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  1. #1
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    Would you buy this book for a kid 10-12 with this blurb?

    Twelve-year-old Alyssa Norris has suffered through tough times of her life. She lost her parents at the age of seven, her aunt at age nine, and her uncle has been very irresponsible, cruel, and abusive towards her and her cousin due to his high amounts of drinking. One day, when Alyssa discovers that she has mysteriously received the power to make animals speak English to her, she also discovers later that day that a family friend she once knew was also her godfather, whom she really wished she got to live with. To make her dream come true, Alyssa runs away from home to travel on an international train down to New Jersey, where her godfather lives. But her dream is ruined when a truck driver “hypnotizes” her to agree to travel to Africa and help a needy family.
    When Alyssa arrives in Africa, she meets the family. But then is told that she must help animals released from a zoo survive in the wild and use her magical power to help them. After spending an entire day doing that, she heads back and notices the absence of the family. When she lets the animals run around in the Tanzanian savannas, an African wizard appears and informs her about a charmed necklace located in the Congo that she must retrieve in order to raise suspicion of the truck driver her. He suspects that the driver wants to harm her in some way, but leaves her to figure out the rest.

    I tested it out on Yahoo Answers and it caught people's interest.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Commenting strictly on the genre, much of the subject matter sounds young for today's middle graders. I don't think I'll comment further. Luck.
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    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
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  3. #3
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    Sunayna,

    Congratulations for completing a book at your age. Quite an achievement.

    I think you've got some significant problems on both the macro and micro levels.

    On the macro level, we've got an abused orphan, who can make animals speak English, running away to a nice godfahter. Oops she's kidnapped and hypnotized by a truck driver. Now she's in Africa and spends a whole day helping zoo animals go wild. Oops a family disappears and a wizzard tells her she has to find a necklace to make folks suspicous of the truck driver, who wishes her harm. Oops, there's a rest to figure out. The story just doesn't hang together as you've written it. Is the core of the story about this girl finding a decent home, about helping animals, about putting the nasty truck driver behind bars? You're all over the place here. It's a story description that needs Ritalin.

    On the mirco level, the writing doesn't do anything to make me wish to put my kid's mind inside your story for a few days. I'm looking at your blurb trying to pull out just one or two things that leave you with such poorly constructed sentences. But there is something fundamentally off about how you're translating thoughts to keystrokes, at least to my ear.

    Let's just take this sentence: But then is told that she must help animals released from a zoo survive in the wild and use her magical power to help them.

    First, you hardly ever need both "but" and "then." Both words are serving similar functions.

    I can't find a subject for this sentence.

    Try stripping out all the prepositional phrases. You have: But then is told that she must help animals released survive and use her magical power to help them. So she must help them and use powers to help them. Do you see how baggy that sort of writing is?

    I'm not sure what you're writing a blurb for, but I think that whatever its purpose, you want to put a lot more work into it. Start with just economical, clear sentences that move in logical progression to give us a character we care about and an engaging problem to tackle. Good luck with this.
    Last edited by C K; 06-27-2011 at 02:29 PM.

  4. #4
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    In a word, "No." Not because I don't think that a kid would be able to follow your plot, but because they might have problems following your writing. Not only is your writing style too complex for most children of that age, there are minor grammar and word-choice issues. To me, at least, this reads like your first attempt at a blurb, posted exactly as you wrote it, with no editing. My advice is to take some time to polish it so that it's an example of your writing at its best, then post it again.

  5. #5
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    I've changed the story now. She doesn't make animals talk anymore, she just reads their thoughts. And they're not too important either. I also rewrote the blurb and tested it out on Yahoo Answers. Everyone who answered said it sounded interesting with THIS blurb.

    Twelve-year-old Alyssa Norris has been suffering through many tough times of her life. Her parents and aunt have deceased and her uncle has become cruel and abusive from consistently drinking. One day, Alyssa not only mysteriously receives the magical power to read animals’ thoughts, but that a family friend she once knew was her godfather. Feeling desperate to live with him, she runs away from home to travel down to where he lives. But her dream is ruined when a strange truck driver “hypnotizes” her to come to Africa and help a needy family.
    After arriving in Africa and meeting the family, Alyssa ends up with another task which is to help some zoo animals survive in the wild. But then an African wizard tells her to retrieve a magical charmed necklace that will raise suspicion of the truck driver. She must accept the command and leave the animals behind for a long and dangerous mission.

    Now this sounds better, doesn't it?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    I think we've been had. Well played, Sunayna.
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    - Bob Dylan

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    I wouldn't buy this book on basis of the blurb because it's all over the place, and not very well-written. Sorry.

    P.S. And if you had an editor go over your book, why don't you have him look over your blurb?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Oh. Sorry, Sunayna. Luck.
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    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
    - Bob Dylan

  10. #10
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    What's wrong with it?

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