Those Less Fortunate

    Shira felt a thumping on her bedroom floor. She got up from her desk and ran into the living room. Sure enough, Dad was home. Shira watched him lug his bulky cello case through the door and over to the corner by the piano where it was stored. Her father taught cello at [...]


Noor spends a perfect afternoon making noodles with her aunt

My Brother

I sit at the computer, trying to think of memories to write about. I stare out the window. Then I hear “Crazy Baby,” a techno song by Nightcore II. It comes from our iMac computer upstairs. I start to think about Elliot, about the things he used to do with me when he finished his [...]

Flying Solo

I slipped the headphones onto my head, glancing out of the window at the big airplanes in red and white. The huge hunks of metal reflected the dim sunshine of the afternoon, with a special surprise, a rainbow. The thin colored stripes seemed as if they were painted across the sky. They sparkled a little, [...]

Freedom Run

It had been years since Kimbabwe had run. He lazily draped a paw over the edge of his rock, letting the warm sun shine in his eyes. His cage at the zoo was much too small to get up the kind of speed cheetahs were famous for. He had his food practically delivered to him, [...]

Wear Your Pajamas

Of course she was going to go. Ally Paulson invited to Mallory Freshman’s birthday bash? It was outrageous. Ally brushed her dirty-blond bangs out of her eyes as she dialed the number Mallory had given her on her phone to RSVP to Mallory’s party. It was just a dream come true. Ally had come from [...]

Jessica’s Horse

Jessica Marstell kicked at a stone as she trudged down the dirt road. She was headed for her uncle’s horse ranch in Country Ridge, Arizona. She didn’t like going to Uncle Jame’s ranch because she didn’t like horses. Jessica had to work at Uncle Jame’s ranch all summer, though, because she wanted a new laptop [...]

A Million Santas Invade New York City

Black, white and red all over. And no, we are not talking about newspapers here. We are talking about Santas. Hundreds of them. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I boarded my subway train with my mom and my little brother one frosty December Saturday about two weeks before Christmas. They were packed into the [...]

Song of the Trotter

Dark clouds gather, looming huge and gray, Rain cold-needles my face, The wind whips me into exhilaration. A rumbling starts down the track. Thunder? No, not thunder. It’s flint-and-steel hooves, striking out a lightning rhythm. Tap tap, Tap tap, Tap tap. Heads high, ears back— The rain stings them, too. Yet I see them charge [...]


Do you love to hear sweet songs? Go outside and listen for All kinds of birds chirping. Go to your local park Sit on a swing and look around See that you’re free There are no wars or fights going on. Look and see that you’re safe from evil. The snow is melting Time is [...]

Tortilla Sun

Tortilla Sun, by Jennifer Cervantes; Chronicle Books: San Francisco, 2010; $16.99 The thing that first hooked me onto Tortilla Sun was the word “magic.” In the first few sentences of Chapter One, Izzy Roybal is introduced as a discontented, lonely character, unhappy with her frequent moves all over San Diego and wanting to discover the [...]

The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery, by Siobhan Dowd; David Fickling Books: New York, 2008; $15.99 The London Eye Mystery is perfect for any reader who is looking for a spectacular book with an even balance of suspense, warmth, and mystery. Told from the perspective of Ted Sparks, a unique preteen with Asperger’s Syndrome, a kind of [...]