Title: The Unbelievable Misadventures of Avery Mann
Genre: MG Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 69,000
Avery Mann’s biggest worry before his eleventh birthday is avoiding atomic wedgies from Max "The Wild Thing" Lovell. However, his fear of overstretched underwear vanishes when he becomes a pawn in a supernatural game of four-way chess between wise-guy magi, scheming witches, fiendish monsters, and storybook villains come to life. Needless to say, getting caught up in an inter-dimensional conspiracy throws a flying monkey wrench into his summer plans, which did not include magically bonding himself to a murderous raven or making fishy deals with Long John Silver. Worse yet, Avery's only chance to get out of this tangled web of wackiness is to free the Wicked Witch of the East… from Hell. And if he fails, his family will remain a bunch of Rip Van Winkles, his newfound friends will be imprisoned, and he'll never finish reading his Ultimate Spider-Man collection.
The walled garden in Kensington Park wasn't as impenetrable as Superman’s Fortress of Solitude or high-tech as the Batcave, but it made the perfect hideout. It was a place where I could read comics, practice magic tricks, and avoid trouble, especially my arch-enemy Max “The Wild Thing” Lovell.
Not to mention it was quiet here, too.
Chip! Chip! Chip!
Three baby chipmunks poked their heads out of a rose bush.
“Again?” I tossed them the last few peanuts from my lunch bag.
They dashed out, stuffed their chubby cheeks, and raced back home. Not even a thanks. Oh well, what could I say? I was always a sucker for animals.
A breeze blew through the gazebo, bringing with it the scent of various flowers. I breathed in. Mmmm. The garden smelled so much better than the bushes behind Ms. Crabtree’s compost heap—which had made a great hiding spot last year, but required nose-plugs and deodorant sprays.
I glanced at my watch. It was almost noon on the first full day of summer vacation and nobody had bothered me here. Not my six older brothers. Not Max. Not—
A piece of paper smacked into my face.
I yanked the thing off me, ready to rip it into subatomic particles, but then the word, “Magic” caught my eye. A thrill fluttered up from the bottom of my stomach to the back of my neck as I shoved the flapping flyer against the ground.