Addie Bell's Shortcut To Growing Up PDF Free Download

Welcome to the Writing Mastery Exclusive Content Section of my website!

In today’s post, I’m sharing with you some behind-the-scenes info about the writing and selling of ADDIE BELL’S SHORTCUT TO GROWING UP (my latest novel for readers 10 and up, releasing February 14, 2017 from Delacorte Press/Random House!)

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  • Addie Bell Obituary. Here is Addie Bell’s obituary. Please accept Echovita’s sincere condolences. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Addie Bell (Belleville, Illinois), who passed away on March 28, 2021, leaving to mourn family and friends.
  • A middle-school girl finds out that being a teenager isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this realistic read about friendship with plenty of LOL moments—and a magical twist!Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to grow up. Her parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend, Grace, isn’t at all interested in makeup or boys.
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For those of you who have taken my “High-Concepts” idea class, you know I’m ALL about the one-sentence pitch (aka, the “logline”) I think every writer should have their one-sentence pitch figured out before ever trying to sell a book. Because if you can pitch your book in one sentence, then you actually KNOW what your book is really about and how to sell it to others (like agents, editors, producers, and readers!)

Here is the logline that I wrote for ADDIE BELL’S SHORTCUT TO GROWING UP which was included in the proposal that I used to sell the novel to Random House (more on that further down in the post.)

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A twelve-year-old girl, tired of her “immature” peers and eager to grow up, makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen and wakes up to find her entire life has been fast-forwarded four years, but she soon discovers a lot more has changed than she expected.

Click here to read the full book summary and a free excerpt!

The Four “High-Concept” Ingredients:

Also in my High Concept course (aka “Brainstorm Blockbuster Ideas that Sell”), I walk students through the four essential ingredients of every high concept idea. ADDIE BELL is definitely a high-concept type of book. And here are the four ingredients!

  • Fish Out of Water:
    When Addie first wakes up to find herself in a sixteen-year-old body, she is definitely a “Fish out of Water!” She “flounders” in her new world because her mind is still 12. She has a driver’s license and a car but doesn’t actually know how to drive. She goes to high school but struggles in French class because she doesn’t speak French, and in Trigonometry because she doesn’t understand anything that’s going on (she can’t even pronounce trigonometry!) Then at the high school dance, when her crush asks her to dance, her best friend tries to give her a crash course on flirting but it turns out she’s pretty awful at it. After all, she’s still 12!
  • A Looming Conflict:
    A lot more has changed than she expected! What are those changes? What did she not expect? It is in these unexpected changes where we will find our looming book-wide conflict. Because Addie will soon discover that her 16-year-old self no longer speaks to her best friend. Why? And how can she fix it? That’s something she won’t figure out until close to the end.
  • Hook:
    Addie Bell has an “Aspirational Hook” because it’s a wish fulfillment story. What kid hasn’t, at one time, wished they were older? Addie gets her wish using a magic jewelry box, making the hook a girl who wishes to be 16 and wakes up to find her wish has been granted!
  • Universal Theme:
    The universal theme of this story is Acceptance. Addie Bell must learn to accept the life she has in the present and appreciate being 12. There’s plenty of time to grow up, but for now, she just needs to enjoy the moment.

The Writing Stats

For those of you who have taken (or are currently taking) my Productivity Hacks course, you might be interested in these stats on my writing process for this book:

First Draft Word Count: 65,244

First Draft Page Count: 277

Number of Days Spent Writing First Draft: 44

Average Daily Word Count (ADWC): 1,482

Revised Draft Word Count: 72,182

Total Words Added During Revision: 6,938

Revised Draft Page Count: 287

Number of Days Spent Revising: 15

Average Pages Revised per Day: 19

How it Sold

This book was sold in an auction between multiple major publishing houses. Delacorte Press (a division of Random House) ended up winning the auction and the book. Like many of my novels, I sold ADDIE BELL’S SHORTCUT TO GROWING UP on proposal. What does this mean? It means the publishers were submitted a synopsis of the book and sample pages of the book and made their offers based on those materials. Then I finished writing the book after the book was sold and the deal was done.

My synopsis for the book was 23 pages and it included the following:

  • A Logline (the same logline as above!)
  • A Comparative Pitch “It’s 13 Going on 30 for tweens!”
  • Similar authors whose fans this book will appeal to: “For fans of Meg Cabot, Leslie Margolis, and Wendy Maas.”
  • A list of themes presented throughout the book: Friendship, growing up too fast, acceptance of the present (Universal theme!), and High School vs. Middle School
  • A 22 page summary of the story

My Sample Pages consisted of the first 60 pages of the novel (through the “Break into 2” Beat for those of you familiar with the Save the Cat! method of plotting that I use to outline all of my novels.

Addie Bell's Shortcut To Growing Up PDF Free Download

Other Fun Facts:

  • The book was originally titled (and sold as) ADDIE MONTGOMERY’S SHORTCUT TO GROWING UP, but her last name was changed so the title (which was already fairly long) could fit better on a book cover.
  • Other possible titles tossed around were: Escape from Middle School!, All Grown Up and Nowhere to Go, Growing Up in the Fast Lane, Growing Pains, Girl of a Certain Age, Addie Montgomery: Girl on Fast Forward, and The Wrong Side of 16.
  • In my original idea for the book, I had Addie being part of a group of 4 friends who have all broken up when she wakes up as a sixteen-year-old, but I soon decided that the story would have more weight and heart if the group was just two friends: Addie and her best friend Grace, and they are no longer speaking at age 16.
  • The woman who gives Addie the magic jewelry box in the story is a quirky next door neighbor called Mrs. Toodles. But in the first draft of the book it was her grandmother, who everyone called Grandma Toodles. This was changed because my editor worried there were too many tween books with “magical” grandmothers. So we changed her to a neighbor!

Order a Copy!

If you’d like to order a copy of ADDIE BELL (either eBook or hardcover), click one of the retailers below. Or stop by your favorite local bookstore!

Purchase Books Online:

Purchase eBooks:

INTERNATIONAL:, a UK based company, ships FREE to over 90 countries including Malaysia, Brazil, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

To read more about the book, click here!

Title: Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up by Jessica Brody

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Addie Bell's Shortcut To Growing Up PDF Free Download

Publisher: Delacorte

Source: Times Reads

Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone makes wishes. Addie’s wish just happens to come true.

Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to grow up. Her parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend Grace isn’t at all interested in make-up or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen…and wakes up to find her entire life has been fast-forwarded four years! Suddenly she has everything she’s always wanted (including a driver’s license and a closet full of cool clothes)! But Addie soon discovers that a lot more has changed than she expected—including her friendship with Grace. Can Addie turn back time and take back her wish…or has she lost the chance to experience what could have been the best years of her life?

I remember being as hasty as Addie about growing up. Being older felt somewhat better, and not having to be answerable to an adult felt powerful. Also, you can’t deny how great you feel when somebody takes you seriously, RIGHT? So, I guess, it’s understandable why Addie felt the way she did. But of course, we all know that the seduction of the life of an adult is merely a fabricated lie. Of course, she won’t find that out till chapter three…

Okay, really, this is the cliché of such stories, isn’t it? Addie doesn’t find out till much later that her life is perfect the way it is.

When Addie woke up as a 16 year old the day after she made a wish on that magic box, she realized that she has somehow skipped a 4 years of mundane growing up, and now she’s pretty popular. All her wishes have come true! She is best friends with Clementine, and most importantly she is beautiful! Oh all that are just too good to be true! However, she also lost 4 years of learning and doesn’t seem to know or remember how to drive a car, how to put on make-up or what happened between her and her best friend Grace. Looking like 16 years old but feeling very much like 12 years old, how will Addie ever cope?

This book is perfect reminder to everyone that every second in our life is precious. True, the grass is always greener on the other side, but it’s imperative to enjoy what we have now. More often than not, we tend to miss the very thing that slipped through our fingers just because we failed to appreciate it back then. Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up is a perfect book for young readers.

I’m sure at one point or another; we all have longed to return to our childhood days. Things have been much simpler, and life was nothing but worrying about snacks and nap time.

To be honest, as an adult, life feels like a train-wreck. But, I now have the maturity to appreciate the rare good times that occasionally cross my path. It’s hard, but that’s what life is all about, I guess?

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If there are young girls and boys reading this, I hope that you are not rushing to grow up so soon. After all, this precious time will never return once it’s gone. Seize it and carpe diem the hell out of it! Thank you Times Books for this review copy in exchange of my review. I enjoyed this fun and magical book! I hope you guys will enjoy this book too! Till the next post, stay safe bookalings!