More or Less

This story includes some words in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. See the glossary at the end of the story. Today, Lina didn’t wake up from hunger, thirst, or the heat like she usually did. Today she woke up from the sound of voices. She looked at the rusty alarm clock on the shelf […]

Climbing Higher

“Hey! Does anybody want some chips?” “All right, girls. You did a good job in practice today, although I would like a little less talking between laps. . Now, don’t forget that we have a big meet this Saturday, so I’d like you all to get a good night’s rest before then. Be at the Westwood […]

Midnight’s Song

Silently, I fly through the trees Leaves rustle, a twig snaps. My eyes flash open, two sulfurous spheres wide on my dish-like face. My white feathers are rumpled, awry, and misplaced on my back. I peer out of the tree, gazing out through my window, a round hole in the rough bark. Moonlight glimmers off […]

The Lucy Variations

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: New York, 2013; $18 An inspiring tale of a young musician finding her place in this crazy world, The Lucy Variations is a journey about finding yourself and accomplishing your dreams no matter what giant obstacles are blocking your way. Lucy’s little brother’s […]


“You know you’re not supposed to use the stove!” “Bye, guys!” Mom called as she shut the door behind her. I looked at my sister. “Can I watch TV?” That was one of the two questions that I asked Nava every time we were home alone. “No,” she said. “Can I have some ice cream?” […]

Without You, My Right Shoe

I must have been only six at the time, my sister, Poppy, two I must have wondered why Poppy decided to look at the parked cars in the parking lot rather than walk the Stone Arch Bridge. My mom must have stayed behind with Poppy, leaving only my dad, my aunt, and myself to see […]


Nothing ever stays the same Family going, Never coming back Tears fall Goodbyes made Why won’t the world stop spinning? Sorrow, joy Blended into one Leaving, For a better place Why can’t we go as well? Tears dry Life moves on Events fade Time blurs Were they ever here at all? A memory A smile […]

My Dog Bella

When I arrive home from school she’s there waiting, in the window. She wags her tail joyfully. Her long slobbery tongue licks me all over. As I open the door to the backyard Bella bolts out into the yard. I grab a bouncy tennis ball and throw it as far as I can. She races […]

The Leap

I stand there, soaking up the warmth of the sun I stand at the top of the cliff, gazing down at the clear, cool green of the water. I can see the rocky bottom magnified through the river’s glassy surface. The sunlight flickers along the cliff, reflecting off the smooth water. I will myself to […]


Below, by Meg McKinlay, Candlewick Press: Massachusetts, 2013; $15.99 Anyone would think that if you drowned a town with five thousand swimming pools of water, it would be done and gone, forgotten forever! But twelve-year old Cassie knows that everything has a way of revealing itself, sooner or later. Since she was a little girl, […]


“Can I ask you something? Why are we moving?” “We’re what?!!” I gasped, blinking in disbelief. “Moving, Naomi. To Hawaii.” My dad looked like he was torn between which expression to wear: excited or sympathetic. He ended up looking understanding when he was talking to me, and thrilled when he looked at my eight-year-old sister, […]

The Fairy House

Nestled between two gnarled tree roots Is a fairy house with A sunken floor of red clay, A triangular roof of interlocking sticks, And a winding path of pebbles leading to a Bark door. Inside, a sand-colored stone serves as a nightstand, And next to it lies a bed with a Moss mattress and maple […]