09: ANCHORED AT REDWOOD GROVE

Title:Anchored at Redwood Grove
Age Category:Middle Grade
Genre:Magical Realism
Word Count:37,000
Pitch:Charlotte was happy traveling the world, but those days are over. On Starsparrow Island, she gradually finds friendship, stability, and a magical redwood forest that Charlotte is responsible for preserving when she threatens its survival.
First 250 Word of Manuscript:Charlotte West gazed skyward from her makeshift perch in the limbs of the ancient redwood tree. Through the thick branches above, her view was of the cornflower morning sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. She hummed a tune as her hammock swung in harmony with the passing breeze, 200 feet in the air.

Technically speaking, sleeping in the trees of Redwood National Park was frowned upon. But the park rangers never seemed to notice Charlotte and her family during their unusual campouts, or if they did, they never tried to coax them from the trees.The gentle morning birdsong was interrupted by another sort of call: a piercing whistle from her mother, far below.

That, Charlotte knew, was the final signal. It was time to descend the redwood. She stretched her body one last time, then stood and found her balance on the branch beside her hammock. Though she was impossibly high up, the wood felt strong and sturdy beneath her feet, as if she were already on solid ground.

With expert speed, Charlotte packed her gear and slung her bag over her shoulders, scooped her helmet onto her head, and secured herself onto the elaborate rope system that would help her climb downward.

Before she began her journey below, Charlotte wrapped her arms as far as they would reach around the trunk of the redwood tree. Holding herself steady, she rubbed her palms in circles across the rough bark, the coolness of it thrumming against her skin.

4 Comments

  1. I’m tossing the mushroom.

    Brent Taylor
    brent [at] triadaus [dot] [com]

  2. This sounds interesting. I’m a fan of magical realism! I’d like to throw a Star.

    Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis
    chquery@mcintoshandotis.com

  3. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway |

    A Star for this one, please!

  4. For the challenge round I’ll throw a coin!

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