Not Your Ordinary Fairy Tale

Every day was a holiday, or so it seemed. You didn’t need decorated trees, fireworks, cakes and candles, or paper hats to celebrate special days, Marty thought. Marty loved her lazy Sunday mornings perched on a high stool in her galley kitchen, eating stacks of buckwheat pancakes dripping in amber syrup, lovingly cooked just the [...]


Today was the big day. I was afraid it would go horribly wrong. I woke up today with that feeling you always get before something big. I ate breakfast in a hurried fashion. I always ate a slow and controlled breakfast. Today was different. Today was the day of the concert. I had eggs and [...]


For a few days in mid-September, the temperature seems perfect. It’s not boiling hot, but it hasn’t reached what you would call freezing cold yet. It’s a little chilly, but that makes you feel fresh and wide awake, and the wind isn’t horribly wild and hasn’t started biting at your face. It was one of [...]

Memory’s Song

“We should have known better,” Garu grated angrily. The sparrow perched high in the apple tree, watching helplessly as the gray cat below devoured her kill. “Let’s leave. This is no place for the clan.” His fierce gaze flicked over his now small group: his trusted friend Baklan, Baklan’s mate Teekeh, their grown daughter Kila, [...]


Pain can be felt in all kinds of ways. If you fall off a bike and scrape your knee you could feel pain, put on a bandage and, with time, forget about it. But there is another pain that can only be cured by accepting it because it never goes away. This is the pain [...]

Flowers on the Water

Jackie Linnely took a big jump into the crunchy pile of leaves in the school yard. Ms. Lunder suddenly blew her whistle as the bell rang, BRRRINNNGG! “Alice,” Jackie called out to her friend, “see you after school!” As Jackie lined up to go inside, she saw Ms. Lunder pull on a sweater. That made [...]

The Sanctuary That Cured Me

“You have two unheard messages. First unheard message.” The fake, calm voice of the answering machine seems to ring through my ears. I can feel my excited heart pumping blood to every single part of my body. “Hi, this is Kerry from the Golden Mountain Theater Company with a message for Molly.” Anticipation radiates through [...]

Building the Pyramids

The smell of hot bread rose to Lomea’s nostrils as she removed a freshly baked loaf from the small fire. She handed it to her younger sister, Hemufe, who in turn gave it to the last worker waiting for his lunch. She fell back onto her mat with a sigh. The desert heat that the [...]

The Loss of a Leaf

It was a picturesque day at a pond, The glassy water gently undulated, Transforming turtles to twigs. The swans slowly carved their way forward, The paddleboats hypnotically Slap slap slapped. But no day is perfect for everyone, Like the coming of fall, For betwixt the lily pads, A swan lay Dead, Its head limp at [...]

Leaf of Sunshine

The forest is calm, only an occasional chirp of a bird, breaks the silence, the sun is buried in a blanket of clouds, only a few golden rays escape, just enough to penetrate the darkness, cool wind rustles through the trees, gently swaying their nimble branches, so peaceful, one single leaf spirals to the ground, [...]

When I Understood

NEW DELHI, INDIA, 2002 Staring wide-eyed out of the car window I look down at the dusty bodies of children clustered below me. Their hair is streaked with dust and grime Their skin darkened to a crisp by the intensity of the broiling summer sun. Their writhing hands clutch at the shiny silver metal of [...]

The Dragonfly Pool

The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson; Dutton Children’s Books: New York, 2008; $17.99 I’m not a big fan of fantasy books. So when I flipped through The Dragonfly Pool and found mentions of dukes, kings, and princes I groaned, thinking this book would be about royalty, kingdoms, and other things irrelevant to my life. I [...]

The Wright 3

The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett; Scholastic Press: New York, 2006; $16.99 The second mystery in a trilogy comprising Chasing Vermeer and The Calder Game, The Wright 3 stars two familiar detectives, twelve-year-olds Calder and Petra, along with a new character, Calder’s old friend, Tommy. It is the end of the school year and the [...]