Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blind Speed Dating #44 (MG)

Genre: MG Contemporary/Adventure
Work Count: 38,000


Not many twelve-year-old girls have posters of the founding fathers hanging on their bedroom walls. But Lilly Petunia Washington isn't your average twelve year old. Lilly is an Abe Lincoln fangirl who's been able to recite the U.S. Presidents since she was three. With parents named George and Martha Washington, Lilly's status as history nerd extraordinaire is hardly a surprise.

With the first day of middle school rapidly approaching, Lilly joins her best friend, Madison James, on a trip to her family's historic farmhouse in the country for one last summer hurrah. In a rush to find a lost iPad filled with the latest boy band hits, she trips on a wooden floor plank. Examining the cause of her fall, she finds a mysterious diary hidden underneath a loose board. And not just any diary. A diary written over one hundred fifty years ago by twelve-year-old Lizzy Johnson, who just happened to be born on the same day Abe Lincoln was assassinated. Commence fangirl freak-out.

Convinced the diary pinpoints the location of an unfound time capsule on the middle school campus, Lilly attempts to persuade the meanest principal ever to dig it up. But when Principal Adams refuses her requests, Lilly takes matters into her own hands. Her wild quest to find the time capsule has the potential to solve a hundred year old mystery surrounding missing Civil War artifacts. And maybe even link her own family to a certain Civil War-era President. That is, if she isn't expelled first.

First 250:

Not many people know that Thomas Jefferson invented the coat hanger. Or that Ulysses S. Grant got a twenty dollar speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a busy Washington street. Lucky for me, my photographic memory and love of useless trivia landed me a spot in the Jeopardy kid's tournament of champions this summer.

I was in the lead going into Final Jeopardy. But when Alex Trebek read the final answer, “He died in 1804 the day after his duel with Aaron Burr,” I froze. Stupid nerves. I’ll never forget Alexander Hamilton. Ever. 

My eye wanders from the photograph of myself standing behind the Jeopardy podium to the Mt. Rushmore calendar hanging next to my desk. It’s August 27, Lyndon B. Johnson’s birthday. I pick up a red Sharpie pen and draw a red circle around all of the presidential birthdays. There are five of them this month.

I’m the only one I know that cares about all of this stuff. Most of the other kids at school think it’s boring. I plan on putting my knowledge to use discovering all of the secrets in history that aren’t in the books. I plan on being the most famous historian that ever lived. 

“Lilly!” My mom’s voice floats upstairs. “Finish packing. You don’t want to keep Mr. James waiting.”

“Be right down!” I yell back.

My duffle bag is so full I can’t zip it all the way, so I leave it gaping open, like it’s puking a rainbow of rumpled clothing.


  1. Hi #44. You had me at "Abe Lincoln fangirl". I'd really like to see your first three chapters if possible. Please send your query, synopsis and reading sample (pasted into the body of your email) to submissions (at) jaw-litagent (dot) com -- with "CLCBSD request: LILLY WASHINGTON'S PRESIDENTIAL ADVENTURE" in your subject line. Thanks.

  2. YES! I was *shocked* when this got no requests! Go, #44!

  3. Aw, thanks for the love Saille! I love this story so much. It's the most favorite thing I've written. Julia, I'll send the request right over!

  4. I'd love the first 50 pages to look at as well! Please send via email attachment as a Word file to alison@therightsfactory.com. Thanks :)