Two Truths and a Lie About Laura Geringer Bass
1. To Be or Not to Be… a Clown?
One of Laura’s ambitions at age 14 was to run away from home to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Sarasota, Florida to train as a clown. Her dream was inspired by watching the famous Emmett Kelly do his Weary Willie act in which he played a down and out hobo in ragged clothes who tried over and over again to sweep up a spotlight. As a child, Laura did not find his act funny. Certain that his efforts were doomed to failure but that he would keep on trying, it moved her to tears. Laura never did run away to clown school but to this day she is known to wear large and colorful shoes.
2. Inwood or In the Wood?
As middle graders and high schoolers, Laura and her brother Dan were both writers. They collaborated on a family newspaper called In the Wood, named after their Upper West Side neighborhood, Inwood.
3. Bunny? Pooka? Hare?
As a child, Laura had a gigantic pet rabbit named Carrots. Lest you think that’s not a very imaginative name, she really wanted a dog and so didn’t devote much thought to the naming of the bunny. Alternatively, she would have settled for a pooka, a six-foot invisible rabbit like Harvey in the classic film by the same name. Carrots was no dog and no pooka. When Carrots got too big for his cage, Laura gave him away to the Bronx Children’s Zoo where he was placed in the popular exhibit “The Hare and the Tortoise.” Carrots was never a real hare. Laura always wondered how many of the children who patted Carrots knew he wasn’t a hare. And did the tortoise –whose longevity is often confused with wisdom—know too?
Answer (Highlight to Reveal): The lie is #2. In “The Girl With More Than One Heart,” 13 year old Briana names her school literary magazine “In the Wood”, after her Upper West Side neighborhood, Inwood but that name is fictional and not taken from an actual publication. Laura’s brother is, however, a journalist and Laura collaborated with him briefly on a newspaper in Dayton, Ohio called “North News Tribune.”
Truth or Lie about “The Girl With More Than One Heart”
1. “The Girl With More Than One Heart” took Laura over a decade to write. It started as a memoir about Laura’s father, Benjamin Geringer and his close relationship with her son, Adam. Grandpa Ben always knew just the right story to tell at just the right time to turn one of Adam’s meltdowns into laughter. After he died, Laura wanted to write about the way the two had been together. Eventually, that story turned into “The Girl With More Than One Heart.”
Highlight for more info after checking the answers: At first there was no girl in “The Girl With More Than One Heart” and the only heart informing the story was Laura’s own which was missing her dad after he died. “The Girl With More Than One Heart” started as Aaron’s story in first person.Then it became Mom’s in third person. Then it was Briana’s in first person and that’s when it became a story for preteens and teens.
2. There are several fairy and folk tales that pop up as mini-stories within “The Girl With More Than One Heart.” The heroine Briana tells her own fractured versions of tales like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Rapunzel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” as well as presenting her own take on the Greek myths. Briana navigates her way through a family crisis—the death of her dad—by discovering the healing power of telling these stories and making them her own.
3. Briana’s extra heartbeats are the symptoms of a life-threatening medical condition she inherited from her father.
Answer (Highlight to Reveal): The lie is #3. Briana is a healthy imaginative girl who is manifesting some psychological symptoms as a result of losing her father. She thinks she hears her “extra” heart, her “Dad heart”, speaking to her in her father’s voice. It issues some mysterious commands like: “Find her” and “Be Your Own! “ The meaning of those commands are clues in the mystery Briana must solve to find her own voice.
Truth or Lie about Briana, the heroine of “The Girl With More Than One Heart.”
1. Briana sometimes wishes her little brother Aaron had never been born.
2. Briana loves her little brother Aaron “no matter what” even when he behaves badly and throws tantrums.
3. Briana hates her little brother Aaron.
Answer (Highlight to Reveal): The lie is #3. There is no easy answer when it comes to the love between Briana and Aaron in “The Girl With More Than One Heart.” Briana defends her little brother to others and yet feels burdened by him when his care too often falls to her. She sometimes wishes he had never been born and yet loves him fiercely even when he acts “crazy.” She is a good sister but also no angel. The book is realistic about the dark side of family life as well as the warmth and love between parent and child and between sister and brother.