150 word pitch:
Henry would rather be on the basketball court perfecting his fadeaway jump shot, not on a one-way trip to Helsinki, Finland with parents and annoying older sister, Lauren. So when a sibling squabble lands them both in Finnish lessons as punishment, he’s sure he’ll die of boredom if not frostbite.
The Finnish lessons turn into Weirdness 101 when their hip Finnish teacher admits he’s part of an ancient society that protects magical artifacts from Finland’s epic poem, The Kalevala. Then Henry starts to notice odd parallels between the myths in the book and what’s happening around them in Helsinki.
Now, in addition to adjusting to the dark, frigid winter, the siblings must help their teacher locate the Sampo, the mythical horn of plenty from The Kalevala, and protect it from their Dad’s new boss, who want to harness its power regardless of the disastrous environmental devastation it will unleash.
Lauren’s on her beanbag with her fuzzy brown head buried in a book. Enough of the nerd time, big sister. We’ve got a situation.
I kick the beanbag a few times. “Whatcha reading, bird brain?” When she doesn’t look up, I grab the book out of her hands. “MacBeth? You know this stuff will turn you into a nerd, right?”
“Give it back, Henry.” She glares at me, clenching her teeth. That’s one scary metal mouth.
I take a step back in case she decides to bite. “Jeez, relax.” I hold the book out to her and she grabs it. “I was just messing with you. But seriously, I have to tell you something.” I motion to my room. “In private.”
“Ugh.” She groans, but gets up and follows me, shutting the door behind her.
When did she get so tall? I hate looking up to talk to her. I want to stand on my desk or something.
“Mom and Dad are up to something,” I say.
“Whatever, Hen.” Lauren says, fiddling with the ribbon of one of the medals draped over my Regionals trophy. The medal makes a sharp click, click, click as it hits the marble base.
“No, really. I overheard them talking in the kitchen this morning. They said something about a new job, and selling the house.”
The clicking stops. Now she’s paying attention, green eyes wide. “Not again. Did they say where? Boston? Seattle? Not Dallas.”
“Nope, the phone rang before they said where.”