The Grave Robber’s Secret

The Grave Robber’s Secret, by Anna Myers; Walker & Company: New York, 2011; $16.99 The main character in The Grave Robber’s Secret, Robby, is a twelve-year-old boy who lives in a poor section of Philadelphia at the beginning of the 1800s. Robby’s father thinks he has found a get-rich-quick scheme—grave robbing! In those days medical […]

The Real Winner

Of course, she would never be as good a surfer as Miranda Sydney Kalili flipped her long black hair over her shoulder and charged into an oncoming wave. It was a big one, and it swallowed Sydney whole. She felt the cool water engulf her body and sting her eyes, and she accidentally swallowed a […]

Blood Red

Two black-and-white dogs Dash across the beach Legs pumping Flicking mud into the sun The sun Turning the lake Those same brilliant colors As the glowing red rocks around it Fiery fluid Creeps up on the shore Where two dogs lie In slumber Noses in the blood red sand Jeremy Trujillo, 12Montrose, Colorado

Plastic Eggs and a Wind-Up Rabbit

It can’t get much better than this Snow blindfolded the ground, warning it not to peek. Spring was here, but the green landscape was still under construction, a curtain of whiteness hiding it. Navy paint poured itself into the sky, filling it up as night came. A white moon floated on top of the ocean […]

A Different Kind of Friend

Emma signed back with petulance, “No, Mother, home” Emma Simmons was as angry as a deranged bull. Her mother was going to make her go to church every week, a duty Emma considered pure torture. Emma had to sit through the whole service not hearing one single sound wave because she was stone deaf. She’d […]

Moment of Truth

My last chance, One more miss And it’s over, Cool sweat trickles down my neck. I risk striking out, My pride. My hands tremble My swing wobbles My body Not my own, I can’t do this. To everyone else, A spring day, Warm and beautiful. Dandelions cover the field, The opposite of my emotions. I […]

Window into the Wild

The wolf leaned towards him and their eyes met again Brandon bounced the tennis ball up and down on the dirt ground. The short, dark-haired boy was nine Earth years old, just old enough to resent this boring trip his parents had brought him on. Who wanted to go to a wildlife reserve anyway, even […]

Dumpling Days

Dumpling Days, by Grace Lin; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: New York, 2012; $15.99 “You should know Taiwan. It’s…” Dad said, his face dimming as he tried to think of the right word in English. His hand fell as he gave up and said it in Chinese instead. “It’s… Taiwan is… bao dao.” (treasure […]


She was as light as a feather and as smooth as a river rock I had marveled at her beauty a dozen times before, but this was different. This time was special. She was sitting in front of me in her temporary plastic container as we drove home. Every little bump made me tense all […]


A pea-green shoot pokes out of the ground. Through the last sprinkle of snow, It stretches. Straightens. Reaching towards the sky, it whispers, “Spring. Spring. Spring.” It battles the icy wind And the winter-beaten mud. Slowly A bud grows, Rounder, bigger, smoother. One day… Yellow. Finally. Five fairy petals caress the warming air, Surrounding a […]


The morning the oak tree was cut down was dismal and wet The morning the oak tree was cut down was dismal and wet, clouds drooping under the defeated sky. My breath fogged up the school bus window as I strained my eyes for one last look at the tree’s branches; one last look at […]


A crow or raven against the black night. A cry from a lone child. A smooth dark rock thrown at you. A dot, sweet, warm, and black on your tongue. A musty smell, revolting at first, sweet afterwards, though too quick to catch. Scented like a black horse. At first sight, A child tattered, crying, […]