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THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE (MG Contemporary)


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#1 shauny1287

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

If you'd like a query in return, please let me know!

 

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane is a sound collector. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door swinging half-shut. But the crown jewel of her collection is one she didn’t take herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm, sunshine laugh. It’s the only thing she has of his, the only thing she knows about him.

 

Until one day, she hears that laugh—his laugh—pouring out of the car radio on a new show broadcasting out of Nashville. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening in and learning all about her radio DJ daddy. He loves Hank Williams, Jr. and rescues injured raccoon kits in his spare time. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed… now if only she had a way to meet him. So when he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she can’t help but sign up as a contestant.

 

But she’s not excited, she’s terrified. She collects sounds, she doesn’t make them. It’s not that her voice is bad—Momma always said it was lovely enough to make the angels cry—it’s that she’s afraid to use it. It doesn’t help that the only way to reach Nashville is road-tripping in a run-down RV with her hard-hearted neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her troublemaking classmate Tommy O’Brien, who stowed away in the RV bathroom so he could come, too—never mind he has no idea where they were going. But it will all be worth it in the end, because her daddy is the one who will help her overcome her fears and find her voice—she’s sure of it.

 

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is a 52,000-word middle grade novel that explores the power and magic of language and song, as well as the bittersweet joy of discovering your found family. It will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage’s THREE TIMES LUCKY. I am a member of SCBWI and this is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.



#2 smithgirl

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 01:18 PM

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane is a sound collector. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door swinging half-shut. But the crown jewel of her collection is one she didn’t take herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm, sunshine laugh. I love the sunshine laugh description.  It’s the only thing she has of his, the only thing she knows about him.

 

This is good, but when I read it I thought Maybelle's father was dead.

 

Until one day, she hears that laugh—his laugh—pouring out of the car radio on a new show broadcasting out of Nashville. Going against Momma’s wishes, Because I had thought her father was dead, I initially thought it was his ghost in the radio.  Maybelle starts listening in and learning all about her radio DJ daddy. He loves Hank Williams, Jr. and rescues injured raccoon kits in his spare time. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed… now if only she had a way to meet him. So when he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she can’t help but sign up as a contestant.

 

But she’s not excited, she’s terrified. She collects sounds, she doesn’t make them. It’s not that her voice is bad—Momma always said it was lovely enough to make the angels cry—it’s that she’s afraid to use it. It doesn’t help that the only way to reach Nashville is road-tripping in a run-down RV with her hard-hearted neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her troublemaking classmate Tommy O’Brien, who stowed away in the RV bathroom so he could come, too—never mind he has no idea where they were going. But it will all be worth it in the end, because her daddy is the one who will help her overcome her fears and find her voice—she’s sure of it.

 

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is a 52,000-word middle grade novel that explores the power and magic of language and song, as well as the bittersweet joy of discovering your found family. It will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage’s THREE TIMES LUCKY. I am a member of SCBWI and this is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

Your query is good. It has a lot of voice and I was totally rooting for Maybelle. Great job! What I think is missing is the reason her father is absent. At first I thought he was dead, but then it turned out he wasn't. So I assume he left Maybelle and her mother, which would make him seem like a jerk, but then you say he rescues raccoons, which makes him sound nice and I'm left wondering how it happened that he's always been gone. If you can add that part into your query, I think you're in good shape.



#3 ranton

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 06:01 PM

I think the hook is great and you haven't revealed too much while piquing one's interest. Being a singer myself, this is something I'd love to read. 



#4 taylorhale

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

If you'd like a query in return, please let me know!

 

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane is a sound collector. (Love this hook!) She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door swinging half-shut. (Voice is perfect) But the crown jewel of her collection is one she didn’t take herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm, sunshine laugh. It’s the only thing she has of his, the only thing she knows about him. (Love it! Great first para, very vivid and hooking)

 

Until one day, she hears that laugh—his laugh—pouring out of the car radio on a new show broadcasting out of Nashville. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening in and learning all about her radio DJ daddy. He loves Hank Williams, Jr. and rescues injured raccoon kits in his spare time. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed… now if only she had a way to meet him. So when he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she can’t help but sign up as a contestant. (Perfect)

 

But she’s not excited, she’s terrified. (Maybe say her name here, lots of "she" gets repetitive) She collects sounds, she doesn’t make them. It’s not that her voice is bad—Momma always said it was lovely enough to make the angels cry—it’s that she’s afraid to use it. It doesn’t help that the only way to reach Nashville is road-tripping in a run-down RV with her hard-hearted neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her troublemaking classmate, Tommy O’Brien, who stowed away in the RV bathroom so he could come, too—never mind he has no idea where they were going. But it will all be worth it in the end, because her daddy is the one who will help her overcome her fears and find her voice—she’s sure of it. 

 

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is a 52,000-word middle grade novel that explores the power and magic of language and song, as well as the bittersweet joy of discovering your found family. It will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage’s THREE TIMES LUCKY. I am a member of SCBWI and this is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Honestly, I don't  have much to say at all. I think your query is pretty much perfection. It sounds like a great story, and I love your use of voice, it definitely reads like an MG novel. Send it out. Now!

 

Here's the link to mine if you feel like ripping it up :-) http://agentquerycon...ontemporary-ya/



#5 Springfield

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:32 AM

If you'd like a query in return, please let me know!

 

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane is a sound collector. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door swinging half-shut. But the crown jewel of her collection is one she didn’t take herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm, sunshine laugh. It’s the only thing she has of his, the only thing she knows about him.

 

Until one day, she hears that laugh—his laugh—pouring out of the car radio on a new show broadcasting out of Nashville. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening in and learning all about her radio DJ daddy. He loves Hank Williams, Jr. and rescues injured raccoon kits in his spare time. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed… now if only she had a way to meet him. So when he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she can’t help but sign up as a contestant.

 

But she’s not excited, she’s terrified. She collects sounds, she doesn’t make them. It’s not that her voice is bad—Momma always said it was lovely enough to make the angels cry—it’s that she’s afraid to use it. Why?  It doesn’t help that the only way maybe that she can think of without train fare (or something relevant, obviously) to reach Nashville is road-tripping in a run-down RV with her hard-hearted neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her troublemaking classmate Tommy O’Brien, who stowed away in the RV bathroom so he could come, too—never mind he has no idea where they were going. But it will all be worth it in the end, because her daddy is the one who will help her overcome her fears and find her voice—she’s sure of it.

 

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is a 52,000-word middle grade novel that explores the power and magic of language and song, as well as the bittersweet joy of discovering your found family. It will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage’s THREE TIMES LUCKY. I am a member of SCBWI and this is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.

 

I kind of love this -- I'm just picking nits. The only thing that really hangs me is that it feels like a period piece, I'm getting very dusty, I dunno, '70s? vibe from it, but you don't specify any time period, which makes me think you mean contemp, which it may be but it doesn't feel like it? 

 

Dunno, love it. I think you'll get bites the way it is.



#6 Daisy

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:15 AM

If you'd like a query in return, please let me know!

 

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane is a sound collector. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door swinging half-shut. But the crown jewel of her collection is one she didn’t take herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm, sunshine laugh. It’s the only thing she has of his, the only thing she knows about him.  :wub: So far, this is wonderful.  I love your protag's name. I love your voice. I love everything about this. I'd definitely keep reading.

 

 

Until one day, she hears that laugh—his laugh—pouring out of the car radio on a new show broadcasting out of Nashville. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening in and learning all about her radio DJ daddy. He loves Hank Williams, Jr. and rescues injured raccoon kits in his spare time. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed… now if only she had a way to meet him. So when he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she can’t help but sign up as a contestant. I'm still reading!  I'm still impressed! :biggrin:

 

But she’s not excited,  she’s terrified. This is the only part I think I'd tweak and only the first part. "But she's not excited". I'd give it a little more urgency. If you don't...no biggie. It's still a really good query.  LOL She collects sounds, she doesn’t make them. It’s not that her voice is bad—Momma always said it was lovely enough to make the angels cry—it’s that she’s afraid to use it. It doesn’t help that the only way to reach Nashville is road-tripping in a run-down RV with her hard-hearted neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her troublemaking classmate Tommy O’Brien, who stowed away in the RV bathroom so he could come, too—never mind he has no idea where they were going. But it will all be worth it in the end, because her daddy is the one who will help her overcome her fears and find her voice—she’s sure of it.

 

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is a 52,000-word middle grade novel that explores the power and magic of language and song, as well as the bittersweet joy of discovering your found family. It will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage’s THREE TIMES LUCKY. I am a member of SCBWI and this is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.

 

This is really well done.  Good luck!  :biggrin:



#7 shauny1287

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:34 AM

Thanks for your feedback, everyone! It was so helpful and I'm very grateful you all took the time. <3

 

@taylorhale, I am going take a stab at yours now!



#8 AmberA

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:28 PM

If you'd like a query in return, please let me know!

 

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane is a sound collector. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door swinging half-shut. But the crown jewel of her collection is one she didn’t take herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm, sunshine laugh. It’s the only thing she has of his, the only thing she knows about him. ( Steeler hook!)

 

Until one day, she hears that laugh—his laugh—pouring out of the car radio on a new show broadcasting out of Nashville. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening in and learning all about her radio DJ daddy. He loves Hank Williams, Jr. and rescues injured raccoon kits in his spare time. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed… now if only she had a way to meet him. So when he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she can’t help but sign up as a contestant.

 

But she’s not excited, she’s terrified. She collects sounds, she doesn’t make them. It’s not that her voice is bad—Momma always said it was lovely enough to make the angels cry—it’s that she’s afraid to use it. It doesn’t help that the only way to reach Nashville is road-tripping in a run-down RV with her hard-hearted neighbor, Mrs. Boggs, and her troublemaking classmate Tommy O’Brien, who stowed away in the RV bathroom so he could come, too—never mind he has no idea where they were going. But it will all be worth it in the end,( remove comma)  because her daddy is the one who will help her overcome her fears and find her voice—she’s sure of it.

 

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE is a 52,000-word middle grade novel that explores the power and magic of language and song, as well as the bittersweet joy of discovering your found family. It will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage’s THREE TIMES LUCKY. I am a member of SCBWI and this is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

In all honesty this is a really good query! I wouldn't advise changing anything. I like the flow of it! It's well written, I'm sure you'll have agents request for full MS (-: If you have time, would love to have your opinion on my query " YA-IMPEDE"

 

Link: http://agentquerycon...a-impede-edits/


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=352035





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