Mr. Larson’s Library

  Twelve-year-old Emily hobbled down the stairs, rubbing her tired hazel eyes. She collapsed onto a chair in the breakfast room, clutching a book in her hand. “How was The Lake?” an old man asked, nodding toward the book. Wispy gray hair adorned the sides and back of his head like a garland, but the [...]

Falling Trees and Riddles

Sabrina had been preparing for this for weeks. The small girl, with the statuesque figure and her hair pulled tightly back into a high ponytail, surrounded by a foil scrunchie, looked radiant in her amethyst team leotard. She sparkled, not so much from the glittery rhinestones sewn to her chest in a waterfall formation going [...]


I walk outside and feel the grass being crushed under my shoe. A light breeze teases the trees. The peaceful yard won’t be this way for long. “Come on, Klaire! Race me!” Sophia cries, grasping my hand and pulling me over to the edge of the grass. “Only one race,” I remind her. “OK!” she [...]

Love—A Cursed Blessing

INTRODUCTION First of all, you must know that my story is not unique. It’s merely the same tale as millions, maybe even billions of human beings; a few thousand hearts broken every day the same way as my life was shattered. Shattered but able to be put back together, piece by piece. But keeping that [...]

Marblehead, Massachusetts

My bare feet dug into the scorching sand. Racing toward the glistening waves ahead, I sank my feet into sand that now was squishy and cold. The surf lapped at my feet and I wildly plunged in. The frigid water made my spine tingle, and goose bumps popped up on my arms and legs. That [...]

A Friend Until the End

Ameena looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her worried face stared back at her. “Come on!” Adam, who was Ameena’s twin, yelled impatiently. “Adam’s fitting in well,” Ameena remarked. She remembered how, when they had first moved, Adam, who was regularly noisy and active, had been so subdued and unusually silent. Lately though, Adam [...]

Bailey’s Resolve

The hot sun beat down on us like we were grilled-cheese sandwiches. As I bent down to pick up an empty bag of chips, I fell on the dried-up dirt and a drop of sweat fell to the ground. The thirsty ground sucked it up and I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked [...]


Our boogie boards went bump-bump-bump over the sand. The tide was high, and the waves were big. Just looking at them made me excited. There weren’t many people out today. Figures. It was two days until s-c-h-o-o-l started, the dry Santa Ana winds blowing in the hazy summer smog. My bathing suit was still sandy [...]


Her pudgy feet ran through the grass Sparkling in the morning dew Her footprints left a trail behind her Impressions on the cold ground She ran Her feet stumbling on unfamiliar territory She tripped and stumbled to the ground She rose without hesitation and again began her pursuit Of the beautiful winged creature Its wings [...]

Ocean Memories

As the notes take me I try to remember The ocean Mom and Dad stand by me Deeper we go Jumping big waves My parents lifting me up to jump Dolphin fins out in the horizon Laughing then Longing now For the sea to sweep me Off the ocean floor As it did a few [...]

Mi Abuela

We sat As it rained and drenched the thirsty soil We sat And laughed and talked and drank tea Seventy-seven years apart But closer than a mother and daughter We exchanged simple words Mine so young, so naive Hers wise and old and perfect I scratched the head of her dog I dreamed The dog [...]

The Other Side of the Island

The Other Side of the Island, by Allegra Goodman; Penguin Young Readers Group: New York, 2008; $16.99 Imagine living in a world of rules—a world where the first letter of your name is chosen by the year you were born, a world where the weather is programmed each day. This is Honor’s world in The [...]

Keeping Score

Keeping Score, by Linda Sue Park; Clarion Books: New York, 2008; $16 Before I read Keeping Score, when I thought of baseball, I thought of boys. I thought the only way people got to know the game of baseball was by playing it. After I read it, I was inspired to learn more about the [...]