covered. Not another track was to be seen. Then Judy heard Horace's footsteps and the creak of the gate as he opened it. An idea seized her and she darted behind the snowman.

"Ho! Ho! Ho! I'm Mister Snow,"

she chanted in a spooky voice to surprise her brother.

     Horace was even more surprised than Judy thought he would be. He gave a start and she realized she had really frightened him.

     "I'm sorry," she said, stepping out from behind the snowman. "I was just trying out a little experiment."

     "You nearly scared the daylights out of me," Horace admitted. "What kind of an experiment were you conducting, and why?"

     Judy grew serious. "Dad said our snowman said, 'Hi! Doc!' and tipped his hat."

     "He must be made of more than snowballs if he did that. I'm curious," Horace admitted. "What was it that you put inside him?"

     "A heart," Judy said. "It was just for fun. I didn't think it would bring him to life."

     Horace went over and felt Mr. Snow. He even took off his hat to see if anything was hidden under it. Then he felt of the cold packed snow.

     "That's weird. Nothing about him has changed," he reported. "Are you sure you aren't putting me on?"

     "Not unless Dad was. Let's go inside," Judy suggested. "I want to hear all about your newspaper story."

     "It was quite a piece." Horace went on telling her how it had started the summer before when the police broke up a concert put on by Industrial High School.

     "They claim it was a group from Boys High, and not a neighbor at all, who complained about the noise. They feel discriminated against and I don't blame them. As you said earlier when we were building the snowman, it's a public park and anyone has a right to play music there."

     "What about the permit Peter mentioned?"

     "I'd have to see it to believe it," declared Horace.

     "You and me both," agreed Judy. "This is beginning to be quite a mystery. I'll have to hear our snowman to believe he can talk."


     Judy and Horace looked at each other and then at the snowman.

     "He did talk!" Judy finally managed to gasp.

     "The house is still haunted," said Horace. "I can't believe my own ears."


Judy Bolton fans have long been awaiting this addition to the Judy series (I know I have!) and it's finally here! The idea was Margaret Sutton's, who wanted to give Judy another Christmas. I was surprised to learn that this title is not #39 in the series. Rather, it's # 3 1/2 (as Linda told me), coming after The Invisible Chimes and before Seven Strange Clues. It's about Judy's first Christmas in Farringdon, right after the flood.

Margaret chose the title, and wrote the first chapters, giving them to Kate Emburg, the President of the Society of the Phantom Friends. Eleven years ago, Kate passed on the partial manuscript to Linda Joy Singleton, who had already written a short story about "young" Judy for The Whispered Watchword, (the newsletter for the Phantom Friends). After Linda completed the story, she presented it to Margaret at the 1986 first Coudersport gathering.

Speaking of Kate Emburg, she wrote The Whispering Belltower, which is a later Judy (post-Sand Castle). You can read an excerpt from "Belltower" by clicking here.

Linda's other series credits include "Cheer Squad" and her own favorite, "My Sister, the Ghost." Check out her web site to findout more! ( Linda Joy Singleton).

The Talking Snowman is now available, at a very reasonable price. To reserve a copy, or for more information, contact Linda at: ljscheer@inreach.com.

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