Manuscript Delivery Date: One Month
Mentor Name: Kim Long
Mentee Name: Diana DeBolt Johnson
Title: PENELOPE CHARMING AND THE POISONED GLASS SLIPPERS
Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 40,000
Being Cinderella’s daughter isn’t a Happily-Ever-After for eleven-year-old Penelope. After her mom’s glass slippers are poisoned, Penelope must face a candy-magic wielding witch, survive a giant’s Beanstalk Forest, and outrun escaped villains to deliver the cure before her mom falls into a deathly slumber and the villains destroy Fablewood.
Glass slippers made terrible frog-capturing shoes.
My too-big slippers scraped against the stone of the secret passage, surely announcing my presence.
Pausing, I scrunched my toes to keep the slippers from falling off and knelt to peek through a peep hole in the secret door. In the garden beyond, a small frog stood on a wishing well and rolled his tiny top hat up his arm to his head. He plopped down—belly up to the sun—and slid the hat over his eyes.
I shoved my slingshot and net through my sash, cracked opened the door, and squeezed through.
A thorn from the bush snagged the frilly hem of my dress. Clenching my teeth, I eyed my prey. The frog stretched his scrawny arms, wiggled a teeny bit, and relaxed. Whew.
The brave princess crept through secret passages, climbed tall towers, trudged through swamps…she was Princess Penelope, daughter of Cinderella. One slimy beastie was no match for her.
I squelched through the mud to the well and stopped.
One happily ever after . . . two happily ever after . . . three happily ever after.
“Surrender!” I sprang to my feet and raised the net.
A tiny splotch of water glistened on the bare stones.
“Rotten peas!” I leaned over the well.
“Gribbit! Er . . . gotcha!” The frog teased as he leaped from behind a broken stone onto my shoulder. He poked my cheek with his twig.