Working for Sparkle

There was no noise. Everything was silent except for birds chirping and leaves rustling. Off in the distance a bell rang. Suddenly, noise erupted as students came running out of Lake Heights Elementary eager to begin their summer. Only one child didn’t run out screaming and yelling. This child was an eight-year-old girl named Suzy. [...]

No Time to Twirl

“Ewww! Its guts and internal juices are dripping down the driveway!” my sister would screech in a squeaky six-year-old voice. “Yeah, and now they’re dripping on you!” I said, while shoving half of the dead corpse in her face. “Girls, stop playing with our dinner. We have to eat those,” my grandmom would say. My [...]

Infinite Field

    A soft whisper echoed off the walls. “Jess!” I jerked into consciousness, tense and trembling. The door was closed. The clock ticked as usual. The lopsided calendar above my mahogany dresser showed the same picture of a sun sinking behind the mountains that had been there when I went to bed. Must be [...]

The Island of Mysteries

The afternoon started in perfection on the rainforest-island. Trees waved lazily, birds cawed in each limb, monkeys chattered greetings as they swung from vine to vine, and waves landed on the shore. A few feet off of the island, however, the watery perfection was silent. Other than the gentle lapping of the waves, not a [...]

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Rachel sits on the cement garage steps, clutching a green toy car, while I push baby-blue Crocs onto her feet. My fingers grasp her hand as I help her stand up. Our feet—mine big and bare, and hers the tiny delicate ones of a three-year-old—pad on the cold, dark garage floor. My hand is holding [...]

Girls at the Beach

I’m awakened by my dad, who is gently shaking me. I’m tired, so I just turn over in my warm bed. My dad whispers, “Kat, wake up. We’re going to the beach.” I grumble in response, and my dad tries harder to get me to wake up. “Kitty cat, you love the beach. Remember? You [...]

Last Summer at Camp

The boat thrummed, vibrated for a few seconds, then stopped completely. “All right! All right! Everybody out! Everybody out!” yelled the driver. The whole scene made me think of some classical book or movie. But I liked it. It made me think of how much I loved camp last year—how excited I’d been for months [...]

The Race

I hear the whistle blow, bellowing a long note that echoes, bouncing off the tall bleachers on the far side. I look down, gazing at the deep blue water. It laps onto the gutters as the ripples smooth out and meet at the sides. My heart skips as the whistle blows a second time, this [...]

The World Apart

The trail is rough, But I absorb it all, Every bump, dip and curve, And let it become me. My hands rattle on the bars of my bike, As I take on this course. With speed and energy I never knew. The scenery astounds. A stream tries to keep up, The trees watch from above, [...]


Pour moi, l’eau c’est la plage Où vit ma grand-mère, Les grands ours bruns Qui rôdent autour de la maison, L’océan qui me chante une berceuse, Le bateau de mon oncle qui part À la pêche. Pour moi, l’eau C’est une vague salée. For me, water is the island Where my grandmother lives, The big [...]

Wishing Star

My favorite part Of staying the night Was after The “fun” stuff It was bundling up And going outside Staring into the deep black sky Finding the perfect star And making a wish After hearing The fatal news I went outside Stars magnified with tears And wishing For time Just one more year After a [...]

Do You Hear Me, Mr. Lincoln?

Do You Hear Me, Mr. Lincoln? by Judith Caseley; Graphia Books: New York, 2009; $6.99 Life has changed for Sierra Goodman after the death of her father. Her grieving mother has gone into a house-cleaning rage, her brother is too young to interpret how she feels and suffers nightmares, and her friends are clueless about [...]


Crunch, by Leslie Connor; HarperCollins: New York, 2010; $16.99 A young boy named Dewey Mariss is running his dad’s bike shop during his parents’ anniversary trip. Unfortunately, the trip is right in the middle of an oil shortage. Just as Dewey’s parents are returning, the oil shortage heads into the extreme and leaves them with [...]