Title: Lilly Washington Presidential P.I.
Word Count: 44,000
Genre: MG Contemporary
Once the dairy is unearthed, Lilly delves in, only to find it was written over one hundred fifty years ago by twelve-year-old Lizzy Johnson. Lizzy is not only the daughter of a Civil War hero, she was born on the same day Abe Lincoln was assassinated. Commence fangirl freak-out.
As Lilly digs deeper into the diary, and the mysteries inside, she finds clues to an undiscovered time capsule on the campus of her middle school. There’s only one problem. She can’t prove it without a shadow of a doubt. And without concrete evidence, the meanest principal ever refuses her requests to try and find it. As a result, Lilly is forced to pull out her own pick axe and get digging. Finding the capsule may help solve an age old mystery surrounding missing Civil War artifacts. And maybe even link her family to Lizzie and a U.S. President. That is, if she isn’t expelled first.
Not many people know that Thomas Jefferson invented the coat hanger. Or that Ulysses S. Grant got a twenty dollar speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a busy Washington street. Lucky for me, my photographic memory and love of useless trivia paid off when I landed a spot in the Jeopardy kid's tournament of champions this summer.
I was in the lead going into Final Jeopardy. But when Alex Trebek read the final answer, “He died in 1804, the day after his duel with Aaron Burr,” I froze, even thought I knew the answer. Stupid nerves. I was so confident I'd get the answer right, I bet (and lost) everything and ended up coming in third. I’ll never forget Alexander Hamilton again. Ever. It still makes me mad thinking about it.
After the taping was over, I asked my dad why I froze. He gave me his serious look, that one where he gets a crease in between his eyes, and he said, "Life is a puzzle. Each experience is a piece of the puzzle that brings us closer to putting the picture together." I didn't quite understand and when I said, "huh?" he replied, "Don't worry, Lilly. One day it'll all make sense. For now, just keep on moving the pieces around and try to make them fit."