A Second Beginning

It was a dark, cloudy evening when Father told us the news. Our family was gathered around the worn dinner table in the small kitchen of our farmhouse. My father was sitting in his usual seat at the head of the table, his callused hands clasped together and his elbows resting on the faded tablecloth. [...]

Hellish Beauty

As the night breaks into dawn and the sky comes alive, the morning fog rolls through, dampening my uniform and freezing my skin. It billows and curls around the gnarled maple trees and obscures the leaf-strewn ground from my eyes. My dark, sad eyes. Eyes that have been tainted by war. This place would have [...]

Hermione and Leafy

“What should we play?" the little girl asked of her older cousin. The redhead stood and began walking up and down the bricks, using her arms for balance as if she were a tightrope walker at the circus. She furrowed her brow in concentration. "Sisters," she said finally. The little girl beamed with pleasure. She [...]

Losing Grip

Alex clenched his teeth as he heard his sister's taunting voice. "Look at Alex! Look at him! He's scared to go up!" With a swift move, Alex wiped the sweat from his forehead, pushing his auburn hair out of his eyes. He had waited all summer to come here to the outdoor rock-climbing center in [...]

Moving On

I stared out into the pitch-black morning. It was about five AM and very quiet. There was a huge lump stuck in my throat and I tried as hard as I could not to let my tears spill out. A single tear rolled down my cheek anyway. We were passing the tennis courts and the [...]

The Thief of Bubastis

Kysen ran stealthily and silently to the temple as the chilly night air whipped around him. His black hair and dark clothing let him blend into the night, and his blue eyes scanned the road ahead of him. The buildings of Bubastis were dark, the people sound asleep, dreaming of the festival just four days [...]

A Second Chance

Briiiiing! The fire alarm screeched. "Hurry Jared, this isn't a drill!" my friend shouted. I excitedly dashed over to the supply closet and yanked on my fireproof suit. I followed my fellow volunteers into the shiny crimson truck just as the driver flipped on the earsplitting sirens. For the first time since I created the [...]

A Parting Gift

“Melly!" My best friend Aisha catches my arm. "What's up, Aisha?" I ask, because her big brown eyes tell me that something is up, and it's not good. "Will you walk with me?" What she means is can I walk with her around the dirt track that surrounds the soccer field, one of the play [...]

To Sleep

Because I climb a ladder to sleep, sometimes I feel it takes too long. On the bottom rung, I see the house, shadowed and cozy, dark and peaceful, already in another dream. On the second rung, I see the town, with each little house drowning in blankets, and rarely in silence, usually in snoring, with [...]

My Trixie

Curled on the dining room table Furry cheek snuggled against the cloth Trixie purrs Tail twitching and ears cocked Waiting for the sound of cat food in the bowl I rub my face in her tummy Breathing in rich cat-smell As she rumbles, happy To be home After a trot around the neighborhood Mrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeew? She [...]

Olive’s Ocean

Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes; Greenwillow Books: New York, 2003; $15.99 Olive’s ocean should be sold with a complimentary bag of Kleenex. I could tell from the beginning that this wasn't going to be The Boxcar Children. I must admit that I was really prepared for the worst. I've read soooo many books that are [...]

The Whale Rider

The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera; Harcourt, Inc.: New York, 1987; $17 I enjoyed reading The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera because the main character, Kahu, had many characteristics which I admire. She is also a girl whose values I can relate to. Kahu believes that boys and girls would do equally well leading their [...]