Ope Carmichael’s summer just crashed. Hard.
The year is 1975. The Vietnam conflict has ended, the Baltimore Orioles have a shot at the World Series, and the Ferrari 365 GTB is the fastest car in the world. For twelve year old Ope, the perfect summer would mean: her own Ferrari, a home run for her brother, Zach, the disappearance of Abby Barnes, and the reappearance of her mother.
After a bad pitch reveals Zach’s illness, Ope decides she really only wants one thing: a cure for leukemia.
The University of Minnesota Hospital has a potential cure: a brand new treatment for blood diseases called bone marrow transplant surgery. All that’s needed is a family member with matching blood work. Unfortunately, neither Ope nor Dad match Zach. And Mom is…well, she’s not around.
Frustrated by her father’s refusal to talk to (or about) her mother, Ope comes up with a plan: run away from Minnesota and find Mom. With the help of Zach’s best friend, Abby, Ope manages to board a bus to California. The problem is, Abby comes too.
Then a moment of petty theft leaves them stranded in the Nevada desert. They have no money, no food, no idea who to trust, and five hundred more miles to go.
Can Ope’s opinion of Abby change in time for them to work together and find Ope’s mom? Or will Ope’s stubbornness force her to give up the possibility of saving her brother?
It’s going to take a stint of underage driving, a couple of do-it-yourself hair cuts, and the unexpected intrusion of an orange Dodge Charger to find out.
At 49,000 words, OPE AND ABEL can best be described as an MG smash up of THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER by Liz Garton Scanlon, MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold, and Jordan Sonnenblick’s DRUMS, GIRLS & DANGEROUS PIE. It will appeal to fans of Clare Vanderpool, Ingrid Law, or Kate DiCamillo.
I have a BA in English and Sociology. I am also a member of SCBWI. OPE AND ABEL is my first novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.