Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Middle Grade Magical Realism: UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY

Author's Name: Kathi Morrison-Taylor
Category: MG
Genre: Magical Realism
Stage of Completion: Rough Draft
Preferred Critique Style: Straight to the Point
Cats or Dogs: Cat Person
Tea or Coffee: Coffee! 

Short Pitch

            Eleven-year old, Kimberley Adams and her Shakespeare scholar grandfather, Abu, are making a plan. He will contact her after his death, to confirm the existence of an afterlife, which in their recent read, Hamlet, is dubbed the “undiscovered country.”  But when Abu dies before their plan’s details are firm, the grieving Kimberley finds herself alone, searching for his spirit in an increasingly ghostly world.

Writing Sample

            Kimberley Adams crossed the long line of minivans and convertibles, waved to her friends Dehlia and Jonathan (who waved back holding high their blue ribbon from Regional ScienceFest)  and started her walk across the sports fields toward University Hill. Her friends knew better than to ask her to the pool. They knew where she was going. They knew they couldn’t stop her, not even on the last day of school. She had an academic appointment to keep, with her grandfather, Abu.

            True, her homeroom teacher had, as Jonathan liked to put it,  “nipped her Elizabethan obsession in the butt,” quieting her “thou shalt invert thy fractions” and “Thou hath not simplified” in math workshop, and shutting down her knock,knock joke when Wherefore Means was pounding on the door. She couldn’t help but remind both Jonathan and her teacher that Hamlet is about obsession and she is all about Hamlet, earning a groan from Jonathan and a warning, although a playful one, from her teacher.

            But that afternoon  was the best afternoon ever. Free of school at last, Kimberley released her obsession, practicing lines from Hamlet’s soliloquy as she crossed her school’s soggy sports fields that led to the flight of outside steps up University Hill to Abu’s office.

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