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To: My Fans!
From: Ann
An Online Visit to Main Street

March 2008

Hello, readers! I have exciting news for those of you who have been following the adventures of Flora and Ruby Northrop as they settle into their new home in Camden Falls, Massachusetts. Best Friends, the latest book in the Main Street series, has just been published (following Welcome to Camden Falls, Needle and Thread, and 'Tis the Season). It’s springtime, and the Northrop girls are nearing the one-year anniversary of their move to this small town, following the deaths of their parents in an automobile accident. Living with their grandmother, Min, in the connected Row Houses just off of Main Street, and helping out in her sewing store, Needle and Thread, have helped make both girls feel a part of the town. And there's a lot going on this spring, as residents plan a host of activities for the 350th birthday celebration of Camden Falls. Ruby is starring in the school play, and Flora is working on a research project about how the Great Depression affected the lives of some of the townspeople. But Flora faces a new challenge when Annika, her "old" best friend from her former hometown, comes to visit and meets Flora’s "new" best friend, Olivia.

It doesn't matter if you're continuing in the series, reading the books in order, or if Best Friends is your first introduction to Flora and Ruby, because each book introduces the reader to the Row House neighbors on Aiken Street, and to the stores and their owners along Main Street. And if you really want to get to know Camden Falls, you can visit the amazing Main Street website. The first thing you'll see is a detailed map of the town, showing the streets and shops and the Row Houses. Already, with just a click of the mouse, you can "peek" inside four stores and four of the Row Houses to see their interiors, and more will be added as new books in the series are published.

For those of you who enjoy crafts, visit the Stuff and Nonsense storefront to find directions for making your family tree, a personalized photo frame, or a map of your hometown. A visit to Needle and Thread will give you suggestions for hours of fun. There are instructions on how to make some great homemade gifts, and tips on how to best wrap your presents. Flora, who loves to sew, shares her sewing tips, and Ruby has some great ideas for summer games. Their good friends Nikki and Olivia offer plenty of advice for would-be artists and tips on how to get organized.

My favorite activity is the Pizza Delivery Game inside College Pizza. Each player takes orders from the residents of the Row Houses or the shopkeepers on Main Street. The orders come in fast, and the player who delivers the pizzas in the right order (by clicking on the correct addresses) gets the most tips. The better you do, the harder the game gets. I promise you that after a few rounds of Pizza Delivery, you’ll know where every single shop in town is located!

There’s more to do on the Main Street site. For example, you can send an email postcard of Camden Falls to a friend. If you’ve ever moved to a new town like Flora and Ruby have, this might be a nice way to reconnect with your own “old” best friend. Or you can visit the Fongs’ studio and design your own printable scrapbook pages. And even though you may be a long-time reader of my webpage, it’s possible that you’ve never heard my voice, so if you’re curious, just click on Meet Ann M. Martin to hear an interview about the making of the Main Street series. Each time I visit the site, I find something new to do. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

Until next time, happy reading. As for me, I think there’s time for one quick game of Pizza Delivery before I get back to work!

Happy reading!