The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, by Lloyd Alexander; Henry Holt and Company: New York, 2007; $18.95 Treasure hunts have long captivated the minds of children and adults alike. And treasure hunters, such as pirates or explorers, intrigue us just as much. But in Lloyd Alexander’s book, The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, the “fearless […]

To Be a Swan

  “And remember, auditions for Swan Lake are tomorrow!” Sydney’s ballet instructor, Elise, chirped. “Ballet class is dismissed!” “Syd, who are you auditioning for?” Sydney’s best friend, Natalia, asked as they walked into the dressing room. “Odette, the Queen of the Swans, of course,” Sydney laughed as she tucked a loose blond curl behind her […]


The gray sky wavers Between day and night. A distant train whistle blows Skimming the solidity of the moment. Quiet again, The atmosphere is unreal. No movement, Other than the occasional rustle Of wind stirring leaves. A brave bird calls out, Unsettled by the silence. No reply. The heavens lighten, Until finally The sun appears, […]

Not Your Ordinary Fairy Tale

Every day was a holiday, or so it seemed. You didn’t need decorated trees, fireworks, cakes and candles, or paper hats to celebrate special days, Marty thought. Marty loved her lazy Sunday mornings perched on a high stool in her galley kitchen, eating stacks of buckwheat pancakes dripping in amber syrup, lovingly cooked just the […]

The Loss of a Leaf

It was a picturesque day at a pond, The glassy water gently undulated, Transforming turtles to twigs. The swans slowly carved their way forward, The paddleboats hypnotically Slap slap slapped. But no day is perfect for everyone, Like the coming of fall, For betwixt the lily pads, A swan lay Dead, Its head limp at […]


Today was the big day. I was afraid it would go horribly wrong. I woke up today with that feeling you always get before something big. I ate breakfast in a hurried fashion. I always ate a slow and controlled breakfast. Today was different. Today was the day of the concert. I had eggs and […]


For a few days in mid-September, the temperature seems perfect. It’s not boiling hot, but it hasn’t reached what you would call freezing cold yet. It’s a little chilly, but that makes you feel fresh and wide awake, and the wind isn’t horribly wild and hasn’t started biting at your face. It was one of […]

The Dragonfly Pool

The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson; Dutton Children’s Books: New York, 2008; $17.99 I’m not a big fan of fantasy books. So when I flipped through The Dragonfly Pool and found mentions of dukes, kings, and princes I groaned, thinking this book would be about royalty, kingdoms, and other things irrelevant to my life. I […]

Memory’s Song

“We should have known better,” Garu grated angrily. The sparrow perched high in the apple tree, watching helplessly as the gray cat below devoured her kill. “Let’s leave. This is no place for the clan.” His fierce gaze flicked over his now small group: his trusted friend Baklan, Baklan’s mate Teekeh, their grown daughter Kila, […]

Leaf of Sunshine

The forest is calm, only an occasional chirp of a bird, breaks the silence, the sun is buried in a blanket of clouds, only a few golden rays escape, just enough to penetrate the darkness, cool wind rustles through the trees, gently swaying their nimble branches, so peaceful, one single leaf spirals to the ground, […]


Pain can be felt in all kinds of ways. If you fall off a bike and scrape your knee you could feel pain, put on a bandage and, with time, forget about it. But there is another pain that can only be cured by accepting it because it never goes away. This is the pain […]

When I Understood

NEW DELHI, INDIA, 2002 Staring wide-eyed out of the car window I look down at the dusty bodies of children clustered below me. Their hair is streaked with dust and grime Their skin darkened to a crisp by the intensity of the broiling summer sun. Their writhing hands clutch at the shiny silver metal of […]