Nutcracker Dreams

My holiday wish was to dance in the Nutcracker. I was eleven years old and a student of Charlotte Kingston Ballet School. My teacher, Mrs. Brooke, had told me that the director from the local ballet company was going to select several children from our class to perform minor roles in the holiday ballet. Everyone [...]


It's dead. That was twelve-year-old Julian Horowitz's first thought when he spotted the kitten in the white-blanketed woods when he was walking home from school. The kitten was vividly orange and bright white colored, reminding Julian of a Creamsicle ice cream bar. It (Julian didn't know whether the kitten was male or female) was partially [...]

Trapped Heart

The icy air caressed Jeff's cheek, hissing softly through the gray-brown stubble that decorated his weather-beaten face. His faded leather boots smashed the freshly fallen snow, leaving a heavy imprint on each perfectly formed flake. The bluish glow of morning shone on the dewy leaves of the spruce trees, peppering the ground with glowing rays [...]

Of Basketball and the Valley of the Stoops

I spent the first twelve years of my life in Brooklyn, New York, in the area below Park Slope. It was a nice neighborhood, with the brownstone houses lining the streets, dotting the sloping hills. Trees grew abundantly along the sidewalks, in tiny patches of grass in front of each house. It was a happy [...]

Woodpecker’s Way

CHAPTER ONE: HOLIDAY CHARACTER   raden was very lucky in many ways. His only bad luck was that he had a severe allergy to rabbits. Not many have traveled the world by boat and are at a wonderfully academic-filled private school, called Turnlamb Terrace. But this does not take place in school, or neither in [...]

A Chorus of Coyotes

Hannah leapt out of the truck, hardly able to restrain herself. Snow had come, winter had come! And here she was, about to spend a full afternoon cross-country skiing with Grandpa; the first time since last March when they had been forced to leave early due to the rapid melting of the snow. Around the [...]

Crystal Desolation

My hand felt like ice against the cold, hard metal doorknob on this hostile, windy crisp day. As I opened the door, I was greeted by a cold gust of wind that stung my face like a thousand bee stings. This cold does not bother me, but instead provides me with a queer comfort. I [...]

To Begin Again

A gleaming silver picture frame stuck out from among the ashes. With renewed determination, Angela squatted down and began unearthing the priceless treasure from the still-smoldering cinders. She recognized it as her parents' wedding frame. Angela closed her eyes and tried to imagine herself standing within her cozy living room, near the hearth. In her [...]

Treasure Box

Born in northern forests of Australia centuries ago And carved from yellow jarrah, My wooden treasure box Holds secrets of its own. Felled for ballast on sailing ships, It traveled over distant oceans And touched exotic shores, Seeking the spirit of Africa. Abandoned on the docks, The jarrah became railroad ties, Carrying steam engines Across [...]


Alone is the homeless man looking at all the goods      in the grocery market that he cannot have Alone is the refugees leaving all they ever knew behind,      their friends, their houses Alone is the single pillar Standing in the rubble of a bombed building Alone is the Iraqi mother whose children have died From [...]


Girl in Blue

Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi; Scholastic Press: New York, 2001; $15.95 Girl in Blue was one of the most fascinating and suspenseful books I have ever read. I could hardly put it down! Girl in Blue is a story about a sixteen-year-old girl, named Sarah Louisa Wheelock, who disguises herself as a teenage boy [...]

A Face First

A Face First by Priscilla Cummings; Dutton Children's Books: New York, 2001; $16.99 When Kelley got in the accident it made me realize how precious life really is. The poor girl is only in sixth grade and she is scarred for life. I cried as I read about all the things that happened to Kelley, [...]