Hello! I am an elementary school teacher in northwest Washington state. I have a master’s degree in Language and Literacy Education, a NES Reading Endorsement, and National Board certification in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy. I have been teaching for seven years (this will be my eighth) and writing seriously for five. I have received several full requests from agents on past manuscripts that I have now tabled and I am currently focusing on revising drafts of two contemporary chapter books (one is right on the line of lower MG and I may ultimately end up querying it as that instead.) I feel that humor and friendship are at the heart of my writing and I am hoping to connect with other writers for this age group who enjoy these themes in chapter books.
Science fiction/fantasy — I don’t feel qualified to critique in these genres
Ten-year-old Rusty loves adventure and pushing things to their limits. Today is the summer solstice, the official first day of summer and the longest day of the year. Rusty and his two friends Solstice and Dean are headed to the carnival, where they plan to ride carnival rides and play arcade games until sundown. Rusty is especially looking forward to riding The Intimidator, the craziest upside-down roller coaster there. But just as the ride has started, a power outage shuts down the whole fair, sending all of its attendees home early and bringing Rusty and his friends’ plans to a screeching halt.
Dean goes home to play video games, but with hours of daylight left and wanting to make the most of the evening (especially since it’s Solstice’s namesake!), Rusty and Solstice head outside in search of another adventure. But when an impulsive decision to get on a city bus without checking with their parents — or to see where it’s going — leaves them stranded across town, Rusty and Solstice must find a way to get home before their parents realize they’re gone — and learn to make the important distinction between adventure and danger.
“Rusty, are you ready to ride The Intimidator?” Dean asked.
Ten-year-old Rusty, Solstice and Dean were at the carnival. The three friends spotted the beastly roller coaster in the distance.
Rusty took a deep breath. “Yuuuuup,” he replied. “Time for the moment of truth.”
Rusty loved adventure and pushing things to their limits. When he wasn’t at diving practice doing flips and twists in the air, he was out riding his mountain bike on off-road trails, trying to master difficult jumps. When his mom had driven past the carnival earlier in the week, he had noticed the most extreme upside-down roller coaster in the entire parking lot and made it his personal goal to ride it tonight.
Rusty’s mom paid for their tickets. She had agreed to let the three of them go on rides by themselves, but they had to meet the grown-ups back at the carousel in an hour to check in and make sure everything was going okay.
It was the official first day of summer, which meant it was also the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. Sundown wouldn’t be until after nine o’clock. It was a special day for Solstice, because it was where her name came from. Solstice’s grandma always told her that she was an earth child, connected with the moon and the sun and the seasons. Even though she didn’t know for sure, Solstice liked thinking that maybe that was the reason she loved nature and being outside so much. The three friends were hoping Rusty’s mom would let them stay at the carnival until it got dark — and maybe even after.
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