TITLE: Choosing Cherry Street
GENRE.: Middle Grade Contemporary
12-year-old Max’s summer camp dreams are dashed when his mother uses their meager funds for his father’s rehab. But with the help of a feisty, home-schooled neighbor, Chapin, Max finds hope in his plan to cure his dad once and for all by building a secret tree house in an abandoned lot. When bullies, panicky parents and a toxic allergy to peanuts threaten to ruin everything, Max must choose between his loyalties and learn how to take responsibility for his own actions and happiness.
Wow! This story sounds wonderful. Filled with solid characters with good names (names are always challenging for me!) and challenging subjects that are realistic. I like the idea of taking on the subject of rehabilitation and family dynamics through the eyes of the 'child' - and how hopeful and imaginative he can be in attempting to help. Sounds like a great, conflict-filled, learning about life and responsibility story.ReplyDelete
Great balance of conflict and humor! I'm curious how building a tree house could cure Max's dad.ReplyDelete
This sounds intriguing. The first sentence is great. I wonder if the logline is too long, though. Could you condense to 1-2 sentences of the most important ideas?ReplyDelete
The sentence that starts "Max must choose between his loyalties and ..." wasn't very clear for me. I expected another choice besides "his loyalties" to come after the "and," so it took me a few times rereading to understand that the choice was his different loyalties (loyalties to whom I'm not sure: family, friend, ??).
Otherwise, I like the characters and the premise. With a little tweaking, this could be a strong logline. Good luck!
This sounds great! My only reservation would be the length. I'm not sure how you could condense it for a logline, but I'm sure you have a rockin' query. :)ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great story! I agree with everyone about the length. The first line is stellar. The next line should focus on building the tree house (not really important that another character helps, at least for the logline), and why Max thinks the tree house will help. Just those two things should be enough for a logline to hook an agent.ReplyDelete
I agree with the other commenters. You don't need the line about Chapin in the logline. I also wanted another 'choice' where Max has to choose between "his loyalties" - maybe you couldmake it more specific (choose between his family and his friend?). Good luck.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a very rich/developed story! One other thing to consider is that the last line about taking responsibility can come across as slightly preachy--but I think K Callard's advice above about making the choice something more specific and tangible could help with that. Focus on plot rather than moral--because it sounds like you have a great plot!ReplyDelete
Sounds fantastic. First off, the title drew me in, and then the flow and the characters. I agree with using something specific-that'll really plant it.ReplyDelete
This is such a great idea. The pitch, however, requires some tightening. I suggest:ReplyDelete
When 12-year-old Max’s summer camp dreams are dashed by his father’s stint in rehab, a feisty, home-schooled neighbor, Chapin, Max find hope in his plan to cure his dad's WHAT? once and for all by building a secret tree house in an abandoned lot. When bullies, panicky parents and a toxic allergy to peanuts threaten to ruin everything, Max must choose between his loyalties (WHAT LOYALTIES? LOYALTIES TO WHAT?) and learn how to take responsibility for his own actions and happiness.
Thank you everyone for your FANTASTIC comments! You're spot on with your observations, and I will tighten and revise. My only concern is that the girl, Chapin, is a HUGE and integral part of the plot, so I feel that I must name her in the logline. Other than that, I think I know what to work on. What a smart, thoughtful community of writers. Thanks again.ReplyDelete