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PW #206: Middle Grade Contemporary: OLD-FASHIONED NEWFANGLED GIRLS

Thursday, 3 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript status: Finished

Mentor Name: Joy McCullough
Mentee Name: Faith Hough
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 55,000


When their best friend Clara moves to Argentina, sisters Georgie and Penny hope working together to buy the horse the three amigas always wanted will salvage their own friendship—and maybe bring Clara back. Unfortunately, Georgie’s obsession with old-fashioned living clashes with Penny’s taste for technology, turning their mission into all-out war.


The one advantage to having five little sisters, Georgie Coleman thought, was that you never ran out of funny stories to tell your best friend, even when you wrote her a letter every other day. If Connie and Cherry hadn’t accidentally dyed the cat’s hair magenta that morning, for example, her current epistle would be a meager seven pages. As it was, she had just hit lucky page thirteen.

A tap, tap, tap against her bedroom window jolted Georgie from her work. Ink splattered from the nib of her quill pen and speckled her paper with cerulean blue.

“Blast!” said Georgie, sopping up ink with an already stained handkerchief. This was the third bottle Mama had ordered for her in a month. If she didn’t stop spilling, she’d be forced to go back to ballpoints for her correspondence. Or worse: e-mail.

Georgie threw open the diamond-paned window to find a chicken standing on the sloped roof beneath the gable. Its sleek, golden head tilted inquiringly to the side, wattle swaying.

“Daffodil dearest, I’m rather busy,” Georgie said. “I’m trying to write a letter to Clara before the mailman comes.”

Daffodil scratched at the roof tile.

“You’d better be quiet,” Georgie warned. “If Mama finds out I’ve been going on the roof, she might forbid me. There’d be no more midday cereal snacks for you.”

The chicken pecked at the windowsill insistently.

“I suppose I can’t refuse the world’s only tree-climbing Buff Orpington,” Georgie sighed.

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