Title: WHEN YOUR BEST FRIEND WANTS TO BE YOUR GIRLFRIEND (AND OTHER HORROR STORIES)
Genre: MG Contemporary Humor
Word Count: 30,000
My Main Character’s Most Fearsome Obsession is:
Jared’s most fearsome obsession is ice cream. Any flavor, any time. It’s not just that he craves the taste or the fact that when he inhales it super-fast it gives him a brain freeze. It’s also about the glorious textures and combinations, and the ensuing party that takes place in his taste buds. With lightning metabolism, Jared can devour enormous amounts, and since his dad left he’s shared ice cream “parties” with his mom where entire cartons were consumed in one sitting.
What do you do when your BEST friend suddenly wants to be your (gulp!) GIRLfriend? Twelve-year-old Jared Hoover is a short kid who tells jokes that makes milk shoot out peoples’ noses, but he’s never imagined himself as boyfriend material.
He and Cassie have been best friends since they ate sand together. They’ve survived obnoxious classmates, shared family camping trips, and screamed their way through Disneyland’s scariest rides. Inseparable BFFs. Now Cassie’s acting different and Jared doesn’t understand why. He’s always considered Cassie to be one of the “guys”---someone he could just hang out with---but there’s a good chance she “likes” him in a different way. Jared's buddies all seem to be changing and they even LIKE girls. Change is one thing Jared could do without. He’s not ready for a change in feelings or anything else since his dad left. When his arch-nemesis, Butch, drops the bomb that he likes Cassie, Jared fears the world as he knows it will come to an end. Especially when Jared fails to honestly answer a crucial question from Cassie. Now there’s a good chance she’ll never speak to him again.
With Cassie ignoring him, Butch gloating and his grades dropping faster than a meteorite, Jared can’t imagine how he’ll possibly survive 7th grade and the loss of his best friend. Sure, he could try being a boyfriend, even though it would be a lie. But if he confesses he’s just not ready, he might lose her forever at a time when he needs her friendship the most.
First 250 words:
Average size kids live in one world and short kids live in another one. Want to be picked on? Be a short kid. Want to be the last kid picked for a football game? Be a short kid. Want to be confused with a kid two or three years younger? Be a short kid. But Cassie’s never cared about any of that.
When you’re a short kid, friends seem to mean more to you. Especially when they’ve been through the wringer with you like Cassie. But you can’t tell anyone your best friend is a girl. Even if it’s true. Geez, life’s challenging enough being short!
Cassie is a special case. She’s honest and fearless. We’re made from the same raw material, except for the sugar and spice and everything nice.
“You know, I jumped off the top of the bleachers today during gym class,” she said.
“Nuh uh. You did that the first week of school?”
“And no broken bones. Not even a bruise,” she said, flashing her full-faced grin.
“They turn the grass into cotton candy or something?”
“No, I’m just all that...and modest on top of it,” she replied.
“Uh, right. I forgot that modesty is your middle name.”
“Well, if you can do it and survive, I guess I should give it a go,” I said. “Just promise me, you’ll look after my comic book collection if I die.”
“Deal,” she said. “But do you really want to get any shorter?”