My Mom Married the Principal, by Margaret Bechard

My Mom Married the Principal

It’s only September, and Jonah Truman already knows that eighth grade is going to be a disaster. He can’t work up the nerve to ask Katherine Chang to go out with him. He let his best firend talk him into joining the drama club. And, worst of all, everyone in the entire school knows that the principal is his new stepfather. Then a note falls out of his locker: Who would I like to go out with? Jonah Truman, Jonah Truman, Jonah Truman. But just when it seems like things are looking up, Jonah’s life gets really complicated.

Reviews

“… the note-writing, boyfriend-swapping, parent-schmoozing, and innuendo-dropping that bring Jonah to his ultimate bliss are junior high to the core.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Recommended review

Author’s Notes

The idea for this story came from my editor. She said, “You know, I don’t think you’ve told all of Jonah’s and Amanda’s story. You should think about doing a sequel.”

In actual fact, I had not thought about doing a sequel. But … hey … when an editor makes a suggestion like this, you say, “Oh. Interesting idea. Let me think about that.”

For me, thinking about Jonah was very intertwined with thinking about the lives of my own children. I know a lot of writers who say that they draw on memories from their own childhoods—and I’m sure I do that to some extent subconsciously; I’m sure the emotion comes from my own memories and experiences—but I hesitate to trust my own memories for actual events and activities.

I have been blessed with three smart, funny children who were willing to share, within reason, some of their own experiences growing up. They shared many of the events of their days, usually prefaced by “Wait till you hear what happened today, Mom. You’re going to love this.” In fact, their friends, who knew I was a writer, started to bring me material: “I think you may be able to use this, Margaret.”

A lot of this story—the notes in the lockers, the pains of middle school theatrical experiences, even the golden jock strap—came to me from my children and their friends. As Katharine Patterson so wisely said, “The very people who took away my time to write gave me something to write about.”