Query Letter #12
THE UPSIDE OF DOWN
Dear Ms. LaPolla,
I’m looking for an agent for THE UPSIDE OF DOWN, my contemporary middle-grade novel of 41,000 words, and thought you might be a good fit given your preference for literary coming-of-age-stories.
Meet fourteen-year-old basketball all-star Hobart “Hobo” Crane, who discovers a runaway named Up living in a spruce tree on an empty city lot. At first, Up’s big, bad attitude irritates Hobo as Hobo tries to help him. Gradually the boys form a tentative bond. Each sees in the other what they crave the most − for Hobo it’s a life without boundaries and for Up, it’s someone to trust.
With Up on his mind, Hobo grows increasingly impatient with everyone’s expectations that he’ll help take his team to the State finals. Hobo’s father, a former high school all-star, heaps the pressure on Hobo. Adding to Hobo’s problems is Cherry Chiavetti, the nosy neighbor girl with a Jupiter-sized crush on Hobo, whose constant presence is unavoidable as she helps Mrs. Crane open the new family bakery.
As school and home life pressure grows, Hobo’s connection to Up deepens. Suddenly Hobo is sneaking food to his friend at night, skipping practice to care for Up when he’s sick, and plotting to help Up continue his journey to Florida to find a long-lost sister. Hobo’s plans take an unexpected turn when a mysterious fire destroys Up’s hideout.
About me, I was awarded runner-up for an SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant in 2007 for my other middle-grade manuscript, THE NATURE OF ME. I’ve written stories for Highlights for Children, Babybug, and Pockets, as well as hundreds of articles for newspapers. I am also a network representative for the IL-SCBWI chapter.
May I send you the manuscript? Thank you for considering this. I look forward to hearing from you soon.