He knew how to construct a song out of the nothing of day-to-day life and how to sing that nothing into a song so beautiful that it could sustain the vision of a whole and better world.

If you have no intentions on loving or being loved, than the journey is pointless.

It was the strangest things, how happiness came out of nowhere and inflated your soul.

Farewell is a word that, in any language, is full of sorrow. It is a word that promises nothing.

You can always trust a dog that likes peanut butter.

Writing my own stories had always been one of my dreams, but I didn't start until I was 29. I was working in a book warehouse and was assigned to the third floor where all the children's books were. For four and a half years, I spent all day, every day around children's books, and it wasn't long before I fell in love with them.

The world is dark, and light is precious.

Flora had decided that this was part of the reason her parents had divorced. Not the noise of the writing, but the writing itself. Specifically, the writing of romance. Flora.

Dear God, thank you for warm summer nights and candlelight and good food. But thank you most of all for friends. We appreciate the complicated and wonderful gifts you give us in each other. And we appreciate the task you put down before us, of loving each other the best we can, even as you love us. We pray in Christ's name, Amen.

I have no talents. But I do have hope. And wonder. And love. Maybe those are talents?

Mig watched her father walk away, the red table cloth billowing out behind him. He left his daughter. And, as you already know, he did not look back. Not even once.

I am busier now than I ever imagined I would be, but I feel blessed in that I have found what I am supposed to be doing with my life. It's wonderful to tell stories and have people listen to them.

Bah, cynics," said Dr. Meescham. "Cynics are people who are afraid to believe.

There's this amplification that happens anytime you tell a story. You let it go out into the world. It's the most beautiful thing. All I can do is look at it in wonder and amazement.

She might be a natural-born cynic, but she knew the right word when she heard it.

At least Lester had the decency to weep at his act of perfidy. Reader, do you know what 'perfidy' means? I have a feeling you do, based on the scene that unfolded here. But you should look up the word in your dictionary, just to be sure.

You have to learn how to write each book.

Yes, ma'am. He figured the world was a sorry affair and that it had enough ugly things in it and what he was going to do was concentrate on putting something sweet in it.


He felt a wonderful certainty. The impossible, he thought, the impossible is about to happen again.

I am stuck at 10 years old. I think.

Go ahead, Marlene, thought Edward. Push me around. Do with me as you will. What does it matter? I am broken. Broken.

A what? said Willie May.

He would write and write. He would make wonderful things happen. Some of it would be true. All of it would be true. Most of it would be true.

I am single and childless, but I have lots of friends and I am an aunt to three lovely children.

I believe, sometimes, that the whole world has an aching heart.

What you giving me them shifty-eyed looks for?

It is our duty and our joy to communicate our hearts to each other. Words assist us in this task.

Writing a novel isn't like building a brick wall. You don't figure out how to do it, and then it gets easier each time because you know what you're doing. With writing a novel, you have to figure it out each time. Each time you start over, you just have the language and the idea and the hope.

When I was 5 years old, I moved with my mother and brother from Philadelphia to a small town in Florida. People talked more slowly there and said words I had never heard before, like 'ain't' and 'y'all' and 'ma'am.' Everybody knew everybody else. Even if they didn't, they acted like they did.

Light is precious in a world so dark.

Hands down, the biggest thrill is to get a letter from a kid saying, I loved your book. Will you write me another one?

A great reader makes a great writer.

I want to remind people of the great and profound joy that can be found in stories, and that stories can connect us to each other, and that reading together changes everybody involved.

Do you think everybody misses somebody? Like I miss my mama? Mmmm-hmmm, said Gloria. She closed her eyes. I believe, sometimes, that the whole world has an aching heart.

It's such a potent thing, to be a kid. We grow up, and we don't want to remember how everything is so beautiful and terrifying when we're young. The older you get, the more you hope to muffle things.

I was someone who wanted to be a writer but who wasn't writing. I was someone buying books on writing. I was someone telling people that I was writer. But I was not writing.

Truly, I did not intend to harm you, he said. That was never my intention.

He was reading from the beginning so that he could get to the end, where the reader was assured that the knight and the fair maiden lived together happily ever after.

Everybody reading the same book at the same time pulls people together. It does start a conversation. If you're going to read 'The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,' you're going to talk about heartbreak and loss and all of those things that people don't talk about as a community.

Reader, do you believe that there is such a thing as happily ever after? Or, like Despereaux, have you, too, begun to question the possibility of happy endings?

The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.

It was a singular sensation to be held so gently and yet so fiercely, to be stared down at with so much love.

Despereaux turned. He looked up and into the Head Mouse's eyes. They were dark eyes, deep and sad and frightened. And as Despereaux looked into them, his heart thudded once, twice.

Mostly, he looked like a big piece of old brown carpet that had been left out in the rain.

He allowed his brother to lead him to his fate.

Sometimes there are no reasons. Often, most of the time, there are no reasons. The world cannot be explained.

THE DAYS PASSED. THE SUN ROSE and set and rose and set again and again.

I intended lilies, said the magician. but in the clutches of a desparate desire to do something extraordinary, I called down a greater magic and inadvertently caused you a profound harm. I will now try to undo what I have done.