Thursday, August 26, 2010

12 Pitch Entry #19: Jared Larson

Title: I'm Here to Save Your Day: The Adventures of Bo Wolf.

Genre: MG Adventure/Fantasy

Bo Wolf is just your average bully-slaying fifth grader. Sure, the other kids tease him about his arms looking like flexi-straws, and they tell him to go back to his home on Dweeb Island, but Bo doesn't care. With his mad fencing skills and soon-to-be ravishing good looks, he's convinced he's on the way to the pinnacle of his awesomeness.

After impressing a school yard gang by defeating their leader in a broomstick combat, Bo agrees to help them take on the meanest, ugliest, and biggest bully known to man– Grendul– who's taken the playground jungle gym for his own.

However, when Bo puts the smack-down on Grendul, he finds a much more powerful adversary in the bully's mom, the school lunch lady. Angered by her precious son's defeat, she plots to poison the entire school with her irresistible ginger snaps. When Bo discovers her diabolical plan, he must find his courage to save his friends and the new love of his life, Reagan, from an imminent cafeteria induced death.


  1. I loved this query. I don't know why nobody has commented on it yet. I think this sounds like a funny book with plenty of action. I would definitely get this for my kids (if I had any). It's exciting and fun and just... "on the way to the pinnacle of awesomeness."

    I especially love the lunch lady part. I've seen some scary looking ones before, haha! Good job!

  2. I think this sounds like a blast! I love the visual of arms like flexi-straws. The lunch lady with poisoned ginger snaps is entertaining, and yes lunch ladies can be scary. ;) What a great middle grade story.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  3. I love this pitch! I think the plot is solid and the voice of the MC is obvious...The only thing that tripped me up was the 1st line, "Bo Wolf is just your average bully-slaying fifth grader." Because the 2nd line shows he's geeky & scrawny, not a kid that would be prone to beating up bullies...So maybe just change the 1st line to read...Bo Wolf is not your average bully slaying 5th grader that way you still get to use that great 1st line...Either way it's a great pitch!! Good job & good luck!

  4. This pitch really sings! I think the whole Beowulf premise is super "hooky," and the adaptation (lunch lady :) to fifth grade is very clever. The query is tight and fast-paced and really reflects the tone and voice of your book. Great job and best wishes, Jared!

  5. I agree with everything the other's have said. I really like the sound of this kid Bo. He sounds like a real winner. The combination of fencing and standing up to bullies. His self confidence despite his physical short comings. It sounds great.

    I'm probably going to get kicked out of the contest because I don't have anything to add, but there you go. What can I do?

  6. I love this! I don't actually have any suggestions about anything to change because this query just keeps getting better and better from first sentence to last. I hope it’s OK if I critique by pointing out the specific things I liked.

    First of all, I love that your warrior and bully have names that play off the names of Beowulf and his nemesis, Grendel. That is a stroke of genius! I definitely like the crisp, clear, engaging language. It made it very easy to follow your query, to know who the important characters are, and to become drawn into the story. I love your sense of humor and how you just keep upping the ante until the query is very funny. For example, at the point at which some of the bully’s characteristics are quite humorous, you introduce his mother in ways that are absolutely hilarious! Small details in your query suggest that your manuscript is solid. For example, using irresistible poisoned ginger snaps as a weapon is perfectly ominous and funny at the same time. This sounds like a great book!

  7. So cute! I love the adaptation--it seems really well thought-out, with each element chosen carefully, instead of just crammed in to fit. I also really love the image of Grendel's mom-turned-cafeteria lunch lady. Because I remember those ladies, and you don't want to mess with them.

    My one complaint is that I took "bully-slaying" at face value, and went "WHOA, holy crap, a book about a fifth grader who kills bullies? Really? And it's MG?" Of course it does fit upon re-reading, because it works with the great voice in the pitch, but it definitely set me up for expectations that were very quickly changed by the rest of the pitch.

  8. Grendel's Dam--the scariest female in literature-- as a Cafeteria lunch lady. Genius. Love this.

  9. I appreciate all the great advice, help and encouragement. Not able to write much cause I'm on my mobile, camping. When I get home I'll return the critiques. Just wanted to say thank you for the awesome help. Good luck to everyone.

  10. Overall, I LOVE this, but I have to admit I’m confused. If he’s a bully slayer why is he thin and scrawny and afraid of the biggest bully of all, the lunch lady? How does he slay bullies if he gets picked on himself? How does he slay them, anyway? Surely he doesn’t kill them? Why does he want to impress a schoolyard gang? And why does he agree to help them? Where are the teachers and how come they don’t care they’re going to be poisoned? Do they not know? If not, why hasn’t he said anything to them? If they don’t care, why? What’s his motivation here?

    I’m also not sure if I’m seeing enough of the plot to know if it’s going to be able to carry itself all the way through. How many words is this? But it does sound like something that’s great for MG. Though I would like to see a little more internal conflict from him. Surely he’s not completely sure of his talent as a “bully-slaying 5th grader.” At that age your starting in the self-doubt faze. I’d like to see a bit more of that here.

    Now since I have absolutely nothing to add that will help you, let me just gush on a minute. I LOVE how you’ve turned the story of Beowulf around and made it into a kid’s story. I would def. request pages (if I were an agent) based on that alone, but then you really pulled me in with the broomstick fight. How cool is that? I really want to read that part of it. :D

  11. reading your query was definately a breath of fresh air. so funny! i can definately understand now, what it must be like for an agent to find the diamond!

    i laughed through the whole query, heard the voice from your very first sentence, and then wondered why it's even here!

    send this to an agent, dude.


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