Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #11

TITLE: The Enamel Gnome
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy

I never knew a loose tooth could get me killed. Or put the whole Earth at risk. I never thought I’d end up fighting giants and ghouls either. I mean, who’d believe that? Not me, Hank Payne. Not Andi Breamer either.

She waited for me by the hedge that marked the entrance to Foshar park. She grinned when she saw me running over, so I flashed a huge smile and wiggled my tooth with my tongue. Her forehead crinkled. She hated my loose tooth. That’s why I kept showing it to her.

“Hey, Andi. Watch.” I tapped my tooth to make it swing. Then I spun it so it stuck out.

Andi pushed back her curls and puckered her face. “I can pull it if you want, Hank. It won’t hurt. You don’t want to choke on it, do you?”

I pushed my tooth back into place. “I know it won’t hurt. It’s just cool.”

“Cool? You’re weirder than my brother,” said Andi. “I wasn’t like that when I was ten.”

I snorted. “That was only three months ago.”

“So.” Andi flicked a horsefly off her arm. “What did your dad say about the snake?”

I’d only shown Katy Frost a corn snake. It wasn’t my fault she screamed, slipped off her bike and landed in a ditch. My dad freaked, as usual, after Katy’s mom told on me.

“Not much.”

Andi laughed. “I doubt that.” Then she squinted at some cedars, tilted her head and moved closer.


  1. Your opening paragraph makes me want to keep reading! And I like the characterizations, especially Hank. That whole tooth thing--yuck! :-) Good job with that and other details: the horsefly, the corn snake.
    The last sentence though, I'm wondering is she moving closer to the trees or Hank? Maybe you can describe her look--does she go pale? etc. Does it look like she sees something scary? I think this last line needs to be beefed up a bit.
    But I am hooked! Good luck!

  2. I like the tone of this piece. This seem like it will be a "quirky" read; and for me this is a good thing. I got lost trying to figure out which character was doing the moving. I am hooked. I would definitely read this.

  3. I think you really captured the middle grade tone here. It sounds like a fun story and I would keep reading.

    Although I liked your opening paragraph, it felt a little out of place with the rest of the story. It sounded like the blurb, which would make a great blurb by the way,and I would have been just as hooked if you started in the second paragraph. But that's just me.

    It is really well written, you've hooked me.

  4. Definitely the voice of the middle grade. The tooth thing was so gross, but so what a boy would do at that age. A definite plus on the voices.

    I do feel like the first paragraph is random. This piece of information is important and it is what hooked me into this story, but it just doesn't fit with the following paragraphs. So, I think the transition from the first paragraph needs to be smoother to feel connected to the rest of the story.

    Also, Andi moving closer was a little vague. Moving closer to what? If it's Hank, I think it should be mentioned, whether he's panicking as he moves closer or does something else, just to show they're connected by the action. Otherwise, I think I'd read this. A fantasy involving a tooth has got to be interesting. Best wishes!

  5. I love the voice and dialogue - you captured the middle-grade voice perfectly!

    I'm a little confused as to how the first paragraph relates to the rest of it, however - maybe put in a transition to give a better sense of time and place.

    Other than that, I'd read on, and I'm sure middle-grade readers would, too!

  6. I like it. I think you got the middle grade voice down. I was a bit confused with the title and the first paragraph. I was thinking Hank and Andi might have been gnomes, but as I read more, it sounded like they were just regular kids.

  7. I thought your first parg gives the story away. When the giants and ghouls appear, they'll be no surprise. Without the first parg, you'll have a bit more room to get in whatever it is ANdi sees, which could be your real hook.

  8. Love this kid as soon as he says, "That's why I kept showing it to her." Such a boy.

    I also like that he'd ONLY showed Katy a corn snake. I want him to save the world. I want him to grow. He's a likable mischief maker now, though.

    And I like his voice.

    So I'd read on for a bit.