OUR MAGICAL ISLAND “Hey, Cam,” MaCall whispered, nudging me in the side to wake up. “What?” I asked groggily, peeling one eye open. “What time is it?” “Midnight,” MaCall grinned. I groaned. “I got some M&Ms from the vending machine at gymnastics. Do you want to share them with me on a magical […]


“My name is Charlotte, and yes, I do know a ‘magical way to time travel’ ” CHAPTER ONE Thomas was ten years old and on a plane, a plane going to his grandparents’ house on the shore of Lake Michigan. He hadn’t seen his grandparents since his father’s funeral three years ago. All he could […]

Spring Morning on a Farm

My black-and-gray rooster crows. The sound of birds’ chatter filters through the morning. I open the icy gate and walk the familiar trail. A cool, damp haze swirls around me. I carry the rusty bucket filled with a ton of feed; It pours like sifting sand into the concrete trough. Cowbells reverberate as they prance […]

After the Train

After the Train, by Gloria Whelan; HarperCollins: New York, 2009; $15.99 Picture this: you are thirteen years old and living in Rolfen, West Germany, ten years after WWII has ended. All your history teacher talks about is the war and how big an impact it had on history, along with how horrible it was for […]


I am perched in the car anxiously, inhaling the sweet, salty air of the sea. I stare out my window, feeling my mind swirl violently with thoughts of what was soon to come. The sun thrashes on the ocean’s gentle papery surface, and the water glistens as three birds merrily fly over. The waves lap […]

Escape Under the Forever Sky

Escape Under the Forever Sky, by Eve Yohalem; Chronicle Books: San Francisco, 2009; $16.99 Moving. Awe-inspiring. These are words I would use to describe Eve Yohalem’s first novel, Escape Under the Forever Sky. Lucy Hoffman, the daughter of an American ambassador in Ethiopia (a country in east Africa), is kidnapped. She’s taken to a place […]

Mung Bean Noodles and French Bread

“Here,” my mom shouted in Mandarin over the bubbling of the cooking pot. She lifted her hand and motioned me over. “Hold on to the handle,” she grunted, nodding to the handle of the slowly revolving pot as she stirred with a pair of chopsticks. I chuckled. “I’m guessing that the bottom of the pot […]

From Dust to Dreams

It was like the desert was breathing and singing a silent but glorious song! The crunch of the pickup truck’s wheels and the sound of the girl’s breathing were all that could be heard as the rusty vehicle huffed to a dusty stop in front of the low sprawling wood-and-stucco house with a very rusty […]

For No One

I watch her From the garden A baby girl Wobbling around, like a buoy On a choppy ocean, Batting playfully At her rainbow of toys, Her blue eyes, Darting around the room. Her mother softly coos, “So big,” With a pearly smile Drifting gently up her face. The baby shoots Her tiny fingers Towards the […]

The Unfinished Jester

The jester came alive, and my grandfather did too In Memoriam. Angelo Salvatore D’Amico, 1919–1989. That was what I wrote, at the bottom of the painting, in felt-tip pen. That isn’t the beginning of this story. It’s the end. This story starts a month earlier. It starts in the library. That’s a room in our […]

Road to Tater Hill

Road to Tater Hill, by Edith M. Hemingway; Delacorte Books for Young Readers: New York, 2009; $16.99 It was a delightful coincidence to find a book in the library that was set where I live! Road to Tater Hill is a heartwarming and fulfilling story of friendship, family, hope, home, and the bumpy road through […]

Wave Song

A vast land Small enough to comfort me Not an ocean, too big Not a pond, too small A meadow of green A field of waves So loud, so soft So big, so small Green Lake is a blanket *          *          * I am standing on a cliff made of sandstone that crumbles into the […]