Endless Months: A Mentor Text

 “Endless Months” is a poem by Amity Doyle, age 11. The poem walks the reader through each season of the year, starting in January and ending in December. Much of the poem is written in the second-person present, though occasionally the speaker also uses the first-person plural present tense.  The nature of the descriptions […]

Numbers: A Mentor Text

“Numbers” is a poem by Patrick Lusa, age 11. The poem is organized around the numbers 1 through 24. Most (but not all) of the poem’s lines start with a number, and the numbers are connected to the content of the lines. At the start of the poem, it is a (1) winter day at […]

This is the Song the World Needs Now: A Mentor Text

“This is the Song the World Needs Now” is a poem by Nova Macknik-Conde, age 8. The poem is composed of nine lines. The poem is written in a combination of Spanish and English. Each line begins with either “Esta es la canción,” which translates to “This is the song,” or “Una canción,” which translates […]

The Trials and Tribulations of Swifty Appledoe, Chapter One: A Mentor Text

The Trials and Tribulations of Switfy Appledoe is a novella by Arianna Kralicek, age 12. The story is written from the first-person perspective of Zendaya “Swifty” Appledoe and is divided into many chapters. In the first chapter, we open on Swifty rehearsing for an upcoming advertisement audition in front of her parents, who applaud. Swifty […]

Get Myself a Rocking Chair, Chapter One: A Mentor Text

“Get Myself a Rocking Chair” is a novel by Nora Heiskell, age 12. Told from the first-person perspective of Katrina, the story is written in the past tense. The first chapter opens on lyrics to “Church Street Blues,” which is audible through the air above the town. We learn that the person singing and playing […]

Coconut Pudding: A Mentor Text

“Coconut Pudding” is a short story by Tristan Hui, age 12, written from the first-person perspective of Thu. Thu lives in rural Vietnam with his older brother, Bao; his parents; and his grandma. He is proud to be his grandma’s favorite. Early in the story, Thu’s grandma tells him she is ready to die. But […]

Locked Out of Kindergarten: A Mentor Text

“Locked Out of Kindergarten” is a personal narrative written in the first person past tense by Kateri Escober Doran, age 12. The story opens in a kindergarten classroom at dance time. The students are rocking out to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and having an absolute ball. Mid dance party, our protagonist, Kate, […]

The Cookie Jar: A Mentor Text

“The Cookie Jar,” by Isabelle Chapman, follows the story of eleven-year-old Elsie in close third-person narration. It’s the spring of 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, and Elsie and her family are quarantined in their house. Elsie’s passion in life, recently, has become a cookie jar. Before quarantine, she brought it with her everywhere but […]

Friends: A Mentor Text

“Friends” is a short story written in the close third-person perspective. It follows Naomi Keith, a twelve-year-old living in a small town in Florida. Every day, Naomi takes the same walk with her best (and only) friend, Oscar Hernandez, who she has known since preschool. They play the same people-watching game on each walk and […]

Death by Kickball: A Mentor Text

“Death by Kickball” is a very short story written from the first-person perspective of Elenora, a narrator with a very unique and funny voice. Elenora is in gym class: they are playing kickball, and she is terrified—she can’t remember how to play, and knows she won’t even be able to kick the ball. Although she […]

Twenty Questions, Twenty Answers: A Mentor Text

“Twenty Questions, Twenty Answers” is a short story told in the first-person point of view, from Jenny’s perspective, about two teenage sisters, Jenny and Ula, who are stuck in a car together with their parents. On their dad’s suggestion, the sisters decide to play Twenty Questions to pass the time. Ula chooses the object first, […]