Painting the Sunrise

The moist blades of grass tickled Joan's bare feet  and the wind ruffled her dark blond hair as she  tramped across the lawn. She blissfully breathed in  the fresh smell of earth while she settled herself on a tree  stump to do what she had done every morning since she  learned to hold a pencil: [...]

Meet Soon-Soon

CHAPTER ONE THE WANG FAMILY   Soon-Soon Wang was an energetic eight-year-old Chinese girl from Beijing. She was full of life. Her black eyes always seemed to be dancing. Her grandfathers and great-grandfathers had been court officials during the Qing Dynasty at the Forbidden City. Her parents had been sent to study in England. Her [...]

Just Another Cat

My  knuckles were white from grasping the rock face of the cliff and my knees and feet hurt from scraping and pulling at the rock. I swear I had a dozen blisters inside my hard brown boots, but I didn't care. Climbing was my life. I'd always loved to reach peaks and stare down at [...]

The Shopping Incident

"OK, girls," Mom said. "I'll be shopping around." "Good-bye, Mother," I said impatiently, a little too eager to go browsing with Lauren. I had just turned twelve three days ago, and Mom said I'd be allowed to shop without adult supervision with her in the mall, just at a different store—as long as I was [...]


Slam! The beige metal door of the locker slammed shut. The friendly round face of my best friend Annie, framed with blond curls, peeked out at me. "OK, Francie, finished changing my books!" A large grin formed on her face. "We can go play Laura now." "Hurry up! Katie and Emilia are already out there!" [...]

The Bullet

Boom . . . I woke up and looked out the window. It seemed like a nice day but that soon melted away. There was an explosion, gunshots, more explosions, more gunshots. I knew the sound. I'd heard it before. Living in Africa you get used to these things. But never this loud, this close, [...]


The wind whispered through the long grass, blowing it gently into a lullaby of soft sounds. The grass rustled and the lake stirred as the setting sun dripped down the sky and below the stretch of trees that marked the horizon. The stains it left were stunning. Pinks and oranges smeared across the sky. They [...]


Life would be boring if you always got everything you wanted

The Sounds of the Night

The sound so beautiful Yet cold inside Cleela, Cleela, The crickets chirp. Ooo 0000 whoo whoo The owls' almost Silent Yet shuddering sound. The cast of the Whispering wind Sends the dark Blanket The stillness The coolness of the night. Whisp win whisp win The night has come again.

Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso

Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso by Susanna Reich; Clarion Books: New York, 1999; $18 As her tender, pale fingers grasped the ivory keys of the grand piano, she could feel herself shaking with nervousness. If you are a musician, or have another talent which requires you to perform in public, then you have probably experienced the [...]

Seeing Lessons

Seeing Lessons by Spring Hermann; Henry Holt and Company: New York, 1998; $15.95 This book takes place in Andover and Boston, Massachusetts during the 1830s. Blind at birth, a ten-year-old girl, Abbie, and her sister Sophia, who is six, go to the first school in America for the blind. Dr. Howe, with a kind heart, [...]