Friday, February 27, 2015


MG Fantasy

Just before 12-year-old Simon’s parents went missing, his father entrusted him with a necklace. Now the original owner of the necklace – a librarian from the mysterious town of Drumwick – has gone missing too, and Simon is suspect number one.

While a shady Drumwick lawyer builds her case against him, Simon works on a case of his own with best friend, Abby – a ten-year-old interested in anything that lets her skip school. With necklace in hand, the duo snake through the alleyways and secret passages of Drumwick, searching for clues. Instead, they encounter everything from crawling snickets to spotted honknuckles, but the mystery deepens when Simon discovers a hidden store-house belonging to the real kidnapper. The criminal is nearby and desperate to find the necklace. Turns out the pendant is much more than a piece of old, broken jewellery.
Between conspiratorial conversations, dodging cops, and destroying an entire library, Simon is thrown into some serious detective work. There's a culprit to catch, and if Simon can’t clear his name before someone else goes missing, he might never see his family again.

First page:

Thirty-seven minutes ago, a bush winked. Or blinked. Simon looked away too fast to be sure. If monsters lived in Galloway forest, despite insisting they surely and definitely did not exist, Simon thought it best not to make eye contact.

“Surprised to see you this far from the RV,” his father called.

“I was trying to find a good place to read.” Simon placed his unopened book on a crumbled stone wall. Granted, picnic tables and benches were sparse in Rubble City Campgrounds with the large boulders everywhere. “Hey dad, Emily’s just imagining her night monsters right?”

His father laughed. “Of course she is. You went through a similar period yourself.” A tall man, Jim Hardt had more hair on the sides of his head than on top, and a permanent watch tan decorated his wrist. In one hand he carried two fishing poles, both twice Simon’s height, and in the other, a rusty tackle box. “You thought something lived under your bed.”

“At least that’s normal,” Simon grumbled. Seeing creatures in the woods, especially during the day, was not normal.

“Fishing might get your mind off it.” His father held up the poles. They were quite loved – and bent. “The nice old couple let me borrow them.”

Simon’s uneasiness melted. Fishing happened in the water, and monsters couldn’t hide there. “Can I dig for the worms?”


  1. Yet another one with excellently applied revisions. You all are kicking the competition up a notch!

  2. Pitch: Somehow I missed reading this in the top 50. Is this the real world, or kids from the real world who tumble into another dimension? Really intriguing concept, strong pitch.

    250: I like this. Not sure that a 12 yo with an active imagination wouldn't think monsters could be in the water, but the monster element is a hint about the fantasy element. I might be more descriptive of what he saw so the reader knows its not just likely to be his imagination. Good showing of the father-son relationship. Good luck! (#7)

  3. Pitch: I really want to know why the necklace is so important! You never tell us. In queries and pitches vagueness isn't your friend. I also don't think you need the line about Abby and skipping school. Love the premise otherwise though!

    I agree with Melissa about Simon not thinking about water-dwelling monsters. Other than that 250 is solid.

  4. This sounds like a fun adventure! I wouldn't describe his dad in the first 250 as it takes us out of the action and tension. Also, maybe a weird observation but the title implies that the book is told from the kidnapper's POV but it's not...unless you POVs so I'm wondering what the kidnapper's conundrum is? And I can't quite tell, but it seems like 10 is kind of young for the adventure they're going to go through. I have a 10 year old boy who is very tough and adventurous so...just not sure about the age.

    I do think this sounds like a really cool, original story...and one boys would like which I'm always looking for for my boys! Good luck!


  5. Pitch: Overall, I think it's great and a middle grade mystery featuring a boy MC is marketable. The first paragraph confuses me because I don't see how a 12 y.o. would be a suspect in the disappearance of 3 adults. The rest of it seems like a fun mystery set in a fantasy world. If this is a whodunnit mystery, then I think it would be helpful to clarify the power of the necklace in the pitch.

    +1: I think if the bush winked thirty-seven SECONDS ago, I would be fine with this. Staring at a bush for 37 minutes seems far fetched to me. Also, this bush is freaky and the MC is questioning his sanity (whether he's normal), in which case I'd expect the narrative to fixate more on the bush and build a bit of tension. Otherwise, the voice feels appropriate for MG. The pacing good. Family dynamics good.
    Well done.
    (#14 OSN)


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