Mentor Name: Joy McCullough-Carranza
Mentee Name: Eric Bell
Title: ALAN KIM IS NOT A COWARD (…RIGHT?)
Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 51,000
Twelve-year-old Alan can’t stop thinking about the boy across the cafeteria. When Alan’s brother Nathan discovers Alan’s crush, Nathan proposes they play another round of Kim vs. Kim, a game of nearly impossible tasks—and if Alan loses, Nathan will out him to the whole school. But hey, no pressure, right?
A guy’s life can basically be summed up by two things: how much Silly Putty he’s eaten, and who made him eat it. There are charts and diagrams to calculate your Level of Wussdom based on whether you ate Silly Putty, say, because you were lazy and you didn’t feel like walking to the fridge to get an apple or something, or because your older brother tackled you to the floor and force-fed you leathery, glumpy globs.
Let’s just say my older brother’s introduced my stomach to so many new varieties of random objects, my Wussdom Level is literally off the charts.
In the end, isn’t that all you need to know about me? On my tombstone they’ll carve, Here Lies Alan Kim. Ate A Metric Ton Of Silly Putty. His Poop Was Spongy And Could Stick To Walls. What else is there to even say after that?
“Hey, Alan,” Zack Kimble says at the Unstable Table, adjusting the stuffed snake tied around his neck. “Why do they call it a fork?”
Well…maybe there’s a little more to say. That’s not exactly what I had in mind, but sure, why not.
“It’s funny.” Zack holds his plastic fork to the light like he’s waiting for it to sprout wings and dance the cha-cha. “You know how some things have names that fit them, right? Like, an orange is called an orange because it’s orange. Why is it called a fork?”