Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 50,000
Fifteen-year-old Reece never thought for a second that his social worker’s plan to get him into Wickersley Academy would come to anything. After all, boarding schools aren’t the typical place to find a biracial foster-kid with an incarcerated mother and abusive grandparents. But he soon finds himself on an academic scholarship and way out of his comfort zone.
Now he is stuck going to school with a bunch of rich, pampered, white kids. They aren’t exactly the kind of people he is used to hanging out with and he highly doubts they are going to give him the time of day. His social worker, however, insists that he give it a try and Reece knows that he doesn’t have anywhere better to go.
To his surprise, between shooting hoops with his housemates, awkwardly romancing the girl from Sophomore English and cursing the devil who teaches it, Reece finds his place among the elite around him. He begins to feel that he has found something he has never had before: a home and a family.
When he witnesses a black upper-classman get shot by a white town official, rage and revenge pull at him. Reece has to choose to trust his new family to support him while standing up for justice or act on his impulses and risk losing the roots and future he has just started to believe he deserves.
Reece is a contemporary Young Adult coming-of-age story complete at 50,000 words. I am a member of SCBWI and have several other YA works in progress.
Tears dripped down the sides of my face and into my hair. Roy was really mad this time. I knew to stay still and quiet when my grandfather got like this. My arm hurt so much that I didn’t want to move anyway.
I found an elephant hiding in the bumpy, white paint of the ceiling - that made animal number five. I slowly turned my head toward the pale yellow curtains, searching for the next creature. From my spot on the floor, I saw the tail of a cat formed from a large crack. I wanted to escape to his world - away from my grandparents who argued in the background.
Tina, my grandmother, stood in the doorway. “That social worker’s gonna be here any minute, Roy. Why’d you do this now?”
“The boy had it comin’ and you know it. You know he took it!”
“He's only five. If he stole your money, we’ll find it. It isn’t worth the world of trouble we’re gonna be in when she shows up and that boy’s turning colors.”
“Dammit to hell!” Roy flipped over the coffee table.
I flinched and scrunched up my face as cigarette ash rained down. I tried not to cough, but my throat felt tight and I couldn’t help it.
Like a cobra, Roy struck again. Bolts of pain ripped through my body as he threw me onto the couch.
“Sit up, you little maggot.”
My left arm was on fire and I struggled to breathe.