Finally Free (Maybe?)

Dear Mother, Tomorrow is the day. Just think of it! Tomorrow I will be in America! Everyone is talking about how much opportunity and dreams coming true and hope awaits us there. No one cares if you’re Christian or Jewish, Italian or German, people say. Once we’re there, we’ll be free! I guess that for [...]

Twenty and a Half Minutes

He walks along the narrow path, skirting in-between the buildings. He knows that inside, young men and women are dressing in their uniforms and taking up their swords. Most will last the night. After that… he cannot say. Many on the path are headed toward his destination, the walls that barricade their fort. He eyes [...]

The Pony

Kristiena was with her pony, Buttercup, a beautiful golden mare. She was riding her bareback through the meadows, holding onto her pretty black mane. She saw butterflies dancing, rabbits peeking out of their holes to watch the girl and her magnificent horse… “Kristiena! Earth to Kristiena! What is eighty-five divided by five?” Kristiena’s teacher, Mr. [...]

Maple and Marmalade

A loud knock sounded on Violet’s dressing-room door. “Places for Act One!” Violet leapt up from her dressing-table stool, her breath quickening. A little shiver of nervous excitement ran down her spine as she peered into the mirror one last time, checking anxiously to see that her microphone was in place. She didn’t look quite [...]


I didn’t mean to set off the school’s sprinkler system, it just happened. It was stupid to put my plastic lunch silverware into the cafe’s microwave, I admit. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone along with Delilah’s dare, but I guess it couldn’t have gotten any worse than it already was. Let’s start at the beginning [...]

Rock-Star Nightmare

Thump, thump, thump. My heart beat like an animal, slapping its tail on the ground. Wiggly worms crawled in my stomach. My mom called it “butterflies in your stomach.” I looked up to see a domed spiraling ceiling, the only window. I nibbled my fingers and desperately tried not to cry. “Tamari, you’ll have fun,” [...]

A Broken Promise, A Mended Me

Strange, lucky, unique, divided, foreign, difficult… All are good descriptions of my life, but I couldn’t imagine myself living any other way. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t live in Mexico, if I wasn’t bilingual, if I didn’t clamp my mouth shut whenever my friends pleaded for me to speak English. My blond hair [...]

As Seen from Above

Hundreds of feet in the air, the world is In miniature, a scale model made of tinfoil, cardboard, and glue The green water ocean is so smooth you could walk on it Haloed by a ring of white foam, tiny islands poke out of the sea They’re so small none of them have a name [...]

Roller Coaster

Sweet like ice cream in the summer. There for two minutes then gone. But always with me.    They possess me and my heart but always love me. They stand by me wherever I go. If I choose to go to the moon they will be there listening to the silence with me.    Waiting [...]


Orchestra, our favorite subject of the day. We rush in the music room, eager to unpack our instruments, Grins creep across each musician’s face as we unpack Our beloved stringed noisemakers. We tune, we play, we make wonderful Music, did I mention… it’s my favorite subject of the day!    The music brings joy to [...]

The Queen of Katwe

The Queen of Katwe, by Tim Crothers; Simon & Schuster: New York, 2016; $16.00 The Queen of Katwe is a true story about an amazing Ugandan girl named Phiona Mutesi. Phiona grew up in the slums of Katwe. Life in Katwe is tough—little or no education, poor sanitation, crimes, violence, and extreme poverty. People search [...]

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly; Henry Holt and Company: New York, 2009; $17.99 Calpurnia Tate is the kind of eleven-year-old who is always asking questions—questions about nature and animals and insects, such as why do dogs need eyebrows, or can earthworms be trained? Such topics fascinate her. The only person who can [...]