4. ODDITY – Middle Grade Science Fiction
Mentee Name: Sarah Cannon
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 65,000
Oddity, New Mexico is a haven for everything from evil puppets to tiny aliens, and eleven-year-old Ada Roundtree is its reigning queen of shenanigans. When her twin wins a mysterious grocery store sweepstakes and disappears, Ada must defeat a dark conspiracy at the heart of her hometown, or lose her sister forever.
Times like now, as I hide behind a stack of gym mats holding Cayden’s head down so he won’t get clawed, I wish you were here. I don’t know why safety drills have to be so realistic. Everyone knows Cayden just moved here from Chicago. Why not prepare him a little before setting angry leopards loose in the gym, instead of letting him drag down our class’s score?
Cayden’s our neighbor, and I know I should help him, but he’s holding me back. Raymond’s going to get more points than me. He dove straight for the weapons locker, like I wanted to do. We’re finally fifth graders, and there’s no one bigger to get there first. On the other hand, I know Cayden hasn’t finished his half of our diorama on “The Three Reasons Science is Risky.” If he gets eaten, I’ll have to do all that homework myself.
A bead of sweat rolls down his forehead. He’s always pale next to Raymond and me, but right now he’s white as a yeti.
“You know what my dad says every time we move, Ada? He says, ‘It’ll be an adventure!’ This time, I told him he was just saying it to make himself feel better. He’s getting back at me, isn’t he?”
“Nope. This is pretty normal for Oddity. Do what I say and you’ll probably live.”
Gosh, kid. Pull it together.