Memories and Beginnings

The doorbell’s ring still echoed in my head. I stood on the third step of the stairs that led up to the bedrooms and leaned my body all the way out. That way I could see the mirror that hung in the foyer next to the front door. I heard Mom wheel the rolling chair [...]


Gary Evans stared down at the tiny world below as the plane soared over the lush Californian Redwood Forest. The trees had climbed upward noticeably more since the last time Gary had been in a plane on the same journey before, only three months ago. Only last time, he hadn’t found the courage to jump. [...]

The Right Wing

Kelsey crouched lower in the grass. A beautiful quail (coturnix octumix japonica) strutted pompously around her pond. Kelsey raised her binoculars and magnified the kingly bird. She could see all its tail feathers, from the soft browns to the deep whites. She carefully crept closer. The bird was like a mini-peacock. She pictured it in [...]

Dream of Dancing

I had never even thought about what I could do with ballet in my life. It was always just there. A little part of my life, one small piece of the pie of my world; twice a week, five o’clock to seven o’clock, barre to center. I wasn’t on pointe shoes yet, either. Ballet was [...]

Gold and Silver Stars

“So I’m doing my science project on contraptions or robots,” Jess said smoothly. She was talking to Bailey, who was on the other end of the phone. “Yeah. Can I do it with you?” Jess stopped. Uh-oh, she thought, better tell her now. “Bailey, I’m really sorry, but… I totally forgot to ask you, and [...]


INTRODUCTION The important people in my story are my grandparents. They have greatly impacted my life. My grandfather and I were very close and he taught me many things. He loved writing, music, and trains, the same as I do. He died November 8, 2011, on my brother’s birthday. One of the last times I [...]

Katie’s League

I stood in my backyard, wearing the clothes that I hid from my mama. A T-shirt and jeans, with a baseball cap atop my head. Boy, would Mama scream if she saw me wearing this. But I hate itchy blouses, skirts that are impossible to run in, and dresses that are like both of those [...]


We run until it hurts too much to take in another breath My breath is a thin jet of smoke, in the cold winter morning Drifting from my lips The sound of our footsteps beating the hard-packed snow is inviting And then, all at once, we all fall We fold into one another Every joint [...]


What lies in the darkest corner in the mind of a boy? His greatest fears. Dark, looming, ominous shadows of everyday objects Turn into alarming frights. Howls, creaks, booms, blasts, blares, Sneak into the mind of a boy Creep into his thoughts, Eliminating his ability to sleep. The thought of a monster lurking under the [...]

My Chicken

With curious eyes The inquisitive bird Struts slowly towards its new discovery. What could it be, That strange creature, with fur; and nose placed so queerly? It just jumped down from my lap, And is now rounding the coop. Its tail twists all around, Like a long, coily snake. But it’s fuzzy, not smooth, And [...]

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, by Trenton Lee Stewart; Little, Brown and Company: New York, 2012; $17.99 The first thing I noticed about this book was that it is the newest installment of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, one of my favorites. I inwardly groaned because, in my opinion, the series had come to [...]

Otherworld Chronicles: The Invisible Tower

Otherworld Chronicles: The Invisible Tower, by Nils Johnson-Shelton; HarperCollins: New York, 2012; $16.99 Nils Johnson-Shelton’s The Invisible Tower brings the legend of King Arthur and his sorcerer, Merlin, into the modern world through fantasy adventure. This book has all the connections necessary to keep the interest of its readers: video games, dragon slaying, acts of [...]