didn't get into the third round because it's middle-grade fiction and this is a YA competition.
ABNA Expert Reviewer
What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt? Has the tone of a fairy tale and should be enjoyed as such. She is very like Little Red Riding Hood who knows the wolf is waiting for her and is eager to go see if he left any bits of grandma about. Light.
What aspect needs the most work? The excerpt reads far more like a grade school story than one for young adults. The introduction is almost embarrassingly childish in tone. If the story began with her going into the library and finding out about the dragon, it would be far better. Still - this is for children younger than 10 years old.
What is your overall opinion of this excerpt? Not at all a YA book, this will appeal to a very young audience of precocious girls of about 7 or 8 years old. Has the ring of a Fairy Tale or Twisted Tale, thought it lacks the spark and wonder of Ella Enchanted. The description of the librarian had me chuckling.
ABNA Expert Reviewer
What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt? It is nice to see a "scholar" who is the main character of the story, especially when that scholar is a young woman with brains and courage. The story is reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. It is also interesting to see the melding of the real world with imaginary aspects, such as dragons and ancient people being studied.
What aspect needs the most work? This story does not seem to be written for young adults, but rather for young children. Especially in the beginning there are a lot of definitions for words that young adults would already know. The prose is very basic and would come across as condescending to an adolescent reader. The pace is also very slow, and is not conducive to a building up of tension and conflict.
What is your overall opinion of this excerpt? I would characterize this story as more appropriate for a younger audience. The female, young, intelligent scholar, the main protagonist, sets a good example for young girls especially. Young readers would also be interested in the fantastical elements of the story. However, the prose is somewhat dull and slow and there isn't too much that is particularly unique in this excerpt.