Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Secret Agent #58

TITLE: "They Call Me Roxie
GENRE: Middle Grade Fiction

Mama says I'm not supposed to lie. To anyone. Ever. For any reason. The end. But, she doesn't know Harlow. If she did, she'd understand a lot about lying. I'd bet she'd think it's okay to lie, if it might keep my face from running into Harlow's fist.

As soon as my best friend Shannon heard what happened, she had to rub it in. "Meggy, if Harlow hit you hard enough, your nose could end up looking like an evil-bad-guys' with a big bump in the middle. No more cute little pixie nose. You might even grow a wart on it."

She might've been right even though her saying it got on my nerves. And she was smiling, which made me want to spit at her. But since I wasn't sure how good a bumpy villain nose would look with green eyes and stringy brown hair, and since someone who looked like that needed to keep their friends, I thought I'd better figure a way out of my mess.

A mess I never intended to get into, of course. I had a way of sliding into these things. Like Ziploc pants on an icy driveway-the coolest trick I ever invented-I could get myself into interesting situations with the most normal, unexpected things. Like, in this case, a piece of paper.

My first-ever-almost-fight started when I walked down the
hallway brushing my hand against the blue and red lockers that only the
fifth and sixth graders got to use.

20 comments:

  1. I love your voice. Strong opening that pulls you on. Nice job incorporating her looks into the story without info dumping.

    I really like this! Nice job.

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  2. The character shines through. I'd keep reading. I'm not a big fan of this line as it seems labored: But since I wasn't sure how good a bumpy villain nose would look with green eyes and stringy brown hair...

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  3. Love the voice in this one, and the descriptive writing. Very nice. The very first paragraph is the best, IMO. Sounds just like a kid.

    The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the very last sentence. I just don't know how much backstory we're going to get until we catch up to what's next.

    Good job and good luck.

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  4. Great voice, she sounds... spunky. And I like her. I might even like her friend, but I'd have to read more to find out. The point I guess is that I would read more, because I'm hooked.

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  5. I echo the others: an absolutely wonderful voice, very authentic middle grade.

    I'm definitely hooked!

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  6. I wonder if this is really her best friend? She wants to spit on her? Her friend is teasing her that much about her nose (obviously something she cares about)? Hmmmm. Doesn't make me like the friend at all, and wonder why it's her best friend.

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  7. Great voice. I'm hooked. My only complaint is the phrase "evil-bad-guys nose." That read awkwardly to me. I preferred the MC's rephrasing in the next paragraph, "bumpy villain nose." I'd keep reading.

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  8. Like the others have said, great sense of voice here. I'm a little concerned because the character's doing a bit of reflecting here, and that makes me wonder why she's looking back and whether or not a kid her age would do such a thing, but I'd read on a bit more to find out.

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  9. I agree that the first paragraph is the best, but I liked it all except the Ziploc pants sentence.

    That took two reads. At first I thought pants was a typo. Then I paused for a while trying to imagine exactly what Ziploc pants would be like and whether or not they'd really just tear on ice. I guess what I'm saying is that I found the sentence a distraction. As if your trying a bit too hard to make her spunky and quirky. I already thought she was. I already liked her. I just want to get to what's happening.

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  10. The first paragraph pulled me in with the voice and made me smile. There were a couple clunky bits later -- I'm not a fan of "evil-bad-guys'" and the fourth paragraph isn't my favorite. But I loved "first-ever-almost-fight," and I'm intrigued by the frenemy relationship between Meggy and Shannon.

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  11. I may be wrong, but as I read this I got the feeling that all the other paragraphs were leading up to this - "My first-ever-almost fight started when I walked down..." That those first paragraphs were all the characer telling what happened after the fight.
    I love the character's voice, and though I'm not experienced with the MG/chapter book genres, I thought this has an authentic voice for that age.

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  12. Great voice! Couple of nits but otherwise I liked it and would read on. :)

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  13. Loving this! You've got conflict-conflict-conflict and tension and a great character. Best of luck.

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  14. Not bad, but I don't like the "not supposed to lie. To anyone. Ever. For any reason. The end." Too repetitive, in my opinion. The voice is solid, but it seems to be overdone at times. Kids can sense when the author is trying too hard.

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  15. I like the voice a lot. I laughed at the first paragraph. Shannon sounded too young to me, though. The bad guy and wart comments sounded first gradish. I wonder how old Shannon is supposed to be?

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  16. I wondered if this was truly MG or more chapter book at lines like 'evil-bad-guys' and 'grow a wart on it.' On the other hand, 'cute little pixie nose' and 'a mess I never intended to get into' seemed older. Wondered how a piece of paper and brushing her hand across lockers goes together. I'd keep reading. Not sure about MG kids now, but definitely with a little cleaning up.

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  17. I would read more. I like the voice! I think it would make a stronger beginning if after the
    1st paragraph you get into some action instead of so much back story.

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  18. I wasn't hooked. I agree she has a great voice, but this didn't go anywhere.

    The opening parg was strong, and was a great lead in to whatever happened with Harlow. Instead, you jump to her friend and 'after' the event with Harlow.

    Then we get the parg about her nose, and while funny, it doesn't help the story at this point.

    Parg 4 is commentary on her personality and I'm asking myself - but what happened with Harlow?

    And in the fifth parg, you finally get to the start of the incident, so you've gone from before the incident, to past the incident, to before the incident again. I wanted the incident. It has to be more interesting than a person talking all around the incident.

    The writing is good, the MC is likeable, but nothing happened. Your MC talked.

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  19. Love the voice but found the last paragraph a little jarring. I'd keep reading, though.

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