In the Knights’ Absence

Kythia awoke to the sound of trumpets announcing her father's departure. She grunted and sat up abruptly, stretching stiff muscles. She had wished to speak with her father, Sir Farlan, before he and his knights left the castle to assist their fellow countrymen in battle. Kythia knew that if more troops weren't sent to help [...]

The Chicken Coop

It was a hot day when he came home. Our farm was sweating under the Mississippi sun, even though it was only May, and I was out feeding the chickens. It's my job, being ten and the youngest of three. The war was over, I'd heard. All the newspapers were proclaiming that the Nazis were [...]

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

I stare at the flickering candle, the small light throwing echoes onto the flimsy curtain wavering with our movements. That cloth is all that separates us from the audience; they're out there, waiting, waiting for us. I love focusing, letting the director's voice flow around me, dropping into my character's body. There he is! Romeo, [...]

Playing Periwinkle

I remember the first time we played Periwinkle. I was ten and my sister Lou was eleven. We were just under a year apart, eleven months exactly. It was her birthday and her party had just ended, leaving just the two of us and a pile of presents. I picked one up, a funny little [...]


The barn was dark, but a warm and welcoming darkness. The hay piled up for the horses smelled sweet and soft. The barn door was slightly ajar, just enough for a small bedraggled traveler. The horses snorted in their sleep, but the hay was inviting and the traveler was soon asleep, breathing in the fresh-cut [...]


Jessica Morgan was ten years old and was already sure she was no good at anything. Her parents were eminent historians who studied the Civil War. They each had written numerous books and articles on the subject of Civil War history. Everyone Jessica knew seemed to admire them, including Jessica herself. To Jessica, her parents [...]

Night Lives

When the sky was full of diamonds, We went dancing on the cobblestone streets. The world was filled with laughter and music and whispering couples. The spicy food, The sweet chocolate, And the strong aroma of coffee. The lights on the water. We sat under the massive stone archways, lit with light. We turned around [...]

Penalty Kick

Overtime. Golden Goal. As I place the ball in a circle, I think about where I should place the shot. top left bottom left top right bottom right I wait for the whistle my team is silent but the crowd is roaring pressure is on nerves rush through me suddenly the crowd silences the whistle [...]

Where in the World

Where in the World by Simon French; Peachtree Publishers: Atlanta, 2003; $14.95 Have you ever not wanted to do something, but been forced to do it anyway? Ari, a boy with an extraordinary gift for music, certainly was in Where in the World when Mr. Lee, his music teacher, tried to make him play the [...]

Willow and Twig

Willow and Twig by Jean Little; Viking: New York, 2000; $15.99 Most people can relate to having an annoying little brother that is "Velcro-ed" to you wherever you go, or to counting on your grandma for love. But Willow doesn't only need to count on her grandma for love, she and her brother, nicknamed Twig, [...]