“I wish I was like them, the seals,” I say to Russ, still a little dazed. “Why the seals? Why not any of the other animals we have seen?” Russ asks with a puzzled look on his face. “Because they are so free in their own little world with no problems at all,” I think […]


“I- I- I’m going to the Masked Ball?” she stuttered Gemma was shielding herself from a sandstorm of dandelion seeds. Her tutor, Dominick Vickson, and herself were right at the core of a lush field. “As you can see,” Dominick called above the strong summer wind, as they made their way through the long, fine, […]

Simon, Dik-Diks, and No Worries

Whenever my parents plan a vacation for my younger sister and me, they never include Disney World or a Caribbean cruise on our itinerary. Instead, they define a vacation as a learning experience that expands the classroom to include the real world. That is how I ended up spending last summer sleeping in a tent […]

Up in a Tree

I climb the water oak in my yard Its gray bark Tearing my once smooth skin As I pull myself to a New branch A cool breeze Like the cloud That rolls out of the freezer When you crack open the door But gentler, softer Breathes on my face The sea of Gray, white, blue […]

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 […]