Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #141

Genre: MG
Word Count: 58,000


Twelve-year-old Josh Albright always knew he had a strange connection to nature, hearing mountains whisper in the night and worms scream at the sight of a garden shovel. But after three crows follow him across the country, he meets a group of magical creatures who claim Josh is a boy of light. And they expect him to heal their forest. That’s more than saving a worm.

The council of elves assign Josh an assistant, a funny British boggart (often mistaken for a baby dragon) who has some sort of magical attention deficit disorder and an obsession with William Shakespeare. To deal with his new best friend with wings, along with his boy of light duties, Josh recruits a creative girl-next-door. Together they must unravel the mystery of who stole the forest’s source of magic. Without it, the forest cannot survive.

Josh has until sunrise on the shortest day of the year to follow a series of clues from the Ancient Ones, find a blood-stained mountain that turns red once a year, deal with his fears so he can face a monster, steal some magic, and of course finish his not-yet-determined science project.

Being a boy of light is about as easy as a box of boggarts.

First 250:

Josh Albright sat at a worn wooden table in his clubhouse surrounded by nails, a tin box of craft supplies, and a slightly chewed pencil. The smell of fresh cut pine filled the room. He wiped excess glue on the crumpled directions for a do-it-yourself birdhouse.

Above him hung a model of the solar system where light shone down from a fiery sun. Josh stuck the last piece of his project into place and admired his work. Transforming one thing into another was a kind of magic.

“There.” He turned his project around so his visitor could see it. Outside an open window, a jet-black crow stood in the backyard’s only tree. The bird’s sleek feathers gleamed against the reddened sky of a desert sunset.

“Ready to move in?” Josh brought the new home closer to the crow, but it didn’t move from the low hanging tree branch.

“Fine. I’ll paint it. Will that make you happy?”

The bird tilted its head. Its deep black eyes looked like a tunnel to some far away place.

Josh’s best friend Steven squeezed in the narrow door of the clubhouse with his arms full of supplies for a sleepover. Josh helped by taking the bulky backpack.

“I can’t believe you made a house for the symbol of death,” Steven said.

“Stop that, will you? Crows don’t mean death.”

“Then why do they always show up in movies, right before someone gets it?”

Josh couldn’t answer that question. 


  1. Enjoyed the story and thought the query was an attention grabber. Josh seems a thoughtful boy. I liked him immediatly.
    ~Just Jill

  2. Boggart often mistaken for a baby dragon? I'm in love with this already! #146

  3. I also like this premise, though I don't read MG. My kids do, and I know my son would love this. I have a suggestion to enhance your query regarding the line that says: That’s more than saving a worm. I think you should replace the worm w/ something more impactful. A worm is too easy to save, and you want to compare saving the forest (a huge thing) w/ something else that is big (i.e. hard to save).

    I really liked your first 250, especially little details like the slightly chewed pencil (so true of kids).

    -Good luck from Entry #152.

  4. Thank you ladies for the advice and encouragement!

  5. I love the idea of a boggart with magical add and an obsession with Shakespeare. That lends a lot of possibility to your work.

    Good Luck


  6. I love the concept. Really liked the 250 words aswell. I am no query expert (I have never written one before this competition so please bear that in mind) but I htought yours was great! It was clear and concise but didn't give away too much.

    Good Luck

  7. You had me at boggart obsessed with William Shakespeare.

    You're in!

  8. Best Valentine's Day gift ever! Thanks everyone!

  9. I write MG and YA and thought this sounded good. I'm not sure MG would identify with Shakespeare though. Also maybe use a raven instead of a crow. I agree you need to have something different than a worm to save. Intrigued! #174