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MockingJo

MockingJo_Poster[In anticipation of The CW’s forthcoming “gritty” adaptation of Little Women]

My name is Jo March. My home is Concord, Massachusetts. I live with my mother and three sisters while my father fights in the war.

No, even that’s wrong.

My name is Jo March. My home is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My half-sisters and I have a conspiracy to unravel.

Yes, Meg, Beth, Amy, and I are all half-sisters now. The flashbacks to Marmee’s backstory were too dull before. Now that viewers know about the love pentangle in her past, she’s far better for ratings.

“Jo,” Meg says sternly now, “you’re daydreaming again.”

I blink. Here we are, on the bleak streets of Philadelphia.

“Silly Jo,” says Amy. “Always with her head in the clouds. The dark, foreshadowing storm clouds.”

“I think you mean foreboding,” I correct her. Amy’s always confusing her words.

“Amy may be right,” Beth murmurs. She gazes into the valley ahead.

“Stop fighting, girls,” Meg admonishes. “We’ll never solve the conspiracy if we kill each other first.”

“I would never,” I protest, but I can’t help it: I’m brandishing my pen in what can only be called a threatening manner. And Meg, I suddenly notice, has a crochet hook in her hand and is holding it the same way.

“Dear Meg. Dear Jo,” Beth pleads. “Can’t we figure out the conspiracy together? Can’t we at least figure out what the conspiracy is?”

“I know what it is!” Amy sounds smug. “I heard it in the fan forum.” Only Amy would sneak off the show to stand in a forum and hear what was being said about us. “First, well, a lot of people were making fun of Jo. A lot of people. And Jo, if you’d pay any attention to what you wear, and maybe run a comb through your hair—”

“Skip ahead to the conspiracy,” I broke in. The mocking wasn’t news to me.

“Fine,” she huffed. But she brightened with the next bit of news. “There’s a rumor. They’re trying to make the fans choose sides. To drum up interest, you know. So they’re bringing in…a professor.”

I’ve been forbidden to say more. For now. Tune in for the next episode, when you — yes, you — can decide if you’re Team Laurie or Team Bhaer.

For more dystopian parodies, see Shoshana’s “Diverted” and Patrick Jennings’s “The Chocolate Games.” For more in our Fan Week series, click on the tag Fan Week 2016 and see #HBFanWeek on Twitter.

Shoshana Flax About Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College.

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