In 2006, I took time off to travel and figure out my life. While I was at it, I wrote a children’s book. Well, it’s more of a middle-grade book than a true children’s book, aimed roughly at readers aged 8-10. The writing is a bit clunky, and, while the overall story has promise, I think I could improve most of the scene-by-scene writing to be more fun & interesting.
The story centers around Ozric Tantalus, a quirky 9-year-old, who gets the idea to dig a hole to China (something I myself tried when I was probably about 7) from the middle of Central Park in New York.
Unbeknown to Ozric – and his friends Jenny and Alexander, who join in the digging – a crazy chemist named Stephen Snidely is putting the finishing touches on his plan to corner Manhattan’s lucrative bagel market. Snidely’s secret underground laboratory just so happens to be in Central Park, directly beneath the spot where Ozric & co. are working on their hole to China!
If you are interested, the rest of the story is below. It’s a pretty quick read (32k words – around 150 double-spaced pages) and, along the way, you’ll learn a thing or two about bagels, dog-walking, and even China itself.
Also, here is a rewrite of the first three chapters. This version is in the first person from Jenny’s perspective. I think it’s an improvement, both in the quality of the writing (still not awesome, but getting better) and in how interesting it is. I’d very much like to hear what other people think.