Wednesday, September 25, 2019

September 2019 Pass or Pages Entry #3

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agent Kelly Peterson for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry #3:  I AM NOBODY


Max Haze, an introverted middle-schooler, is changed forever when he is struck by lightning. The rare incident gives him the ability to teleport anywhere in the world. Max's best and only friend, Amy, thinks Max’s super power is the coolest thing to ever happen, a dream come true, and his chance to be a hero.

Max is less thrilled. Unable to think past the potential danger of getting hurt or being wanted by the government, Max gives in to his anxiety, and decides to hide his power and makes Amy swear to keep his ability a secret.[KP1] The only problem is, someone already knows. When they[KP2] come forward with a threat against Amy, Max must decide to maintain his anonymity or protect his friend. Either way, his life will never be the same.[KP3]

I AM NOBODY[KP4] is a middle-grade magical magic-realism fantasy novel, complete at 39,000 words and will appeal to fans of "Aru Shah and the End of Time"[KP5] by Roshani Chokshi and "Wing & Claw"[KP6] by Linda Sue Park. It is a stand alone in a potential series and features racially diverse and LGBTQ+ characters.

I've been an English teacher in a public school (grades 6-8) for eight years. I am very familiar with my target audience; children between 10-15 years old, including boys, girls, and LGBTQ+ individuals. As an avid reader of MG and YA novels, I believe I AM NOBODY would be a strong addition to the current MG market. Thank you for your consideration!

Kelly's comments:
[KP1] Bit of a run-on sentence here. I’d suggest condensing this sentence and breaking it up a bit so that your reader can follow effortlessly.
[KP2] I would make it apparent that the “they” in this sentence refers to the person who knows his secret. Also, I’m a bit confused as to how they would know Amy was his friend.
[KP3] Contemplating whether you actually need this sentence or not. I’m a big fan of ending on the stakes and leaving your audience with that, but at the same time, I kind of like this sentence as a final hitter.
[KP4] Love this title!
[KP5] Italicized, not quoted. =)
[KP6] Italicized. =)

First 250

A string of electricity bridged the gap between Max Haze's finger and the microwave before he felt its sting. The morning walk down the carpeted stairs in his socks generated enough static to shock himself nearly every morning. No matter how many times it happened, he was always surprised. He wasn't sure if he genuinely forgot or looked forward to the morning jolt. As he pondered the thought, Max's mom tousled his short, brown hair.

"There aren't any secrets of the universe in the microwave dear."

Max choked a laugh and pulled out his sandwich. "Gee thanks Mom, I didn't notice." He watched her pour a thermos full of coffee and adjust her blue scrubs.

Looking back towards him, she commented, "I heard from Dad this morning He has to fly directly to Houston for the next week, so it'll be you and me." Her auburn hair was pulled into a bun and her green eyes looked glossy. Her extra long nurse shifts were often busy and chaotic. Max's father was in pharmaceutical sales, so he did quite a bit of traveling. He was incredibly charismatic and fun which made him a great salesman and dad, so they missed him quite a bit while he was gone on long trips.[KP7]

Max smiled, "That's a bummer.[KP8] What's your schedule like this week?"

"We're short staffed so who knows."[KP9]

Kelly's comments:
[KP7] Little bit of expository detail here. Do we have to know all of this right now? We’re learning a lot just from their conversation.
[KP8] If he’s sad about it, why is he smiling?
[KP9] I love the stakes in this manuscript, but I’m not much of a superhero and powers type of person, so I’m going to unfortunately pass.

Results:  Pass

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