INTERIOR: MR. PEABODY’S LABORATORY.SHERMAN IS SEATED AT A DESK AS MR. PEABODY ENTERS.
MR. PEABODY: You don’t look at all happy, Sherman. What seems to be the problem?
SHERMAN: It’s this book report, Mr. Peabody. I don’t know what to write about. I could use some help.
MR. PEABODY: Then help you shall have. Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for (mumble, mumble) years ago. We’re going to visit that world renown book recommender, Brian Farrey.
SHERMAN: Book recommender? Is that a real thing?
MR. PEABODY: Shut up, kid.
WE SEE MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN TRAVEL BACK IN TIME.
MR. PEABODY: (VOICEOVER) We set the Wayback controls for central Wisconsin in the 70s and just like that, we were outside Brian’s childhood home.
THEY SPOT A BOY SITTING ON THE GRASS, READING A BOOK.
MR. PEABODY: You must be Brian Farrey.
BRIAN (age 6): Who are you?
MR. PEABODY: I am Mr. Peabody and this is my boy, Sherman.
BRIAN (age 6): Dogs don’t talk.
MR. PEABODY: This dog does. And we’re here to ask if you can recommend any books for Sherman here to write a report on.
SHERMAN: It would mean a lot.
BRIAN (age 6): Well, right now I’m reading The Monster at the End of this Book. It’s pretty good.
MR. PEABODY: But is it good enough to write a report on?
BRIAN (age 6): I shouldn’t talk to strangers. And I probably shouldn’t talk to talking dogs.
MR. PEABODY: You really need to get over that.
BRIAN (age 6): I’m going to take my book and go now.
SHERMAN: So should I do a report on The Monster at the End of this Book.
MR. PEABODY: Brian wasn’t very helpful, was he? Maybe we should try him at a later age and see what he has to say.
SHERMAN: Good idea. But he has a point. I mean, dogs don’t talk—
MR. PEABODY: Seriously, I will bite you. Shut up and let’s go.
MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN JUMP FORWARD SIX YEARS. THEY FIND BRIAN IN HIS BEDROOM IN HIS PARENTS’ HOUSE.
MR. PEABODY: Hello, again.
BRIAN (age 12): I remember you guys. (TO SHERMAN) Can I talk to you? Talking to a dog freaks me out.
MR. PEABODY: We’ll leave you alone if you can recommend a book for Sherman to report on.
BRIAN (age 12): (HE PULLS A PAPERBACK FROM HIS BOOKSHELF) This is my favorite right now. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I’ve read it six times already. It’s got a great mystery and Turtle makes me laugh.
MR. PEABODY: (UNDER HIS BREATH) So talking turtles don’t bug you but talking dogs….
BRIAN (age 12): What was that?
MR. PEABODY: Nothing. There you are, Sherman. There’s your book.
SHERMAN: Maybe. I don’t really like mysteries.
MR. PEABODY: Look, you wanted a book to report on and—
BRIAN (age 12): Why don’t you check back with me in about four years? My tastes diversify then.
SHERMAN: How do you even know that?
MR. PEABODY: Who cares? Let’s go.
MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN JUMP FORWARD IN TIME FOUR YEARS. THEY FIND BRIAN WALKING THE HALLS OF LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL.
BRIAN (age 16): (HE BRANDISHES A BOOK) Check it out! I was ready for you this time.
SHERMAN: But how did you?
BRIAN (age 16): I’m a sci fi geek. You’re time travelers. Didn’t take much to figure out.
MR. PEABODY: (READING THE COVER OF THE BOOK) The Stand by Stephen King. Is it good?
BRIAN (age 16): It….is….awesome! Post-apocalyptic world, blood and guts, and…swearing.
MR. PEABODY: (HANDS BOOK BACK TO BRIAN) Sorry, Sherman, we can’t expose you to things like that.
SHERMAN: But it sounds good—
MR. PEABODY: I mean it. I will bite you and you will cry. Is that what you want?
SHERMAN: (TO BRIAN) Thanks, anyway.
BRIAN: This is censorship--
MR. PEABODY: You’ve got one more chance, Farrey. We’ll see you again in four years. You’re a world renowned book recommender. Do your job.
BRIAN: Is a recommender even a real thing?
MR. PEABODY BITES BRIAN, WHO CRIES OUT.
MR. PEABODY: (TO SHERMAN) You’re next, pal.
MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN JUMP FORWARD FOUR YEARS. BRIAN IS AT THE DOG POUND.
MR. PEABODY: You work at a dog pound?
BRIAN (age 20): Nope.
A DOG CATCHER JUMPS OUT FROM AROUND THE CORNER AND THROWS A NET OVER MR. PEABODY.
BRIAN (age 20): (TO SHERMAN) Here, kid. Enjoy.
BRIAN HANDS SHERMAN A BOOK.
SHERMAN: (READING COVER) One Hundred Years of Solitude?
BRIAN (age 20): It’s pretty good. You won’t forget it anytime soon.
THE DOG CATCHER DRAGS A HOWLING PEABODY FROM THE ROOM.
SHERMAN: Is Mr. Peabody going to be okay?
BRIAN (age 20): Do you care?
SHERMAN: (THINKS ABOUT IT) Not really.
BRIAN AND SHERMAN HIGH FIVE.
Brian Farrey’s debut YA novel, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, will be published May 24 by Simon Pulse. He tweets @BrianFarrey and he blogs at www.brianfarreybooks.com/wordpress.