Title: SEE YOU THEN, JOSHUA JACOBS
Genre: Contemporary MG (with a hint of magical realism)
Word Count: 37,000
When science prodigy and all-around nice guy Joshua Jacobs moves in across the street, he’s like no one Suzie Martin’s ever met before. Soon, she realizes he’s no one-dimensional geek. He makes forming friendships – something Suzie’s never quite gotten the hang of – look easy. She hopes it’s the start of a great year, until she learns Joshua believes his dead father travels through time to visit him.
As kids at school turn on Joshua for his crazy ideas, she must decide whether or not to stand by him even though she knows time travel can’t be real. When Joshua’s mother pulls him from school, and an illness threatens to take him away forever, Suzie faces the consequences of her choices. In one short year, she learns more about friendship, fear, hope and the spacetime continuum than she ever could have imagined.
If I’d been peeking out the front window all morning like my mom, I might have seen the lab table. But even that wouldn’t have prepared me for what rolled into my life when the Jacobs’ moved in across the street.
Mom waved me over to see the boy and his mother as the long, yellow truck pulled away from their house. Like one of her photography subjects, they drew her in. She couldn’t tear herself away.
“Let’s go over and offer them a hand, Suzie,” she said, still looking through the glass. “It looks like it’s just the two of them.”
“I’m sure they’re fine,” I said. Time to escape.
“He must be about your age,” she murmured as I turned to go.
Aha, there was the real reason she wanted to go – the friendship “opportunity” for her daughter. Why didn’t she get that it wasn’t so easy? It’s not that I didn’t want any friends since Abby moved away. In fact, I’d decided I couldn’t go through another year as the invisible friendless wonder. But you can’t just walk up to people, say hi and suddenly you’re best friends. Life doesn’t work that way. And middle school definitely doesn’t work that way.
“Come grab some plastic cups, hon,” she said, striding toward the kitchen. She didn’t even check to see if I followed. “Let’s take them something to drink.”
That’s how we ended up crossing the street to meet our new neighbors with a sweating pitcher of sweet iced tea, and a stack of red Solo cups.