Would You Read It Wednesday #125 – Sk8ter Boy (PB)

It’s a busy month here on Blueberry Hill.

The dogs are shedding.  (Full time work.)

My husband and kids are all taking turns being on school vacation with some overlaps, but basically from March 1 – March 31 one, two or three of them are home at a time.  This is lovely on every level except getting work done.  So anyone who happens to be waiting on me for anything, that’s why 🙂  And I promise I haven’t forgotten you!

The snow is melting.  (Yes! Really!  Although it’s got a long way to go…)

Yesterday was idyllic!  59 degrees and sunny!  I know we have yet to pass the midpoint of March, but it was the kind of day that fills you with the hope and belief that spring is actually thinking about coming.  After this winter, it is just so welcome.  I took #5 out horseback riding, and the other two horses jumped out of the pasture and came to join us, galloping and leaping and cavorting like colts, skidding on leftover ice and charging through substantial slushy snow, jumping out of their skins with happiness at being able to stretch their legs and run.  Even though it took us 45 minutes to catch them and get everyone safely back in the barn, it was lovely to see them so happy.  Everyone was feeling a little spring fever 🙂

So.  Writing, riding, blogging, teaching, school visiting, spring vacationing, critiquing, barn cleaning, house cleaning (maybe in April :)), driving practice (yes, we’re doing THAT again!), guest posting, running outdoors again with the dogs, and March Madness Contesting = happy and busy 🙂

And now it’s time for Would You Read It, but first, for today’s Something Chocolate, I believe I’ve discovered an idea whose time has come (really, why have I never seen these before???)

From HandleThe Heat

Witness the beauty!  The perfection!  It’s chocolate cream pie AND brownie!

Yes.  You may have another 🙂

Now then.  Today’s pitch comes to us from Ann who says, I have only been writing seriously for a year.  An interesting fact about me is that I have an identical twin sister named Donna and my husband has an identical twin brother named Don.  I am an elementary school teacher.  I have always loved children’s books and meeting authors (I even met Lois Lowry in the early 1990’s where she signed a quilt my students and I made in honor of Number the Stars).  I’m an avid reader, especially YA. I like to scrapbook, bake, cook. and take photos.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Sk8ter Boy
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Peter wants to be an ice skater but can’t because he’s homeless, and he doesn’t have the money for a pair of skates.  But when there’s a poetry contest at school with a cash prize, he is able to make his smooth words glide and spin so that he wins the skates and his classmates’ respect.

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 Ann 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 June so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Ann is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to having family home in whatever combinations they arrive in and to more days like yesterday as spring begins to overtake winter and to the March Madness Writing Contest (even though I haven’t the slightest idea what I’m going to write for my sample or when I’m going to write it!)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone 🙂

99 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #125 – Sk8ter Boy (PB)

  1. Ann Magee says:

    Vivian, thanks for your thoughts on my pitch. I do really like the SK8ER BOY title because it refers to the figure eights he practices every day in his socks on the shiny shelter floor. His winning poem is also called Figure 8. I'm not sure whether to include the ending in pitches–some editors I know want them–it's confusing! Anyway, I appreciate your kind comments.

  2. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments on my pitch, Joanne. This story is based on a true story about a boy who lived in a homeless shelter but wanted to be an ice skater. It's mostly about his being true to his dream, but he is just an ordinary kid too. I appreciate your good wishes for my story!

  3. Beth Halleran says:

    I would read this – but I agree with Charlotte – I would change the last sentence to have a cliff hanger…”..But when there is a poetry contest at school with a cash prize, there is more than just a cash prize at stake.” I know it depends on the agent or editor reading these pitches – but that last sentence makes me REALLY want to read the book. Best of luck…

  4. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments for Ann, Kristen. I'm interested in people's different options for skating – you mentioned speed skating which I didn't even think of, and someone else mentioned hockey!

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with Ann, Jiliane. I think it's good to get different perspectives. It might be good for her to think about your concerns and see if her story runs afoul of them in any way. Definitely food for thought!

  6. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    I would read the book. It sounds like it has a great story behind it. This sounds like it could be a chapter book too. The last sentence confused me because it says he wins the skates – I had to go back and read if the skates were the prize, but cash was the prize. Good luck! 🙂

    Yum! Brownies! 😀

  7. Bev Baird says:

    I would read it. Love the idea of him entering a contest so that he can get his skates.i agree with many of the others about leaving a bit of a cliff-hanger.

  8. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Erik. I appreciate your opinions about the last sentence–I'll take another look at it. I hope to do this story justice as a PB, but if not, maybe a chapter book!

  9. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks, Bev, for your thoughts. I'm going to write the pitch as a cliffhanger and as a non-cliffhanger and try to figure out which editors want which, then send them the appropriate ones. I know some like to know the ending and not have to guess. I appreciate your opinions.

  10. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks, Beth, for your thoughts on my pitch. I decided to tailor my pitch to what each editor prefers. Some like to know the ending, some don't. Looks like I have some research to do. I appreciate your ideas!

  11. Ann Magee says:

    Wow, thanks for the rewrite! Your thoughts will help me consider what to do next with this project. I appreciate you taking the time to be so thorough. SK8ER refers to the figure 8 he practices in his socks every day on the shiny shelter floor and his winning poem title. I'm getting Those Shoes from the library–sounds like a book I'd like to read. Thanks again!

  12. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks for your opinions on my pitch, Linda. I like Sk8er too. It refers to the way Peter skates figure eights on the shiny floor of the shelter everyday in his socks and to the title of his winning poem. If I find I can't make it work as a PB, I'll take a chapter book class and go from there, I guess. Thanks again!

  13. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Julie. If I can't make this idea work as a PB, I guess I'll try my hand a chapter books. 🙂 SK8ER refers to the way Peter practices figure eights every day in his socks on the shiny shelter floor. It's also the title of his winning poem. Thanks for your help!

  14. Ann Magee says:

    Hi Karen–thanks for your thoughts on my pitch. I like the title too. Sometimes it's good to find the unexpected in a book. Some editors prefer to know the ending in a pitch, and some don't. I'll have to have two versions and go from there. Thanks again!

  15. Ann Magee says:

    Thanks, Kristen, for your advice about my story. Sk8er refers to Peter practicing his figure eights everyday in his socks on the shiny floor of the shelter and to the title of his winning poem. If I can't make it work as a PB, I guess I'll learn more about Chapter books and go from there. Thanks again!

  16. Ann Magee says:

    Jilanne, thanks for your thoughts about my story. The theme of the book is about being true to your dreams, no matter your situation. Peter would be illustrated skating in a pubic park in his neighborhood at the end–no rinks. If I can't achieve this in a PB, then I will try with a chapter book. You're right–the issue of homelessness is a serious one, but I feel kids need to know how it affects other kids who just want to be like everyone else. Thanks again!

  17. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I did the same thing as Erik. I thought the prize was the skates. I wanted more of a cliffhanger too. Good luck with your story. Susanna, good luck with your time and the driving AGAIN!

  18. Jennifer Reid says:

    I love that his 'smooth words glide and spin'…he may not be an expert skater but he certainly sounds like an expert poet…I'd definitely read it!! 🙂

  19. Teresa Robeson says:

    Ah! Do mention that in the pitch if you'd like to keep the title the way it is. Some of us who aren't as knowledgeable about skating wouldn't get it right away and need it explained. 🙂 Best of luck to you! It really does sound like an excellent story!

  20. Kimberly Cowger says:

    If I were to pick up this book in a bookstore or library my maybe would likely change to a yes. Seeing the Sk8ter illustrated would make more sense. And since his homelessness is an important part of the story I would definitely keep it, I think I would realize this if I flipped through the pages after reading the jacket blurb.
    Hopefully you got some good advice from all of these comments. It's made me realize that reading a pitch on a computer screen or piece of paper (as an editor/agent would read it) is far different that reading it as a book jacket blur (as a library or bookstore customer). Makes me wonder if I should re-evaluate my pitch but I've already sent it to Susanna. Oh well, I'm sure that's why she does WYRI, to help us all learn!

  21. Joanne Roberts says:

    There's been a lot of discussion about the format of this book. I wanted to add that I think this ms has a good chance as a pb. I love that the focus of this book is not on the cure for Peter's homelessness. I think that gives you a unique theme. And your basis in reality will ensure you don't treat the subject lightly. Don't forget to add that info in your cover letter. Read the powerful Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting to see if homelessness can be tackled in 32 pages. I say, sub it out! Let the editor decide if she thinks it is appropriate. And while your waiting for a response, research chapter books. I think there is definitely room for a series about a homeless boy, but it may not be a series about Peter. Fingers crossed!

  22. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    I'm so glad my kids are all home at the same time for vacation. It makes life easier for planning trips. 🙂

    Love those flowers. I can't wait for our spring flowers to make an appearance!!!!

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I do, Kimberly, but you are welcome to update your pitch anytime you like! I understand (especially when your date is months away!) that you might want to tweak your pitch, so feel free to send me an update any time! I confess that I am not so organized as to have already written my June posts 🙂

  24. MegMillerWrites says:

    Sorry I'm late Ann! I'm sure you've already gotten lots of great feedback. Yummm! I'm going to see about making those Susanna! I love that his smooth words glide and spin, lovely descriptive language for someone who wants to skate! Perhaps the skates could be the prize? Seems like if he won money his family would need it more than he needed skates. Sounds like an interesting story. I'd read it! 😀

  25. Denise M. Bruce says:

    I definitely would read this! I have a feeling it'll show us the poem, too, which I'm sure, kids and adults will love. I also love the smooth words glide and spin. What a perfectly put pitch!
    The one thing…I'm with Meg. I'd have him win the skates, instead of the money, or maybe you already have it that when he won the money, he gives it away and then is blessed by someone else with the skates 🙂 I can't wait to read it, Ann 🙂

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