Pitch Madness: SJ7 – BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE AND OTHER DRAMATIC DISASTERS

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

Word Count: 41,000

Pitch: Sixth-grader Mary-Catherine fails at everything…until she’s chosen to direct the school play. Balancing boys, besties, and bake sales is hard enough, but with a nemesis set on dramatic sabotage, how will MC save the show?

Excerpt: Starting middle school on crutches had been about as bad as it sounds. While I was hobbling around trying to find all my classes after an “unfortunate accident” during field hockey tryouts, everyone else found all their friends and where they fit in. By the time I was back on my own two feet, I was pretty much invisible (except to Angie, who’d been my BFF since, well, forever). And it’s not like I hadn’t been trying things. For four months I had been trying things. I just hadn’t found the right thing. But today, that would finally change. I could feel it.

I took another look at the picture of the expertly frosted Best Chocolate Cake our home ec teacher, Mrs. Collins, had projected on the screen in the front of the classroom, and my mouth watered.

*Baking is the perfect answer to my New Year’s resolution to find something I’m good at. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate cake? People are going to ask me to bake them things all the time! Maybe I can even get extra credit for it. I’ll have to find out what our history teacher likes before midterms…*

I read through the instructions one more time: grease and flour the pan, mix everything in a bowl, and pour the batter into the pan to bake. *This is going to be awesome.*

“Do you want to grease the pan, or should I?” I asked my partner, Kate Nichols, who was the second worst person in the room Mrs. Collins could have paired me with.

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