My Grandmother’s Earrings

By Tatum Schutt Illustrated by Phoebe Wagoner So there I was, trying to keep my voice calm as I laid out my case to my archenemy on her front stoop. “You just have to promise,” I said, hating how my voice sounded so weak and pleading. Jess regarded me like a dead mouse her cat [...]

If Only

If only I had told someone about the crack in my helmet, if only I had run around the defender, if only I didn’t play in the championship game, if only I did what I knew I should have done all along… if only. I woke up at six in the morning. The game wasn’t [...]

Find the Sunshine

I can remember as clearly as my own name, the sound of the rain pounding mercilessly away at the roof of my grandfather’s house and the howl of the wind outside the raindrop-painted windowpane. I slouched in the rocking chair in the living room, watching the rain hammer away at the wood boards on the [...]


Yuki looked like a wild horse, galloping through the streets of the small, friendly town, her silky black hair flying through the wind. The glaring sun beamed down at her. “Japan bombed Pearl Harbor!” she screamed. “Japan bombed Pearl Harbor!” When two months had crawled by, and the event was forgotten in that small Japanese-American [...]

Take a Stand

"Go back to China, slant eyes,” they would say. “Why won’t you just leave us alone, Tina?” In the beginning, I thought she could have just ignored them. But I didn’t understand what they were putting her through. I remember that cloudy Tuesday afternoon clearly. I had just finished my peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. I sat on [...]

A Secret Freedom

Cali Marlin smiled in anticipation as she held her mare, Artemis, or Arty, as Cali liked to call her. Today was the day. Every year Cali, her brother, Finn, and their parents rode all over the ranch in search of Secret, an elusive mare, and her band. Secret’s band had been loose on the ranch [...]


The sun slanted through the trees, lighting the forest with a warm glow. The day was surprisingly warm, being the middle of autumn. I climbed a sun-warmed boulder and stopped to catch my breath, letting my gaze drift through the part of the small forest I knew so well. Every day I would come here [...]


This year, for a school project, Lilly was volunteering at a nursing home, or rather, she had been volunteered. It was not a pleasant prospect. From what she had heard from her older sister, Rose, it was basically just sitting around and listening to old people talk, talk, talk. Rose was the exaggeration queen, so [...]

This Real World

In this real world I can feel the long grass Brush my knees And hear the soft whisper Of the breeze calling Go home, go home As the daylight turns to night. In this real world I can see black specks Circling the sky Using high-pitched squeaks As they locate each other In the twilight. [...]

Goes the Ball

You know the sound— the clang as the ball bounces off the rust-colored hoop. The backboard, faded with use, trembles. You feel it vibrate. On the rebound, you throw again. In your mind, the ball soars through the hoop; a satisfying swish. Instead, the ball ricochets, landing in the mud; it splatters. When you pick [...]

Salty Air

My sister and I Scramble up the jagged rocks Our pockets full of shells, rocks And the occasional sea glass. My mother sits by the fire, Reading peacefully We grab sheets of paper towels On the windowsill, a menagerie Of tiny ocean creatures Unmoving now, glistening in the sun They sit there all weekend Until [...]

18 Things

18 Things, by Jamie Ayres; Curiosity Quills Press: Reston, Virginia, 2012; $14.99 Jamie Ayres has written an inspiring story about overcoming grief. In 18 Things, teenager Olga Gay Worontzoff suffers through depression after her best friend since kindergarten is fatally struck by lightning on their sailing trip. Olga feels responsible for his death, and that [...]


Matched, by Ally Condie; Speak (an imprint of Penguin Books): New York, 2011; $9.99 Part of leading your own, individual life is choosing whom you love and where you work. Imagine how drab and strict life would be if someone controlled that and decided when you died. If there is even one rebellious bone in [...]