Below the Sparkling Sunshine

Some days I look out the window through the mixture of trees, onto my backyard. The cool wind, the rustling of the leaves seem to beckon me closer. This way, this way to paradise, they whisper through the rays of sunshine. I cannot contain myself any longer, for I must traverse to my Utopia, my [...]

The Balloon

The day of the eighth-grade picnic is beautiful and flawless, the sky a velvet blanket of blue. My mom drops me off in front of the school. A cheerful and colorful Goodbye Eighth Graders! banner greets me over the front door of the school. A big bouquet of purple balloons is tied to it. I [...]


“Dad," I whined, stomping the sole of my new black riding boots into the hard pavement of the driveway, feeling my heel grinding into the small pebbles. "Can we go to the stable yet?" I tugged on the handle of my dad's old pickup truck, yearning to open the door, hop in, and drive off. [...]

Cry of the Phoenix

Min-Li was an eleven-year-old slave girl taken from her family so long ago that she barely even knew who she was. Her owner, Master Chu, never considered telling her anyway. He never really treated Min-Li properly, and he was a terrible master. Master Chu never even used Min-Li's real name; he called her "wretch" and [...]

Snow Fights

“Imagine Ethan, right there: the Alamo!" Jack said, throwing out his arms at the blank patch of snow. "The Alamo?" said Ethan. "Sure! All you need to do is build a big, weird-shaped wall and put a bunch of windows on it." Ethan and Jack had been arguing about what would be a cooler snow [...]

A Winter Walk

It was one of those winter days that seemed much more like spring. There had been a storm yesterday but the only trace of it now was the slightly dark mist suspended in the vast open sky. Weak sunlight crept through the open windows, casting a timid sort of light throughout the room and a [...]

Journeys to the Past

The floor creaked as Simon crept through his grandparents' attic towards a large chest in the corner of the room that had caught his eye. In the dusty attic, cobwebs hung from the shelves and bookcases and a thick layer of dust blanketed the mildew-covered furniture. As he timidly tiptoed towards the chest, Simon felt [...]

Parachute Prom

I twirl around and around in front of my mirror. I quickly smooth out the crinkles beginning to form on the beautiful silk dress. Glancing at my face I notice a stray hair and quickly pin it back into place. Reapplying a coat of lipstick, I nervously look at my dress one last time. It [...]


I watch the sun melting like butter into the calm swirl of waves and foam It glides down, a flying ballerina In the far end of my vision, I can see shimmering stars glistening: City lights I look deeply into the vast universe below, a world of its own, And see reflections Somewhere, I can [...]


But Still It Waits

A tree Waiting Standing high, drinking water Through its mighty roots Near a river Shimmering blue As smooth as glass It watches the leaves fall And quickly swept away by the river Swept far, far away But still it waits Its branches blow gently Back and forth A fish jumps out of the water Glistening [...]

Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer; Harcourt Children's Books: New York, zoo6; $17 My first impression of the book Life As We Knew It was that it would be boring and drawn-out, judging by its number of pages and blunt plot. When I began reading it, I was mesmerized with the book's [...]

The Forest in the Hallway

The Forest in the Hallway by Gordon Smith; Clarion Books: New York, zoo6; $16 You can’t judge a book by its cover. How many times have you heard that phrase? Still, when I picked up The Forest in the Hallway, I took a good look at the cover and thought, Looks OK. I was incredibly, [...]