I'm seeking representation for my 26,000 word middle grade novel, WHITE ALLIGATOR, set in the bayou country of my native Louisiana. Twelve year old Joe finds a baby alligator out in the swamp the likes of which no one has ever seen—a foot long and solid white.
Joe swears to protect it and keep it hidden. He is in need of protecting himself. His violent father, Conway, has returned to town and his mother, tired of their poverty, is letting him back into their lives. A young couple takes Joe on a nighttime trip alligator spotting in the swamp. He recognizes one of the poachers they hide from as his father.
His mother discovers the alligator as a hurricane approaches and surprises Joe by sharing his feelings of wonder and by having opened her eyes to her husband's character. When they go to help neighbors after the storm—Conway steals the alligator. Joe goes alone to the abandoned diner where the poachers are staying and almost rescues it. With police outside demanding Joe's release, Joe's father takes him and the alligator on a mad drive that ends with them all in the swirling flood waters.
I am a children's librarian and a member of SCBWI. Thank you for your time and attention, I hope you share my enthusiasm for this book.
Joe was drifting. He rested his head on a balled up poncho in the prow of the skiff, his cap over his face, and his knees across one of the seats. He felt like the sun was going straight through him. If he opened his eyes he could see dots of the blue sky that stretched over the swamp through the mesh of the baseball cap. That it was a school day and not his skiff didn't bother him at all.
The faint sound of an outboard motor made him to sit up. Running into anybody he knew was the last thing he wanted. He squinted at the far end of Long Lake. In this spot he always felt like he could sit here in Louisiana and see clean to Mississippi on one side and Texas on the other.
Today he could see a fishing boat coming towards him. Joe reached for the pole and winced. His shoulders still hurt. He pushed up his sleeve to see if the bruises looked any worse.
They did. Deep blue and purple where his father, Conway, had grabbed him this morning. Conway, who wasn't supposed to be in the house at all, was in the kitchen when Joe got up.
Joe said he wasn't going to school, said he felt sick. He didn't want to leave his mother alone with him. Conway had sunk his fingers into Joe's arms and shook him, all the while yelling at him what a worthless kid he was.