Here are the first 200 words from my 51,000-word MG novel, The Grand Chef's Apprentice:
At the edge of the trash heap, Maya stood ready to run, her eyes fixed on the huge metal doors on the other side. Scrounging was the worst part of her day. The stench of rot and chemicals blocked the food smells that escaped from the city walls, ruining her game of guessing what they were cooking inside. The stink made it hard for her to imagine what she’d cook, if she had the ingredients. But since she’d turned thirteen, scavenging trash was her job.
Brushing away a buzzing fly, Maya tightened her grip on her gathering bag. She wasn’t about to let a thief take advantage of her small size. The ground trembled as the doors clanged open. The trash machine rolled out, its giant black wheels grinding on the rusty track as it brought the huge metal bin outside the stone city walls. Around Maya, people edged closer, ready to pounce. Maya’s feet twitched. Not yet, she thought. Wait for it.
The side of the bin closest to the doors started to rise, tilting higher and higher. An acidic smell exploded into the air. The contents of the bin poured out. Everyone darted forward, hands grabbing for garbage.