Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 7, 2012.


A “spooky sports” adventure with reluctant-reader appeal, featuring a boy who has to wrestle a [gulp] werewolf, ages 8-12

Wrestling with a Werewolf 

(Need we say more? Okay…) 

Wally Jackson wants to win a wrestling match—any match. But when he and his older sister, Wendi, run into a strange animal, Wally must decide: Should he help Wendi track the creature she believes is a werewolf? Or should he train for the big match? It’s a monster of a decision, and it leads to a frightfully funny, action-packed sports adventure. 

Extra Points 

  • Bonus comic book at story’s end 
  • Cool to know facts about werewolf lore 
  • Kid-friendly tale about a reportedly real werewolf 

This is a chapter book co-written by a former reluctant reader for reluctant readers. Its topic is high-interest (sports + monsters!). Its two main characters will appeal to boys and girls alike. And parents will appreciate its subtle lesson about fair play. For readers 8-12.

Written by Ryan Jacobson and Deb Mercier. Illustrated by Diana Nock. 

What’s the Money For? 

The money will be used to pay for printing costs. It isn’t exactly enough, but no worries: I can cover the rest. 

What if I Raise Even More?  

I’ll put that money to good use—anything from marketing to a blog tour to more books! 

Thank You 

The fact that you’re here means you at least stopped to take a look, and I sincerely thank you for it. If you choose to pledge, well, I thank you even more! For more information, for interview opportunities or just to say hello, please feel free to contact me: 



Sample Chapter

Wendi Jackson stood at the bottom of the stairs, hands on her hips. “Wally, hurry up!” she yelled. Her foot tapped the floor as she checked her watch for the hundredth time. If they didn’t leave soon, all of the good movies at the video store would be gone. 

Friday night was movie night at the Jackson home. As usual, it was Wally and Wendi’s job to make the eight-block walk to Video Mart. Also as usual, Wendi’s younger brother moved slower than a sleeping turtle. 

From upstairs Wendi heard a muffled, “Coming,” followed by various thumps and crashes. She rolled her eyes and leaned down to scratch Annie’s ears. The golden retriever’s tail swished as her wet nose pressed against Wendi’s hand. “How you doing, girl?” asked Wendi. 

Annie wiggled with happiness, despite the pink cast on her back left leg. Wendi was about to yell again when Wally barreled down the stairs, making enough noise for an entire wrestling team. Wally saw Annie at the last second. His eyes widened, and he launched himself over the dog. 

Wendi winced as Wally did a spectacular face-plant near the front door. Annie wobbled to him and licked Wally’s cheek. 

“Nice one, Grace,” said Wendi. 

Wally groaned and climbed to his feet. “Don’t call me Grace.” Annie offered him her paw, and Wally shook it gently. “At least Annie cares about me.” 

“Annie cares about everybody. Are you ready to go or not?” 

“I was born ready,” replied Wally. 

“You were born with two left feet,” said Wendi. As she opened the front door, she hollered back into the house. “Mom, Dad, we’re leaving!” 

 ◊ ◊ ◊ 

The walk to Video Mart started like any other. Wendi moved fast, and Wally tried to keep up. 

 “Come on. Why are you so slow?” Wendi asked. She didn’t bother looking back. 

“I know why you’re fast,” retorted Wally. “It’s all that hot air.” 

 “Walk as slow as you want,” said Wendi. “I’m not waiting anymore.” 

The next line of their weekly conversation was Wally’s. He was supposed to answer, “Fine, go ahead.” But not this time. Tonight was different. 

Maybe it was the sudden chill in the air. Maybe it was the shadows that stretched across the road like giant, dark claws. But something felt wrong. Wendi shivered as she switched on her flashlight. 

 Wally hurried to his sister’s side, and Wendi glanced at her brother, surprised. “What are you doing?” she asked. 

“You told me to hurry up, didn’t you?” 

“Yeah, but...” Wendi’s voice trailed off. Wally never listened to her; it was the one constant in Wendi’s universe. She shrugged. “Whatever.” 

The two of them walked side by side the rest of the way to the store, the bright flashlight cutting through the darkness. They arrived more quickly than usual. 

◊ ◊ ◊ 

On the way home, Wendi walked a half block ahead of Wally. It was his week to pick the movie, and Wendi was still steaming mad about his choice. As if anyone would willingly sit through Scottie Stevens’ 17 Super Powers a third time. 

She imagined her parents tying her to the chair for “quality family time”—but her thoughts were interrupted. She spied a large, dark shape darting across the road. It dove into some bushes just ahead, causing Wendi to stop in her tracks. 

Wally, trying to catch up, ran right into her. “Wendi!” he said, sounding annoyed. 

“Shh,” she ordered, putting her hand on his arm. 

 For once, he did what she said. Actually, it made two times he’d obeyed her—in one night. That almost scared her more than the mysterious shape ahead. 

Wendi scanned the sidewalk with her flashlight. “Did you see it?” she asked. 

“See wha—?” Wally took in a sharp breath. “Something’s there,” he said. His voice was a whisper, but Wendi detected a hint of panic. “In the bushes, I saw eyes.” 

Wendi turned and followed her brother’s gaze toward a row of shrubs just a few yards away. “Where?” she asked. “I don’t—” 

Twigs snapped. A large, shadowy creature stepped out of the gloom. Still half-hidden in the leaves, it moved on four legs. Its enormous, shaggy head twisted back and forth, as if sniffing for something. Then its glowing, yellow eyes fixed on Wally and Wendi. 

The animal snarled, rearing onto its hind legs. Its eyes narrowed as it stepped forward. It seemed just as comfortable on two legs as it had on four. 

Wally took two quick steps back. “Is that a person?” he whispered. 

Wendi’s voice wobbled. “I don’t think so. Those are animal eyes.” 

Slowly, the siblings inched away from the creature’s hateful stare. 

“That’s no animal I’ve ever seen,” Wally squeaked. 

As if in answer, the creature let loose with a loud, terrifying growl. 

 “Back to the store. Mom can pick us up,” said Wendi. 

They turned and ran. Wendi peeked over her shoulder with every step. 


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