Dear Miss Snark:
I am seeking representation for Precious Ghost, an upper middle grade novel of approximately 44,000 words.
When Carrie Jefferson hears mysterious nighttime tappings in her bedroom wall, her summer before seventh grade takes an unexpected twist. Their “new” old house was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and Carrie’s bedroom is right above the slaves’ secret hiding place.
Andrew, a descendent of former slaves, helps her decode the tapping using Morse Code. She decides to share her secret with Trey, her gorgeous new boyfriend. But, when Trey and Andrew meet, Carrie discovers that not everything from the past is dead. And she must choose between illusion and truth. (some specifics here would help me figure out what the HELL you mean).
Not a typical ghost story (since there are no "real" ghosts), Precious Ghost deals with growing, changing, and discovering what a girl will and won't do when her core beliefs are challenged. (clunk) I would love the opportunity to send you a synopsis and the first few chapters of Precious Ghost or the complete manuscript for your consideration. (Thank you for your time and consideration is all you need to say. I know you want to send your stuff. )
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you.
My life is ruined. Carrie Jefferson stared out the car window at the ancient house in front of her. It’s all Mom’s fault. She had to live in this stupid house. I hate it. Looking away, Carrie shoved the cage beside her toward her little sister, Lucy.
ok, what the hell?
"My life is ruined" is first person
"Carrie Jefferson stared out of the car window" is third person.
You're either missing punctuation or ..well, the other doesn't even bear thinking about. If in fact, she is THINKING this, then you need to say "My life is ruined," Carrie thought as she stared out the car window. Don't depend on formatting to convey your meaning. Lots of agents will take email queries now and you have to strip out all the formatting to get past the email conversions.
“Stop it!” Lucy exclaimed. “You’ll hurt Olga.” She put a protective arm around the cage. “Mom, make her stop.”
“Girls,” their father said. “Let’s be careful.
I would never hurt Olga, Carrie thought. But, she wasn’t going to tell Lucy. It was her own business that she loved Olga, too.
Something rumbled behind the car.
“Here’s the moving van,” Mr. Jefferson said. “Let’s get Olga into the house, Shortcakes.”
“Okay.” Lucy hopped out of the car, removing the wire cage; a tawny-colored guinea pig huddled in one corner. “It’s all right, Olga,” Lucy cooed. “I have you, you’re safe.” Then she yelled, “I get the corner room! Dibs on the corner room!”
“Yes, dear, we know…” Mrs. Jefferson said. She glanced over her shoulder at Carrie. “You coming?”
“Mom...” Carrie’s lower lip quivered. “Can’t I still go to Thornton? Please?”
“Honey, we’ve been all through that. It’s impossible to drive you across town to go to school outside the district. You have to be here in the afternoon when Lucy gets home. You’ll see Molly and Jo often, and in two years you’ll be with them in high school. It’s not like we’ve moved to the moon, you know.”
Carrie dropped her gaze, tracing the paisley pattern on her shirt. “It isn’t the same,” she mumbled.
“Carrie, come on…now.” Her mother’s tone and The Look told her further discussion was pointless.
She got out of the car and noticed the neighbors across the street peeking through their drapes. Carrie had the sudden urge to stick her tongue out at them. But, no self-respecting, almost seventh grade girl would do something so childish. Lucy might, but not her big sister. She did it anyway, hiding the gesture behind her arm as she closed the door. So there, she thought. I might have to live here – but I don’t have to be nice.
Carrie followed her mom into the house.
"This will be the breakfast room," Mrs. Jefferson announced.
Carrie figured she’d better not press her luck by noting that the kitchen table had been good enough for breakfast at their old house. She dragged her feet through that room, the kitchen and the “formal” dining room. (It looked like a plain old dining room to her.) Barely glancing out the French doors at the stone patio beyond, she went straight through the hallway and stomped up the stairs.
Carrie stopped at Lucy’s open door, watching her walk around the room; Olga cradled in her arms. Lucy showed Olga the closet, the window and window seat; explaining where everything would go when the movers brought them upstairs.
Carrie stuck her tongue out at her sister’s back, and then scuffled into her own room. She had a window seat, too, and that’s where she plopped down; elbows on the sill, her chin in her hands. Carrie looked outside.
If the house is a character you need to show it as such. This is telling, not showing. This is pedestrian, and your first paragraph has made me reel back in horror.
You're starting at the beginning. Dropping us into the middle of the story is almost always a better choice. Like when she first hears the knocking.