Title: MIGHTY MIKE AND THE ALIEN PEZ DISPENSER
Word count: 44,500
Genre: MG Sci-fi
While hiding from the school bully, eleven-year-old Mike meets Grimon, a poorly disguised, blue alien who’s been assigned to learn if humans could visit other worlds without turning orange or hiccupping forever.
Dedicated to all things Science and Science Fiction, Mike jumps at the chance to help. Testing super-power infused alien candies could help him defeat his tormentors. After all, he needs his nose in its normal shape and location since he’s pretty sure NASA’s astronaut program requires breathing.
Between flying, belching zoo-animal noises, and hiding from government agents determined to capture Grimon, Mike will have to choose between becoming a bully himself and learning what it means to be a real superhero.
Mike Adams crept toward the swings, one eye on Brutus, the keeper of The List of Chumps to Be Pounded After School. Brutus and his two cohorts leapt and hollered on the cement court, absorbed in the bloodiest game of basketball ever. For now, they focused on bruising themselves instead of their usual targets at Grover Cleveland Middle School.
The List wasn’t on paper, of course. It lived in Brutus’ head, the biggest kid in sixth grade. Failing to call Brutus by his self-chosen nickname guaranteed an entry on The List. Even the teachers found it easier to comply, just to maintain peace. Mike landed on The List the first day of fifth grade when he stumbled into a sixth grade classroom and fell onto Brutus’ lap, to the snorting glee of the rest of the class. Other kids rotated on and off The List, but unless someone else grabbed the spotlight, Mike’s name was carved in stone.
Mike peeked through the monkey bars, wishing fifth and sixth graders had different recess times. It wasn’t fair he never escaped The List. He wasn’t ugly, poor, or stupid. It couldn’t be his skin color: Brutus didn’t say a word when Jordan, a scrawny kid with the same dark skin as Mike’s, spewed milk from his nose. Instead of calling Jordan booger-breath, Brutus tagged Mike with a humongous, drippy spit wad.
No one picked on Mike’s best friend Carlos either. But then Carlos was always chosen first for team sports and had two older brothers.
Enry Nickname: Wishwell
Title: HOW TO LOSE A FORTUNE AND SAVE A USELESS FAMILY
Word count: 50K
Genre: MIddle Grade Contemporary
When twelve-year-old Anthony Wish ‘borrows’ the key to Lord Spur’s Scraggfield Manor it's for a good reason: thwarting family disaster. Again.
The bad news is his father’s bankrupt company Wish and Wash Plumbing is being sued for faulty work at the Manor. To pay, Anthony’s family must sell their home and move to Grandpa’s tumbledown cottage in the freezing wilds with no wifi and a pet sheep living in the kitchen. His mother is threatening to throw in the towel and find a life with her yoga instructor. But worst of all Anthony stands to lose his scholarship to Ducksbridge, an elite school that might actually turn the son of a bumbling plumber into a red Ferrari-driving millionaire.
Anthony’s always known money is the answer to life’s problems and with Lord Spur in New York for a week, renting out the Manor for five little days won’t hurt anyone. But it’ll sure put a dent in the family debt.
Anthony invites Matrix, a hotel-trashing MTV rock star to the five-star Manor. He ‘hires’ schoolmate Draguta Dansky and her family’s circus to entertain – the same Danskys who have a slight problem with anger management, illegal residency and smuggled goods. All Anthony needs is to keep the manor intact, the rock star entertained and the entertainment from being arrested. But when Matrix skips town without paying, hot pursuit is in order – destination Venice where nothing short of a mega disaster might just teach Anthony what it means to be a true Wish. Money or no money.
First 250 words:
The good news was I’d bribed my mother to take me to the Ducksbridge Open Day. The bribe was a Fruit and Nut chocolate bar from the local In’N Out. I got it cheap because it was expired. It was expired because only crazy people ate Fruit and Nut which is why it was perfect for my mother.
The bad news was we were stuck in a parking line snaking down the school driveway and my mother’s 1982 Ford Fiesta, Pretty Girl, was smoking out a herd of grazing deer. And a bunch of parents in fancy cars.
I ran a finger round my collar and de-fogged my sunglasses but unfortunately the scene before me was clear as day. The woman in the Range Rover up ahead was coughing and hacking and pretty much overdoing it. A black limousine out our rear window was flashing its lights and sounding its horn like this was a state of emergency. Incredible. All for a bit of muffler smoke, miniscule amounts of carbon monoxide and a few engine rattles.
I risked a glance at my mother. She was swiping on lipstick like she wanted to snap it off. Not good. I definitely needed to move on to Plan B.
“You know, it’s getting kind of stuffy in here,” I said. “I can walk if you want.”
“I’ll stuffy you and that maniac with the horn, “ she said. “You dragged me here Anthony, you will not put a foot outside this car without me.”