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Have you ever wished you could be someone or something else? “Ivy’s Return,” the short story by Clara Gluzdov that opens this issue, perfectly captures this longing through the character of Ivy, the cat who yearns to become a human girl so she can play the piano. When Ivy’s wish is granted, however, she realizes that becoming someone—something—else is not as simple, or wonderful, as she imagined it would be.

But in other stories in this issue, happiness comes through more subtle transformation: a street guitarist makes a friend and starts to change his life through music, a girl works up the courage to speak honestly to her friends, and a third grader proudly recounts her changes over the course of the year.

I hope you will leave this issue inspired to write about transformations, big and small, real and imagined.