The Tale of Tawret

A large gray hippo waded in the clear, cool Nile River. His name was Akitomen. Akitomen's wife, Tawret, glided alongside him. The couple both watched their children, Khufem and Maketuman. The kids played happily in the papyrus reeds, Tawret and Akitomen talked while keeping an eye on the kids. Tawret had always been a wonderful [...]

A Shore Thing

I looked down at my watch; it was already five past six. Where are they? It was starting to annoy me that they were late again. The plan was that we would meet at the bench under the third streetlight at exactly six o'clock to go swimming. The ocean was at low tide at exactly [...]


I felt like my heart had been hit by a semi truck. I stared at my parents in stunned silence. They sat across from me; their anxious faces looked at me in hesitant anticipation. "What?" I choked out. My throat was tight and my stomach was in knots. "You can't do that!" I said, tears [...]


PROLOGUE   he words were like white-hot knives plunging into Tom's skin. His mahogany eyes were flaring at his parents' shouts. "You're banned from GameCube!" "You're grounded!" "No allowance!" All Tom wanted was to run far, far away from here. His two little sisters, Hannah and Beth, huddled in a corner, wide-eyed with fear. Tom [...]

Storm Dancer

I gazed out from the ferry, my eyes growing big as we neared the island. It shone like an emerald in the morning sunlight, green trees waving to me in greeting. I could not help but smile. What a wonderful way to spend our vacation—my first time seeing the ocean and we were going to [...]

A Story to Tell

Imagine being lost in the New York City train station with people you don't know. Imagine a four-year-old kid in the middle of the stairway, scared and confused. Imagine a crowd all around you, and there's nowhere to go. Who was that four-year-old kid that got lost in the train station? I was that four-year-old, [...]

The Sky, the Water, and the Shell

My damp hair lies strangled on my sweaty shoulders. The air around me covers every bit of me with heat, and continues to close in on me. My hair clings and knots on my swirly tie-dyed top. It swirls along with the oranges, reds and yellows. As we bounce up and down along the dusty [...]

The Run Away?

Eliza opened her bedroom door a crack and looked through the small slit into the tan-carpeted hallway. It was deserted. Eliza breathed a sigh of relief. She stuck her head out and listened for any noises that would signify that she was not the only person up. To the left, her little sister Emily's room [...]

My Landlord on an August Morning

My landlord wakes to a dawn where everything is silent, and even the trees still linger in the unconsciousness of night. Dewy grass dampens his shoes as he strolls out over to his most used patch of land: the garden. The smells are soft and fresh and the rain's clear drops from the night before [...]

I Am a Golden Trout

The sound of silence shatters When a buzzing fly splashes into a cool freshwater lake The water, like liquid tourmalines, ripples to kiss the sun-bleached shore I wait for a delicious, squishy fly to plop into striking range Anxious yet excited Each time is as thrilling as the first I strike like a ravenous eagle [...]

Once Upon a Marigold

Once Upon a Marigold, by Jean Ferris; Harcourt, Inc.: New York, 2002; $17 What if you were a princess who lived a perfect, happy life except for one minor problem—your mother kept trying to marry you off to a boring royal suitor so she could become queen? What if you had never met or talked [...]

Beyond the Dance

Beyond the Dance, by Chan Hon Goh; Tundra Books: New York, 2002; $15.95 When I first saw the cover of Beyond the Dance, I thought it might be a book that was just about dance technique. But, as the saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover. As I started reading, I found [...]