Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Secret Agent #30

TITLE: Star Crossed Rascals
GENRE: Chapter Book

I knew I was in big trouble when Aunty Mabel's eye twitched. My tummy churned as I shuffled towards the door, ready to bolt. Why did I go and tell her what I did? I must be the dumbest seven-year-old in the whole world.

Aunty shook a knobbly finger at me. "Polly, you'd better be joking."

"No," I said, twisting my hands together. "I really did scrape bubblegum off the footpath."

Aunty Mabel screwed her face up like she'd eaten a rotten egg. "Eww," she said. "Why would you do such a dirty thing?"

"Umm, well," I said. "It was like this. I wanted to make a giant gumball. So I collected lots of bubblegum from the pavement. Some bits were stuck to the ground like tiny pancakes. I had to dig them up with my fingernails. But some pieces were like big raisins just sitting on the curb saying, 'Pick me, pick me!'"

"What?" Auntie Mabel's eyes bulged. "Polly, don't tell me you put them in your mouth."

I giggled and said, "Well, I had to mould them together, didn't I?"

"What do you mean, mould them together?" she barked.

I shrugged. "With my teeth, silly. I chewed them up good, but it took me
ages 'cause some bits were full of grit and my jaw started aching." I smiled
at Aunty. "But guess what? I had a much bigger gumball than Gertie. Mine was
so big - I couldn't even close my mouth. And, I won the prize."


  1. OMG - Yucky!

    This is great. Sounds just like the target age. And what kid hasn't at least thought about picking up a piece of ABC gum?

    Couple of suggestions. knobbly stuck out for me. I would have used knobby. That's just me. Also, instead of the grit making her jaw ache, why not have her digging through it to pick them out?

    Only other suggestion would be to add a bit more action weaved into the dialogue bits. But maybe you did that and had to take them out so you could fit this into 250 word limit.

    I would definitely keep reading this - probably to my kids!

    Great job. and good luck.

  2. I'm not a chapter book reader, but I read the commenter above and would have to agree with her.

    Good job on dialog and writing!

    Good luck with SA!

  3. Ewwww—Yucky! And I loved every bit of it. What an awesome read for kids. It was written clever and witty and definitely drew me in for the first 250 words. I laughed and giggled as I remembered my own daughter doing something very similiar. Polly is hiliarious! You have a great read here and this one has to be my very favorite by far. Good luck with this fantastic story.

  4. Loved it! I see a lot of Molly in Polly. You have a great talent for capturing a seven-year-old's thoughts and actions.

    Good job!

  5. I left a comment earlier, but it didn't save.

    This is hilarious! Polly's character shines through here and the voice is spot on for this age group. I'd read on for sure.

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  7. This is funny and kids will love it. I remember my sister doing something like this, though not gum from the street! But it's hilarious and kids will love it. Aunt Mabel makes a really good straight man, and Polly's super fun.

  8. Author here. I'm just seeing if this comment comes up because it says that I have seven comments, but only five have shown up. The comments I'm making on other posts show up straight away. Weird.

  9. I'm having the same issue with the comments, Author. I think there's just a bit of lag time until they show up.

    This is loads of fun. My only quibble would be wondering if (since kids like to read about characters a little older than themselves) if Polly ought to be 8 rather than 7. Bright six-year-olds might have no problem with this, but I think moving her up a year would be better. Just a thought, I'm certainly no expert !

    Again, fun! Best wishes.

  10. Michelle, I wonder how come your comment showed up. The two before you are missing? How weird. It says I have nine comments, but I can only see seven.

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  13. I'm not a MG reader at all, but your start is gross enough that I'd keep

  14. I like it but the MC's voice sounds older than seven in the beginning.

  15. This made me smile. Good job, and best of luck.

  16. Grossed me out...but I loved it. Great description of her uptight Aunt.

    Definitely, would love to read more. Good job.

  17. I also like the subject and your MC's dialogue sounds like a 7 year old, but her internal dialogue sounds much older. "shuffled towards the door, ready to bolt" doesn't sound like something a 7 year old could put together. I'm a little distracted by the variety of dialogue tags, too. There's nothing wrong for plain language for this age group.

  18. Great voice & dialogue. I want to read more! So funny & gross! You have me wondering what prize.

  19. Um, gross. Seriously. DISGUSTING.

    But disgustingly awesome :) Would definitely keep reading. Great voice. I'm curious as to what the overall plot is.

  20. Author here. Thanks for the fantastic feedback. I didn’t know what to expect with this entry. I’m happy I didn’t gross everyone out too much. I was thrilled with Secret Agent’s comment. Thanks so much, Ms Ortiz. That made my day.

    I’ll be changing the first sentence to make Polly sound younger. Silly me. I edited that sentence just before entering because I noticed I had too many sentences starting with I. The rest of the manuscript is written with short sentences and small words.

    You people rock! Thanks so much for all the help. And thanks, Authoress, for a great contest. And the race to get in was awesome. Thanks for the fun-time.