Root Girl is the poetic narration of a girl with the unique quality of growing roots from her toes, and vines from her fingers. The story follows the adventures of Root Girl, who cannot stay still, across the country and into her teenage years. The quirky imagery of a character that is part human and part plant will capture the attention of young readers while the metaphor of the ties we make and break with others will touch readers of all ages.
I received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College in 2011 and published my flash fiction in the Walrus Literary Journal. In 2014, I completed the fiction writer’s workshop at Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) and attended the SCBWI Los Angeles conference. I am currently working on two other picture books and a collection of short stories for adults.
Additionally, I have studied literacy development and culturally responsive pedagogy while teaching in Oakland’s bilingual elementary schools for the past ten years. Root Girl has a viewpoint that I don’t often see from the second, third, or beyond generation Latina child out of touch with her parent culture. As diasporic people, Latina experiences vary greatly. This book encourages children to recognize the ways in which our lives connect and the support that we can provide for one another.
This is an interesting idea and I like how you tie it into your background in culturally responsive pedagogy. Here are some suggestions:
In the first paragraph: - I don’t think you need a comma before “and" in the first sentence. Also, I like the image of growing roots from her toes and vines from her fingers. - I would delete “into her teenage years,” as I don’t think it’s a selling point because kids usually want to read about kids, not teenagers. I think it’s okay to keep in your book, but I wouldn’t highlight it in a query. - I would rework the last sentence. I like learning that the character is part human and part plant and the metaphor, but touching readers of all ages may be too much telling and “capture the attention of young readers” may be unnecessary/sounds a little gimmicky
Second paragraph: - I would leave out the years for everything, as they are unnecessary. Also, if you are a member of SCBWI, I would mention that rather than which conference you attended (I attended that conference, too, so maybe I met you there :).
Third paragraph: - You have a great background, which I think is important to highlight. It’s also great to highlight that this is a diverse book, as we need diverse books! But as someone unfamiliar with that specialty, I had a hard time understanding it and how it ties into your book/I think the connection could be a little clearer. I think it would help to cut the line “As diasporic people,” as the tie-in isn’t clear. Also consider making the last line tie into the “out of touch” concept a little more i.e. This book encourages Latino children to explore their roots and connect to their communities.” (or cultural background if that is more accurate than communities)
Sounds like you have a very interesting purpose, with a unique perspective! Having read some of the other queries posted, I've modified my own to make it more condensed. Perhaps you might consider solidifying your descriptions in the first paragraph?