Christmas Magic

Stars gazed drowsily out from the folds of an indigo night sky. The yellowish glow of the moon painted shadows of the toothy Chicago skyline over the streets. A white expanse coated the city and, for once, the bustling streets were quieted. The ground was vacant of footsteps because the only visitor that would be [...]

Another Way to Win

Jessica Terry sat in the front seat of the truck, her window half rolled down, willing cool air to come in and blow the sweat off her face and hands. Her thick, dark hair blew, untamed, around her pretty face and large, dark eyes. “How much longer, Dad?” Jessie asked, and felt a sudden flutter [...]


What if it wasn’t like this? I thought for the trillionth time in my life. No, probably more than a trillion. Maybe the google-plexth time? Windsnap was such a bad school I didn’t even know what came after trillion. I was pretty sure that it wasn’t google-plex though. I sat on the steps leading up [...]

Where the Heart Is

Walking through the old, silent house was like walking through one of the photo albums in the big wooden chest in Liesa’s room. It pulsed with the heartbeat of memories as time stood perfectly still. Liesa’s thoughts echoed in her mind as the cool, dark house danced with shadows from the sun flitting through the [...]

Bad Dinner

We’re eating Chinese tonight. Dark plastic bowls filled with rice and vegetables, egg rolls in little cardboard boxes, even the fortune cookies with the lottery numbers on the back of the paper. This is a real treat. Mom doesn’t care for Chinese food, but it’s Dad’s favorite, so tonight she’s putting up with it. In [...]


Rain, to Gracie, had always seemed like the tears of hope. Instead of closing all the windows and playing board games, she walks half a mile to the nearest park. Running away from home was simple now. She had gotten used to it. Most of it was to the park, and most of it was [...]

The Balance

Every time I would go to the opera with my parents I would hum along to the songs, quietly, barely audible in the din of shuffles, shifting, coughing, and the occasional round of applause. Even when my lovely serenade finished I would continue along with the song. Both my parents would look down from either [...]


Pearly white crystals flutter gently around the buildings and houses, covering the town in a delicate sheet of snow. The soothing silvery color of the snowflakes contrasts beautifully with the somber blues and greens of the busy streets and malls. Pedestrians scramble across the streets in bustling pods to grab last-minute Christmas presents. Giant evergreen [...]



White is the color of Beautiful Like a dove Soaring over a forgotten mountain lake Snow Blanketing the landscape In a soft white Paradise Essence of pine Like a cello’s music Sweeping the night Alone But that makes it even more Serene Like a white sail Rising up a mast Against a coral blue sea [...]

A New Brother

There he was Such a tiny person I looked at him Sleeping peacefully Suddenly his eyes open Brand new brown eyes Staring at me Blinking and adjusting his eyes to a new experience Light His mind consuming New thoughts New faces New world New everything He is a new person

The Brown-and-White Tabby

I leave for school, Strolling with my mother. My tiny pink backpack is slung over my shoulder. It is a crisp, autumn day. All the leaves Changing pigments. My mother Constantly reminding me to Walk faster. To keep up with her, I drag my little feet along. Into the dirt they go… And there! As [...]

Iron Jaw and Hummingbird

Iron Jaw and Hummingbird, by Chris Roberson; Viking Children’s Books: New York, 2008; $19.99 What if the Chinese had taken over the whole eastern hemisphere when Christopher Columbus left Spain in 1492? And what if this military and cultural expansion eventually led to the Chinese colonization of Mars? This alternate history sets the scene in [...]

Little Audrey

Little Audrey, by Ruth White; Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, 2008; $16 I never imagined that people could live in a coal mining camp until I read Little Audrey. Author Ruth White brings this unimaginable existence to life in her latest work. Audrey White is a sickly eleven-year-old girl growing up with her mother, [...]