Seventeen Years

As I sipped the sherberty punch, I gazed about the Fitzpatricks' sprawling farm for a comfortable spot to sit. It was the Fourth of July, and summer heat waves rippled across the cow pastures behind the barns. The Fitzpatricks, our neighbors, were giving a party. I could see my older brother Wesley trying to climb [...]

A Narrow Escape

"What a lovely place for a summer vacation," sighed my twelve-year-old cousin Allison, as we stood on the bluffs of the Maine coast. I nodded as my eyes swept over the glass-like water in the bay with numerous islands scattered beyond it. My gaze rested on the lighthouse erected on the edge of a steep [...]

Year of Pain and Year of Glory

“Alissa Escarce . . . Alissa Escarce," I muttered to myself, my finger moving slowly down the long list of names taped to the scratched wall. "Eugenie Cha . . . Jennifer Li . . . here we go, Alissa Escarce," I whispered, half glowing with pride, half shaking with nervousness. I was standing in [...]

Skate Disaster

I woke up as a small gap of light beamed into my eyes from a hole in the curtain. I opened my bedroom window to see what kind of a day it was. The sun was radiating on my face, but the only thing I could feel was the heat. There was not even the [...]

Message of the Conch Shell

Salt sea spray brushed against my cheek as I paced placidly along my beach. Well, not my beach, technically, but that's what I fondly call it. My adoptive mother, Elnore, says every time it's a nice day out, "It's a day for your beach, Shayla, go and capture it." So that's where I am now, [...]

In the Land of the Basketball Hoops

She slung her leg over the side of the hammock and sighed. It was the sigh alone that told the story of her boredom, the story of being dragged out to visit an aunt and uncle she barely knew; then of finding that her relatives and their neighbors were about the dullest people who ever [...]

Summer Days Beside Cannon Rock

The ocean, rocks, and cool sea breeze are what awaited me every July at our old summer house in Maine. The living room, dining room and two bedrooms upstairs had the most beautiful view in the whole house. It was of the glistening teal ocean and huge rocks on which one could climb. They were [...]


I saw a hot air balloon this morning And immediately thought of you Every time I am on the hill I yell "Hi Grandma!" As loud as I can I look at the ancient hilltop tree How its branch is pointing To all the land you loved I look at the vineyards And I remember [...]

Promises to the Dead

Promises to the Dead by Mary Downing Hahn; Clarion Books: New York, 2000; $15 Promises to the dead is a very interesting book. On the surface it seems simple, but scratch beneath the surface and you will find a unique story that obviously took some work. In Promises to the Dead, a young boy named [...]

Promises to the Dead