Some people draft a pretend Academy Awards acceptance speech. For as long as I can remember, I have drafted the acknowledgements page of the book I would maybe write someday. Here it is.

To Lucy Maud Montgomery, thank you for Anne. To Judy Blume, thank you for Peter and Fudge and Margaret. To Beverly Cleary, thank you for Ramona and Beezus. To Lois Lowry, thank you for Anastasia and Annemarie and Ellen. To Sydney Taylor, thank you for the all-of-a-kind sisters. To Norton Juster, thank you for Milo and Dictionopolis, a place I still long to visit. To Frances Hodgson Burnett, thank you for Sara and Mary. To Ann M Martin, thank you for the super specials.

To Cybie Mauro, my elementary school librarian, who read with remarkable passion and taught me about inter-library loan. To Liz Kolodney and Tim Burns, two of the finest teachers I have ever known. It was a privilege to learn in your creative, inventive, inclusive classrooms.

To Gilly, who read with me at recess, and Dorothy, who delighted me with wordplay. You are my examples of a childhood friendship that sticks. To Adrianne and Erica, you are my examples of an adult friendship that feels like it always existed. To Alyssa, you are my example of what it means to have family you choose.

To Harry and Shirley, who have treated me as a daughter from the start. You champion our every cause and say yes every time. You are an extraordinary Nana and Grandpa.

To my brothers, my first and best friends. We hold each other up. Thank you for your love and patience. Your exceptional taste brought me sisters and nieces, for which I am endlessly grateful.

To my parents, thank you for fluffing my pillow and reading one more chapter. Thank you for The Rainbow Goblins, The Secret Garden, Stuart Little, and Charlotte’s Web. Thank you for taking the time to point out illustrations, for showing how style follows an author from book to book, for supporting my reading. Thank you for celebrating every event in my life with a trip to the book warehouse. Thank you for believing in me, then, now, and always. You are a sensational Zsa Zsa and Papa.

To my boys, reading with you is my life’s greatest joy.

To Ben, who encourages me always. Thank you for being the best partner, the best father, the best listener, the best friend. Thank you for being the type of person that buys his wife a card catalog for her 30th birthday. All my favorite stories start with you.