PW #258: YA Contemporary: WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Erin L. Schneider  & Veronica Bartles
Mentee Name: Renée A. Price
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 80,000


After seventeen-year-old Brazilian soccer sensation Amélia causes the accident that leaves her professional goalkeeper brother in a wheelchair, she vows to give up soccer. But when childhood BFF, Noah, joins her family’s soccer camp in Rio, the temptation to break her promise may be harder than giving up soccer ever was.


My rapid heartbeat marked the seconds. Any minute now, my miracle would walk through the gates.

After six long months, I was ready to breathe again.

The soccer ball knocked against the tree that loomed by the driveway. Yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers floated down, and the wind swept them away with the last evidences of autumn. The ball dropped to the ground and rolled back to me. It knew its place – never too far away from my feet. Balancing it on top of my foot, I tilted my head back and closed my eyes against the bright sun that highlighted Rio de Janeiro’s clear sky.

My phone buzzed, and without dropping the ball, I reached for it. Mom texted, Flight delayed but already on our way. Be there in twenty. Just as vague as she’d been since Luc was transferred out of state. Not that my brother had said much more than “everything is fine” when we talked on the phone.

But none of that mattered anymore. He was coming home. Before the sun set, we’d play ball again.

Miracles, Amélia. You’ve always believed in them.

I threw the ball up and trapped it in a shoulder stall. With its smooth texture rubbing my skin, I grinned. There was no other way to welcome a miracle home but with a smile.

“Twenty minutes?” I winked at the ball before shuffling it down the path to my favorite place on our property. “Let’s see what we can do with that time.”


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