The Blue Jays’ Song

Ciela frowned. She tossed the last of her shirts into the faded lavender suitcase, then collapsed on the dusty floor, sighing. She gazed around the room for the last time. It had been stripped bare of every single object Ciela possessed and now seemed strange and unfamiliar, as though it belonged in a different house. [...]

Ria Fish

The sunbeams softly settled on my stretched-out body. These days in Georgia were the best, and with it being the first week of vacation and all, everything was just about perfect. My life was a heaven. With a cool drink in hand, I felt like anything was possible. I had no idea how true that [...]

A Swing??

“Creak!” The old house’s door swings open as I push it. The air smells of freshly cut grass, and, sure enough, the growl of a lawn mower can be heard, coming from the house next door. I leap out the door, over the steps, and land with my pink, flip-flopped feet in the sandy gravel. [...]

The Foal

Hidden in the early morning Virginia gloom, I crept into the stable a few minutes before dawn, opening the door quickly to stop the sound of creaking hinges. My riding boots made a crunching sound with all of the hay underfoot, and I slowly walked past the five horses in the stable. Two horses, the [...]


The sun gently warmed the earth. The squirrels were hopeful waking up. Peeking out, softly, just enough to see snow, always snow. The cold cracked their dry noses harder than a bad nut. Slowly, reluctantly, shades went up in houses. Pulled up by invisible hands. People, chained to their beds by the relentless cold. Ice-lined [...]

The Biggest Win

Pass. Kick. Goal. Those are pretty much the words I live by. It would also be accurate to say that every day after school I put on shin guards and pull tight the waxy, black laces on my shiny coal-colored cleats. I play through weather, bad days, homework overloads, injuries, and anything else you may [...]


Our new house is small and nondescript. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom, and a tiny backyard with sparse grass. Along the perimeter is an ugly, pink cinder-block wall lined with thorny, bristling rose bushes. Inside there is the table and the rug on the floor and three chairs. There is a small couch [...]

Poetry Bird

Mourning dove High in the swing tree Sings poetry Just like mine Reminding me Of the singing bird Inside me And melting my heart

Nature’s Canvas (Bayard Cutting Arboretum)

Peaceful river waves whisper nature all around me. My pen reaches into calm breeze. Sunshine on water makes the blue look like someone broke pieces of gold and threw them in. Every wave pops up, meets soft green leaves. My feet drag against rocks. I am just trying to make my way through nature’s galaxy. [...]

Little Miracles

We all think we are important. But if we weren’t here the world would still turn the sun would still rise most people’s lives wouldn’t change. The world doesn’t need us. Some people many people sit and think about it. They only see that the whole wide world doesn’t need them and don’t see that [...]


Thunderstorms, My favorite things. I sit on the porch with a cold treat. Wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, warm And watching the sky light up. Thunder echoes through the air, a grin creeping Across my face. Darkness all around, The stars are hidden behind the dark clouds. If I look fast enough, I will see [...]


Echo, by Pam Muñoz Ryan; Scholastic Press: New York, 2015; $19.99 Pam Muñoz Ryan’s book, Echo, weaves together three compelling stories, all centering on a single harmonica and its owners around the time of World War II. The book is long, almost 600 pages, but I enjoyed every second of it. The book presents, in [...]

Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt; Nancy Paulsen Books: New York, 2015; $16.99 In Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s new novel, Fish in a Tree, sixth-grader Ally Nickerson has a big secret that she’s afraid to share: she has always struggled with reading and writing. It’s been the same thing in every one of the [...]