A Birthday Surprise

I wake up to silence. No usual sounds of Dad clattering around in the kitchen, or Lucas hammering on the piano, or Maggie screaming at Mom because she doesn’t want to take Pickles out for a walk. I swipe at my eyes, roll over to check the neon-pink digital clock that sits on my bedside […]

Trenza Francesa, French Braids

A busy morning opens a window onto Carlita’s family life “¡Ven aquí, Carlita! ¡No puedes ir a la escuela así! Tu cabello es un desastre!” Come here, Carlita! You can not go to school like that! Your hair is a mess! I walk into the room and sit down so Mamá can reach my hair, […]

Coconut Pudding

To save her life, Thu must take his younger sister on a long journey from rural Vietnam to the city I used to be Grandma’s favorite. She told me it was because when I was born, she was the first to hold me. “No one can replace you, Thu,” she would say, taking me onto […]