PW #238: Middle Grade Science Fiction: THE THIRD KEY OF THERIZINIA

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Names: Wade Albert White and Timanda Wertz

Mentee Name: Julie Patton


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Science Fiction

Word Count: 53,000 words


Did 12-year-old Peanut Martin know his family was part of a secret organization that works with aliens? No. Is he looking forward to his unexpected first mission? Um, not really. But when an angry extraterrestrial holds your best friend hostage, you’ve got to step up your game. Peanut must survive the trip into space, a carnivorous plant, a traitor, and a broken hearing aid in order to deliver an ancient key and save his friend – and possibly all life on Earth. No pressure!


If you think we’re alone in the universe – and you like it that way – you should stop reading. Like, now. Seriously. Move along. No hard feelings. I felt the same way until three days ago.

I’ll wait.

Good, you’re still here. The first thing you should know is I’m not supposed to be writing any of this down. If anyone in my family finds out I’m doing this, I’ll probably get sent to a galaxy without wi-fi. I have to write it down, though. I don’t want to forget what happened or start thinking I imagined it.

The drawings and notes from my sketchbook might help explain. Some of them are a little water-stained, but that’s because of the unexpected water portal trip.

Spoiler alert: I survive.

It was Wednesday night and I was trying to drag an old telescope out of my brother Matt’s closet and up to the treehouse. Which may sound easy, but you’ve never seen Matt’s closet. I had to excavate six pounds of South Lake High School sweatshirts and sweatpants off the floor. And at least ten balled-up t-shirts from every college he visited this summer. I love Matt. He’s the coolest brother ever. But the guy is seriously gonna end up on one of those hoarder shows.

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