Title: Sunny Beringer's Totally Awesome Plan for Romance
Word Count: 48,000
Genre: MG Contemporary
At a time when most eleven-year-olds are navigating first crushes, Sunny Beringer finds herself trying to ignite a spark...between her own parents. Mom's moved Sunny and her sister miles away to live with a grandmother she barely knows to get some fancy degree, and Sunny seems to be the only one bothered by the whole situation.
Turning her worries into action, Sunny Beringer’s Totally Awesome Plan for Romance is born--a list of sure-fire ways to make her mom and forever boyfriend Scott, her real dad as far as she’s concerned, fall madly in love again. While working on a photo album guaranteed to make Mom think about the good old days when she and Scott were young and in love, Sunny discovers a photo. And not just any old photo. A photo that changes everything.
Mom and Scott have been keeping secrets from her. Now Sunny knows that there's nothing stopping her mom from taking a job across the country or her "dad" from finding a new girlfriend who could have a family of her own. Sunny needs to get back to New Jersey to make sure Scott never forgets her, even if he moves on to someone new. She must do something to make her grandmother kick them out of her house so they have nowhere to go but home, even if it means lying, sneaking around, and hurting the people who care about her. Without a marriage, divorce, or custody arrangement, if Sunny doesn't get her mom to move the family back home ASAP, she'll risk losing the only dad she's ever known.
Sunny Beringer's Totally Awesome Plan for Romance was guaranteed to succeed. It was fail-proof, inspired by love, sprinkled with a touch of magic from somewhere out in the universe, and would solve all of my problems because...well, because it had to.
At least that's what I told myself as Mom and I walked up the front steps of Piedmont Middle School on my first day of sixth grade. All three stories of the old brick building looked down at me in a threatening way, and if you think that buildings cannot glare at you then you have never seen this one. I could just hear the low and rumbling voice: "Hey, little sixth grader! Go back to elementary school, where you belong!"
I couldn't help sticking my tongue right out. Because of course I belonged in elementary school. If it were up to me, I'd be starting sixth grade at Alexander Elementary back in New Jersey with my best friend Madeline, in a nice friendly little school that would never growl at me like this one was doing. And if my Plan for Romance worked out the way it was supposed to, in a few weeks I'd be waving goodbye and good riddance to Piedmont Middle School forever.
We stopped at the office to get my schedule. I stared out the large glass window at the swarm of kids zooming this way and that.
“Do you want me to walk with you?” Mom asked.