The Eight Snow Globes

Jessie walked up the stairs of the old Victorian house, carrying the sticky chocolate cake her mother had made. Jessie had met Ms. Pushkin quite a few times, but always accompanied by her mother. Now that she was twelve, her mother had decided that it would be better if she went alone. She was only [...]

Backyard Battlefield

As I slid open the door a valley of fun stood before me. The bright sun sliced through the cold air, leaving patches of bright grass on the backyard’s surface. With no one around this was the perfect time to have fun at my favorite place. I looked back through the glass door, making sure [...]

Seventeen Across

“Seventeen across: ‘Meaning of happiness,’” my dad said, reading out a clue on this morning’s crossword puzzle. “How does that work? Doesn’t everyone have their own unique meaning of happiness?” “I agree with you,” I said. “Leave it blank for now and move on.” We were seated at the kitchen table before breakfast, the golden [...]

Ghost Horse

Thunder roared. Lightning split the sky. Leeto’s mane flapped in the harsh wind. The man’s silver arrow glimmered every time lightning struck. He shot at Leeto. The arrow struck Leeto’s leg. At the same time, lightning struck Leeto’s hide. Leeto’s eyes widened. Leeto was a special horse. All horses with his blood were called ghost [...]

Time for Letting Go

    Gina Boston sat with her brother and grandmother at the old, well-used kitchen table in Grandma’s farmhouse. They were eating breakfast, which was mixed cereal, composed of six different kinds. Gina and her older brother, Caleb, were used to this because they had always had mixed cereals when they had lived with their [...]

To Follow a Fox

Cassandra sat at her desk in the midst of piles of papers and books. She had cleared a small space where a piece of paper and a few colored pencils were cramped together. A picture of a waterfall flooded into her mind. She hurriedly picked out the blue pencil and drew it. As always, the [...]

Flows to Bay

Madison shivered in the biting wind. She swayed precariously as the cable car lurched along the cables. It probably wasn’t safe to be hanging on with only one arm, but the other was cradling The Wish Horse to her chest. A quick glance confirmed that her parents were nowhere nearby. Flexing her wind-chilled fingers with [...]

Stay with Me (I Don’t Want You to Leave)

I sit at our dining room table playing Monopoly with my brother. It is my turn to go so I pick up the dice and cup them in my hands. As I shake them around in the bowl that I made with my hands, I think about how my life is like those two dice. [...]

Red Fox at Dawn

Red fox at dawn Picks its way across dewy ground Leaving footprints His fur gleams Like fire In the rising sun As if he groomed it Just for this. Ears pricked high His tail a banner for All to see Proud of himself But not vain How could he be vain? A red fox all [...]

Winter Night

The world is black No moon No stars As black as ink from a squid The air is damp And moist My clothing is wet and cold Up against my skin I can hear only My breath And the crunching of snow Coming from my feet My boots sink into the crystals Of white I [...]

Sources of Light

Sources of Light, by Margaret McMullan; Houghton Mifflin Books for Children: New York, 2010; $16 Have you ever felt a little out of place in the world? Maybe you have felt like you didn’t belong, just like fourteen-year-old Sam (Samantha) feels in Sources of Light, by Margaret McMullan. Head back in time to the 1960s [...]


Ragtag, by Karl Wolf-Morgenländer; Clarion Books: New York, 2009; $16 There has been and still are wars between animals of different species. Have you ever heard of a war fought between city birds and birds of prey? Do you always think you’re too small or too weak to make a difference? Well, you and Ragtag [...]