Wednesday, March 5, 2014

First Impressions - The Dead Things Collection

Our second First Impression comes from Kristen Wixted who has kindly offered up the first page of her MG novel, THE DEAD THINGS COLLECTION. You can find her at her blog, Don't Forget the Samovar. My comments will be in purple and do go see what Dianne had to say about this first page - here.

Chapter 1 - Opportunity

In second grade, Miss Augusta taught Emilio and me the word OPPORTUNITY.  It means a situation that you can make the best of, and get something you want.
We live in Patagonia, Maine. Usually summer doesn’t come here until late June, but this year summer heated up the sky and the street and everything else by the middle of May.
We have this new neighbor.
Her name is Scarlet.
Scarlet has a pool.
The pool is blue and cool-looking. It has a floating dolphin and a waterfall and diving rings, and it’s next to a patio with a little fridge full of soda in shiny cans. Like this description.
But Emilio and I didn’t get invited to the pool, only the girls on the street did. So Emilio said, “We just have to wait for our opportunity.”
Emilio uses words we learn in school like he’s testing them out, the way you throw around a new football in your yard.

We waited for our opportunity for five weeks. Wow, That's a long time to wait for a second grade boy!
And THEN, on the first day of summer, there was screaming across the street! Eight girls were all running from Scarlet’s house to mine in bare feet, screaming,
Hellllp us!
It’s terrrrrrible! Grossss! Disssgusssting!!!
Hellllp, someone helllllp! Do you want quotation marks around these screams for help, maybe?

Emilio and I sat in the driveway, watching.
Then he said, “Ike, guess what?”
And I said, “What?”
He said, “This is our opportunity.”

My first impression? I love it. I'm not a big MG reader and seldom do I read anything meant for younger MG audiences but this has such a fun feel to it and I'm dying to know why the girls are all screaming and how these two boys are going to make the most of their opportunity. I would totally turn the page to find out. My only thought is that this seems a little older than second grade, fourth or fifth maybe, but again, I'm no MG expert and it certainly wouldn't stop me from reading regardless of my age!

Thank you Kristen for submitting and I hope you, dear reader, will chime in with any thoughts you might have.

See you on Friday for our last First Impression of the month :)


  1. That had great voice and sense of humor!

  2. I love this too. In fact, I think this is the best first impression I've read. I do agree, the voice is a little old...but that's my only comment. It's great.

  3. The passage is funny and very appropriate for the age. Good work!

  4. I adored this. I already left my comments at Dianne's blog. Really well done Kristen.

    BTW, Marcy, I love the cover of your book! Awesome!

  5. I'm so not an MG expert - not even close - but I really liked this. The voice rings true, and the humor is great.

  6. I didn't know it was MG, but soon into it I guessed it must be. So the voice must be about in the right place. (not quite old/sophisticated enough for YA). Spunky and catchy!

  7. I don't read or know much about MG, but this had me wanting to turn the page.

  8. Thanks, everyone! These comments are great for the self-esteem...:)


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