Here's the query:
Dear Ms. B. Agent,
How old are early readers? Like seven? Is the character that age? Say so. Maddison Bernadette Maria Wiseman has the longest name in her family. It may even be the longest name in her neighbourhood! If you read my blog, you know that when I critique queries, I always harp on people for not introducing character first. Character, character, character. I normally want to know what kind of person a character is, before their story ever starts, because I want to know they're someone I can root for and sympathize with so that I care whether or not they overcome their plight.
However, first of all, this is an early reader (which comes before chapter books, if I recall correctly) so I bet the query can get to the point a little quicker. Furthermore, I think this actually works. It's not normal query characterization, but it is kind of characterization. You get the idea that she doesn't fit in her family, in her neighborhood, or maybe even in her own skin. Anyway, yes I just spent like a hundred words telling you your first two sentences work for me.
This year she can’t wait to be called Maddie B. except school doesn’t start for another two long days. This sentence would work better as two independent clauses (separated by a semi-colon), or maybe even two separate sentences. Being bored is not easy and keeping a promise can be harder still, even if learning to do your laundry sounds
To stand apart from other early reader stories, Maddie includes the reader as a
Actually, unless the book includes a character with a prosthetic limb, you can probably cut this whole paragraph. It's fine to be an unpublished writer, agents sign debut authors all the time.
Besides, on a lighter note, this is, to me, already the makings of a great story, and a good query. Let it stand on its own. You don't need to cheapen it by including this other stuff.
Complete at 2,350 words, Maddie B.: Washing Clothes is Easy Peasy . . . Oops! is an early reader story, set in Toronto, Canada.
I believe this will appeal to fans of the Ivy and Bean, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine series. I'm pretty meh on comparisons. I don't use them, and I don't tend to like reading them, but some agents do like them.
In summary, I think this is mostly pretty good. Take my story related advice with a grain of salt, because I've never critiqued an early reader query, and I don't know a lot about the level.
I do know something about story though, and I think you have the basics down.
Do listen to me about these housekeeping details though, because I've read hundreds of queries, and I've seen what works. The main thing to keep in mind is that the story, and then the writing, must stand alone. None of the other details really matter.
What do you guys think? Does anyone write early readers? What about chapter books? Anything below MG? Otherwise, see anything you disagree with? Please leave your feedback in the comments, and have a great weekend.