Title: THE GRIM READERS
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Word Count: 30,000
My MC and MA are dressed as: Eleven (Stranger Things)
Morgan’s dressed as early episode Eleven, in gray sweatpants and an oversize blue sweatshirt, with a few dirt streaks on her face for good measure. Her mom even helped her turn a bald cap into a pretty believable buzz cut.
Enter Avery, in the iconic pink dress with tube socks and sneakers (white, but not dirty - she does have standards after all). The blonde wig she picked out is long and flowing, much silkier than the one in the show. And…is she wearing makeup? Yes, yes she is. Green eyeshadow to match the socks and pink lipstick to match the dress.
Morgan wonders why she lets herself get talked into these things.
Hello! My query for a middle grade contemporary novel is as follows:
Introverted Morgan Hawke has never asked for much. She just wants to stay safely cocooned in her comfort zone, surrounded by the people who know her and accept her for who she is. But when her family relocates to dreary Massachusetts from happy, sunny Florida because of her father’s new job, that dream is shattered, her life is in tatters, everything is ruined.
As if being the awkward new girl in a private school filled with aloof and judgmental kids isn’t bad enough, Mom thinks she’s helping Morgan by making her sign up for a book club. A BOOK CLUB. Where people are supposed to read for fun. Why not make her join The Mahjong Society? The Fundamentals of Magic Team? The HAM Radio Club?
If things continue down the same gloomy path, Morgan doesn’t think she’ll survive middle school. Even the dorks have a group of friends they can rely on. But, rather than blindly accept the disaster her life has become, Morgan tries to branch out and befriend the other reluctant members of the book club. She’s met with a catastrophic birthday party, a mortifying science experiment, and a terrifying encounter with a...a witch? However, Morgan is persistent—she isn’t about to let seventh grade tear her apart. She vows to prove that braces and mean girls and fluffy slime are no match for an emoji-loving Floridian.
She was on a journey, I could tell. A journey I wanted to join her on—right out the classroom door and down the east coast. Her tiny legs fluttered up the back of the chair, and she climbed hesitantly onto Jared Jackson’s blue striped shirt. She skittered her way up his shoulder blades and onto his neck. Jared swiped at his head, probably feeling a little itchy. The ladybug stopped, waiting to see if she was going to be squashed. She wasn’t. She scrambled up the base of his skull, landing on a short dark curl. Poor thing. She must have landed in 7B English by accident, and now she was lost. Alone. Her life turned upside down. I could relate.
My head snapped up at Mrs. Graves’ booming voice, waking me from my ladybug haze. How many times had she called my name?
“Yes?” Oh, great. I’d drifted off again. Please don’t ask me a question. Please. There was zero chance I’d know the answer.
“Can you name a few of the languages that Mrs. Who speaks?” Mrs. Graves stood with her hands on her hips, the flash in her eyes cementing the fact that she knew I hadn’t been paying attention. I’m sure she knew I couldn’t answer the question either. A Wrinkle in Time was maybe the worst book I’d ever read. I had no idea know why everybody loved it so much.
“Uh, Chinese, um, French”—I swallowed, even though my mouth was totally dry— “and, um, English.”