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PW #217: Middle Grade Speculative Adventure: SURF MONKS OF NEW HAWAI’I

Wednesday, 1 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Heidi Stallman

Mentee Name: Laura Lashley


Category: MG

Genre: Speculative Adventure

Word Count: 65,000


Exiled on a city of sinking cruise ships, orphan Pallie daydreams about New Hawai’i—forbidden to Tourists like her. When they receive the first radio transmission since the world went dark, there’s finally hope of rescue—until Pallie fries the radio. Going undercover as a Local, she sneaks ashore to find its replacement and instead discovers the family she’s always craved. Torn between feuding worlds, Pallie must choose before her secret’s exposed and she loses them both.


Pallie peeked over the rim of the Hawaiian Fantasy’s swimming pool—now filled with fortified soil and thriving vegetables—and plotted her escape.

Dang. Farmer Stan hovered in the cabana nearby, weighing the harvest. The Dinner Under the Stars astronomy talk would begin soon. If she didn’t leave now, she’d never snag a spot with the Captain.

The sad pile of cabbages she’d harvested and the long row of yams still waiting mocked her.

Yer doomed, Pallie!

We’ll never buy yer freedom!

Vegetables rule, girls—

“Shut up, yams. It’s not my fault I’m behind!” Who could care about chores today? The coastal waters off the Big Island were full of sailboats and skinny canoes headed to the Makahiki. The arrivals had thinned since morning, but a flash of bright blue glimmered against the sun-pink waters. Pallie grabbed her binoculars.

A blue canoe! A whole horde of them!

Yipping, she zoomed in. Each canoe was manned by one proud kid, no older than twelve, like her. What did Teacher Bruce call them? Aco-somethings.



They were baby Surf Monks, not yet pledged to their mystical orders. You always knew who were acolice because they dyed their hair blue to signify their commitment to the ocean.

Pallie grinned. The Locals were so weird—even the yams agreed. She couldn’t wait to tell the Captain.

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