14. SPARROW – Middle Grade Paranormal

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Stacey Trombley

Mentee Name: Victoria Piontek


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Paranormal

Word Count: 33,000


Thirteen-year-old Sparrow is so desperate for a place to belong she will do whatever she can to find her family, even if it means using her forbidden gift to connect with the spirit of her lost mother. But death is a perilous ally.


They buried Sparrow’s mama the day the gypsies came. A day so hot, some say the swamp started to bubble. The water of the everglades rose in the air and hung there, a steaming mist that cloaked the little town of Beulah in a persistent haze.

Sparrow watched as they lowered Mama’s casket through the lingering precipitation and into the ground. As the casket creaked and swayed on the ropes that held it fast, the vapors swirled in a way that had nothing to do with the weather. Among those rising vapors, Sparrow searched for Mama. She felt with deep certainty that she would see Mama again, and she had good reason for this conviction. Sparrow saw spirits.

In fact, she had seen one ghost, the Boy, with such lifelong regularity and clarity that he was as sure as the beat of her young heart.
He was even with her at that moment, as real and as solid as the preacher who presided over Mama’s grave. The Boy was so unlike the murky wisps of typical spirits that she marveled no one else saw him.

Though, the two of them had always been different. She, a girl who looked at death. He, a ghost who looked like life.

For Sparrow, the only reminder that he was a ghost was his impenetrable silence. He was her greatest secret, yet he told no secrets himself.


7 comments to 14. SPARROW – Middle Grade Paranormal

  • Ammi-Joan Paquette

    Wonderful voice – will you send me the first 3 chapters to consider?

  • Hi Victoria, I’m really enjoying the narrative voice of this excerpt, and I’d love to read on. Please email me your query, first 50 pages, and a synopsis (if available) as Word documents to brooks(at)thebentagency(dot)com, with the subject line “PitchWars Request: SPARROW.” If you have any questions, just put them in your email. Excited to see more! Cheers, Brooks

  • Laura Cummings

    Hi Victoria,

    This voice is quite haunting and intriguing, and I love the idea of this silent ghost boy. Could you please send your query letter, synopsis, and first 10 pages to querylaurie(at)fuseliterary(dot)com? Please make sure to include the subject “Pitch Wars: SPARROW” so I remember to give this priority. And to clarify, I am Laurie McLean’s assistant and am requesting this on her behalf, so go ahead and address the materials to her.

    Thank you so much!
    Laura Cummings

  • Rena Rossner

    I’d love to read this full manuscript. Can you send it attached as word document to: rena(at)thedeborahharrisagency(dot)com – and please reference PITCHWARS in the subject line.


    – Rena

  • Hi Victoria,

    I’d love to see more! Please feel free to send your query and full manuscript to lara@andreabrownlit.com as either a pdf or word attachment, and please write “Pitch Wars Request: Sparrow” in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Louise Fury

    I am very intrigued by this. Please send the full manuscript as a .doc attachment, with your query as page one, to furyqueries @ thebentagency.com. For the subject line, put PITCH WARS: YOUR TITLE. Thanks!

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