Twelve-year-old Joseph Kleinberg lives for baseball, but in the hysteria after a shooter appears at his little league practice, his Orthodox Jewish community bans the sport. Nice and clear! The opening paragraph often includes a hook that serves to propel the agent into the rest of the query. You might consider adding one. Quick example: "...lives for baseball, but not at the price of an AK-47 attack. In the hysteria..."
His synagogue cancels little league. His Hebrew Academy closes its field. Even his best friend is forbidden from tossing him a ball. Missing his outlet, Joseph returns to the field where the shooting took place, determined to play alone, but when he gets there, he is not alone.
Joseph recognizes the shooter’s son, and the other boy recognizes Joseph. And they begin to play a game of catch.
What follows is a life-changing week for Joseph, as his budding friendship with Ibreez Mousavi challenges his assumptions and opens his eyes to the wider community in which he lives. As Joseph learns more about Ibreez’s family’s circumstances, he becomes determined to help his new friend’s father, which puts him at odds with his rabbi, his school principal, and possibly his whole community.
I like how clear the stakes are. What you might consider is how to fill out Joseph's personality a little more. What are a few telling adjectives you might add? Or maybe characterize his actions in a way that reveals what kind of kid he is, in addition to loving baseball.
Post by Altered Carbon on May 3, 2018 20:42:23 GMT -5
I really love this. It's a great concept with some very strong themes. I kind of feel like there's a modern day Foot Loose thing going on with the banning of baseball, but my question is, why exactly are they banning baseball? I'm confused as to how this was the catalyst for the shooter. That's like blaming a school for a school shooting. So, I'm assuming there's some element missing here.
I also think that you need to give us names. I'm assuming Roberto Clemente is the shooters son? You can name up to three people in a query, usually the protagonist, antagonist, and best friend/love interest. So it's okay to be more specific about the friendship and what's happening with it. Why are people against it?
The title definitely needs to connect with the query though and right now, it's a random name that isn't even mentioned.
This seems like it's going to be a fantastic novel. I can't wait to see more!
Interesting concept and strong delivery. My only confusion was that baseball gets banned, as if the game were guilty, instead of the shooter. Maybe using "cancelled" and perhaps a fragment included about the elders deciding for the safety of the children, or something so that it doesn't make the reader stop and go off on a tangent wondering about the motives of the banning. Random idea, but I hope it helps.