The Adventures of Puckatoo -MG

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suz
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The Adventures of Puckatoo -MG

Post by suz » July 22nd, 2010, 10:50 pm

I finally have a completed, polished manuscript, so now I begin the process of working on a query. Thanks for any constructive feedback anyone may have on my query.

Suz

Dear {Agent}

{Reason I chose this agent here}

Puckatoo is a tiny Jack Russell Terrier with a big dog attitude. She thinks the good life is an overflowing food bowl, a squirrel on the run and the center of her owners’ attention. So when she is given to a new family, the Littlefields, because she has too much energy for the brand new baby in her old family, she is positive it’s a mistake. The Littlefields take her on a sailing trip and a sudden storm, along with some accidental help from the family’s three squabbling boys, leaves the parents adrift in the dinghy, and Puckatoo and the boys lost at sea.

Now, in order to get home, Puckatoo must help the boys find their parents and protect them from the dangers they find on their search. Dangers like a strange isolated island; its silver-eyed inhabitants, some who want to help them and some who don’t; and a beast that smells like a bone gone bad who definitely wants to eat them for lunch.

During her adventure, Puckatoo discovers that families aren’t a walk in the dog park. She has to decide in the wag of a tail if she is going to commit to the boys or keep her dream of ‘going home’ to her old life. It’s a decision that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

The Adventures of Puckatoo is a middle grade novel complete at 30,000 words aimed at adventure loving readers aged seven to ten. The story may have particular interest for boys. I am a member of SCBWI New England. I have lived in Maine for the past eight years where the story is set, and my family and I have sailed Casco Bay recreationally for many of those years. When I am not writing, I work as a clinical social worker with individuals, children and families.

Thank you for considering representing my work. I look forward to your response.

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Quill
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Re: The Adventures of Puckatoo -MG

Post by Quill » July 22nd, 2010, 11:05 pm

Cuteness abounds and obviously some serious stuff, too. Send it!

A few nitpicks:

1. "The boys lost at sea" isn't clear. Are they bobbing around in life preservers? We need to know where they are, not just where the parents think they are. After all, you told us the parents were in a dingy.

2. The word "overflowing" stuck out for me. What dog ever has a food bowl overflowing? What owners would fill one to overflowing, especially for a small dog. I could get it as a joke, but your other two examples, the squirrel and the attention, were played straight.

3. The sailing trip sentence is overly long and contains too much info; break into two?

4. Instead of having the dog help them find the parent and protect them, why not say "find their parents while protecting them..." Wouldn't that make more sense, be less convoluted?

Ruth Hansen
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Re: The Adventures of Puckatoo -MG

Post by Ruth Hansen » July 23rd, 2010, 8:44 am

Sounds like a fun story.

I agree with Quill's observations.
Also, in the first paragraph, I'd insert the word "being" ...center of attention.

Good job & good Luck!

Emily J
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Re: The Adventures of Puckatoo -MG

Post by Emily J » July 23rd, 2010, 11:47 am

suz wrote:I finally have a completed, polished manuscript, so now I begin the process of working on a query. Thanks for any constructive feedback anyone may have on my query.

Suz

Dear {Agent}

{Reason I chose this agent here}

Puckatoo is a tiny Jack Russell Terrier with a big dog attitude. She thinks the good life is an overflowing food bowl, a squirrel on the run serial comma and being? maybe? the center of her owners’ attention. So when she is given to a new family, the Littlefields, because she has too much energy for the brand new baby in her old family, yuppers, sounds like a Jack Russell she is positive it’s a mistake. The Littlefields take her on a sailing trip and a sudden storm, along with some accidental help from the family’s three squabbling boys, leaves the parents adrift in the dinghy, and Puckatoo and the boys lost at sea. i might leave out the parenthetical about the squabbling boys, i understand you want to add some characterization but it makes the sentence long and also adds to verb confusion, i think it would read better without

Now, in order to get home, Puckatoo must help the boys find their parents and protect them from the dangers they find on their search. Dangers like a strange isolated island; Dangers like a strange isolated island is not a complete sentence its silver-eyed inhabitants, some who want to help them and some who don’t; and a beast that smells like a bone gone bad who definitely wants to eat them for lunch. confused, i see that you are using a semi-colon to separate items in a list, but there really isn't a sentence there...

During her adventure, Puckatoo discovers that families aren’t a walk in the dog park. She has to decide in the wag of a tail if she is going to commit to the boys or keep her dream of ‘going home’ not sure why this is in single quotation marks to her old life. It’s a decision that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice. this feels a bit cliched to me

The Adventures of Puckatoo is a middle grade middle-grade novel complete at 30,000 words aimed at adventure loving adventure-loving readers aged seven to ten. The story may have particular interest for boys. I am a member of SCBWI New England. I have lived in Maine for the past eight years where the story is set, and my family and I have sailed Casco Bay recreationally for many of those years. When I am not writing, I work as a clinical social worker with individuals, children and families.

Thank you for considering representing my work. I look forward to your response.
You had me at Jack Russell terrier :)
I might suggest tightening the query a little bit and perhaps being a bit more specific about what dangers the dog and the boys will face on the island.

EllieAnn
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Re: The Adventures of Puckatoo -MG

Post by EllieAnn » September 15th, 2010, 9:28 am

Everyone loves a good dog story. :-) Good luck with your querying! Here are my notes:

Puckatoo is a tiny Jack Russell Terrier with a big dog attitude. She thinks the good life is an overflowing food bowl, a squirrel on the run and being the center of her owners’ attention. So when she is given to a new family, the Littlefields, she is positive it’s a mistake. The Littlefields take her on a sailing trip and a sudden storm leaves the parents adrift in the dinghy, and Puckatoo and the boys lost at sea.

Now, in order to get home, Puckatoo must help the boys find their parents and protect them from the dangers they find on their search. Dangers like a strange isolated island; its silver-eyed inhabitants, some who want to help them and some who don’t; and a beast that smells like a bone gone bad who definitely wants to eat them for lunch. (instead of introducing these characters on the island, could you introduce the action on the island? "they almost get eaten by silver eyed inhabitants, they must run from a beast that smells like a bad bone")

During her adventure, Puckatoo discovers that families aren’t a walk in the dog park. She has to decide in the wag of a tail if she is going to commit to the boys or keep her dream of ‘going home’ to her old life. It’s a decision that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice. (This is awesome)

The Adventures of Puckatoo is a middle grade novel complete at 30,000 words aimed at adventure loving readers aged seven to ten. The story may have particular interest for boys. I am a member of SCBWI New England. I have lived in Maine for the past eight years where the story is set, and my family and I have sailed Casco Bay recreationally for many of those years. When I am not writing, I work as a clinical social worker with individuals, children and families. (The last two sentences should be cut, as they are too personal.)

I like how you've added your writing style and personality in the query. well done!

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