Title: A WEDGIE WITH WORDS
Genre: Middle Grade
Word Count: 22,000
Nerds can be heroes too, right?
Shy, nerdy Tony Spumoni has always had a way with words. Frank Brazzo, the oversized black cloud of a school bully, has always had a way with wedgies. When they clash, there are sure to be fireworks, right? Wrong. Tony is too scared to unleash his gift of language and put a witty end to Frank’s torture in A WEDGIE WITH WORDS.
Tony Spumoni has kept his linguistic talent hidden ever since Frank Brazzo relentlessly ridiculed him for it in Kindergarten. The abuse has continued, but Tony’s been able to handle the torture thanks to his best friend Erin Egglestein. However, when his rock Erin moves to Helsinki, Tony withdraws from his classmates and cements his status as nerdy outcast. Enter Sara Marinara. She befriends Tony and starts building his confidence. Tony is on the verge of exposing his wizardry with words to the entire world, but he just needs one final push. That push comes when the ever-popular Sara Marinara reveals her own embarrassing secret to Tony. Tony armed with newfound confidence and an uncanny ability to twist words into puns, rhymes, and punchlines takes on Frank in a final confrontation fit for a hip-hop freestyle battle.
There was a rumor floating around Green Tree Elementary that Mr. Needleman made kids who were late to class copy pages from the dictionary for the entire school day. Tony Spumoni knew it probably wasn’t true, but that didn’t stop him from daydreaming about what it’d be like if it were.
As he walked the hallways of Green Tree, he imagined all of the new words he could learn if he showed up late. Tony couldn’t think of a better punishment than sitting with a good dictionary and drowning in words. He’d had a way with words ever since his days as a toddler crawling around in his Pampers.
Unfortunately, Tony wanted to be a good student so he didn’t dare be tardy to class on only the second week of school. Still lost in his daydream, Tony felt a jarring thud.
“Watch where you’re going, Tony Rigatoni!” shouted Frank as he bumped Tony’s shoulder.
“Oh, sorry, Frank. I guess I was in my own little world,” answered Tony.
“Yeah, well maybe you should go to that little world of yours and leave Green Tree for good!” said Frank, and he bumped Tony one more time for good measure.
Tony fought back the urge to say something about Frank’s wild hair looking like a ragged sponge that’d been used to clean a barbeque grill. He kept it to himself because he happened to like the current arrangement of his facial features. Instead, he hung his head and walked past Frank, trying to ignore the snickering from a group of kids who had witnessed the ordeal.