Mentor Name: Kate Foster and J.C. Davis
Mentee Name: Stacey Goldstein
Title: THE NERD ARMY
Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 36000
Shayna’s determined to join the in-crowd at her new school until the head bully makes her the latest victim. Rather than face another year of butt-quake and booger jokes, Shayna rallies a nerd army to fight back. But when their pranks go too far, Shayna risks losing her new friends and herself.
I’ve traded in my microscope for a makeup bag. Not a full makeup bag, though. Mom only said “Yes” to the lip gloss. When I started using eyeshadow from one of her drawers last week, she either didn’t notice or didn’t care. Or didn’t think it was worth the fight. But today’s the day makeup matters most.
After the final touches, I turn away from the mirror to consult my style board one last time. It’s a corkboard on my wall. I tack up pictures from magazines of everything I think would look super cute on me. I touch the pictures wistfully, wishing my back-to-school budget was bigger. But I did get a new belt, four new shirts, two skirts and a pair of jeans. I even got strappy sandals to show off the purple toenails I painted last night.
I dance to my closet, looking for my absolute best outfit. I put on a white top, my flowery skirt and pick out a chunky brown belt. My new sandals finish the look. Perfect. I add earrings, a bracelet and necklace before checking the mirror again.
I glance back at the latest issue of Text Trend Magazine and nod. “I know. I know,” I say. “Don’t over-accessorize.” I remove the bracelet.
I grab my backpack. It’s full of the normal school stuff, but I need one more thing. Digging through the bottom drawer of my dresser, I grab the picture. It’s my reminder. This year will be different.