Tips on How to Survive The Fourth of July (without permanent psychological trauma)

Tips on How to Survive The Fourth of July (without permanent psychological trauma)


1. If you are in fourth grade and bored, do not insist on performing a magic show for your mom, your step-dad, and your nana.

2. Especially do not perform this magic show if you’ve NEVER done ONE SINGLE magic trick ever before.

3. Do NOT put on a red wool sweater that you got in KINDERGARTEN and last wore in FIRST GRADE and even then, it was pretty stretched. It is NOT necessary to wear red, white, and blue on the 4th of July to prove you’re patriotic unless you’re running for president. Then you might also want to wrap yourself up in a flag and have 577 lapel pins of the flag.

4. It is especially not necessary to wear red, white and blue on the 4th of July if the only red item of clothing you own is a WAY TOO SMALL WOOL sweater and it is 102 degrees out and super humid.

5. Did I mention the sweater was wool? Remember: no wool.

6. Did I mention that it is 102 degrees out and there is NO AIR CONDITIONING? Remember: no wool if there’s no air conditioning.

7. If you are going to insist on wearing red wool, a white scrunchy, and blue jeans to your first-ever command performance as magician, make sure to have plenty of fluids with you because eventually you will succumb to audience pressure for GOOD magic tricks and your Nana’s I’m-going-to-be-supportive-and-not-laugh-out-loud face and the INTENSE heat and you will eventually FAINT!


Right on the family room floor, on the tiles and cause your mother to scream, “GET AN AMBULANCE!”

8. If you faint due to intense heat and the pressure of saying “Pick a card, any card” over and over again, get ready to have your step-dad throw fluids in your face to wake you up. 

9. You’re mother will hug you and yank off your red wool sweater cursing herself for being a ‘Bad, bad mother’ for letting you insist on wearing it anyways.

SO… if you are a girl, make sure you wear a training bra (white…to go with patriotic ensemble) under your red wool sweater or things will be terribly, terribly embarrassing.

10. Cry.

You will get more ice cream this way.

Running to your room and slamming the door does not get you ice cream (at least it didn’t work for me) it just gets you in trouble because as your nana says, “Doors are made to be shut. Not slammed.”

And your mother will be embarrassed for not raising a child who knows enough not to slam doors or wear wool in July. Then she will ground you because of her failure.

11. Throw away your red wool sweater.

12. Vow never to perform magic again.

13. Sneak out of your room for more ice cream. Do not get any ideas about Sparklers and Mentos and vinegar and baking soda. It is not a good mix. Just stick your head in the freezer and beg to go to the beach.

14. Leave the red sweater at home.



My next book, IN THE WOODS, appears in July with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed! 

You can preorder this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

In the Woods
In the Woods


You can buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.

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Check it out here.


A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you. 

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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