Title: Homer Price
Author and Illustrator: Robert McCloskey (1914-2003)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year: 1982 (reprint of 1943 book)
Format: Hardcover with library binding.
Provenance: Pocket and stamps (obscured with felt-tip marker) from a library in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chapter Titles: The Case of the Sensational Scent; The Case of the Cosmic Comic; The Doughnuts; Mystery Yarn; Nothing New Under the Sun (Hardly); Wheels of Progress.
Opening Sentence: “About two miles outside of Centerburg where route 56 meets route 56A there lives a boy named Homer.”
Random Passage: “Homer read the rules and noticed that nothing was mentioned about the gentleman's agreement between the sheriff and Uncle Telly, but that sort of news travels fast in a size of Centerburg, and it wasn’t long before practically everybody knew that the winner was supposed to have the hand of Miss Terwilliger in marriage.”
Goodreads Review: “I wanted to live in Centerburg when I read this book. I wanted a donut machine. I wanted the book to have more pages. I read it in in a quiet corner of the old Irvington Public Library, curled up in an old, fat leather chair that was hidden from everything else in the world by a wall of books.” — Ken, December 6, 2008.
Notes: There was something familiar about Homer Price's cover art of the boy snacking on doughnuts being pumped out my a sophisticated machine. In the '70s, I recall a daytime TV special with the same theme featuring Lovey Howell herself, Natalie Schafer, as a woman who lost a valuable jewel inside the dough fed into a similar machine. That was an adaptation of The Doughnuts, a chapter from this book. An earlier short film version of the story can be viewed on YouTube in its entirety.