MENTOR: Naomi Hughes
ALTERNATE: Nicole Mogavero
TITLE: THE TROUBLE WITH FROGS
CATEGORY/GENRE: MG Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 58,000
PITCH: On her eleventh birthday, Samantha discovers she can talk to seven boys-turned-frogs who’ve been cursed by her witchy soon-to-be stepmother. The cure? Kisses. But girls have just one magic smooch, and tricking the mean sixth-grade girls into puckering up is only the start of Sam’s troubles.
Whoever came up with the idea for birthday parties was nuts. Totally nuts.
Samantha would rather spend the day fishing at the lake, far, far away from anything that looked like, or sounded like, or smelled like a party. On account of what happened last year.
Oh, Dad had tried his best to do something special. Really, it wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t known that Sam and Mindy Knudsen weren’t best friends anymore. Or friends at all. Or that Mindy’s glitter squad of wannabes would do whatever Mindy said, including stay away from Sam.
Did having only one person show up for her tenth birthday stink?
Worse than when her older brother Brad put a rotten egg under her pillow and she’d cracked that nose-bomb wide open in the middle of the night.
Dad had been even worse off over the whole party business. Later that evening, Sam had found him crying over Mom's picture.
Yeah. Birthday parties just made people feel bad.
That’s why this year it would be Sam and the fish for the jump to eleven. The fish couldn’t ditch—they were stuck in a lake that wasn’t all that big. The fish couldn't yell out mean names as if teasing were a carnival game, where whoever had the best shot won the giant stuffed banana. And the fish didn’t wear glitter.
Sam had her pack slung over her shoulder and her cooler in hand, ready to catch some trout. But she wasn’t going anywhere.