5. GRIMM AND BEAR IT – Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy


Mentor Name:

Mentee Name: Amanda Hill


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Word Count: 69,000


Jack’s supposed to protect the world from fairy tales, not get dragged into them. Especially not as some mooching bear character. To lose both tale and tail, Jack must find three stolen gems. Oh, and kill his best friend’s uncle. This isn’t Disney.


If I had to choose between hunting enchanted mice or nunchucks to the face, I’d go with the nunchucks. Sure, it’s painful, but at least it’s over quick. I’m beginning to think this night’s stuck in some eternal time loop when my foot knocks into three small rocks. They clatter like bowling pins through the silent forest.

“Great, Jack. Why don’t you knock on the mouse’s door and tell him we’re here,” says Sydney. The way she’s looking at me right now, I might be enjoying nunchucks to the face after all.

I gather the scattered stones and stack the bottom two, keeping the top one in my hand. The modern world calls these cairns and thinks they’re left by boy scouts or hikers. They’re really left by us, the Huntsmen, as a sign an enchanted mouse lives nearby.

“Do you see the hole?” I ask.

Sydney clicks on her flashlight and runs it along the forest floor, grumbling. “Can’t even find the door by himself.”

Stopping a country mouse from visiting a city mouse might seem like a small, silly thing, but in the fairy tale world, every detail is important. I’m still scanning the ground when a brown and red blur skitters out of a hole and smacks into my sneaker. His knapsack clatters to the ground.

“Grab him,” Sydney shouts.

I dive to the dirt and wrap both hands around the tiny mouse. “Gotcha.”

Between my palms he squeaks, “Tyrants. Monsters. Communists. Unhand me!”


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