It was a freezing cold winter day in China. My family and I were visiting my beloved paternal grandmother who lives in ZhengZhou, a city in China. And this time we were celebrating the Chinese New Year with her. It was said that eating oranges during the special occasion is meant for good luck. Being [...]

My Friend the Bull

Our power was gone again. The house was at least sixty years old, I say sesenta, but we moved in a few weeks ago. The rain was slamming into the earth like a fist. Trees outside bent their heads in awe of the storm. I thought, this was the kind of weather when my abuela, [...]

Twisted Friendships

I had never had anyone my age who lived on my street. All of my friends lived at least ten minutes away. I had always envied those who could call up their friends whenever they were bored and say, "Hey, want to get together?" My mom told many fond stories of her adventures with neighborhood [...]

Ray of Light

I hiked up the rocky trail that led to the place I knew so well. Tiny drops of rain fell from the dark sky. A cool mist lingered over the ground. The boughs of the elms that had grown over the path brushed my face. Normally, we would have cut the branches back, but now [...]

A Summer Job in the Fields

Sunlight streamed through the stormy clouds and a rainbow seemed to end over the field beside me. For a moment I remembered the childhood saying that treasure could be found at the end of the rainbow. I laughed, but glanced over the field anyway. There I saw tender green leaves in tidy rows, yet untouched [...]

Colors of a Champion

It wasn't the best night for the race. Earlier that afternoon, a torrential downpour had drenched the ground. The air was thick and humid and the sky a murky gray soup. Dense fog was beginning to envelop the landscape. The tote board flashed the condition of the track—SLOPPY. Judy Garland was depressed. She had trained [...]


I'm spinning, spinning, spinning, my eyes closed. My hair brushes against the soft mossy grass and the sounds of traffic are distant, but I'm aware of them. Two arms—are they mine?—are holding onto the tire swing comfortably, not gripping but giving me a feeling that if I fall I'm not falling too far. It doesn't feel [...]

Tiger, Tiger

Toly hid among the tall grasses of the tropical forest. He could feel the cold sweat trickling down his face. The tiger was standing close now, so close Toly could feel its pulsing breath. The vibrant black and orange of the tiger's coat hurt his eyes. It couldn't see him; only the tiger's keen sense [...]

Gray Fingers of Rain

At first misty then drizzling now coming down hard like long, thin fingers reaching down to earth gray against the green of the pine trees combining with the fog that has rolled in from the sea. Many people prefer tropical islands or dusty deserts— but I like the wet and the fog and the mist [...]

No Simple Thank You

I didn't know That going to my new school Would mean four long nights Away from you. I didn't know I would miss your scratchy face When you kiss me, Wrestling on the bed, Climbing on your back Or into the "rabbit hole" To watch TV together. I didn't know Just how much I'd miss [...]

Frightful’s Mountain

Frightful's Mountain by Jean Craighead George; Dutton Children's Books: New York, 1999; $15.99 Jean Craighead George wrote the book Frightful's Mountain. It is about a peregrine falcon named Frightful and a boy named Sam who loves peregrine falcons. Sam lives in a tree house on a mountain where he likes to watch Frightful and many [...]

Mind’s Eye

Mind's Eye by Paul Fleischman; Henry Holt and Company: New York, 1999; $15.95 D0 you know what your mind's eye is? It's your imagination. In this book a sixteen-year-old girl, Courtney, meets an eighty-eight-year-old lady, Elva, nursing home in which both of them are living. Courtney is paralyzed from the waist down and Elva has [...]