Hi, I’m Lisa, a kid lit writer and Jewish mom. I have an MFA and have been querying serious for a few years. I recently had a story accepted for publication by Highlights magazine. This is my first time writing a chapter book manuscript.
I read widely in fantasy, comedy, and realistic fiction in middle grade, YA, and chapter books. I would love to write as well as Kristin Cashore.
I’m not a good reader for horror or thrillers.
Tess is tired of everyone thinking she’s a mess. She never wants to hear the nickname Messy Tessy again! When her parents enroll her in a dance class to help her become more graceful, Tess has a different plan to change her reputation. She starts a club at school to clean up other people’s messes. Based on the Hebrew phrase that means “to heal the earth,” Tess’s Tikkun Olam Club is on a mission to help Birch Lane School and the world. For its first project, the club works to reduce the amount of trash at lunch. Tess races to avoid the dance class and prove that she can solve problems, not make them.
Tess was in the way again. She moved under the arms of her mom and Beth, sliding between spatulas and ladles, listening to the bubbles and sizzles of the kitchen that meant Erev School.
“I can stir,” Tess said, pushing her curly, tangled hair out of her face. “Or measure. Or set the table.”
“We’ve got it all under control,” her mom said.
Tess tried to be patient, thinking if she stayed in the kitchen long enough, her mom or sister would find something for her to do, but they seemed intent on ignoring her.
“Fine,” Tess sighed and slumped into the living room. There she found Uncle Aaron, who was a gardener and one of her favorite grownups.
“Hi, sprout!” he said. That’s gardener humor.
“Hi. Here for Erev School dinner?” Tess asked.
“Wouldn’t miss it,” he said.
Erev School was what Tess’s family called the night before the first day of school because Tess’s family was Jewish and Erev was Jewish for “the night before,” like Erev Rosh Hashanah was the night before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. When Beth started kindergarten, their parents started the tradition. They told Beth she could have whatever she wanted to eat for dinner. She picked latkes and spaghetti. (Beth always ate a ton!) Two years ago, Tess’s parents said they would add her favorite to Erev School, and she picked noodle kugel.
I’ve written middle grade, YA, and stories. I am currently working on a middle grade about a cooking competition.
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