Pitch A- War and Me

War and Me
YA Historical Fiction
63,000

Query:
Flying model airplanes isn’t cool, not for fifteen-year-old girls in the 1940’s. No one understands Julianna’s love of flying model airplanes but her dad. When he leaves to fly bomber planes inEurope forcing Julianna to deal with her mother’s growing depression alone, she falls hard for Ben, the new boy who likes her odd habit. But navigating the uncertainties of a first love when she has an emotionally absent mother and a best friend with trust issues proves a challenge.

Daily the realities of war invade her world, especially when her first Valentine’s Day dance with Ben is ripped apart by the news of another Bridgmont casualty.   Soon after, Ben drops his own bomb into her life when he decides to join the war. He hopes his secret repair of her beloved Super Buccaneer model plane will be enough for her to forgive him as he prepares to deploy.

Love, loss, and self-discovery amidst scrap metal competitions, rationing, air raid drills, USO events, and the news of the day from overseas place the reader on the American homefront in the 1940’s, but the emotions are much the same as those of teenage girls today.

First 150 Words:
1943
It’s funny the things you do when you’re paired against an adversary called War.  The thought of collecting other people’s trash a few years ago would have sickened me.  But for Dad I’d do about anything.
“Julianna, are you even listening to me?” asked Caroline.
“Huh?  Um…yes.  Let’s search the river, too.”
“Good.  Because no way that boy’s getting dibs on the scrap metal treasure out there.  We’re winning this contest.  These rations are killing me, and I need a real dinner in a real restaurant,” said Caroline.
I couldn’t stop staring at the unfamiliar boy across the river.  He wasn’t from Bridgmont.  I was sure of that.
“Maybe we should walk down river a bit.   I don’t want to look like we’re taking over that boy’s territory,” I said.
“No way!  We go upriver.  Anything washing downriver he’ll have first chance at.”
So, that’s what we did.

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15 thoughts about "Pitch A- War and Me"

  • Marlowe says:

    This has my vote.

  • Jen says:

    This is a great premise. There are a few unanswered questions I have from the query though. Who is the best friend with trust issues? How does that play into her hardships? What happened to the plane Ben is repairing, and why would it make things right?

    On your first 150 I’m a little confused about what’s going on. I thought at first they were picking up trash, but then there’s discussion about eating and rations and contests. Maybe a sentence or two that sets up the setting a little more would help me connect to what’s happening.

    Good luck!

  • Carrie-Anne says:

    I’d love to read this, since the 1940s are my favorite era to read and write about. The first 150 confused me a little too, though. The fact that they’re talking about scrap metal and rations seems a bit awkward and calling attention to when it’s set, instead of weaving in those details through non-dialogue narrative or a more natural-sounding dialogue. I was guilty of this in my own historical writing in my early days, so I really understand why it can happen even if we’re not aware of it.

  • Jammy Dodgers says:

    Flying model airplanes isn’t cool, not for fifteen-year-old girls in the 1940’s. < No one understands Julianna’s love of flying model airplanes but her dad. When he leaves to fly bomber planes in Europe forcing Julianna to deal with her mother’s growing depression alone, she falls hard for Ben, the new boy who likes her odd habit. But navigating the uncertainties of a first love when she has an emotionally absent mother and a best friend with trust issues proves a challenge. <>

    Daily the realities of war invade her world, especially when her first Valentine’s Day dance with Ben is ripped apart by the news of another Bridgmont casualty. Soon after, Ben drops his own bomb into her life when he decides to join the war. He hopes his secret repair of her beloved Super Buccaneer model plane will be enough for her to forgive him as he prepares to deploy.

    <>

    Love, loss, and self-discovery amidst scrap metal competitions, rationing, air raid drills, USO events, and the news of the day from overseas place the reader on the American homefront in the 1940’s, but the emotions are much the same as those of teenage girls today.

    First 150 Words:

    I love the opening line. Sometimes the voice reads a little more narrative, as someone said above. I also agree that I’m a little confused as to WHAT is going on. Try fleshing out some of that. All in all, I’m really intrigued. This is a story I have never before and I think it would be a great read.

  • Jammy Dodgers says:

    SORRY, it deleted my comments. AGAIN.

    Flying model airplanes isn’t cool, not for fifteen-year-old girls in the 1940’s. ***Love this line.***

    “But navigating the uncertainties of a first love when she has an emotionally absent mother and a best friend with trust issues proves a challenge.”<< ***This line threw me a little. There wasn't mention of the best friend before, so I was like HUH? Maybe take this part out for the sake of the query**

    **The third paragraph loses me. You had me going with all these stakes, and then you're just listing random things. Find a way to tie in the stakes to some sort of consequence. The last thought you left me with was that he gave her a model plan before he deploys, so what is Julianna left with? What's her new dilemma? What's at stake for her? What is she going to learn? etc. Leave me wanting MORE about HER story, instead of this vague ending.***

    First 150 Words:

    I love the opening line. Sometimes the voice reads a little more narrative, as someone said above. I also agree that I'm a little confused as to WHAT is going on. Try fleshing out some of that. All in all, I'm really intrigued. This is a story I have never before and I think it would be a great read.

  • test says:

    Doing another test. Don’t mind me:)

  • Indigo says:

    The first paragraph of the query feels a bit disjointed. You have her love of model plans, her father’s absence, her mother depression, her best friend’s trust issues, and her first love for Ben. It’s a bit too much. You need to be more focused on only the very heart of the story, maybe how her mother’s condition drives her into Ben’s arms, or whatever. Don’t make it a stew of small issues. The second paragraph is more focused, but not always on the right thing. It should be how Julianna is affected by Ben’s decision to join up. The POV shifts a bit in this second para. Stay focused on her and what choice she has to make and the consequences of that choice.

    In your first 150, you have a nice start with an emotional setting. But you can go a bit further and show how this relates to whoever is speaking. The dialogue has little impact if the reader doesn’t first connect with the characters, and to do that, the reader has to know who the characters are first.

  • Writerlicious says:

    This sounds like a wonderful story!

  • Jess Schira says:

    I really like the idea of this story. Good luck!

  • Juliana says:

    Honestly, I think this is a good query that’s full of emotion that your reader can connect with, but you can make it more concise, which I think stems from the fact that you mention so many elements: mom’s depression, dad going away to war, model airplanes, her relationship with Ben and then Ben leaving.

    Take this sentence for example: “When he leaves to fly bomber planes inEurope forcing Julianna to deal with her mother’s growing depression alone, she falls hard for Ben, the new boy who likes her odd habit.” Those ideas don’t quite connect, it’s like I need some sort of reaction from Julianna: “When her dad leaves & her mom gets depressed, Julianna feels alone and…” (paraphrasing of course!) Make sure everything has a nice transition and connection. Hit me up if you need any clarification!

    BTW, awesome name for an MC ;)

    p.s. Birthday giveaway is tomorrow, so stop by the blog!

  • Jammy Dodgers says:

    YOU’VE GOT MY VOTE!!

  • karen says:

    I’m so down with the girl who wants to fly model airplanes, especially in the 1940′s. Love this premise. You’ve got MY Vote!

  • Terri K. Rowe says:

    I loved your premise for your novel. The 1930s and 1940s were my favorite era of history to study and I like reading any fiction or non fiction books dealing with that ere. I would gladly pick this book to check out at the library or to own! :)

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