WINSLOW STUMPMIER, GIRL SCIENTIST by Lynn Warrington
Middle-grade fiction. All rights available
This story is about me, Freddie (yeah, I'm a girl so no cracks about the nom de moi) Townsley. It tells about how everything's going along fine, I'm living life as an average kid, ready to start the fifth grade when all of a sudden, my life takes a nosedive into the sanitary facilities, (You know, the crapper. My mom won't let me use words like that. She thinks they're disrespectful).
Anywho, my best friend moves away one month before school starts. Then nerdy Winslow Stumpmier moves into town and my mother, who is principal of Weyford Elementary and Middle School, makes me become her new best friend, which completely ruins any chance I have of getting in with the popular girls. About the same time, my mother finds out that old Mr. Baxter's son, Mr. Baxter number two, is trying to steal her job. He's a principal, too, and he wants to move back to Michigan. So he and his dad are going around telling everybody how he can do a much better job as principal, and how if he was principal there would be way more computers in every classroom.
The funny thing is, there is a science contest going on and the prize is ten thousand dollars. And it just so happens that weird Winslow is building a robot and she offers to enter the robot, win the money and buy the computers so my mom won't lose her job. Which makes me realize that in spite of her sticky-out red hair and those mismatched clothes, she's a pretty nice person with problems of her own. Her biggest problem is her father (What fifth grader doesn't think her dad is a problem?) But really, this time it's true. He says he loves her but he's an archaeologist and he's never home and he barely even talks to her on the phone. So I concoct a brilliant (if I do say so myself) plan to get him to pay attention to her.
Of course, Winslow and I run into a few minor snags. There's a certain haunted house run by the cheerleaders I have to conquer to save my entire social life, but always lose my cookies when I get to the room with the coffin and the guy with the chain saw. And Baxter number three, that's number two's son, he's my age, he tries to sabotage the work on Errand, (that's the robot's name), because he wants to win the science contest. It almost works except that Mr. Stumpmier arrives from Greece at the last minute and saves the day.
So in the end, Winslow and her father are reunited, thanks to me, of course. My school gets computers, thanks to Winslow. (Needless to say she wins the science contest. I mean a robot!! That's too cool.) And my mom gets to keep her job. And I get a new best friend. W.S. and F.T….bff. (That's Winslow Stumpmier and Freddie Townsley…best friends forever, in case you don't know.)
WINSLOW STUMPMIER, GIRL SCIENTIST is first in a proposed series of humorous middle-grade mysteries featuring the unsinkable Freddie Townsley and the Winslow Stumpmier, a girl possessed of remarkable intelligence, an amazing vocabulary(which she never hesitates to use) and incredibly bad fashion sense. Using a delightful combination of suspense, adventure, science and slapstick humor, WINSLOW STUMPMIER makes a great read for both girls and boys.
DEAD JED by Scott Craven
Middle-grade fiction. All rights available.
Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed's not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being 'different' for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend's sister's birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the Big Talk from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Junior High as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.
From being stuffed in a filled trash can as 'dead meat' and into a trophy case as the bully's 'prize', to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys' room (Jed's always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he's back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed's had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. And it's awesome what you can do when you're already dead!Jed goes from underground underdog to over-the-top hero and proves you don't have to be living to have a lot of heart