Would You Read It Wednesday #328 – Wrong Way, Ray (PB)

Hi Everyone!

I hope you’re all having stellar weeks so far!

I feel like I’ve had a week-long celebration with the launch of MOON’S FIRST FRIENDS!  Sourcebooks has been amazing with providing resources for the book – a fantastic Common Core State Standards Aligned Educator’s Guide for Grade 1, 2, and 3, as well as the most beautiful coloring/activity sheets which I hope I’ll be able to share with you, but I have to find out if I have permission.

At story time on Saturday there were multi-colored glow-in-the-dark stars


and COOKIES to color in with edible markers (and let me tell you, those were a big hit! 😊)


And as if all that weren’t enough, an astronaut – an actual astronaut! – read the book and liked it!  I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’m starstruck! 😊

To continue the party mood, I think we should have Something Chocolate, don’t you?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Cookies


As you can see, I chose actual breakfast health food without even hardly cheating at all this week, so help yourself to your heart’s content guilt-free!!!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Diana who is a retired Primary grades teacher with a MS in Remedial Reading.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Wrong Way, Ray

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Ray’s poor sense of direction heads the flock of geese off in the wrong direction each time it’s his turn to lead them south for the winter. The gaggle are ready to give him the boot. When a raptor attacks the gaggle, Ray flies into action to save his feathered friends.

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 Diana 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 Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in September, so you have time to polish your pitch before putting it up] for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta! (Doesn’t hurt to save yourself a spot!)

Diana is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to summer, which officially starts in 9 days, and which I hope will be full of family, friends, fun, and tons of inspired writing!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊


14 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #328 – Wrong Way, Ray (PB)

  1. Corine Timmer says:

    What a fun idea for a story! Yes, I would read it. Your opening sentence, though long, gives us a clear sense of location, main character, and problem. The flow between your last sentence and the one before it however is not smooth. Perhaps something like this: But when a raptor attacks the gaggle, Ray’s feathered friends begin to change their minds? Good luck!

    Susanna, I love those cookies and glow-in-the-dark stars!

  2. Sandra Sutter says:

    I think your story sounds really cute and I would want to see what happens to Ray. But maybe don’t give away so much in the pitch to get readers to pull it off the shelf and open it up. I like Corine’s idea above for the last sentence as it takes the focus away from what actually happens (Ray saves the day). You might also consider choosing a different word or two in the first sentence so that you don’t end up using “direction” twice. Perhaps: “Ray’s poor sense of direction turns every trip south for the winter into a wrong-way destination.” 🙂

  3. rosecappelli says:

    Congratulations, Susanna! Looking forward to reading your book.
    Wrong Way, Ray sounds like such a cute book. The idea made me wish I would have thought of it! I would definitely read it. The pitch pulled me in from the start, but the last sentence didn’t seem to connect with the first. I was wondering how the attack was a consequence of going the wrong way. Maybe a hint of more of the action? Good luck!

  4. Katie Engen says:

    Unique premise, appealing tone. I want to know a bit more about why Ray has this problem (situational confusion or an internal problem). The ‘give him the boot’ phrase seems a mismatch for a flight-related story & so distracted me from the pitch’s flow. Finally, ‘flies into action’ is okay, but can you add something specific showing (hinting at) Ray’s agency in the solution?

  5. ptnozell says:

    Congratulations, Susanna, on your book launch! You must be over the moon!

    Diana, I like the premise of your story – a direction-challenged goose forced to lead the gaggle. I’d like to get a sense in your pitch of how Ray feels about this role: Is he nervous? Feeling like a failure? Excited for the experience? Is this the first time it’s happened or is there a history of problems? I’m also curious whether his condition actually helps save the geese when the raptor appears. If you could address some of this in your pitch, I think it will strengthen it. And I agree with Katie that “giving the boot” doesn’t fit with a flight-related story. Good luck tweaking the pitch – it’s a fun story that I think kids will enjoy.

  6. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    We feel ya, Ray. Many times in the car, GPS and all, I try to tell Mom, “We came this way already.” #drivingincircles

    Mom and I would definitely read this. In the pitch, the word “attacks” was a little scary for me. Maybe the raptor “gives them trouble” or “causes a hassle.” Once a butterfly attacked me so I ate it. Just sayin’.

    Love and licks,

  7. Karen Condit says:

    Yes, I would read this! Sounds fun and I’m always amazed when I look to the sky and see geese honking their way…somewhere! I think your pitch gives the reader a good idea of the character and problem, without giving away too much of how Ray solves the conflict. I would be a bit more careful with your word choice, which may help the flow that others have mentioned. “Direction” is used twice in the first sentence and then “raptor” twice in the two sentences that follow. Perhaps, you can find a way to eliminate the repeats and get the same idea across. For example, I think “the raptors” in the last sentence could be eliminated and still read just fine.

    • Karen Condit says:

      OOPS, OOPS, OOPS, I meant “gaggle” when noting your repeat in the last sentence, not “raptor.” I meant you could eliminate “the gaggle” in the last sentence. (I’m losing my direction this morning!)

  8. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Hi Diana! I love the title of your story. It is so relatable. And the notion of leading the geese the wrong direction is terrific. But I did feel a disconnect with the raptors. Does Ray lead the gaggle into prehistoric times? Depending on how the plot goes, you might consider saying something like, “When Ray leads the gaggle into trouble, he must find a way to get back on course.” Or something like that. But, YES, I would read it. Ray has a real problem that he must solve – hopefully using his sense of direction.

  9. matthewlasley says:

    Good morning (afternoon). I like the premise of your story. The idea of a directionally challenged goose gives levity and can be relatable to kids ( and adults ) at not being good at something that you are supposed to be good at.
    With that being said, I believe I would be a maybe. Using the word direction twice in the first sentence makes me stumble a bit while reading it. It feels redundant. Try finding a different word for one or the other.
    Outside of my empathy for a challenged goose, nothing connects me to him. Is he bright? Does he know he has this problem? Does he care? Use some emotion words to help build that connection.
    I understand the “leadership” role when he takes charge during the attack of the raptor, but I do not see how this solves the problem, even if he rescues the gaggle of geese. Perhaps he needs a “wingman”.
    Lastly, I think the “Give him the boot” is a missed opportunity to play on words. Maybe they would rather “wing it.”

    Your pitch has promise, as does your story, and I hope to one day read it to my class. I worked on something similar a couple of years ago, but it never came together. Perhaps the universe chose you to pick up where I failed.

    Good luck!

  10. Diana Lynn Gibson says:

    Hello all and OODLES OF THANKS to all of you for your comments, suggestions, questions and ideas! And a special thanks to Susanna for hosting this blog! I’ll be back at the drawing board tonight! I truly appreciate your “gifts” to me in taking a gander at Ray’s pitch!

  11. Katie Williams says:

    I’m a yes, and think your pitch is pretty strong. I think some descriptive words to describe Ray in the beginning would help make it stand out. This would help the reader connect with his character and give it some heart. The last line could also use a little more ‘pop’…it reads pretty bland and generic right now. If he saves his flock, will he get to stay? What’s at stake (for him) if he just chooses to leave? A few more details would do more to pique the reader’s curiosity. Great job!

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