Title: SEEING MY SISTER
Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 39,000
Is Your Main Character hot or cold:
Renee is a hot character. She approaches life with fierce determination and enthusiasm, especially when it comes to figure skating. At home, Renee’s grit gets her in trouble more than it helps her. Though Renee loves her little sister, Justine, it’s hard for her when her parents spend every waking second obsessing over Justine’s disability. When Renee’s skating coach gets diagnosed with cancer, it makes Renee’s fragile world even more shakable. As Renee faces difficult challenges, she struggles to understand why so many bad things are happening.
Dear Michelle Hauck and Amy Trueblood,
Twelve-year-old Renee Gilbert knows that if she works hard on the ice and takes her practices seriously, she might have a chance at an actual gold medal in her upcoming skating competition. But back at home, things aren’t so simple.
No matter how hard Renee’s sister, Justine, works, she will never ever be able to do the kinds of things that Renee can do—like walk or ride a bike. It just doesn’t seem fair that Justine has Spina Bifida, or that Mom and Dad never have time to watch Renee skate.
When Renee’s coach gets diagnosed with cancer, it flips Renee’s world upside down. How is she ever going to be ready to compete when her favorite coach is fighting for her life? On top of that, Justine’s new therapist is driving Renee mad and Samantha, her locker mate at school, greets her everyday with a nasty smirk that makes her feel two feet tall. Somehow, through all of this, Renee must find a way to land her axels consistently, or else she’ll never have a chance at winning the gold medal.
Fans of Michele Weber Hurwitz’s Calli Be Gold, Cynthia Lord’s Rules, and R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will enjoy SEEING MY SISTER.
First 250 words:
Renee reached over to the steering wheel and honked the horn for the third time. Pleeeeasseee, Dad. Hurry! Renee had to be on the ice at 6:00 AM for her skating practice before school. It was 5:35, and the skating rink was fifteen minutes from her house. If she and Dad left this second, that would leave just enough time for her to jump out of the car, race into the rink, and lace up her skates before stepping onto the ice. But it wouldn’t leave time for their Friday morning tradition when Dad took her to the doughnut shop on the way to the rink. For just a few minutes, they would sit and eat their doughnuts together. It was something that belonged to just the two of them, and more importantly, didn’t involve Renee’s little sister, Justine.
“Sorry, honey,” Dad said. He plopped into the driver’s seat. His dark, curly hair looked like it hadn’t seen a comb in a century. “Justine has a doctor’s appointment this morning, and your mom needed my help, and…”
“Don’t worry about it,” Renee sighed. “I understand.” Typical.
“I hate it when this happens, sweetheart.”
“I know.” Renee brushed one of her auburn curls out of her face and turned away from Dad. Can’t we just be a normal family-- for even just one day? It’s so not fair. She peered into the windows of the houses they drove past and wondered if things were fair in those families’ lives.