The Real Mr. Vankos

When Mr. Vankos painted a giant portrait of himself on the side of his house, I heard many mentions of him being totally out of his mind. Everyone in my neighborhood had a house of solid color with shutters of the opposite shade. It seemed to anger them that someone would paint their house more [...]

A Crimson Glimmer

The air was cool, and leaves had departed from their shaky branches. Early October had come. Ansadore, the old chestnut mare, was rolling in the browning grass. She snorted, rolled over, and stood up. Not to say standing up didn't take much effort, though. She was, indeed, very old and it took more than a [...]

On the Beach

Sally walked slowly across the long stretch of brown sand, tripping over small pebbles blocking her path. She scurried down to the rocks, dirtyblond hair flying as she went. Casually, she brushed back her hair with a quick flick of her hand. She spied a blue blob among the rocks. She loved looking for long-lost [...]

A Winner

"Once upon a time—no, no, that's not right . . ." Laura chewed on her thumbnail and pouted. "Gosh, I just can't seem to get this right!" Finally, she threw down her pencil, crumpled up the paper and jammed it into the plastic trash can in the corner of her room. Smacking her forehead with [...]

Enchantment of the Wolves

The farm looked old and dull, but in my thoughts everything, even the quiet farm, was eerie. I had the dream again; the same dream I had every full moon, the only dream I ever had. The gentle eyes of my mother looked down at me. All I could see were the soft, green eyes. [...]

Nicely Johnson and Caylan

As I recall, it was early in the morning, around seven or eight, when I first arrived at summer camp. The beautiful summer breeze whisked through my nose, giving me a vague sense of freedom. How I had longed to leave school and have this feeling tingle my senses. This had marked my third year [...]

The Healer’s Apprentice

Murmurs and whispers buzzed through the darkened hall. No one had any idea why the elders had called a meet, but that did not hinder them from thinking up reasons. Some believed that it was merely a routine meeting to discuss the upcoming harvest celebration, though they could not explain why it was conducted in [...]

Foxes and Frogs

I've always loved to explore. Sometimes I'll just put on my roller blades and go, turning onto the paths I know so well and trying to turn around corners I haven't turned around before. Usually I only find more houses, but sometimes I'll come out by the forest, which kind of looks all the same, [...]

Evening on the Fish Pond

The fish pond lies embraced By a cradle of stillness . . . Gentle autumn winds Rustle through its lacy reeds, Rippling the cool water, Caressing the banks As tenderly as a finger on a rose. Rushes adorned with Shimmering water-pearl dresses Bend over the still water, Peering at a wavy reflection of A gold [...]

If I Could Choose . . .

If I could choose to be any place in the world, I would choose Malaysia where my grandma lives; Where you can smell the hot, humid air, And see the palm trees sway in the breeze. If I could choose to be any place in the world, I would choose Australia where my granduncle lives; [...]

I, Too, Sing America

I, Too, Sing America by Catherine Clinton; Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, 1998; $20 This is a collection of African-American poetry that is tragic and triumphant. You will learn a lot about history from these poems. I am an eighthgrader studying American history at Farb Middle School. This book helped me understand the issue of slavery [...]

Einstein: Visionary Scientist

Einstein: Visionary Scientist by John B. Severance; Clarion Books: New York, 1999; $15 To most kids, Einstein: Visionary Scientist would seem like "a book about some dead guy whose ideas I don't understand." At first, I was too busy thinking about writing this review to have any opinion on this book. Once I was into [...]