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PW #218: Middle Grade Light Science Fiction/Humor: MISHAPS OF A SIXTH GRADE SCIENTIST

Thursday, 3 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Allison Ziegler
Mentee: Chrystal Carver
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Light Science Fiction/Humor
Word Count: 40,000


Eliana’s sixth grade to-do list includes winning the science fair, defeating her nemesis, and resurrecting her pet turtle. Perfecting the formula for a home-grown zombie should cover all three. But when her best friend goes rogue and drinks her zombie juice, she’ll have to find a cure before he transforms their school of geniuses into a horde of the undead.


The metal signs secured to the chain link fence read HIGH VOLTAGE. Tucker was right. The sub-station was the perfect place to test my turbo charged turtle robot for the science fair. All we needed to do was jump start its internal battery and duct tape his fin back on and he’d be ready to launch.

Easy-peasy. Science for the win.

I puckered my lips in an upward motion and blew a brown frizzy curl off my sweat-beaded forehead. The sun hadn’t shown itself in days, and of course it picked the one day that we needed to walk through a gravel yard to blast its rays. The heat rebounded off the gravel in waves, making me feel like a bacon wrapped sausage cooking over coals.

“Were you able to attach the rockets last night?” Tucker asked. He glanced over his shoulder like he expected an angry mob of power station workers to ambush us. It was Sunday and it wasn’t like anyone would care that we were at the power station. The signs surrounding the station said ‘high voltage’, not ‘keep out or you’ll die’. How much damage can two six-graders do to a power station anyways?

“I wrapped the boosters around the robot’s torso with packaging tape.”

I didn’t have much of a choice. My dad refused to let me have real tools, and super glue wasn’t as super as it could be.


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