A Real Friend

Amy sat on the cold concrete steps resting her chin on her fist, while the other hand clutched an ink-blotted letter. She stared at the sign three doors down that had a big red line crossing out the words "For Sale." Under it in small letters it said "Sold!" Slowly a tear rolled down her [...]

Bubbe’s Mezuzah

Mon, when is Bubbe coming?" I asked impatiently. "Soon," she replied for the seventeenth time. It was a family tradition for my grandma to come over every Saturday to light the havdalah candle, a symbol that the Jewish Sabbath has ended, with our family. I was sitting on the steps of the porch when I [...]

Himalayan Adventure

The whiteout was incredible, one of the most amazing things Jack Graham had ever seen. Unfortunately, one thing he hadn't seen lately was the rest of his team. He knew he had to keep going . . . otherwise he would freeze in this stark, hostile, white world. The shrieking wind bit his face and [...]

Finding an American Voice

Dong-suk followed his uncle, carefully keeping his pace slow enough for his haal-mu-hee, his grandma. His mother was close behind. The group moved along with hurried steps, adding to the bustle of the sidewalks of Seoul. His hand was gripped tightly around his grandmother's and he shouldered a backpack. Although his feet were quick to [...]

Silver Blue

Tick. Tick. Tick. I lay on my bed on Saturday morning, flat on my back with my watch pressed to my ear. I listened to the patient, steady ticks. Tick. Tick. Tick. The house was empty except for my dad and me, and he was down in the basement, working in his studio. Mom was [...]


The new girl stood over by the jungle gym, not climbing or talking to the other girls, but just standing there, peering into a brown lunch bag. She pulled something out of it, but I couldn't see what it was from the distance. Matt, a skinny boy with round glasses, was talking about a scary [...]

Music Sown with Love

Julia arose at the early hour of four o'clock AM, fighting already bubbling nerves, and being careful not to wake her parents in the next room or her two younger siblings. She didn't want anyone to know about her endeavors, should they fail. And she didn't want to hurt her parents by going behind their [...]

Friday Night at Miss Farida’s Piano Lesson

Miss Farida loves vanilla-smelling candles which flicker against the sleeping couch. I place my sandals beside the spill of shoes and slippers strewn across the plastic mat in the hallway to her room. I see the Sesame Street stickers propped near the electric piano, tangled in a hoop of dreaming dust, and the pedals, wrapped [...]

The School Story

The School Story by Andrew Clements; Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers: New York, 2001; $16 Have you ever wondered how children get their books published? I know I have. Well, this whole book is an example of how one girl, Natalie, gets the story she wrote made into a real book (and a [...]

A Real American

A Real American by Richard Easton; Clarion Books: New York, 2002; $15 This is the heartfelt story of two young boys becoming friends under some very adverse conditions. Nathan McClelland is a Pennsylvania farm boy whose neighbors have moved out, sold out to the coal company. He is lonely, with all of his friends gone, [...]

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