PW #224: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy #ownvoices: MY BROTHER, THE OLMEC

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentors Names: Tricia Clasen and Laura Shovan

Mentee Name: Asari Beale


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy #ownvoices

Word Count: 54,000



When her annoyingly perfect brother is eaten by a forgotten Olmec god, eleven-year-old Marty is the only one who can save him. To rescue Daniel, Marty must abandon plans for a lazy summer and babysit the egotistical god. Marty uncovers family secrets, travels to spirit realms, and proves she is more powerful than anyone thinks. Eva Ibbotson meets Mexican mythology in this hilarious fantasy.


The day Marty’s brother was swallowed alive by an ancient Olmec statue began just as any that summer, with their mom getting on her case. She insisted Marty go to her brother Daniel’s soccer practice to get some fresh air.

“No-o-o-o-o!” This was Marty’s go-to bargaining tactic.

Daniel wasn’t happy, either. “Nobody takes their little sister to practice!”

“Nobody but you,” their mom said. Wanda Montenegro Simms was small and terrifying. From her tight bun to her sensible shoes, she screamed efficiency. Just the sight of her in her pantsuit and work purse made Marty want to get back in bed and hide under the covers. Preferably with some cereal.

“Marty can play goalie or keep score—something—I don’t care,” Wanda said. “Just take her with you and don’t let her wander off like she does.” She narrowed her eyes. “And stay out of the woods!”

At the soccer field, Daniel waved to his friend Adam, then pointed to the far end of the pitch. “Go over there,” he told Marty. “If the ball goes that way, kick it back.”

Marty meant to cooperate, but after chasing a few balls she got bored, wandered off and ended up in the grass, on her stomach watching bees hover over a patch of clover. She was too absorbed to notice when Daniel’s soccer ball whizzed by and rolled down the ditch—right into the Witch Woods.


11 comments to PW #224: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy #ownvoices: MY BROTHER, THE OLMEC

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