Artist's Statement - The Mad City Kids Series
Pitch: The Real Lizzy
Being adopted and Chinese is easy for eleven-year-old Lizzy.
Or it was until Lizzy’s “heart” mother signs her up for a Chinese dance class, so Lizzy could get in touch with her roots. Things go from annoying to heart-breaking as her former crib mate from their orphanage abandons her for the real Chinese girls in their dance class. The dancers all agree. Lizzy is a banana – yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Lizzy’s fifth-grade teacher makes her draw a family tree, but Lizzy, abandoned at birth, doesn’t have a clue who to put on her picture. The new kid on her soccer team calls her slant eyes. Jeez. No one has ever called her that before.
It's time to set them all straight about who she is.
A Lotus Pitch: A Lotus for Lizzy Lin
Lizzy travels with her heart mom in search of her bio mother. She wants to give her Chinese mother a letter to let her know she's doing great. But after her sorta sister Zoe called her a banana - yellow on the outside and white inside - she's worried the 1.3 billion people of her native land won't accept her.
And she's right. Not only do they not accept her, a clerk, shopkeeper and a tour guide treat her like she's invisible. Finding no one who will take her letter, Lizzy leaves her letter under an abandoned gingko tree at her now demolished orphanage. When she returns from leaving her letter at a railroad station where she was abandoned ten years ago, there's a white water lily in its place. In Mandarin it is called lin. Who has left this lotus for Lizzy Lin?
Pitch: A Save for Sara
Twelve-year-old Sara, the 76er's star goalie, can't stop the penalty kick to win the championship game. She can't defend her autistic brother from their spiteful step-brother. Sara fights with her pregnant mother and her best friend Lizzy pretty much daily. Life sucks for her until she stops being her own worst enemy. Sammy tells his story too and helps Sara get unstuck.
Pitch: Marcus' Darkslide
Thirteen-year-old Marcus lives for skateboarding and the challenge of mastering tricks. Until the panic attacks start, and he kills his mother. When she trips on his board and dies from her injuries, he blames himself.
After her death, Marcus is forced to leave his step-family and friends in Wisconsin and move back to California to live with his legal guardian, his estranged father. Once there, his only parent re-introduces him to Nathan, a babysitter who secretly abused Marcus when he was five. Life gets worse when Dad dumps Marcus in a boarding school.
Pitch: Joey's Garden
Joey will do anything to keep his family together. But his efforts fail when his father runs off with his ex-nanny and he now has a half-brother. Too late, he gives up on science, homework and himself. He flunks Mr. S’s science class, bails on Tessa, a fellow science nerd and best friend, and takes up with Marcus, a skateboarder with an attitude. His life with Mom is more like living with a roommate. And he won’t connect with his dad. Can his gardening save him from himself?