9. THIRTEEN O’CLOCK – Middle Grade Light Science Fiction
Mentee Name: Stacy Hackney
Title: THIRTEEN O’CLOCK
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Light Science Fiction
Word Count: 52,000
Twelve-year-old Emmaline doesn’t need help, not from anyone. But when a dangerous criminal uncovers a thirteenth hour hidden in each afternoon and uses it to rob the town, Emmaline can’t stop him alone. She’ll need her annoying twin brother, and every spare minute she can find, to save her home.
Emmaline Fable stared down the biggest crook in three counties. Her heart thundered against her rib cage, but not from fear––heck no. As a fighter for justice, a herald for truth, an investigative power the likes of which the town of Lullaby had never seen, she owed her readers the truth. She tapped the ultimate weapon––her pencil––against the notebook clutched in her hand and waited.
“Can you repeat the question?” A drop of sweat trickled down his flushed face and plopped onto his frayed coveralls. The name Jerry curled in white embroidery below his left shoulder.
Without blinking, Emmaline leaned forward; clearly she was on the right track. He was sweating and he’d asked her to repeat the question. Classic avoidance tactics. Perfect. The fact that it was ninety-two degrees outside was beside the point.
“Sure I’ll repeat the question, Jerry … if that’s even your real name,” Emmaline said.
He scrunched up his forehead.
Emmaline narrowed her unblinking, but now watering, eyes. “The question––did you get paid for each one of these so-called repair calls?”
Jerry ducked behind the furnace on the side of the Simpkins’ house. “Are you working on a school report or something?” His voice echoed through the metal fan blades.
“No, I’m not working on a school report. It’s summer vacation. For your information, I’m a reporter and I’m working on an article. A very big article,” Emmaline said.
If he started shaking in his tennis shoes, she wouldn’t be a bit surprised.