Swirling Arabesques: A Mentor Text

“Swirling Arabesques” is a personal narrative written by Zoe Kyriakakis, age 10. It’s written in the first person present tense. The entire piece takes place on the narrator’s school bus ride home. The piece starts with vivid descriptions of the noises of the school bus. Then, the writer describes the intense fog that has fallen […]

Ripples in the Pond: A Mentor Text

“Ripples in the Pond” is a very short story by Karen Susanto, 13. The story is divided into two sequences. The first sequence is written in the second person and describes the forest—a beautiful, serene space full of animals and trees. The writing is full of vivid, tangible descriptions. The “you” in the story seems […]

Slaying Monsters: A Mentor Text

“Slaying Monsters” is a short story by Liam Hancock, age 11. Written in the first person in present tense, the story’s protagonist is William Morgan, a young surfer. William is preparing to compete in a surfing competition called the Mavericks. He has won the competition three times, but today, the waves are bigger than ever. […]

The Schnitzelbird: A Mentor Text

“The Schnitzelbird” is a short story by Elaina Heinitz, age 10. Told in the close third-person past tense, the story takes place in a town called Schnitzelberg. Every morning in Schnitzelberg, a bird called the Schnitzelbird flies overhead singing a four-note song to wake the townspeople up. Everyone loves it, except a middle-aged man named […]

Thank You, Bernie: A Mentor Text

“Thank You, Bernie” is a short story by Sadie Primack, age 13. The story is written in the first person and is in present tense. We open on fourteen-year-old Bernadette’s first day in group therapy. When Miss Hunt, the group leader, asks why she is there, Bernadette tells the group that her parents died ten […]

Awaiting a Letter: A Mentor Text

“Awaiting a Letter” is a short story by Lila C. Kassouf, age 12. The story is written in the first-person past tense from the perspective of Celeste. Celeste lives with her mother, whom she calls Maman. They don’t have a lot of money. The story opens on a newspaper clipping describing a bank robbery in […]

Best Friends Forever: A Mentor Text

“Best Friends Forever” by Charlotte Moore, age 12, is a short story told in the first person past tense. In the story the protagonist, Lola, is touring an old, spooky castle with her class. Lola reveals that she isn’t friends with her classmates. She used to have a best friend named Olivia, but in the […]

A Trip to Paris? : A Mentor Text

“A Trip to Paris?” is a short story by Claire Rinterknecht, 13, written in the close third person that follows a travel writer named Matthew. As a travel writer, Matthew is tasked with actually traveling abroad and writing about his experiences. However, as Matthew turns in his latest article, about a trip to Japan, in […]

A Perfect World: A Mentor Text

“A Perfect World” is a short story written in the close third-person point of view. It shifts focus between two protagonists: One, a girl living in a perfect world that she doesn’t know is a computer simulation, and Selena, the daughter of the doctor who is helping run the experiment that has trapped One.  One […]

Cheating: A Mentor Text

“Cheating” by Kyler Min, age 8, follows two central characters in a dystopian future where people travel between multiple planets. The story is divided into sections, and each section follows one of two characters: Evelyn or Kyler. We open with a sequence about Evelyn, a second-grader who is preparing to take a test to get […]

Ma’s Riches: A Mentor Text

“Ma’s Riches” is a short story about a mouse family, written in the style of a fairy tale; it is in the third-person point of view. The Lily family, consisting of Ma Lily, Da Lily, and twin girls Corn and Day, is very poor. To make their situation worse, they live on dry, cracked ground. […]

The Fossil: A Mentor Text

“The Fossil” is a short story by Marlena Kilian, age 11. Our protagonist is Corian Monseur, the son of a Spanish nobleman architect who is designing the king’s chambers. Corian and his younger brother Ceon live in luxury in a mansion full of servants who wait on them hand and foot. One day, they are […]