Guess the Plot
1. Hero apprentice Brian Wade learns the hard way why you should never offend the notary whose job is to assign your Superhero Name.
2. Captain Kissy-Face is the latest student to arrive at the school for superheroes. None of the other boys can figure out what his superpower is. The girls, on the other hand, all want him as their lab partner.
3. Every mini-skirted, wonderbra-ed space hottie Captain Kirk ever shagged - human, Vulcan or transdimensional energy being - is back for revenge. Revenge for broken hearts, for being dumped after each mission, and most of all for that nasty strain of Romulan herpes.
4. The crew of B17 'Lucky Lulu' aren't too happy when movie star Bill Rollins comes on board. He's always posing with the plane, blowing kisses to his fans. Tonight they're heading for Germany. Will they survive their run, or will the Luftwaffe make them all kiss their asses goodbye?
5. Miriam, nearing her 30th birthday, can't keep a boyfriend. After three potential Mr. Rights disappear without forwarding addresses, Miriam thinks they can't handle her 17 cats. But her suspicions change when she gets a message through her online dating site saying, "no mor boyz!!1! teh next captin kisy-face gonna die!!!!1!!1 lolz"
6. Felix Kissy-Face rose through the ranks from private to corporal to sergeant. But now he keeps getting passed over for promotions. Is there really a glass ceiling in the army? Or is it just that no one can respect a man with a name like Felix?
I am seeking representation for my middle-grade novel Captain Kissy-Face, complete at approximately 25,000 words.
It takes more than superpowers to be a superhero. [True. It also takes a tolerance for latex and a secret identity. But don't overestimate the importance of the latter. Most superhero disguises wouldn't fool anyone with an IQ. Superman came up with the idea to put on a pair of glasses so he could mingle with lower beings. That it worked can only be attributed to the intellectual capacity of his circle of friends. Then there's Aquaman. He spent months coming up with his secret identity, but everyone knew it was him anyway, because he breathes through gills. It's a dead giveaway when you're out on a dinner date and you keep running over and sticking your head in the lobster tank. As for The Thing, here he is as a superhero:]
And here he is in his secret identity as an Elvis impersonator.
Didn't really fool anybody.] [Superman disguising himself by wearing glasses is like Evil Editor disguising himself by wearing an ear stud.]
[Did you recognize me? Lois Lane wouldn't have.] Several newcomers have arrived on Red Cloak Island. The kitchen lady whose face is the same size, shape, color and texture as a basketball is unusual. The substitute teacher whose face is lost in shadow even when he stands beneath the light is bizarre. But the strangest of all is the new sixth-grade student who will come to be known as Captain Kissy-Face. He’s polite, smart, and a bit shy. He looks and acts like a completely normal boy. He introduces himself as Kevin McFarland, which is beyond weird. [I'm afraid I have to disagree with your assessment. Basketball-head is the strangest. Does she have a nose and mouth, or do they have to stick a needle in her valve to get her oxygen? I'll bet when she walks down the hall all the students torment her by blowing whistles and calling her for traveling.]
Secret from the world at large, unaffiliated with any nation, Red Cloak Island looks like a volcano rising out of the sea. Deep within, protected by a cleverly designed dome, is a school for superheroes. One girl has a tendency to raise her hand higher than anyone else – all the way to the ceiling, in fact. [They call her Bighand.]
[No one's figured out what good she'd be on a team of superheroes, but the Incredible Hulk insists on keeping her around.] One boy calls himself Invisible Max and likes to keep teachers guessing as to whether he’s actually in class or not. Others can fly or crush boulders or create tornadoes in the classroom. In the history of the school, Kevin is the only one who ever passed up the chance to show off his powers to his new classmates. [My money's on explosive kisses.] He hasn’t even given himself a super-cool hero nickname. [Flamethrower?]
Speculating about the new kid’s abilities and even trying to force him to reveal his secret power becomes the focus of half the sixth-grade class, until something more sinister steals their attention. An illness is spreading across the island, stripping students and teachers of their powers. Could polite, shy Kevin McFarland be to blame? [No need to tell us he's polite and shy a second time.] Why does the new substitute go to such great lengths to hide his appearance? And what secret of Red Cloak’s earliest days lies hidden in the books no one is allowed to remove from the library? [Has anyone tried reading them while in the library?]
Captain Kissy-Face was written as a standalone novel, but I’ve already begun working on related titles in what I’ve been calling the Sixth-Grade Superheroes series. I have included the first 10 pages below in the body of this email, and would love to send you the full manuscript to consider.
Sounds like a winner. I'd shorten it a bit. Get rid of: It takes more than superpowers to be a superhero. It's on an island with no transition into the next sentence.
There are several lists, and more set-up than plot, but that isn't so bothersome in this type of book. That said, you can do without Bighand.