The Chesapeake Bay Manatee

Adriane slowly opened her bedroom door, glancing down the hallway to make sure no one was awake. Once she was positive, she slipped through the small opening and closed the door. She hurried down the stairs and past the kitchen, wincing at her heavy footsteps, hoping no one would hear. As she reached the back [...]

Falling into Earth

PART I: A NEW MISSION Dallas took his last breath of fresh air and put on his helmet. It was as hot as an oven in his space suit. In about thirty seconds he was sodden with sweat; nevertheless, Dallas and Cam took a spirited step into the elevator. “Say your goodbyes to the ground,” [...]


An unseen hand painstakingly covers the bare trees with white snow. It doesn’t leave a square inch of land untouched, filling the brown earth with clean white. The snow forms a blanket, worn like a comfortable sweater by every tree and every foot of ground. Slowly the hand encases each pine needle with clear ice, [...]

The Bright Star

This story takes place in 1976, in South Africa. At this time in its history, the country was in the middle of apartheid, a governmental policy that discriminated against non-whites and gave authorities nearly unlimited power to arrest and kill civilians. By 1976, students in the Soweto township were staging protests and uprisings, and a [...]

Jess and Lizzy

  Jess sat dejectedly on the playground swing. She kicked the sand around her feet as if personally punishing it for her lack of friends. It wasn’t fair that she should have to sit here on this swing, lonely and bored, while the other kids had a great time. Her eyes flickered restlessly from face [...]

The Gap and the Gift

Sherry had not returned to her home country in years. In a way, it was no longer her home country. What had been home is now the past. Father was the one who had insisted on the trip. She had been indifferent at first, but her father had persisted. China had changed; no longer a [...]

What Is Laughter?

Water Laughter is like a cool glass of water. Refreshing, enjoyable. A cool trickle going down your throat. When you laugh, you forget the pile of homework, waiting at school for you. You forget about the fact that your mom is in the hospital, and you’re not sure if she’s ever going to come out [...]

Go Back to Asia

“Go back to Asia!” He says and sneers and snarls. He lacks imagination. He is so predictable. Sometimes he spreads his pain and says, “Go back to Egypt!” “Go back to Mexico!” “Go back to Africa!” He must be a travel agent Waiting to book a flight. Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should all go [...]

Slipping on Raindrops

It was a funny, sunny afternoon when Something hit my cheek A cloud of a loud boom Came from above Then dark splattered all over the park Like black paint hitting white paper I ran as fast as I could, slipping on raindrops


I finger the valves. They are cold and uninviting to the touch. I take a breath. My lips form an embouchure. I blow. At first there is noise, Much noise, Then the music starts. It flows through my veins, Coursing through my body. I play from the heart. I love it, No, Need it. Music [...]


Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson; Atheneum: New York, 2010; $16.99 Picture this: you are ordered to build a shelter in the icy, cold snow wearing an old, worn shirt and torn pants. You haven’t eaten since yesterday, and even that was just flour and water. Occasionally, you have water flavored with your friend’s old shoe, [...]