Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Public Slushpile #8

TITLE: White Lies and Friendship Ties
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary

Dear Ms. Agent:

Twelve year-old Connor discovers a good-bye note from his mom. He panics at the thought of living in a foster home, and so begins an adventure drummed up by his two friends, Caitlin and Juliana. They hide him out in an old carriage house, so no one will know that she left. Connor’s life in hiding creates challenges way harder than running a 10K race though, like figuring out if his dad, who died last month, is really talking to him, or if Caitlin thinks about him like that, too. Connor’s mom may never come back and for the first time, the finish line is nowhere in sight.

When Connor is tempted with an offer that may help him make the JV track team, he must decide if it’s worth lying to the girls, the only real family he has left—or worse being found. His decision forces him to see what’s really important, but it may be too late. A nosy classmate lurks, and if the girls can’t keep her from figuring out where Connor is, then he may be taken away from his mom anyway, and the trio’s pact may break for good.

34 comments:

Sarah F. said...

NO. Honestly, this query sounds dramatic and if the book is as overly dramatic, I will not be wanting to read it.
~Sarah F.

Happy Dolphin said...

No.
Far too confusing.

Nicole said...

No. I don't understand why or even if Connor's mother really left, and the stakes don't make a lot of sense to me.

Rachel Menard said...

No, I agree with the above. This is confusing.

Dayspring said...

No, too vague - and you should mention that Connor is into running before the 10K race comment - it seems to come out of nowhere.

Michael Tate said...

Yes. I feel there are some big problems for the character to solve, and I think he is up to the challenge.

A Little Push said...

NO. Is Connor a runner? You need that before all the running comparisons.

A.C. Turcotte said...

No. The query was very confusing and hard to follow, so I only have a vague idea of what's going on.

Janice Sperry said...

No. The query was vague and overly dramatic.

Jean Davis said...

No. Too vague and the running references came out of nowhere.

Lanette said...

No. The punctuation made me cross-eyed.

Tina Moss said...

NO, you have a lot of potential, but the query needs some reworking to make the story clear.

Holly Bodger said...

No. This needs more focus on the main character's goal, rather than what happens in the book.

Lori M. Lee said...

No. I stopped reading beginning of second paragraph.

Sarah Ahiers said...

NO
the query is too jumbled for me to follow, and the running metaphors don't make sense until the last paragraph track team reveal

Sarah Nego(vetich) said...

No, I realize this is MG but the situation of a mom gone AWOL needs to have higher stakes than a spot on the JV track team.

Heather said...

No.

It's an interesting concept, but I had trouble following the logic: the racing references came out of nowhere, he's hiding but still going to school (?), and he might get taken away from him mom when the girls are the only family he has left (?).

SMKrafty said...

No- It intrigued me but the whole description was kind of scattered (no reason for the running reference thrown at you) made me afraid the story would be the same way.

Durango Writer said...

No. The set-up (mom leaves, father dies, foster home awaits) combined with normal life of JV track, nosy classmate, two girl friends seems implausible; plus all challenges in first graph SHOULD be harder than running a 10K. Not a good analogy.

Leah Petersen said...

No.

I didn't believe the set-up and then I just got confused. The fact that he's a runner needs to get dropped in before you mention the 10K race as a metaphor because that's where I started wondering what the heck we were talking about.

Aldrea Alien said...

No. I’m just overall confused on the vague details here. The rest is just a little unbelievable.

Beth H said...

No. There seems to be some genre-confusion. MG books generally don't have strong love elements, like the friend thinking of him "that way," and the JV track team also has me wondering if maybe this is YA instead.

womenswrites said...

No. Although the story sounds like it might be interesting, the query is awkward and confusing, which leads me to wonder if the book is too.

Stephsco said...

No - the focus of the query should probably stay on Connor's abandonment rather than the subplot about running. It's a pretty big deal for a minor to have a dead parent and another one leave for no reason.

Stephanie G said...

No. I'm not sure your stakes are high enough. Risking everything to get a spot on the track team doesn't really work for me.

skywriter said...

YES!!! I am hooked on the whole idea. Many years ago there was a book/movie about a boy who ran away to the wilderness (My Side of the Mountain.) I love the premise of a kid surviving on his own, by wits and resourcefulness, and with a little help from friends. Add the mother-son pathos and friendship angst and I'm even more hooked.

Dale said...

No. Something's missing in the middle...not sure who ran away and why and how school and track fit in when he's hiding.

Mia K Rose said...

No. I am confused on what is the central focus and main stakes for the MC, and not really feeling a MG voice.

S L Jenan said...

No, the choice between making JV track team and total life meltdown are too far out of balance.

Adam Heine said...

NO. I had trouble caring about this kid who was more worried about himself than the fact that his mother was gone.

MittensMorgul said...

No.

It took two read-throughs, and I'm still not sure if Connor's mom came back or not. The 10k race comment came out of nowhere, and the second paragraph is confusing.

Lindsay Kitson said...

No - the 10k race line seems to come from nowhere, ti's not until the second paragraph that it sounds like it's relevant to the story and not just a metaphor - feels like the author is trying to cram too much info into too small a space, and sacrificing clarity.

macaronipants said...

No. Too much set up and not enough story points.

Kate Larkindale said...

No, but close to being a yes. There are real stakes here, but the way the query presents them isn't focused enough.