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7. AMELIA FOOTE ROLLS ON – Middle Grade Contemporary

Monday, 3 November 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Gail Nall

Mentee Name: Marilee Haynes


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 32,000


When her best friend moves to Santa-something, California, Amelia faces a fifth-grade year filled with lonely lunches and solo sleepovers. Armed with a list of “must-haves,” she embarks on a quest for a new best friend. But when all signs point in an unlikely direction, Amelia has to decide whether to stick to her checklist or take a chance on an allergic-to-everything boy named Wheeze.


I figured grown-ups told kids things “for their own good” at least four times every day. Since I was ten years, two months and six days old, that was a lot of “for my own goods.” I could have figured out exactly how many, but since it was summer vacation I’d promised myself not to think about math.

But nowhere mixed in with all of the “look both ways before you cross the street,” “wash your hands after you sneeze,” and “don’t share a glass with your brother,” did anyone ever say the one thing that could have saved me from the gigantic problem I had.

No one ever said, “Make sure you have a spare best friend.”

It wasn’t that I didn’t know about spares. Mom always reminded me to pack a spare pair of socks – and underwear – when I spent the weekend with Grandma. And I always made sure to have a spare pencil for school – at least after the time I had to borrow one from Trevor Ming and I spent the whole day making sure my fingers never touched the chewed on bits.

Wait. Would starting fifth grade without a best friend make me a chewed on bit? ‘Cuz ever since Caroline moved away, I’d kind of felt like one.


Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I would like to see more, please! Please send the query, synopsis and first ten pages to submissions(at)janklow(dot)com. In the subject line of your email, please type: For Stefanie Lieberman – PITCH WARS REQUEST.

  • Laura Cummings says:

    Hi Marilee,

    This has a great voice. And the bit about refusing to do math because of summer vacation is priceless! Could you please send your query letter, synopsis, and first 10 pages to querylaurie(at)fuseliterary(dot)com? Please make sure to include the subject “Pitch Wars: AMELIA FOOTE ROLLS ON” so I remember to give this priority. And to clarify, I am Laurie McLean’s assistant and am requesting this on her behalf, so go ahead and address the materials to her.

    Thank you so much!
    Laura Cummings

  • Louise Fury says:

    I was hooked by that last paragraph and I’d like to read more. Please paste your query and the first ten pages of your manuscript into the body of an email and send it to furyqueries @ thebentagency.com. For the subject line, put PITCH WARS: YOUR TITLE. Thanks!

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