Would You Read It #117 – Tell Me About The Baby (MG Novel In Verse) PLUS Straight From The Editor!

Remember last week when I was going through the things I forgot and said I thought there was something else?

Well, there WAS!

Due to the fact that I didn’t receive them (holiday busy-ness and all that) I never posted Straight From The Editor for our tied October winners!  (At least, I’m pretty sure I never posted them…  If I did, just pretend I didn’t.  You know the drill :))

I wouldn’t want you to miss any of Erin’s insightful comments, so here they are:

First, Julie’s pitch:

Broccolilocks PB (ages 3-6)CRUNCH! To satisfy Broccolilocks‘ GIANT appetite her parents plant every inch of their community garden plot. But a mysterious stink leads her nose down the rows to find that something has been munching on her favorite: broccoli! Inviting hungry friends to keep pesky aphids in check, and Broccolilocks fed, may be just right!
And here are Erin’s thoughts:
This has potential, but I am not getting a feel for the story. Is it about getting rid of aphids—thus teamwork or about satisfying a growing appetite.  The hook—the reason why an editor would want to acquire this or even ask to see more is missing. I like the Goldilocks reference –it’s very cute–but what about hungry friends is just right? I think you need to figure out what the main point of the story is. The main goal and message, so to speak for the story. Is it that Broccolilocks will eat anything and everything but broccoli is her favorite and the aphids are eating it, so she must save it? Or is it that Broccolilocks doesn’t have any friends because she eats anything and everything but she manages to meet some in their common goal of getting rid of the aphids? Once you’ve determined the main goal of the story then you can work in the clever Goldilocks references.
Second, Rosi’s pitch:
Iris The Rainbow Girl PB (ages 2-5)Iris sees a sparkling rainbow.  It’s so beautiful, she decides she wants to be one. Her parents tell her all the reasons she cannot, but Iris is determined and won’t let anyone hang a dark cloud over her idea. Soap bubbles have little rainbows on them, but when she covers herself with them, they burst and wash away. After dreaming about rainbows, Iris comes up with a way to achieve her goal
And here are Erin’s thoughts:
This is lovely. However, the last bit falls flat. You don’t want to keep the ending a secret when you’re pitching because an editor doesn’t necessarily ask to see something because she is curious about the ending—she is intrigued and wants to see how the author got there—the actual writing. So, I would give more of a hint as to what Iris did to BECOME a rainbow.
As always, I find Erin’s comments so helpful!  I hope you do too!
Now.  I’m feeling a little faint after all that absorbing of professional pitch critique, so I think we better have a little pick-me-up…  A little snack to tide us over until second breakfast 🙂
It’s time for…
You guessed it!
Something Chocolate!!!

I went all out for you guys today – fancy chocolatey deliciousness… with coffee!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Today’s pitch comes to us from Joy who says, I’m a children’s poet.  I’ve published in Highlight’s HIGH FIVE  (Follow The Footsteps–a puzzle poem is scheduled for publication Feb. 2014) and have poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology, and the Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle Grades, edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books). And their anthology of science poems scheduled for March 2014.
I have a blog at www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com  where I daily post a children’s poem and a writing prompt.  I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years.  (You do the math, that’s a lot of poetry and a LOT of fun!)
Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Tell Me About The Baby
Age/Genre: MG Novel in Verse
The Pitch:  When Sara’s parents are killed in an auto accident, her older brother comes to take her home with him.  Will Sara be able to adjust to the grief of losing her parents, her home, her school and friends?  Will she adjust to an older brother who wants to act like a father, a pregnant sister-in-law who resents having an almost-teenager in her house, and a new town, school, teachers and hopefully new friends?  Will Sara, who has always been the baby, adjust to a new baby, or will she be a built-in babysitter?  Can Sara make a new life for herself?
(The title comes from the first question Sara asks her brother as they are riding on an airplane to Tucson where she is to tart her new life.)

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Joy improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in February so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for a chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Joy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to when it stops raining (which will hopefully be before the house floats off the mountaintop :))

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and good luck to all the ReViMo-ers out there – you can do it!!!

99 thoughts on “Would You Read It #117 – Tell Me About The Baby (MG Novel In Verse) PLUS Straight From The Editor!

  1. Denise M. Bruce says:

    I would read this 🙂 But I feel there are too many questions in the pitch. She's making the reader do too much work it seems. The editor might feel the same.
    A middle grade in verse is awesome! Good for you, Joy!! 🙂
    Denise of Ingleside

  2. Joanna Marple says:

    Only if Joy shares her favorites. Actually I just reviewed a novel in verse on Monday on my blog. I read more YA than MG and have read all Ellen Hopkins work. For MG I like SERENDIPITY and ME by Judith Roth, HEARTBEAT by Sharon Creech, LIBERTAD by Alma Fullerton

  3. Lauri Meyers says:

    Erin's feedback on endings in queries was extremely helpful – I always hesitate with that.
    Joy's pitch is a strong premise! The pitch could be tightened, and I would recommend avoiding the questions. Something like:
    After Sara's parents are killed in an auto accident, she moves in with her older brother. On top of her grief, Sara must adjust to her brother acting like a father, a pregnant sister-in-law who resents having an almost-teenager in her house, and a new town full of (type of people?) Sara fears becoming a built-in babysitter and worries about not being the baby any more.

  4. Pam Brunskill says:

    Another good cake, Susanna! The book sounds like it would be full of emotion with some good themes, so I'm intrigued, but I'd try to intersperse some of the actual plot with the questions. I was about to give more specific ideas, but I just read Martha Hubbard's pitch and think it's great. I'd go with it!

  5. Kirsten Larson says:

    Ha ha! Susanna, you have so much on your plate, like all that chocolate, for example. Joy, here are a couple of thoughts on your pitch. I think you could tighten it significantly, cutting it to just a couple of sentences: “When Sara's parents are killed in an auto accident she moves in with her older brother and pregnant sister-in-law. How will Sara adjust to a new home, new school and new friends and brother who's now more like a father?” Or something like that…. Good luck with it!

  6. pennyklostermann says:

    I would definitely want to read this book even though I agree that the pitch can be improved. Less questions and more tightening.

    Congratulations on your poetry success, Joy! I've seen your name a lot over at David Harrison's place as well as other places around the web.

    By the time I got here today there were only a few crumbs left of that wonderful chocolate roll cake!!! But someone was nice enough to leave one of those chocolate roses and I gobbled it right up!

    I always find Erin's comments enlightening! Thanks for this series, Susanna!

  7. Patricia Tilton says:

    I would definitely read Joy's book because I like realistic fiction and stories that help kids deal with grief. I like the idea it is written in verse. I do think the pitch needs to be three or four sentences. Others have made some excellent suggestions below. And, I think Joy could find Erin's comments above helpful.
    Really enjoy Erin's comments — they give a lot of insight.


  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your thoughts for Joy, Penny! And as for the cake, I apologize if the supply was low when you got here. I have baked another just for you 🙂 And thank YOU for always coming over to read and comment on WYRI – it is only what it is because of people like you 🙂

  9. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Yay! Chocolate! I had a White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup! 😀
    I would read the novel! Great pitch Ms. Joy (plus what the others say)! 😀

  10. Julie Grasso says:

    Hi Joy
    I would read this as it is very relevant to what kids are facing today, but the title for me is very much a non fiction facts of life book. As others suggested, the questions in your pitch are not making it shine, with some rewording and removing them, you will have a great query. Best wishes

  11. Joy says:

    Thanks Eric. I enjoy reading your blog. And thanks for passing on the info about a White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. Oh that sounds yummy. I'm eating a triple chocolate ginger cookie right now.

  12. Joy says:

    I agree, Erin's comments for pitch writing are VERY good. there is so much to learn. This has been a valuable exercise for me. I appreciate your comments and everybody's help.

  13. Joy says:

    Oh, gosh Penny. I guess I was the piggie that ate your piece. I was hoping you wouldn't notice. Can I send you some of my triple chocolate ginger cookies? Thank you for your kind comments and I'll try to save you a piece next time.

  14. Joy says:

    Thanks for leaving your comments. I've been so impressed with how helpful everyone is. This is a great community. Friends and chocolate–it doesn't get much better. I appreciate you.

  15. Joy says:

    You are right on the money. I've GOT to work out some of those emotional issues with specific details. thanks for your comment. I appreciate your taking the time to leave a message. Thank you.

  16. Joy says:

    Thanks for mentioning the questions making the reader work. I hadn't considered that. You're right, of course and you've helped to teach me something. I appreciate that and your taking the time to comment. Thank you.

  17. Joy says:

    Out of the Dust is really a triumph in poetry. Everyone of the poems in the story is a sonnet. 14 lines of pure beauty and a story arc too. I personally have a real difficult time writing sonnets, I keep wanting to bust out of iambic pentameter. Jane Yolen had a whole book of sonnets she wrote when her husband was in the hospital. I do admire that work.

  18. Joy says:

    Thank you for the suggestions. I'll include the books of Ron Koertge. SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP, is a good one of his. WHO WILL TELL MY BROTHER by Marlene Carwell is an oldie but a goodie too. And pardon my blocked brain, but who wrote WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN'T KNOW and STOP PRETENDING? I haven't read as many novels in verse as I probably should, but I can get to work on that too.

  19. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Well, Mom and I love white chocolate AND… well, one of the best B-Day presents ever! (and yes, they are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups) 😀 And Ms. Joy's cookie sounds delicious!

  20. Joanna Marple says:

    Thank you! I loved WHAT MY MOTHER… By Sonya Sones (she is great) but haven't read any of the others, so they are going on my list.

  21. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Late to the party, but I had a lovely day visiting a friend in Boulder! Thanks of corse to Erin for all her useful comments – so grateful!

    From the title of this pitch, I assumed it was a PB, but hey, that's what I marinate in! And the reason given suits well. I agree it needs tightening and no rhetorical questions. here is my crunched up crack at it:

    After the auto accident, Sara must adjust to a new town, new school, new friends, her older brother's fatherly advice, a pregnant sister-in-law, and the deafening grief of losing their parents.

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