Kizzy Ann Stamps

Kizzy Ann Stamps, by Jeri Watts; Candlewick Press: New York, 2012; $15.99 Kizzy Ann Stamps is a normal girl. She has a dog named Shag. She lives on a farm with her mother, father, and brother. But there’s one catch to this whole “normal girl” business: Kizzy Ann is black. Today, that wouldn’t be a […]

Grandma’s Angels

“Who are you?” Grandma stares at us with furrowed eyebrows Our memories define who we are. They are the things that tie us to meaningful places as well as to the people we have loved. Memories are a part of us. So who are we without them? Who are we with nothing but lost, scattered […]

A Home for Barney

We chatted together about everything, from baby goats to gardens It was a beautiful spring morning. My irises and daisies were beginning to bloom. The crepe myrtles had put on their finest display, and pink flowers littered my driveway. It was a perfect day in North Carolina. I stepped out of the house and got […]

Blue Petals of Hope

I walked home with the poster for the spring musical heavy in my arms. I looked at it again, hoping that I had seen it wrong. Nope. The block letters were still dominating the page, telling me once again that I didn’t want to perform this spring. “Finding Broadway,” it said, “A Musical Without Words!” […]

The Million Dollar Putt

The Million Dollar Putt, by Dan Gutman; Hyperion Press: New York, 2006; $15.99 If you happen to be walking along the shelves in the library and it’s a rainy afternoon and you’re looking for a short but enchanting story, then The Million Dollar Putt, by Dan Gutman, is for you. Dan Gutman has made the […]


On a perfect day long ago, in the dream-time so long that we do not remember late in the gold-brown autumn clad in hats and mittens we dashed outside to dance among auburn leaves tugging at each other’s hair and scraping fingers on rough pavement cheeks rosy we danced until the fall had filled us […]

The Sound of the Sea

He needed his own special place Jasper stared out the window of the van and thought. He thought that he would not like his new home. His friends and his father were at his real home, the home he wanted to be his. The home that used to be his. His mother and father got divorced […]

Catching Mice

“There… there!!! That pesky little rat!” The mouse was a smooth-furred, jittery-nosed, small-as-grass field mouse. I remember sitting on the roughly carpeted floor early in the mornings, when it was too cold to go outside, and watching him swipe food before the chipmunks and birds, who were at least two times the size of him, […]

Nature’s Plea

The howl of a wolf Driven from her home The wail of an elephant Shot down for his precious tusks The lament of a polar bear Wandering in search of untouched ice They are nature’s plea The moan of a tree Torn from its sacred ground The cry of a dolphin Caught in a blood-red […]

Subway Adventure

It is super hot, humid. Sweat is running down my back like a brook. I am waiting. The A train is mine. I am on the east side of the Forty-Second Street platform for the southbound A train. People are running, late people walk slowly, lost people are walking purposefully. A woman pushes a rattling, […]


Sugar, by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: New York, 2013; $16.99 Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road Plantation in Mississippi in the early 1800s. Sugar is a young African-American girl whose father died during the Civil War and whose mother died of sickness shortly after. As Sugar spends her time […]

The Locket

“Do you like my locket?” One warm summer evening, when the sun was just beginning to set over the sea, a single bird chirped melodiously. His fellows one by one joined in, each singing a different melody and pitch, but somehow all truly going together. The soft, sad song of the cricket gently burst through […]

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