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The Flat Stanley Books

Also On This Site

• The Flat Stanley Project
• Flat Stanley in Carmel, California
Flat Stanley Makes Political Rounds

Elsewhere on the Web
• "Official" Flat Stanley Project Site

Flat Stanley is the title character of a series of books written by Jeff Brown. Stanley Lambchop is a normal boy who finds himself flattened by a bulletin board, but that doesn't stop his adventures. He is sent through the mail to places all around the world, where friends and family take him on trips, see sights, and increase the knowledge of the world of not only Stanley but also anyone reading the book.

Teachers across America and in Canada have taken this idea to heart, starting their own Flat Stanley Projects, in which students make their own Flat Stanleys (or Flat Jessicas or other female names) and then mail them to friends and family. The adults who receive these new flat friends take the little guys or girls on all sorts of adventures—to work, to the zoo, on plane and boat trips. The range of destinations for Stanley is limited only by the creativity of the people he visits.

According to Jeff Brown, here is how he got the idea:

"More than thirty years ago, I was saying goodnight to my now grown-up sons, J.C. and Tony (Flat Stanley is dedicated to them), and JC stalling for my chat time, asked me not to leave the bedroom. He was scared, he claimed, and when I asked him what he was afraid of he couldn't think of anything. As I started out again, he had an inspiration. 'I'm afraid my big bulletin board will fall on me,' he said. I told him that that was ridiculous; the big board on the wall above his bed had been securely mounted by me, and even if it got loose it would do so so slowly that he wouldn't even notice it, just go off to sleep, and by the time it rested fully upon him he'd be sound asleep and wouldn't wake, so the board would just lie there all night. Then I thought of small joke and said: 'Of course, when you wake up in the morning, you'll probably be flat.' Both boys thought that was a hoot and many evenings after that one, we'd make up stories about adventures you could have if you were flat. Best idea I ever had, and I didn't even know I'd had it. Not for many months, until a friend in the kid-book business, who knew about the flat stories, suggested I make them into a book."

(Thanks to the Flat Stanley Project website.)

The first book, Flat Stanley, was so successful that Brown wrote another book and another, until Flat Stanley had his own series. In some, Stanley is flat; in others, he is not. The books in that series are below.

Brown was working on a new Flat Stanley book when he died in 2003. His work lives on in the minds and hearts of students and teachers everywhere.


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2002-6,
David White


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