A Different Kind of Friend

Emma Simmons was as angry as a deranged bull. Her mother was going to make her go to church every week, a duty Emma considered pure torture. Emma had to sit through the whole service not hearing one single sound wave because she was stone deaf. She’d been born that way. She knew, after the [...]

Window into the Wild

Brandon bounced the tennis ball up and down on the dirt ground. The short, dark-haired boy was nine Earth years old, just old enough to resent this boring trip his parents had brought him on. Who wanted to go to a wildlife reserve anyway, even if it was one of the last remaining on Earth? [...]

The Great Challenge

Dan scouted up ahead and saw the steep uphill climb before him. He took in a deep breath, looked left and right, and vowed to reach his destination in one piece. Keeping low in the tall grass, his eyes barely cleared the blades. He needed to keep his focus. He needed to remain silent to [...]


I had marveled at her beauty a dozen times before, but this was different. This time was special. She was sitting in front of me in her temporary plastic container as we drove home. Every little bump made me tense all my muscles. I didn’t want her to get scared. I figured that for someone [...]


The morning the oak tree was cut down was dismal and wet, clouds drooping under the defeated sky. My breath fogged up the school bus window as I strained my eyes for one last look at the tree’s branches; one last look at the way they stretched towards the weak sunlight. I did not feel [...]

History Is Worth Preserving

Anna Nakagawa loved going to her grandparents’ house. The house was large, with lots of room inside and out. There was a room full of books, a grand piano, a room with a huge TV, and even a room of her very own, where she stayed every time she came over. And of course her [...]


Even now, three years later, I remember that vague understanding of what it meant when my parents told me we were moving to Chicago. I had five friends in California, and they were all a little bit older than me, though I was taller. I remember thinking that I needed to remember this place, since [...]

Wings of Hope

A silent breeze whipped thirteen-year-old Amy’s light hair as she limped onto her porch. She grabbed the walking stick that rested against the side of the house and stood with its help. It made her feel old, but there was no way to get around without it. Ignoring her feelings of protest, she started off [...]

Moment of Truth

My last chance, One more miss And it’s over, Cool sweat trickles down my neck. I risk striking out, My pride. My hands tremble My swing wobbles My body Not my own, I can’t do this. To everyone else, A spring day, Warm and beautiful. Dandelions cover the field, The opposite of my emotions. I [...]


A pea-green shoot pokes out of the ground. Through the last sprinkle of snow, It stretches. Straightens. Reaching towards the sky, it whispers, “Spring. Spring. Spring.” It battles the icy wind And the winter-beaten mud. Slowly A bud grows, Rounder, bigger, smoother. One day… Yellow. Finally. Five fairy petals caress the warming air, Surrounding a [...]


A crow or raven against the black night. A cry from a lone child. A smooth dark rock thrown at you. A dot, sweet, warm, and black on your tongue. A musty smell, revolting at first, sweet afterwards, though too quick to catch. Scented like a black horse. At first sight, A child tattered, crying, [...]


I would spend those bored hours, Peering through the wire mesh screen, Waiting for something worthy of a smile. He zoomed, an invisible blur, Until he hovered at my window, His ruby throat aflame, And his wings a cloudy shimmer. His eyes waiting, Holding mine. It seemed for hours, As the hand ticked slowly, softly [...]

Dumpling Days

Dumpling Days, by Grace Lin; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: New York, 2012; $15.99 “You should know Taiwan. It’s…” Dad said, his face dimming as he tried to think of the right word in English. His hand fell as he gave up and said it in Chinese instead. “It’s… Taiwan is… bao dao.” (treasure [...]

Finding Danny

Finding Danny, by Linzi Glass; Walden Pond Press: New York, 2010; $16.99 Twelve-year-old Bree Davies didn’t know what to do in her lonely life before she got Danny, her beloved Border Collie. They were inseparable. She loved Danny more than life itself. Bree had long ago learned to deal with the fact that her mom [...]