Spirit of Love

Perhaps it’s because we never know what happens to us after dying that makes the topic of death so intriguing. I never thought much of death until I was five years old. I remember asking my mother why the whole city of Guadalupe celebrated my birthday for three days, from October thirty-first to November second. [...]

The Scream in the Night

It was a hot summer night when I first heard the scream. I sat up fast, the blankets tangled around my feet in a sweaty mass of itchy acrylic. My heart was pounding so hard that for a moment I wondered if it had only been a nightmare. But the sound lingered in my ears, [...]


October 11, 1781. Dear Journal, I see examples of bravery everywhere. Benjamin Franklin is rallying up the colonists, hoping to unite them as a nation. Our brave soldiers are fighting England’s troops and winning, and basically, everyone is helping the war effort. What can I do? I just sit at home and play with my [...]

First Impression

The white moving truck with faded blue letters pulls into the driveway behind us. I stare ahead at the one-story house that is now ours. Unbelievable. I look down, into my folded hands. The never-ending car trip seems like a bundle of candy right now. Will things keep getting worse? “Bay,” my mom says gently. [...]

Magical Childhood

Memories… I am six years old. I am the hero of this story. Me and my friends are inseparable. For hours we play Star Wars. Some of us are Jedi, others Sith, and some Clones. The bottom line—it is pure magic! The worst fight we all ever had was over whose sled was whose on [...]

One Last Chance

Ella wrapped her legs around the cold metal of the folding chair, held her résumé, headshot, and sheet music tightly, and clenched her teeth. She didn’t want the moms sitting in the back and the kids around her to see the uncontrollable nervous twitches she was having. This usually didn’t happen at normal auditions, but [...]

Dancing Birds

  It was a cold Sunday morning in the fall. The trees were bare and looked like they needed a coat. The ocean water lapped up against the sand, liquid ice. Two boys played by the beach, each daring the other to go farther into the freezing water. A little girl sat atop a sand [...]


In the cold, dark waters of the lake in Wisconsin, His yellow eyes swivel about His ns never stop waving I can barely hear the swish of his tail— Just a vibration in the water His brown-green scales are black in the murk His translucent ns are almost invisible I can almost taste the blood [...]

A Moment

I roll onto my side, the grass damp and prickly on my bare legs. A speckled monarch flits across a big-leaf hydrangea sky. The breeze tousles the rose bushes, sighs, then rests. Nature’s beauty draws me in, but my own drowsiness, like the reel of a fishing rod, pulls me back. I let the blades [...]

My Sag Harbor

The heavy door is embellished With a whale knocker And on the side a doorbell That no longer rings. You walk up the porch steps And turn the cold metal knob Pushing against the force That never wants you to open the white door. This is my Sag Harbor. The houses are small With dogs [...]

Finding a Bug on a Summer Morning

here this is a black dot. that moves uncontrollably in the slight breeze at odd angles in twisted, bent ways looking almost as if it is grasping at the delicate balance it now hangs in my breath is heavy as I try to make it fly, again the damage worsens and breaks this is not [...]

Wake Up Missing

Wake Up Missing, by Kate Messner; Walker Children’s Books: New York, 2014; $7.99 "The most terrifying thing about hitting your head so hard is when you wake up missing pieces of yourself.” This is what the main character, Cat, tells the reader near the beginning of Kate Messner’s novel, Wake Up Missing. Cat is a twelve-year-old [...]

Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper; Atheneum Books for Young Readers: New York, 2010; $17.99 Eleven-year-old Melody Brooks is a genius. She remembers everything that has ever happened to her, from the lullabies her parents sang to her as a baby to the words from every documentary and TV show she’s ever watched. [...]