Thursday, March 26, 2009

beginning excerpts - chapter books to MG

This post goes with week 3 of the 14 week novel. These are beginning paragraph excerpts for chapter books to older MG/ Tween novels to show voice. (The other post got too long.)

Araminta Spookie: My Haunted House by Angie Sage
(chapter book/young MG, engaging voice, pulls you in and promises wacky adventures, hopefully appeals to boys and girls. Learn more about Araminta here.)

It all began when I was in my Thursday bedroom doing my ghost practice. I have regular ghost practice, as I was sure it would be much easier to find a ghost if the ghost thought I was one too. I have always wanted to find a ghost, but you know, even though our house is called Spookie House, I have never, ever seen a single ghost, not even a very small one. I thought that Aunt Tabby had scared them off – she would scare me if I were a ghost.

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
(chapter book/young MG, interesting voice/viewpoint, pulls us in to find out if she’s a reliable narrator or not, plus we want to know what really happened, Clementine isn’t perfect, but she’s still funny and loveable. Learn more about Clementine here.)

I have had not so good of a week.

Well, Monday was a pretty good day, if you don’t count Hamburger Surprise at lunch and Margaret’s mother coming to get her. Or the stuff that happened in the principal’s office when I got sent there to explain that Margaret’s hair was not my fault and besides she looks okay without it, but I couldn’t because Principal Rice was gone, trying to calm down Margaret’s mother.

Notes From a Liar and Her Dog by Gennifer Choldenko
(solid MG, you know from the title that the MC is a liar. Pulls us in through the voice and the feelings she’s keeping to herself. Learn more about the book and the character on Gennifer’s website.)

“I don’t even know what I did this time,” I say to my best friend Harrison Emerson. We watch my mother park her car in the school’s visitor parking slot.

“Could be she’s here because of Kate. Maybe Kate’s in trouble,” Harrison suggests. He is sitting on the asphalt in the shade of the backboard, drawing a chicken in his math book. He always draws during recess, until a noon aide makes him play.

Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale
(solid MG, pulls us in with the title, voice and opening, which all promise adventure. This is one of my favorite MG books. Read the first chapter here.)

Joe flopped on to the seat and loosened his school tie. His suitcase jutted over the edge of the luggage rack above his head and its label dangled in front of his eyes. It read:

Joseph Binks
c/o Mrs Merle Taverner
2 Cloister Walk

Joe ripped the label from its piece of string, scrunched it into a ball and threw it into the farther corner of the railway compartment. The woman sitting opposite him was too engrossed in her newspaper to raise an eyebrow. Joe slumped back into his seat and wished for the hundredth time that day that he was staying in London for Christmas.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
(solid fantasy/adventure MG, interesting note, IMO, the book is as much about the other characters as it is about Artemis. Pulls us in with the promise of adventure and a smart character. Learn more about Artemis here.)

Note: There’s a prologue. This bit is from the start of chapter one.

Ho Chi Minh City in the summer. Sweltering by anyone’s standards. Needless to say, Artemis Fowl would not have been willing to put up with such discomfort if something extremely important had not been at stake.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
(older MG, great quirky/funny voice, pulls us in by making us want to know who she is and what makes her tick. Read the full first chapter here.)

I have been accused of being anal retentive, an overachiever and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things. My disposition probably has a lot to do with the fact that I am technically a genius. Unfortunately, this label seems to precede me wherever I go.

Lily’s Ghosts by Laura Ruby
(older MG / Tween, pulls you in with an intriguing story, great voice and a setting that is almost another character in the book. It’s one of my favorite ghost stories. Read chapter one here.)

Note: This book has alternating chapters. One set is the story and the other in about the ghosts. This is from the beginning of chapter one (of the story).

Just after six in the evening, with the January sky glowering through the windows like a new bruise, Lily decided to throw Uncle Max in the closet.

Breathe – a ghost story by Cliff McNish
(older MG / Tween, not your typical ghost story. It pulls you in with an imaginative ghost world and a great haunting voice. It’s my favorite recent ghost story. Read an excerpt here.)

Lonely, invisible, and still wearing the clothes they had died in: the ghosts of four children were in this house. Something had disturbed their spirits, and now they were rising slowly up from the cool darkness of the cellar.