Once in a Blue Moon

I used to think that you only met surprising people in grand theaters, comic book stores, and cathedrals, but now I know that you could meet the most different of all on top of an ordinary rock. August was drawing to a close, and the blue moon was due to appear. We were at the [...]

Sticks and Stones

The blue car rolled down the dusty road, coming to an abrupt stop in an empty lot. I jumped out and twirled around to face the camp. The sweet smell of pine trees circled around my head and I inhaled. The head counselor came out to meet me and showed me to my bunk. As [...]

If Money Grew on Trees

I could see the bike in the display window of the Park Ave Bicycle Shop. A black BMX with a fire design on the frame. Every day since third grade I had gazed at it on my walk home. Now, looking at it for the umpteenth time, I knew about every nook and cranny of [...]

This Summer

CHAPTER ONE DISASTER FALLS “I call this room!” I yell so everyone knows which room I had claimed for myself. My brothers and sister run up the stairs so that they too could declare their rooms. I look out my window, seeing the big moving truck pulling into our driveway. I love our new house. [...]

College Day

It was 7:32 a.m., my hair was getting frizzy, the fog outside my car window was limiting my vision to a few scrawny bushes, and my stomach was churning. “Hey,” my dad called from the front seat, “you OK, Pade?” “Yup,” I lied, because it wasn’t really a question, but conversation. He was satisfied and [...]

As a Family

It was just a typical day, a nightmare of an “as a family” picnic; my brothers following me around, me trying to get away and be alone for five short minutes. I’m sort of a loner sometimes, though when I say that, I don’t mean I’m a recluse, or that I’m not a people person, [...]

How to Fail

Deep breath, deep breath. I look straight into the mirror. “Hello,” I say to the fake audience. “My name is Henry,” I sigh, shaking my head. “Hello, my name is Henry and I am going to show you what would now be called a modern miracle.” About three hours every day are dedicated to magic [...]

Whisper of Night

The musty, damp smell of earth engulfs me, blocking the sharp, acute smells of night from outside my den. My bushy tail, tipped with white, flicks, causing the leaves and moss that make up my nest to rustle and scatter. It does not matter. I shall see to it come daylight, for now it is [...]

Bass Clef

A curiously-shaped case, elongated ebony Buckles, that when opened reveal gleaming gold Nestled in velvet, radiant brass glints in twists and turns Narrow pipes widen to a vast bell Pieced together with knobs and screws What will this clanky contraption do? Blowing begins, a sound like an old man coughing Spit settling in the pipes, [...]

The Soundtrack of Summer

The breeze sweeps through my hair and pulls aside the curtain of leaves above me allowing sunshine to fall, gracefully onto my face. I close my eyes and listen as the hammock sways me gently. With a bold splash someone dives into the relieving cool of a backyard pool. An insect hums and chirps while [...]


Did I do something wrong? Did I say something I wasn’t supposed to? Why did you leave me like a child crying at school, pleading for their parents to come back? Only they come back, and I know you will not. You weren’t supposed to leave. I never saw you go. You didn’t leave a [...]

The Creek

I stare into the crystal clear water and watch My life flow by in only a way nature can make it. My eyes wander to the trees and notice the pattern of the shadow the tree casts upon the rough black rocks. It is then I realize every aspect of the creek— the fish, the [...]

Castle of Shadows

Castle of Shadows, by Ellen Renner; Houghton Mifflin Books for Children: New York, 2012; $15.99 Charlie is the princess of Quale. Yes, she lives in a castle, with gardens and servants that cook and clean. But ever since her mother disappeared five years ago, Charlie has been all alone. Her father the king has gone [...]

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer, by Jennifer Gennari; Houghton Mifflin Books for Children: New York, 2012; $15.99 My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer is a book about politics and pie. June Farrell is a twelve-year-old girl living in Vermont whose talent is making delicious pies. All she wanted to do over summer vacation was go swimming [...]