Age Category:Middle Grade
Word Count:52,000
Pitch:Eleven-year-old Ethan loves his special needs brother, and he loves magic, too. When he wins the chance to perform with his favorite magician, he must choose between following his dream and following his heart.
First 250 Word of Manuscript:Whether my audience is nine-year-old Superheroes with plastic hammers and shields, or ninety-year-old great-grandparents with white hair and walkers, everybody loves magic. Especially me.

Today’s show is for a dozen three-year-old girls. Princess Leia pokes Pocahontas; Belle whacks a ballerina with a balloon; and Snow White screams for her mommy.

Welcome to my world.

I’ve been doing magic shows since the beginning of fifth grade, and loved every second of it. Then school ended, summer started, and my kid brother had nothing to do.

“Ethan, why not put Freddy in your act?” Mom suggested. “He could be your assistant.”

Sometimes I think her favorite thing to do is find new ways to ruin my life.

Faster than you can say “Abracadabra,” I explained why her latest idea was even worse than usual. My favorite reason was, “What if I accidentally saw him in half?” No loving parent could possibly argue with that. Right?

Next day, Freddy pranced into the living room in top hat, black shirt and pants, and red bowtie. The top hat practically covered his eyes. The bowtie was crooked. It was like staring at myself in one of those funhouse mirrors, where everything is exaggerated. And terrifying.

“Doesn’t he look wonderful?” Mom gushed.

“He certainly does.” Dad put his arm around her waist.

I hate mushy stuff as much as anyone, but my parents used to be like that all the time… until Jake was born and Mom got nervous and Dad got sad and everything changed.


  1. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway |

    A Gold Coin, please!

  2. I’d love to take a look. Throwing down the Star! Please send material to query [at] newleafliterary [dot] com! Include “Pete Knapp – PITCH WARS” in the subject.

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