Irina Cleans Her Room

Irina sat gingerly on the fluffy gray computer chair. She loved to e-mail her best friend, Maxine, and play trivia games. "Meow!" Irina looked down. Her white kitty jumped aboard the computer table. Irina laughed. "Wanna play too, Annie?" Annie nuzzled the computer. "Irina! Check the chore chart, young lady!" Irina rose from the chair. [...]

The Riding Lesson

The gravel crunched under the weight of my wheels, and for a moment I held my breath fearing my chair would tip over as one side was lifted as it went over a rock. But my chair righted itself and I continued down the path to the barn. I was certain I could see my [...]

Beethoven’s Bargain

He was a strange boy. Some people would say that he was a loner. He usually went his own way and stayed away from others. Nobody knew why. A quiet, sad boy, he hardly ever said much and so he had trouble making friends. But he was smart, very smart. He knew more than he [...]

Hawaiian Hurricane

INTRODUCTION   I love the beach. It's my home, and I'm proud of it. I love to run on the beach and then dive into the sand and feel the warmth soothe my body. I love to feel the waves ripple on my toes. This is my home, Maui, Hawaii. Sure, it's a big tourist [...]

A Girl with Red Hair Is Nice to Know!

One day at school Sister Rachel, our teacher, asked for a volunteer to read out loud. A girl named Cindy raised her hand. Cindy was a shy, quiet girl who always sat on her hands. She had short reddish hair and a twitch in her eye when she was nervous, which was most of the [...]


"Here we are then," said Mother happily, at the same time tipping the cab, hoisting our luggage out of the trunk, and brushing her hair aside impatiently. "Go on in and set yourself up, darling . . . I'll be a minute." I nodded, then skipped up to the door; it looked about to fall [...]

Wings of Water

I was out on my boat, the Eaglet, for what seemed the millionth time that summer. Once more, my dad and brother had persuaded me to come out and try to water-ski again. I was standing in the middle of my boat, staring at the slightly rippling water, and wishing I had stayed home with [...]

The Wild Mare

For the men the day had started a few hours before. The men worked for hours. Instead of a few hours to the men it felt like years. When the men came home the women's day started. They cooked and cleaned for hours. To the women the hours felt like years. When the people lay [...]

Forgive Me

Something so strong, Not the sharpest knife could spear, Not the heaviest club could knock out, Not the strongest python could strangle, But with one word I detached our friendship. Now I must ask forgiveness. Deep as the ocean, Meaningful as a smile, I must ask forgiveness. I must stitch together the wide rip, With [...]

Summer Hawk

Summer Hawk by Deborah Savage; Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, 1999; $16 Have you ever been in a situation you hate? This is exactly what happens to the main character, Melissa. Melissa is unhappy, living in the small rural community of Hunter's Gap, Pennsylvania. She dislikes the people of Hunter's Gap because she considers them small-minded [...]

Leaving Emma

Leaving Emma by Nancy Steele Brokaw; Clarion Books: New York, 1999; $15 Having a best friend can make a kid feel like she's on top of the world. I know, because I have had the same best friend since I was less than two years old. But if something should happen with that best friend, [...]