Looking for a Chapter Book Critique Partner
Hi! I have a busy brain and love trying new things. My husband and I retired from our first jobs (I was a realtor, he was a civil engineer) and we are now playing with our passion type jobs (I’m a writer, he’s a music promoter). We have two kids (middle and elem. school) that keep us busy, and we travel whenever we can in our campervan. Yes, our family is the inspiration for my chapter book series (I’ve written the first draft of the first book). Kids who explore and solve mysteries in National Parks. Also writing a non-fiction book on backpacking with kids. I have a blog, and just hosted my first Woman’s Backpacking Clinic.
When I’m reading for fun on my own I love YA, fantasy, and romance. I’m familiar with kid’s chapter books too, since I’ve had two kids come through that phase.
Horror isn’t great for me, or any family members dying.
Ten-year-old Rae and her younger brother Leo are on a family vacation in Grand Teton National Park. They leave their parents at the campsite and head off to explore. The walk goes from “ho-hum” to “ho-my!” when a park ranger comes down the trail with a gigantic bear lumbering closely behind!
Rae freezes. Her Outdoor Club meetings about bear encounters are nothing like the real thing! She quickly reaches for her bear spray and thinks about what to do. Impulsive eight-year-old Leo skirts around her and says, “Hi!”
Smiling, Ranger Joan introduces herself and her magical bear friend. Teewinot the bear is a guide and only visible to those able to help. Something has been chewing backpackers’ gear, and backpackers are blaming it on the park bears. Visitors may stop coming to the park if they hear there is a bear problem! Are Rae and Leo willing to help solve the mystery of the midnight muncher?
Leo loves animals and instantly wants to help. Rae wants to help too. She’d hate for people to avoid the park because they fear the bears. But can she and Leo safely solve the mystery and be back to camp in time for dinner?
MYSTERY OF THE MIDNIGHT MUNCHER is a 6,400 word chapter book and will appeal to 5-9-year-olds who enjoy such series as The Magic Treehouse and Jack Jones. This is my first work of fiction. As an experienced family hiker, I would like to turn this into a series featuring the various National Parks.
Leo looked at the sticker of the United States that was stuck to the refrigerator in their campervan. “Where are we going again?”
“Grand Teton National Park,” his mom answered from the front seat. “It’s in Wyoming.”
His older sister, Rae, pointed to it from her seat next to him. She was already ten and knew a lot about geography. “We’re going to the top corner, over here. Almost to Idaho,” Rae explained.
Leo studied the map. He knew Colorado, where he lived, was shaped kind of like a rectangle. Wyoming was just above it. Their parents liked to explore different National Parks, and this summer they were going to explore the Tetons before heading up to Yellowstone. He sat back in his seat and stared out the window as the rolling hills slowly gave way to towering peaks and crags of the Tetons. They were almost there!
They rolled into a beautiful campsite overlooking Jenny Lake, and Rae and Leo got out to stretch their legs. Their mom got out the map of the area and sat down with their dad to plan out which hikes they’d be doing the next day. “Let’s go check out the lake,” Rae suggested to Leo. “Be back in time for dinner” their mom said, “and take your gear, water and food.” Leo set his trusty watch alarm for 6:00pm, and he and Rae loaded their backpacks with their exploring gear.
If I’m able to turn this into a series about National Parks and connect it to my “how-to” Backpacking with Kids non-fiction book, I’d be thrilled! In my dream world, this will help inspire the next generation of kids to want to get outdoors and explore with their family.
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