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, […]

History Is Worth Preserving

Grandmother Rose seemed to bubble with joy Anna Nakagawa loved going to her grandparents’ house. The house was large, with lots of room inside and out. There was a room full of books, a grand piano, a room with a huge TV, and even a room of her very own, where she stayed every time […]

Hidden Pools

My shoes trudge up the path, caked with gooey mud. My shirt sticks to my body, and my hair clings to my flushed face. The winding path steeply curves on and on, taunting my burning muscles. My eyelids droop, as my legs become more and more mechanical, moving up and down with no real motivation. […]

Morphing into Monsters

A silver van pulls up the desert driveway From sliding doors Spill three cousins Holding teddy bears and swords Lonely fields are filled once more Screams and hollers absorb the sun-baked summer air We stumble together, reminding each other of our game Played only near the overgrown grass And where Christmas trees grow during summer […]

Yosemite Grasslands

“Isn’t this beautiful?” “It’s your turn, Quasar.” I was shaken out of my self-induced funk by the lively sound of my mom’s voice. “Huh?” “Come on,” said my dad. “Is the correct definition of cupidity a) unconditional and unbiased love, b) a type of Italian sausage, or c) greed?” “Uh… A,” I mumbled. “Nope,” said […]

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson; Simon & Schuster: New York, 2011; $35 Almost everybody uses Apple products these days: the iPad, iPod, iPhone, iMac, etc. But do you know who the driving force behind these great inventions was? Steve Jobs! I am fascinated with technology and want to accomplish great things too when I grow […]

Let It Be

Nothing would ever be the same Kate had floated in and out of consciousness for days after the accident. She would occasionally wake to hear her parents conversing nervously with the hospital doctors. The voices were hushed, the tones grave. Kate dreamt of car crashes over and over again. She repeatedly saw the impact of […]

Learning to Love

“Hi Lucy. Remember me?” Josh stared at the rows of cages. They were everywhere. Dogs barked and cats yowled, and Josh watched dismally as his mother drove away. He was at the local animal shelter because his mother signed him up for volunteering without his consent. Now here he was, standing hopelessly in the shelter, […]