Maddy leaps from stone to stone, clutching a limp tiger in her left hand, and laughs. She is so happy with her first Beanie Baby. She doesn't think of Stripes as a stuffed animal, but as a wild tiger, her best friend. She swings Stripes around and around, and he is a blur of gold [...]

The Island

She stood on the dock, squinting into the early morning sun. The wooden planks creaked softly as she ran over it. A dog trotted behind her, a small scruffy brown dog. They stopped near the end of the dock, leaped off the edge and into a small boat. "The ferry's not here yet," she said [...]

The Island

Tragedy strikes her family, and Eve feels responsible


"Grace!!! Wake up!" I awoke that morning to the sound of my mother's prickly voice in my ear. I grunted and put the pillow over my head. "Grace!" "All right!" I cried, "I'm up!!!" My mother tutted and looked me in the eye. "I wish you wouldn't sleep so late, there's chores to be done." [...]

Thirteen and Still Feeling Lucky

I leaned back in the cushioned seat of the gondola. I looked over at my close friend and mountain bike riding partner Daniel Vest. Dirt smudges ran across his face, and his clothes had a tint of brown on them. Both of our shirts were drenched with sweat. I drummed my fingers on the seat. [...]

World War II Story

I was lying in my bunk, listening to the waves rocking the sides of the Yorktown when I heard the sound. It wasn't much, just a slight splash in the water, but when you have been living on an aircraft carrier for six months in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you know the sound [...]

A Friend

"Remember when we were eating yellow popsicles in the park and there was a wind and the yellow melted popsicle blew on us?" "Yes," I responded, "your mum asked where we'd gotten mustard stains." We both broke down laughing, until I managed to gasp, "Remember when I took the shortcut behind the school and rode [...]

Wives of the Desert

In the blue goat-hair tent, Shaimaa heard the music and laughter of the wedding, the shrill ululation of women's voices and heavy swirl of woolen skirts. She pulled the scratchy blanket that smelled of camels up over her nose to avoid inhaling the mouth-watering flavors of prickly pear cactus, sweet and juicy, of plump golden [...]


Living in a world full Of selfishness and wealth, I feel the need to do something, Reach out to others. Two-year-old Diego Calls out to me, His picture spanning the miles From faraway Guatemala. Alone with just his mother And very little else, There must be some way to help, Save my money for his [...]


mariachis playing joyful songs and niños laughing street vendors, pregoneros, shouting out hopes of selling their goods las mujeres, the women, chatting as they slap tortillas on the patio these are the sounds of my México, the sounds que yo quiero mucho, the sounds I love

Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse; Henry Holt & Company: New York, 1994; $16.95 Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do some people live and others die? Isn't it ironic how a loss can bring two strangers together, but then ultimately, keep them apart? These are some of the questions which Karen Hesse [...]

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson by Michelle Y. Green; Dial Books for Young Readers: New York, 2002; $15.99 I love baseball, and I have always had a special interest in African-American history. But that is only a part of the reason that I liked A Strong Right Arm. The book [...]