Catching Mice

The mouse was a smooth-furred, jittery-nosed, small-as-grass field mouse. I remember sitting on the roughly carpeted floor early in the mornings, when it was too cold to go outside, and watching him swipe food before the chipmunks and birds, who were at least two times the size of him, got at them beforehand. I remember [...]

The Locket

One warm summer evening, when the sun was just beginning to set over the sea, a single bird chirped melodiously. His fellows one by one joined in, each singing a different melody and pitch, but somehow all truly going together. The soft, sad song of the cricket gently burst through the birdsong at random intervals, [...]

About Winning

The day I abandoned my best friend was the day I lost myself. With her I was everything, and without her I was nothing. It was a rainy day, and I was lying on a fluffy pink mat in Ashley’s room. There she was, standing, legs crossed, but not enough to hide the trembling. There [...]

The Leap

I stand at the top of the cliff, gazing down at the clear, cool green of the water. I can see the rocky bottom magnified through the river’s glassy surface. The sunlight flickers along the cliff, reflecting off the smooth water. I will myself to step closer to the edge, away from the shade of [...]


“We’re what?!!” I gasped, blinking in disbelief. “Moving, Naomi. To Hawaii.” My dad looked like he was torn between which expression to wear: excited or sympathetic. He ended up looking understanding when he was talking to me, and thrilled when he looked at my eight-year-old sister, not that she needed it. Peyton was practically bouncing [...]

Subway Adventure

It is super hot, humid. Sweat is running down my back like a brook. I am waiting. The A train is mine. I am on the east side of the Forty-Second Street platform for the southbound A train. People are running, late people walk slowly, lost people are walking purposefully. A woman pushes a rattling, [...]

Nature’s Plea

The howl of a wolf Driven from her home The wail of an elephant Shot down for his precious tusks The lament of a polar bear Wandering in search of untouched ice They are nature’s plea The moan of a tree Torn from its sacred ground The cry of a dolphin Caught in a blood-red [...]

The Fairy House

Nestled between two gnarled tree roots Is a fairy house with A sunken floor of red clay, A triangular roof of interlocking sticks, And a winding path of pebbles leading to a Bark door. Inside, a sand-colored stone serves as a nightstand, And next to it lies a bed with a Moss mattress and maple [...]


Sugar, by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: New York, 2013; $16.99 Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road Plantation in Mississippi in the early 1800s. Sugar is a young African-American girl whose father died during the Civil War and whose mother died of sickness shortly after. As Sugar spends her time [...]


Below, by Meg McKinlay, Candlewick Press: Massachusetts, 2013; $15.99 Anyone would think that if you drowned a town with five thousand swimming pools of water, it would be done and gone, forgotten forever! But twelve-year old Cassie knows that everything has a way of revealing itself, sooner or later. Since she was a little girl, [...]