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LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO, children's chapter book *new query in #13


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#1 Joysworld

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 08:56 PM

I completed this book a year ago, wrote a query for it, but that was it. Now I'm back at work. My first query letter was more like a synopsis, and this is what I have come up with in the last few days after scouring the web. I'd love your thoughts!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Luke's nasty temper is set off once again over a simple annoyance, when what appears to be an ordinary chest appears in his bedroom.

 

Nine-year-old Luke opens the chest, only to find himself in the beautiful and colorful world of Avyun, land to towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres. While searching for a way home he discovers a threat looming over all that's good and pure in this world. The slimly ogres have stolen the mystic waters, instigating a furious tornado. Luke partners with a wise elf and travels to the twisted mountains occupied by ogres to retrieve the mystic water before the ogres can take over the world. Before he completes his quest he is captured by the ogres where he faces his biggest challenge yet. Controlling his anger.

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.



#2 Springfield

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 10:06 PM

I completed this book a year ago, wrote a query for it, but that was it. Now I'm back at work. My first query letter was more like a synopsis, and this is what I have come up with in the last few days after scouring the web. I'd love your thoughts!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Luke's nasty temper is set off once again over a simple annoyance, when what appears to be an ordinary chest appears in his bedroom. Appears? Why's it an annoyance? This isn't working for me for several reasons. You also need age and voice.

 

Nine-year-old Luke opens the chest, only to find himself in the beautiful and colorful world of Avyun, land to towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres. While searching for a way home he discovers a threat looming over all that's good and pure in this world. The slimly ogres have stolen the mystic waters, instigating a furious tornado. Luke partners with a wise elf and travels to the twisted mountains occupied by ogres to retrieve the mystic water before the ogres can take over the world. Before he completes his quest he is captured by the ogres where he faces his biggest challenge yet. Controlling his anger. This too needs explanation. 

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.

 

I think this needs much more voice, and characterization. It's kind of all world-building and summary, but of the wrong aspects. Also, isn't that wc way off? I think that's super low.



#3 wheeler1992

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 11:03 PM



I think this needs much more voice, and characterization. It's kind of all world-building and summary, but of the wrong aspects. Also, isn't that wc way off? I think that's super low.[/quote]

I agree it reads kinda dry. The typical chapter book is between 7000 and 10000 words. Chapter books are almost always sold as series

#4 Joysworld

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 02:51 PM

Thanks, I'll work on it. It's a beginning chapter book, so word count should be between 4,000 and 12,000.



#5 Joysworld

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:50 PM

I think this needs much more voice, and characterization. It's kind of all world-building and summary, but of the wrong aspects. Also, isn't that wc way off? I think that's super low.[/quote]

I agree it reads kinda dry. The typical chapter book is between 7000 and 10000 words. Chapter books are almost always sold as series

So do I need not to mention that it has series potential?



#6 wheeler1992

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:52 PM

I think you should mention it is a proposed series or series potential.

#7 Joysworld

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 04:07 PM

Does adding more of the backstory help to explain the "Controlling his anger." sentence. Here's a new query.
 

 

 

"If it weren't for little sisters there would be no evil in the world," Luke thought to himself as she barged into his room, again.

 

Common annoyances always bothered nine year old Luke, leaving him constantly in trouble. After his sister barges into his room he hits her in self defense, after all, how dare she invade his private space. Unfortunately this lands him in trouble, grounded to his room without toys. As he plops himself on his bed, a magical chest that finds children in need of help appears on his floor out of nowhere. Curiously he opens this chest and at once he is whisked away to a far away land, land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, talking birds, and conniving ogres. At first he is pleased to escape his unfair home and becomes friends with the natives. But when an angry tornado threatens to ruin all that is good and pure in this land he finds himself wishing to return home. The only way to do so is to retrieve the mystic waters that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado. Luke partners up with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once in the crooked mountains, Luke finds out just because he's in a new land, doesn't mean his temper has left. His temper flares up when he becomes angry at the elf, resulting in the ogres capturing him. As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger.

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.



#8 wheeler1992

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 11:52 PM

I like the first line. I would take out the quotes. I'm concerned over him hitting his sister, even in self defense. Does it happen in real life? Absolutely but I don't think parent want their children reading about it. I'm sure you have a good message about learning to control his temper but remember chapter books are usually picked out by parents and librarians. I don't know how many would buy a book with hitting little sisters in in. Also chapter books are the hardest to sell. Having the hitting might make it tougher.

With adding the backstory makes it sound more like a synopsis. You want to answer these questions: who is your mc. You have answered that. What do they want. What is standing in their way. By adding voice doesn't mean making it longer. By reading the query I know you have a great imagination. Now put that in the query. The first line about little sisters are evil is genius. If you make the rest of the query like the first line, you will be golden. I know I sound harsh and it is just one opinion. These are what I see as red flags. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm trying to point out areas the agents might see as trouble. There are very few agents accepting chapter books so the chances with agents are limited.

#9 Joysworld

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 09:08 AM

Not a jerk at all. I appreciate your opinion. That's where I struggle. My original sounded more like a synopsis, so I changed it to the op. That was too dry, so I tried again. Back to sounding like a synopsis. I'll give it another go.



#10 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 11:28 PM

Here are my thoughts:

 

"If it weren't for little sisters there would be no evil in the world," Luke thought to himself as she barged into his room, again. Definitely a good opening line! Anyone with a sibling can understand.

 

Common annoyances always bothered nine-year-old Luke, leaving him constantly in trouble. There's got to be a better way to phrase this. Something like "Nine-year-old's Luke's intolerance for annoyances constantly lands him in trouble with his parents." After his sister barges into his room he hits her in self defense, after all, how dare she invade his private space. Unfortunately this lands him in trouble, (This feel repetitive because you just mentioned trouble and it's not that unfortunate, he had it coming) grounded to his room without toys. As he plops himself on his bed, a magical chest that finds children in need of help appears on his floor out of nowhere.

You need some more paragraph breaks:

Curiously he opens this chest and at once he is whisked away to a far away land, land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, talking birds, and conniving ogres. At first he is pleased to escape his unfair home and becomes friends with the natives. But when an angry tornado threatens to ruin all that is good and pure in this land he finds himself wishing to return home. The only way to do so is to retrieve the mystic waters that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado. I clearly see how this stops the tornado but not how this gets him home, which is more important as far as Luke's motivation goes.

 

Luke partners up with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once in the crooked mountains, Luke finds out just because he's in a new land, doesn't mean his temper has left. His temper flares up when he becomes angry at the elf, resulting in the ogres capturing him. How does this happen? As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger. This doesn't quite feel like an ending, more like the middle of your query. To make it more ending-like you could explain what's going to happen to Luke if he doesn't pull together.

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.

 

Hope this helps!

 

My query can be found here.



#11 Joysworld

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 08:42 PM

Here's another try.

 

If it weren't for little sisters there would be no evil in the world.

 

Nine-year-old Luke struggles with his temper, constantly landing him in trouble. After his sister barges into his room, yet again, he punches her arm. Grounded from friends, he plops onto his bed when he sees a chest, a magical chest that finds children in need of help, appeared out of nowhere.

 

He opens it and at once is whisked away to a far away land, a land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres. At first he is pleased to escape his home and becomes friends with elves and talking birds. But when an angry tornado threatens to ruin all that is good and pure in this land, he finds himself wishing to return home. The only way he can be transported back home is to complete his mission. He must restore balance to the land by retrieving the mystic waters that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado.

 

Luke partners up with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once in the crooked mountains, Luke discovers that just because he's in a new land, doesn't mean his temper has left. His temper flares up when he becomes angry with the elf, blowing their cover. The ogres hone in on their location and apprehends them. As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger. If he can't, he's doomed to remain captured and tormented by ogres, as evil overtakes the land.

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.



#12 Cez

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 10:32 AM

Here's another try.

 

If it weren't for little sisters there would be no evil in the world. I must admit I like this line, but it doesn't work for your query, so it's one of those 'kill your darlings' phrases.

I'd suggest you start right off with him stumbling into this new world, everything before that is just backstory. You could work that into your hook. Suggestions: Nine-year-old Luke's temper has landed him in loads of trouble, he never expected it to land him in a new world.

Nine-year-old Luke struggles with his temper, constantly landing him in trouble. After his sister barges into his room, yet again, he punches her arm. Grounded from friends, he plops onto his bed when he sees a chest, a magical chest that finds children in need of help, appeared out of nowhere. I think you could shorten this into a sentence: after his little sister made him mad he discovered a chest that  ships him off to/transports him to. . . something like that.

 

He opens it and at once is whisked away to a far away land, a land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres. At first he is pleased to escape his home and becomes friends with elves and talking birds. But when an angry tornado threatens to ruin all that is good and pure in this the land, he finds himself wishing to return home. The only way he can be transported back home is to complete his mission. He must restore balance to the land by retrieving the mystic waters that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado. Something in the voice and tone makes me think of BEYOND THE DEEPWOODS. I think you could tighten this paragraph.

 

Luke partners up with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once there in the crooked mountains, Luke discovers that just because he's in a new land, doesn't mean his temper has left. His temper flares up when he becomes angry with the elf, blowing their cover. The ogres hone in on their location and apprehends them. this can definitely be tightened: When he gets mad at his partner he blows their cover and gets them captured. As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger. If he can't, he's doomed to remain captured and tormented by ogres, as evil overtakes the land. It needs a stronger ending and you need to show the stakes better. How will controlling his temper help him escape and save the land?

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.



#13 Joysworld

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:58 PM

Nine-year-old Luke struggles with his temper, constantly landing him in trouble, but he never expected it to land him into a far off land.

 

After his sister angers him, a magical chest that finds children in need of help appears in his room. He opens it and at once is whisked away to the world of Avyun; a land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres.

 

At first he is pleased to escape his annoying sister and becomes friends with elves and talking birds, but when an angry tornado threatens to ruin the land he finds himself on a quest to save Avyun. Luke must restore balance to the land by retrieving the mystic waters that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado.

 

Luke partners with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once there, he discovers that just because he’s in a new land, doesn’t mean his temper has left. When he becomes mad at the elf he blows their cover, allowing them to be captured. As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger. The ogres gain their power from anger and lies, and are weakened by their enemies self control and truth. If Luke can’t remain calm and claim the truth over his temper, he’s doomed to remain captured and tormented by ogres, as evil overruns the land.

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children’s fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.



#14 Justin Fenech

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 03:11 AM

I completed this book a year ago, wrote a query for it, but that was it. Now I'm back at work. My first query letter was more like a synopsis, and this is what I have come up with in the last few days after scouring the web. I'd love your thoughts!

 

 

Dear agent,

 

Luke's nasty temper is set off once again over a simple annoyance, when what appears to be an ordinary chest appears in his bedroom.

 

Nine-year-old Luke opens the chest, only to find himself in the beautiful and colorful world of Avyun, land to towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres. While searching for a way home he discovers a threat looming over all that's good and pure in this world. The slimly ogres have stolen the mystic waters, instigating a furious tornado. Luke partners with a wise elf and travels to the twisted mountains occupied by ogres to retrieve the mystic water before the ogres can take over the world. Before he completes his quest he is captured by the ogres where he faces his biggest challenge yet. Controlling his anger.

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children's fantasy chapter book with series potential for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.


I'd like to see a bit more backdrop to this. Granted it's a chapter book but even so, where does Luke live, why does he have a nasty temper, why the anger issues? Luke sounds like an exciting hero and children will relate to him, but why him, you know?



#15 Caligulas

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:45 PM

Nine-year-old Luke struggles with his temper, constantly landing him in trouble, but he never expected it to land him into a far off land. (This is vague and thus doesn't hook. What specifically does he do and where does he go? Emphasize temper stuff later)

 

After his sister angers him, a magical chest that finds children in need of help appears in his room. (Anger and in need of help don't really jive that well. You need help from danger or sadness. Just sounds strange. And again, what specifically happens that angers him and what kind of aid is the chest giving? An escape only? Again, little strange. Wording it differently might help like the chest is there to give him a distraction. Makes me wonder why him though. Without any context, being angry all the time makes him sound like a brat and thus turns me off to him) He opens it and at once is whisked away to the world of Avyun; a land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres.

 

At first he is pleased to escape his annoying sister (This isn't helping to make him sympathetic) and becomes friends with elves and talking birds, but when an angry tornado threatens to ruin the land (Are you implying the tornado is sentient?) he finds himself on a quest to save Avyun. (This doesn't make sense to me. Tornadoes are pretty quick. Quests are pretty long. This isn't adding up. Plus, how would the quest help him stop a tornado?) Luke must restore balance (What?) to the land by retrieving the mystic waters  that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado. (I don't get it. Is the tornado ten thousand miles away and everlasting? Also why is your MC, some random angry kid, the one to go on this quest? I get why he wants the place to stay standing, but for story purposes why is HE the one to save it?)

 

Luke partners (Kind of seems opposite of his cranky character) with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once there, he discovers that just because he’s in a new land, doesn’t mean his temper has left. When he becomes mad at the elf he blows their cover, allowing them to be captured. (When were they undercover?) As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger. Comma, colon, em dash, something, but this incomplete sentence needs to be connected to the last) The ogres gain their power from anger and lies, and are weakened by their enemies self control and truth. If Luke can’t remain calm and claim the truth over his temper, he’s doomed to remain captured and tormented by ogres, as evil overruns the land. (I suppose these stakes fit the age category, but the query is very confusing at points and the MC still isn't at all sympathetic. Even his overall goal is selfish. He just wants to remain having fun in this place. I can only imagine something like an annoying kid huffily trying their damnedest to be polite or else they won't get their second PS4 for the bathroom. I think you need to show another side to your MC or at least make his goals not just for personal gain. As well, clear up the query from a logical standpoint. Hope this helps. Thanks for looking at my query. :) )

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children’s fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.



#16 W.P.

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

Nine-year-old Luke struggles with his temper, constantly landing him in trouble, but he never expected it to land him into a far off land. ((loving the hook. But I think it'd flow better if the sentence were simplified. Something like "Luke's temper always landed him in trouble, but he never expected it to land him into a far off land" or something like that. Could even be simplified to "but now it lands him into a far off land". Basically, I love the hook but it could be a bit more snappy.))

 

After his sister angers him, a magical chest that finds children in need of help appears in his room. He opens it and at once is whisked away to the world of Avyun; a land of towering elves, spirited unicorns, and conniving ogres. ((loving the peter pan vibe. really makes me read the book!))

 

At first he is pleased to escape his annoying sister and becomes friends with elves and talking birds, but when an angry tornado threatens to ruin the land he finds himself on a quest to save Avyun. Luke must restore balance to the land by retrieving the mystic waters that the slimy ogres stole, which is what disturbed the land causing the tornado. ((Not sure you need this. I think "the slimy ogres stole" is a much stronger end to the sentence. Or maybe the sentence could be rearranged so that the explanation appears first, then the sentence ends with the mission/source of danger, so it has more punch.))

 

Luke partners with a wise elf to trek to the crooked mountains, home to the ogres. Once there, he discovers that just because he’s in a new land, doesn’t mean his temper has left. When he becomes mad at the elf he blows their cover, allowing them to be captured. As prisoner, he faces his biggest challenge. Controlling his anger. The ogres gain their power from anger and lies, and are weakened by their enemies self control and truth. If Luke can’t remain calm and claim the truth over his temper, he’s doomed to remain captured and tormented by ogres, as evil overruns the land. ((great stakes and conflict!))

 

LUKE AND THE ANGRY TORNADO is a 7,700-word children’s fantasy chapter book with series potential, for ages seven to ten, similar to BALTO OF THE BLUE DAWN by Mary Pope Osborne.

 

 

Love the premise and I enjoyed the query as well. Loving the magic and the peter pan vibes. :) I hope my comments can be of use. 

 

 

If you have the time, could you please take a look at my query as well? :)  http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=358017






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