Title: I Quit
Genre: Middle Grade, realistic fiction
CHAPTER 1 -- SCHOOL
Joey sat with his hands inside his school desk. He squeezed glue onto his fingertips, then squished it back and forth between his fingers until it rolled away in dirty little gray glue rolls. Inside his desk, several weeks’ worth of glue rolls freckled the hollow space.
He hated Mondays. Or any school day, for that matter. He constantly searched for ways to entertain himself to keep from being bored out of his skull day after day.
“Class!” Joey’s 4th grade teacher called. “Let me have everyone’s eyes on me so I know you’re listening.”
Joey imagined Mrs. Apple teaching the English lesson with twenty-nine pairs of eyes attached randomly all over her body. Blue, hazel, brown, and green pairs of eyeballs stared at him. He thought of all the students in the class, including himself, with their eyes no longer in their eye sockets, but “on” their teacher.
The entertaining image of eyeless classmates was interrupted by Mrs. Apple’s commanding voice. “Now, repeat after me: is, am, was, were, be, being.”
I could see a boy being drawn in to the gross glue rolls and silly eyeball imagery. Seems like it would appeal more to elementary than middle grade though.ReplyDelete
I wanted to see more of the chapter.
Re/glue fingers! Hah! Glad I wasn't the only one who played around with the rubber cement. :)
Re/eyeless classmates, I thought that the wiggling eyes all over the teacher would be a bit more entertaining...
I like the detail of the glue rolls. I think most people did that as kids, so it stirs up a sense of common interest with the reader. It's also a great way to convey his boredom without saying "Joey was bored."ReplyDelete
Great way to inject color into the first page.
I'd keep reading. I think the details you've included here: glue rolls, hating MOnday and school, eyeballs on the teacher, would appeal to reluctant readers.ReplyDelete
Yes! Of course I write middle grade fiction for boys - so I am partial to it. However, this piece flows, entertains and gives us insight into the character.ReplyDelete
Yes. This is fun an well-written. Love the eyeballs.ReplyDelete
Fantastic! Nuff said. 8^)ReplyDelete
Funny! Eyeballs all over the teacher-I LOVE it!ReplyDelete
RE "bored out of his skull", maybe find a fresher, hipper way to say this?
From what I have read, my middle-school students would like this!
I love the first paragraph. I felt that the second paragraph needs to be looked at or taken out all together. I would like to keep reading. Yes.ReplyDelete
Sorry, I'm not completely hooked. I did like the the line 'glue rolls freckled the hollow space' though and the eyeball visual, but I want some action!ReplyDelete
Yes, I liked it. It gave a good insight into the character in a short time and was entertaining at the same time. I'd definitely read on.ReplyDelete
Not interesting enough to hook me as a reader.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a normal day in a 4th grade class. So what makes it so special it should hook me?
Maybe the glue ball kid could save the day, or the teacher.
I don't know how much it appeals to me personally, but I know my sons (8 and 10) would love it.ReplyDelete
Great start! I think I know this kid. I'd leave out the paragraph that begins "He hated Mondays." That's just telling, not showing. I think Joey's personality comes through loud and clear without the explication. I like the "eyes on the teacher". My students would find this humorous.ReplyDelete
I love the glue part. I think your readers would connect with this, especially your 4th and 5th graders. Not sure where your going with the eyeball thing. I think perhaps your onto something there, but it could have more humor added to it. I'd work on that part to get your reading 'rolling' with laughter. But you have something to work with here.ReplyDelete
I like it. It's pleasingly written and paints a good picture. Eyes on the teacher... *chuckles* love it!ReplyDelete
The line "several weeks' worth of glue rolls freckled the hollow space" really grabbed me. Great way to put it!
Personally, it is not "my type" of story, but for those who do enjoy it, it would draw in.
Keep it up!
Yes, I'd definitely read on. I really liked Joey's voice and gestures (i.e., the glue balls).ReplyDelete
But, the teacher's line was awkwardly phrased, with the two "me"s in it.
Yes. I would keep reading on. Loved the description of the glue and eyes. As I was reading, I could picture this coming from the mind of a young boy.ReplyDelete
No. While I find the voice and actions realistic, I'm not hooked from this opening. Nothing much happens, other than Joey being bored in class. I might reconsider if I knew more about the plot, because the writing flows well.ReplyDelete
Nothing wrong with this one, just not for me. I liked the details about the glue, and the eyes. I have trouble relating to the main character, though, just because I was one of those kids who loved school. So probably just not my kind of story, to be honest.ReplyDelete
May I please borrow Joey to explain to other writers the difference between gazes and eyes traveling? ;-)ReplyDelete
Not for me.ReplyDelete
I liked the MC and his wild imagination. The writing was fine, but the bored-in-class opener is a little tired, and I'm not the intended audience so...
Sorry, no. Not my cup of tea. Nothing really grabbed me.ReplyDelete
I'm not a boy nor am I a middle schoolchild, but I really liked this and could totally relate! I'd like to read on, as I like the overall tone. WOrd usage is concise, clear and to the point. I'd certainly read on.ReplyDelete
He he he.ReplyDelete
Yep. I was one of those boys. For us, we thought that if we let our little tub of paste dry up, it would turn into gold. So the teacher ended up pretty ripped at our class because we all let our paste go hard.
I love that you called the teacher "Apple".
Yes, yes, yes! I loved this one. You totally pegged the attitude of a bored boy by using glue balls. And you've also given the reader something to identify with.ReplyDelete
A couple of things that caught my attention. The word "skull" took me out of the story. And "bored out of his skull" feels overused. I think you can do better.
Also, her list seems to be a tad long for the kids to repeat.
"Was interrupted" is bland. Show me his image was interrupted. Show me what the eyeballs did in his image when she interrupted it.
Best thing about this? IMO, it's got a great voice.
I'd have to know the plot to know whether I'd be interested, but yes, I liked it and would read more. I enjoyed the glue and eyeballs thing, but I would need something in the story to pick up fast to keep me from being bored like the MC. ;)ReplyDelete
Writing seems technically correct, but I'm just not really interested in what's happening. No from me, sorry.ReplyDelete
I'd be hoping this was high concept, because good boy middle grade is like the freakin' holy grail. I'd delete the second para (or at very least the last sentence) but I think you are in great shape here--I'd keep reading.ReplyDelete
Love the voice although not alot happens yet, I'm hooked on the character. I'd definitely read moreReplyDelete