Musical Dreams

INTRODUCTION   elen Silverstein tried to fight back tears as she sat in the passenger's seat of her mother's sleek, blue Dodge. Despite the fact that Olivia Roi Silverstein, her mother, was almost breaking the speed limit, Helen felt that she could never be far enough away from her viola teacher's house. The woman's harsh [...]

A Day with My Dog

I picked up the soggy, slobbered-on tennis ball and threw it yet again. I watched Sunset gleefully pursue it yet again. It was part of our special bond, this pointless game of fetch. Both of us knew our parts in this tireless ritual of throwing and retrieving. Sunset did not want to give up the [...]

Wolf Hunter

"Hi, Dad." Rhea smiled for about a second at her dad and slammed the front door. He glanced up, and then continued reading the paper. Just like always, he didn't care if she was home or not. "Rhea, will you please stop wearing that stupid shirt?" Rhea scowled at him. He knew as well as [...]

Until We Meet Again

I was skipping through the fields. I smelled one of Mama's tulips and sighed. It smelled just as I expected a sunrise would, if it had a smell. Suddenly, a boat appeared. I happily stepped into it. Suddenly the boat began to fill with water. I looked around. Water surrounded me! It was everywhere. I [...]

The Great Chessboard

A Story of the Civil War   t was early dawn on July 1, 1863. The cool breeze crept through the hills. Sunlight swarmed over the long and copious lines of tents. Not a soul stirred. It was, without a doubt, a sight for the human eye to behold. A lone shadow sat upon a [...]

Where the Cotton Bolls Grow

My father was the first in his rural hometown to ever go to college. In China the colleges are scarce. College entrance exams were created to wipe out the majority of the people who wanted to advance from high school. In my father's time, not all the high-school graduates took the exams, and out of [...]

The Locket of Lost Love

Melissa's hand recklessly fumbled in her backpack, reaching past crumpled papers and all the dried-out gel pens. "Hurry up," the bus driver impatiently snapped, as she stared at the long line of kids. "I haven't got all day!" "I'm looking for it," Melissa mumbled, now furiously tossing her notebooks out. Her bus pass was missing, [...]

My Dad

Spacious, dark oak desk holding a red pencil in a brightly lit room. Built by his splintered hands and intelligent brain. He is a carpenter. Standing in wet sneakers on Conard Field, smiling, pointing his index finger to where scrambling first-years should be. He is a football coach. In my blue-sheeted bed he lies, book [...]

One Snake’s Life

New Spanish moss was my bed The ships' horns were my alarm clock In the early morning Along the Mississippi River's edge I was swimming left to right Left to right The mud was brown The sky was gray Going up the willow trees Down the willow trees Hiding in the rocks That mourning dove [...]

Melanie Martin Goes Dutch

Melanie Martin Goes Dutch by Carol Weston; Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2002; $15.95 How would you feel if your parents told you that you were going to Holland for your summer vacation? Happy? Excited? Well, Melanie Martin feels both until she lands 3500 miles away from her home in New York City Melanie, a [...]


Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce; Scholastic Press: New York, 2003; $16.95 Shatterglass, a fantasy novel by Tamora Pierce, touches ingeniously close to the real world. Pierce is able to weave a tale which, although fiction, is startlingly believable. The last volume in The Circle Opens quartet, Shatterglass follows the life of Tris, a young ambient mage [...]