Middle Grade Novels

Justice at the Zoo

MG mystery – 49,000 words

Months ago, Ember, a young rainbow boa, was tricked by a fellow snake into breaking the One Law of the wild—never kill without need. As a result, she was banished from her rainforest, the home she craves, and forced to live in a human zoo. When a zookeeper is found dead, the accused lion, the King of the zoo, asks Ember to track down the real culprit before he’s executed. Ember agrees. Not because she’s looking to make friends—she isn’t—but because the King promises she’ll be able to return home. If she succeeds.

Ember soon learns not every animal wants the stern lion to live. The lioness has her motives, for instance. And Sabine the tiger is plotting to oust the King and put the zoo’s residents under her paw. When she blackmails Ember, Ember must choose between joining the tiger or joining her dinner menu. But even if Ember proves the King is innocent, she must still find a way to share her evidence with the zookeepers before they put the lion down. If she fails, she’ll lose her one chance to return home—and possibly her life.

An impossible task. But then again, Ember never could resist a puzzle.

This novel was selected for Pitch Wars 2018 and was paired with mentor G. Z. Schmidt – Read our Pitch Wars interview here

Rainbow boa

Gravity and Monsters

MG science fiction – 52,000 words

Twelve-year-old Kate seeks refuge in the woods saving trapped animals. She’s been stuck in small-town Minnesota with her mad scientist uncle ever since her dad’s unexpected death. She can’t relate to the gun-toting locals or the pesky boy who follows her around—not that she needs friends—and she definitely can’t relate to Uncle. He’s too busy punching holes in the universe to notice when she’s around.

Then a gigantic, Hulk-like creature comes through one of those holes into her world. After the creature helps Kate tend to a wounded deer, she grows to love the emotion-sensing, color-changing alien. It cares for the woods—and Kate—almost as much as Dad did. But even the woods aren’t big enough to hide a giant. When a local farmer mistakes the creature for a dangerous bear, he aims to put it down. And if Uncle catches it, he’ll dissect it—all in the name of science. To protect the creature, Kate must send it back through Uncle’s rift. Except then she’ll lose her friend forever.

And Kate isn’t ready to let go.

This novel was a winner in the 2017 Revise & Resub contest (#RevPit) and was paired with editor Ellen Brock

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