MENTOR: Shannon Duffy
MENTEE: Jeff Chen
TITLE: PROFESSOR PLUTONIUM
CATEGORY/GENRE: MG Humorous Adventure
WORD COUNT: 46,000
Calvin and Hobbes meets The Da Vinci Code. Tony Pluto quests to become super-spy Professor Plutonium, but blocking his mission are a sixth-grade kingpin, a Princess Bride giantess, and a little brother who also wants to become Professor Plutonium (or maybe a dog). When Tony discovers an encrypted contest, a secret agent’s life can finally be his—if he cracks the code before his rivals.
Tony Pluto’s head swirled with visions of spy gadgets and ultra-secret codes. Everything, yes everything, would be different once he became Professor Plutonium. No one would push him around, not even his archenemies at Franklin Elementary. After all, who would dare mess with a secret agent more awesome than James Bond? No one, that’s who! Never again would Tony have to dig spitballs out of his ears, because Professor Plutonium would rule the school.
A squeaky voice snapped Tony from his trance. “Do I have to do this?” said his little brother, sniffing at a bowl of red-speckled corn flakes. Billy, a miniature version of Tony, tugged at the collar of his Boston Red Sox T-shirt, smaller but otherwise identical to Tony’s. Bright rubber wristbands covered his forearms, making it look like a rainbow had thrown up on him.
“Hurry up and take a bite,” Tony said. “I have a lot of inventions to finish before I can become Professor Plutonium.” He leaned over his notebook, open to a page that read:
SECRET AGENT NoTEBook
ULTRA-MEGA TOP SECRET, LEVEL INFINITY+1
Do not read on penalty of TORTURE and then DEATH
(and then EVEN MORE TORTURE AFTER THAT!)
Super-secret Plutonic Inventions (SPIs)
SPI #14: Mouth-melting Cereal
Test Subject: Billy Pluto
Billy dragged one hand across a dripping nostril. “Why do I gotta do it?”
Tony sighed. Six-year-olds know so little about the ways of the world.