Learning to Love

Josh stared at the rows of cages. They were everywhere. Dogs barked and cats yowled, and Josh watched dismally as his mother drove away. He was at the local animal shelter because his mother signed him up for volunteering without his consent. Now here he was, standing hopelessly in the shelter, with no idea what [...]

Mexican Song

Natalie Dean grabbed her violin’s bow and began rosining it feverishly. The International Mariachi Conference was tomorrow. It was the biggest performance of the whole year. And she had to solo, on a microphone in front of thousands of people. You can do this, she thought. Her song, “Sabor a Mi” (Savor me), ran through [...]

The Shimmering Waterfall River

The sweltering heat of the day made the trail waver like water in the sun. “Ugh, it sure is hot today. Let’s take the Carson’s Crossing path to get away from this heat,” Dad muttered, wiping his brow. “Sure! Yay!” I replied quickly. I absolutely loved walking through Carson’s Crossing’s shaded woods and sparkling rivers. [...]

The Three Wishes

It was a perfect June day in the woods. The sky was royal blue, the grass looked soft, and maple trees were everywhere with golden light shining through their leaves. Clarice Hunter was miserable. As the car pulled in the gravel driveway, she averted her eyes from the house. It was just as nice as [...]

My Brother’s Smile

I can feel the sun’s rays on my face. I open my eyes and sit up on the small rug that serves as my bed. It is four-thirty in the morning. Time to begin my long day. I go out of my room and make my way to the building opposite to the one I [...]

The Real Winner

Sydney Kalili flipped her long black hair over her shoulder and charged into an oncoming wave. It was a big one, and it swallowed Sydney whole. She felt the cool water engulf her body and sting her eyes, and she accidentally swallowed a mouthful of sea water. She tumbled onto the sandy shore and faced [...]

Silent Friends

Freedom. That was the word that came to my mind as I watched them. They were so beautiful. So majestic. They were completely unaware of my presence, and yet I was enjoying theirs so much. They were wild horses. They walked and breathed as if they were a part of the earth. Drops of sunlight [...]

Plastic Eggs and a Wind-Up Rabbit

Snow blindfolded the ground, warning it not to peek. Spring was here, but the green landscape was still under construction, a curtain of whiteness hiding it. Navy paint poured itself into the sky, filling it up as night came. A white moon floated on top of the ocean of blue dye. Freezing light radiated from [...]

My Lovely

I don’t see her until she makes the noise A noise that breaks my heart I turn slowly to see the graceful face Her pale green eyes full of hunger and want One paw snakes through the metal bars She twists her lithe body so that I am looking into her eyes She makes that [...]

Summertide Sunset

On cool summer nights, My grandpa and I sit out On the back porch. We look at the sky, And together, We watch the sun go down. Quiet while we think, we sip our tea, Pondering the world about us. I gaze into my mug, Staring at my dim reflection. Blowing softly on the smooth [...]

Blood Red

Two black-and-white dogs Dash across the beach Legs pumping Flicking mud into the sun The sun Turning the lake Those same brilliant colors As the glowing red rocks around it Fiery fluid Creeps up on the shore Where two dogs lie In slumber Noses in the blood red sand

Dogtag Summer

Dogtag Summer, by Elizabeth Partridge; Bloomsbury: New York, 2011; $16.99 I’m not adopted, but what if I was? What if one day you wake up and find out that the people who have watched and cared for you all of your life did not give birth to you? Would it make a difference? Does it [...]

The Grave Robber’s Secret

The Grave Robber’s Secret, by Anna Myers; Walker & Company: New York, 2011; $16.99 The main character in The Grave Robber’s Secret, Robby, is a twelve-year-old boy who lives in a poor section of Philadelphia at the beginning of the 1800s. Robby’s father thinks he has found a get-rich-quick scheme—grave robbing! In those days medical [...]