***2012 Grand Prize Winner RWG (Rockford Writers' Guild) Press Contest
A short, sweet fantasy/adventure novel (with metaphysical overtones) for ages 10 and up, adults included
"I read your book cover to cover in one sitting. I don't remember taking a single breath through all 20 warp speed chapters. ZAK is rightly intended for younger readers. Yet his heliocentric adventures - complete with a compassionate cast of earthbound and mystical characters - enabled me to revisit some of my fondest childhood memories." --David Ross, Editor Rockford Writers' Guild Press
Zak and the Mystery Girl is a short, sweet fantasy/adventure novel about a 12-year-old boy's journey to a mystical world of compassionate characters who teach him the value of life on Earth and his place in it. Though the book is intended for the younger reader, it is also a metaphysical treat for adults.
Twelve-year-old Zak Haley has always loved anything to do with outer space. In fact, this summer he has plans to go with his best friend to the Goldendale Observatory. However, on the last day of school, his mother informs him she has lost her job and cannot pay the rent, so she is leaving him with Aunt Jenny while she looks for work.
Zak is angry. He sees nothing ahead of him but a long, boring summer on a farm in the middle of nowhere. But his summer is anything but boring, and nothing on Earth prepares him for the incredible adventure awaiting him.
Chapter 1 (excerpt) ...
The Middle of Nowhere
“Why do we always have to move just when I’m beginning to make new friends?” I glared at the shiny For Rent sign that wasn’t on the lawn before I left for school. Then I glared at Mom.
The school bus chugged past our house, and my best friend Jason stared, goggle-eyed, out the back window. I lifted my hands and shrugged. He wasn’t the only one who was taken by surprise.
“Zak, go get Moose.” Mom avoided looking at me and hoisted a suitcase into the trunk of our car.
Inside the trunk were suitcases and blankets. Wedged between my basketball and my box of model spaceships was a large bag of dog food. In the backseat my Deep Space T-shirt, the one I wore to the science fair, topped a pile of clothes.
I dashed into the house. Plates were still in the dish drainer. The newspaper was scattered on the couch. Everything looked normal. But in my bedroom the dresser drawers hung open, and the bed was stripped down. Even the closet was emptied out.
The only thing left was my poster of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, tacked to the back of the door. I rolled up my favorite picture and gave my room one last look. Of all the houses we’d rented in Washington, I liked this house the best. Now we had to move.