The wind burns my face as Willow and I bound over tree roots and the soft earth of the forest. The sun-dappled woodlands stretch invitingly before us. The majestic spread of leaves lies like a masterpiece, untouched by human or horse. Eagerly Willow gallops into it, causing the leaves to blow up like a bomb. [...]

My Friend

Tap, tap, tap. The light drizzle sprinkled upon my window. I stood up and ran downstairs. "Yes! Only one more hour till eight. My favorite show 'Rocket Power' will be on." I skipped into the living room and grabbed my Gameboy off the top shelf. While doing this I thought about how nice it was [...]

Heart and Soul

My fingers trembled as I laced up my toe shoes. I drew in a long, shaky breath. Why, when I had longed for these new satin shoes just a few months ago, did I want so badly to take them off and crawl under my bed? "Got the recital jitters?" a voice asked gently. I [...]

Memoirs of a Soldier

On that day in 1939, Ben was only ten years old. Yet, as he sat sipping cream soda in his father's store, his legs dangling off the high wooden stool, Ben felt almost as old and wise as Heinrich Goldberg, the ancient bookstore owner who had fought in the great World War. Yes, Heinrich knew [...]


Swissh! Ed was playing basketball on the slab, a super-smooth playground on the campus of Country Day, his school. In the coolness of the evening the asphalt felt oddly warm beneath Ed's bare feet. He was playing with his best friend Dave, and he had just scored a two-pointer while Dave was blocking him. "In [...]

The Duck Decision

"Hurry up, Chris," my dad whispered in my ear. "He's gonna get away. You need to shoot him now." I was looking down my brand new Remington 20-gauge shotgun at a mallard. It was a miserable Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day for me. I knew shooting those ducks would make my father proud, but I just [...]

The Magical Smile

My Burton had a taste for dramatics. Her daily schedule was crammed full of acting lessons, ballet, and auditions. Her room overflowed with masks, stage makeup, and old playbills. Every day after school she would walk over to the acting studio where she took musical theater classes. Often, she would come home with amazing news [...]

That Small Whisper

“How did you sleep last night?" my sister Rose asks. She tosses back her honey-brown hair and hands me the breakfast bowl she just washed. "OK," I reply, rinsing it, "but I woke up with a headache." Rose is eleven, three years older than me, and usually we get along well. But today I am [...]

Summer Winds

The breeze tastes sweet and warm of sun of ripe fruit and of grass It ruffles my hair and plasters my sweat-wet shirt on my skin It blows doors shut and wafts in windows to cool hot pies and fill empty spaces In the gentle lull of the wind trees creak and shiver, fresh cut [...]

Fiona’s Private Pages

Fiona's Private Pages by Robin Cruise; Harcourt, Inc.: New York, 2000; $15 What do you think makes a True Friend? Is it someone who, as Fiona Claire Jardin thinks: 1) always says nice things about you, agrees with you 100 percent, and thinks you look perfect; 2) never gets mad or disappointed in you and [...]

Queen’s Own Fool

Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris; Philomel Books: New York, 2000; $19.99 My dictionary tells me that "history" is a record of significant events in the past. It is a perfectly valid explanation of the word, but it leaves some things out. While poring over our history books in school, we [...]