Iris in the German Garden

An old minivan slowly grumbled its way up the ugly, concrete driveway, passing an old clump of purple-brown wisteria vines, rumbling by a dingy hedge shielding the moldy garbage can, full of old holes where squirrels and raccoons had once tried to nibble their way in to eat the trash. “Well, here we are!” said [...]

Seeing Over the Side of the Boat

I don’t like my parents. Actually, that’s not true. I love my parents, but they are so stressful. Everything has to be a fight. They fight over who is driving me to baseball practice. They fight over who gets to spend the weekend with me. Like two days ago I missed my baseball game because [...]

The Seabird

In the shadow of a low stone wall on the edge of a forest, two sisters lay sprawled in the grass. The younger one turned to look at her sister. “Lindsey, is this really the last time?” she whispered. Lindsey nodded miserably and continued to look at the sky. She remembered only too well the [...]

Miss Kagawa’s Gift

1928 RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA Akemi was taking a while to adjust. Her father, mother, and sister had made the trip to Japan a few weeks before to finally complete the adoption process and bring her home. She was overwhelmed. There were so many new faces and personalities to learn. Everything was so different here in [...]


I lay on my back, gazing up at the sky above me, a clear aquamarine, disturbed only by small wisps of white, scattered here and there as if the master of the sky had tossed flower petals over his shoulder to give flair to the expanse of endless blue. When I closed my eyes, the [...]

A Different Kind of Brave

I bend over and finger my key chain, determined to escape into the world of Little Miss Piggy and Mini Kermit the Frog. I try to ignore the teasing around me. I try to ignore Andrea, who is seated across from me, arms over her head, yelling at them to stop. I try to ignore [...]

Wild Wolves

Elice was the kind of village that was surrounded by thick and tall trees. The people of Elice were both frightened and relieved that they were surrounded by forest. Predators could come in from all angles; on the other hand, anyone who tried to find them would get lost. This meant that they were lonely. [...]

Join the Fun

  Veronica Caisse, age ten, stood in front of the mirror, her arms out to the sides. “What do you think?” she asked her cat, Aphrodite, turning so she could see the full extent of her outfit. Aphrodite gave a tiny, indifferent meow. “Thank you!” Veronica told her. “I do have good fashion sense, don’t [...]

How It Works

I sit here, and I don’t notice the dirty dishes, left lying in the sink I don’t stare at the holes in the wall, strange and unexplained I don’t ponder the fishbowl, tipped over on the floor, or the color the light makes as it bounces off the broken mirror I do not wonder about [...]

Gabi’s Poem

When I feel peace, it’s like my whole body is on fire, with a dim, yet warm glow. Soft, like moonlight, peace creeps in my open window, sunlight glows. Somewhere, A mountain stream rushes down a cliff. A pool at the bottom sits there, unbroken, Like glass. Somewhere, in a field grass grows, velvet soft, [...]

Unexpected Action

Past the field Through the briar By the breaths of people lingering in the light Past the smoke Into the mill Creeping closer With the stealth of a cat Up the stairs And onto the windowsill Like a hawk in its nest A pencil and paper And a breathtaking view With an idea And new [...]

Playing for the Commandant

Playing for the Commandant, by Suzy Zail; Candlewick Press: Massachusetts, 2014; $16.99 When Suzy Zail, author of Playing for the Commandant, details how Hanna, our young Jewish protagonist, was shipped with her family to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, I couldn’t help but remember Anne Frank, whose life after her diary ended was very similar [...]

Turn Left at the Cow

Turn Left at the Cow, by Lisa Bullard; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: New York, 2013; $16.99 When I read this book, I realized right away how it got its name. In the first part of the book, when the main character, Travis, is describing the setting of the book and how rural it is, he says, [...]