MG about Chinese zodiacs and heaven
ESL teacher, drummer, and MG writer. Recently earned my Creative Writing Certificate in college. Has years of experience as a writing tutor who gives feedback to writers at the college level.
My WIP is a mashup of Jim Hensen’s Labyrinth and Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.
I read Middle Grade and some Young Adult. Here are a few favorites, so you get a feeling for what I like:
- The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
- The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillio (Actually, anything by Kate DiCamillo!)
- Crenshaw and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Actually, anything by Katherine Applegate!)
- Gregor the Overlander (series) by Suzanne Collins
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B White
- The Outsiders by SE Hinton
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, etc.
- Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead
- Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
- The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
No zombies. (They give me nightmares!) No LGBTQ romances (side characters okay), rape, or sexual violence of any kind. Sorry, guys!
Still mourning her mother’s death, 12-year-old Kimi embarks on a journey through heaven’s labyrinth to rescue her baby brother who was taken by the Chinese zodiac dragon.
A mashup of Jim Hensen’s Labyrinth and Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, HEAVEN, ZODIACS, AND FORTUNE COOKIES is a celebration of love and provides hope during times of grief.
I’d read plenty of books with talking animals in them, but when I met my first one— a stray looking for heaven— I never imagined she’d be so rude. The cat came on Thursday, a week before Chinese New Year’s. I’d put my baby brother down for an afternoon nap, which he probably needed, but I was, nevertheless, thinking twice about.
Something you’ve got to know about me is that if I had to choose between Grandma’s rattling cough or her humming humidifier, I’d take her coughing because at least I’d know she was alive. Dad told me that if she goes to her room for a nap— even in the middle of the afternoon or the moment I get home from school— let her. She needs her rest. But as I leaned against her bedroom door, the urge to walk in and press my check against hers tugged at me like a dog on a leash.
I whispered “love you,” and pulled the door towards me, leaving a thin line of hall light to leak in. I twisted in my socked feet and entered mine and Benji’s room. We shared now that Grandma lived with us.
I stepped around soft blocks and a pile of unused diapers on my way to his crib. Benji lay on his back, sucking a pacifier, and holding Mr. Oink’s soggy foot in his fist. The plush pig lay on his belly; he had a stained bottom (probably chocolate) and a splitting spine. Grandma once tried to throw him out, but Dad and I blocked the trashcan with waving hands. Mr. Oink was the only toy that quieted his screaming after Mom died.
I write Middle Grade, with a side of poetry. Some day, I’d like to merge the two and write a book in verse.
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