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Inspired by an unexpected discovery, Rosin decides to create her own newspaper

The sun beat down on Rosin Molly Sully. The heat of the farm clouded over the barn like a blanket. Rosin’s Rosin’s uncle, Ronny, had been making hamburgers for the past thirty minutes. As Rosin hungrily got up from her work, she stared down at her red hands, which were covered in her sweat. The sour taste of lemons that she had eaten hours ago swept flavorfully in her mouth. The day was terrible so far. Minthe the dog didn’t want to play, and Rosin’s cousins were busy being mischievous.

Rosin walked with her cramped foot and aching back all the way to the small, ramshackle house. She loved exploring the old house. The bricks were dilapidated, and the front porch was covered in soft, green moss. The smell of cigarettes filled Rosin’s nostrils as she crossed over to the front of the house. The hinges creaked as she opened the rusty old door. She went to the corner of the ramshackle house toward the rakes. The heat was making her pretty dizzy. She wanted to get out as soon as possible. But she didn’t.

Out of curiosity, she grabbed a small rake that was leaning against the dusty wall and caused a chain reaction. Dust was everywhere as Rosin shook away the amount of rubble that had fallen too. She looked back at where the rakes had been when she saw a door that looked older than the house itself. Spiders crawled through the hole in the door. Ants crawled around the moss that was covering at least half the door. Little crayon drawings partly showed through. Beneath the door, a fallen chain lock looked like it had been there for decades, sinking into the ground.

Rosin opened the door, scattering ants and spiders. The lock made a terrible crashing sound as it went across the broken wooden floor. The dark room made it almost impossible to see. Then she saw something she had only ever used once, not even at home. There, behind the hidden door she’d found, was a ragged old pile of paper. Her family was ever so poor, and she hadn’t started school yet, only because there wasn’t enough money to go around. Her heart skipped a beat as she explored deeper through the thick darkness, having difficulty seeing. Suddenly, a small crunch came from under Rosin’s foot. She looked down at the wooden floor and spotted some crumpled scraps of paper.

“Probably nothing,” she said in a hoarse voice. “Just a ragged old page.” But still, she cautiously picked it up and unfolded it. A small gasp escaped her mouth. She ran to the stack of paper she had seen earlier and picked it up along with the crumpled pages and brought both to the house, where Uncle Ronny was still cooking. It turned out that Rosin hadn’t only found regular paper. She’d found fifty $100 bills.

*          *          *

Uncle Ronny served the plates and put two pieces of hamburger bread on everyone’s plate.

“Get up, everyone! I set up a bar to choose whatever you want!”

Aunt Susan and Rosin’s parents got up, smiling, and poured food onto their plates. Then Jaime and Rossie, Rosin’s cousins, got up. Even Minthe got up to check out the kibble treats that were poured in her bowl next to the wooden cart—the so-called “bar.” Rosin sat, though. She had something on her mind. She touched the money in her pocket and thought of the paper, which she’d hidden in her shoe closet. She thought of the many things that $5,000 could do for her. She could buy her own food and not eat from Uncle Ronny’s bar. She could go to the mall and be part of the popular group in town by going; her life would be so much easier. Then, at that moment, a bright idea came to Rosin’s head: She could go to school! She could be part of a better popular group, or even the best! Even the thought of it made her squeal.

“Be quiet, you fool. Go get your food,” said Jaime.

“Shut up!” Rosin retorted. Yet she got up and grabbed a plate to get some food from the bar, still thinking of the hundreds of opportunities she had with $5,000. When Uncle Ronny and Aunt Susan left with Jaime and Rossie, Rosin made sure no one was looking, and she got the paper out and went up to her pink bedroom, locking the doors. She set out the paper onto her bed and looked at the amount of paper she had.

“What could I do with this?” She thought out loud. She absentmindedly started doodling something she paid no attention to. She reviewed her choices of what to do with twelve stacks of fifty pieces of paper and $5,000. When boredom finally swept over her, she looked down at what her fingers were doing. Her dark-brown hair blew through the wind as Rosin rushed to a box of art supplies she used. She grabbed a black Sharpie and traced over her words in a neat print. She proudly looked up at her new creation:

Sully Times

Rosin left a note on one of her pages telling her parents she had found money. She only gave them half of it, though. She kept the other half in her unused piggy bank. Then, she organized her day. Morning Routine was the first thing for her to do, and the rest of what she would do was simple: work on Sully Times. A newspaper of her own would be amazing! She could get much more money! Sully Times could include major events in her town. She could add a crossword puzzle, games, ads, sudoku, and everything a child’s newspaper could dream of. Rosin neatly started printing words:

This is a newspaper of fun, made by Rosin.

Who in the room would have known that Rosin’s news idea could make her family very poor, or rich.

Then she ran off to her proud mother and father sitting at the small dinner table.

“How did you find it, sweetie? And where?” Rosin’s mother asked her.

“I share the same question,” said her dad. Rosin pondered this for a second. Should she reveal what she had found in that ramshackle house? The thought stayed in her head, and the family just sat there, peacefully eating.

“Well, I found it in the old house next door.” Rosin whispered. Her parents nodded, though she could sense their greediness of wanting to search the house further for more. Everyone went back to their supper again, unaware of the tension building around them. Who in the room would have known that Rosin’s news idea could make her family very poor, or rich.

*          *          *

RRRING! went the school bell. Students filed through the doors on the chilly September day. Rosin was in the midst of the students, but she wasn’t talking like everyone else. She was looking around nervously. Posters plastered the brick walls, and a blue door was labeled “stairs.” In front of the line of kids were two old teachers. One of the teachers’ name tags read “Ms. Karlio.” She had wrinkles and a blue dress. She was a skinny but short woman with a beaded necklace. She was calling out the names of students who were in her class.

“Harmonica! Ellie! Aaron! Shawn! Rosin!” she called. Rosin went with the other students toward the wall and stood there absentmindedly. Her teacher seemed rough and older than most teachers she had seen. Rosin suddenly felt a pit in her stomach. She didn’t want to go now. She saw her class move ahead but didn’t go. She walked up to another, younger teacher and said she felt sick.

“Of course, honey. Would you like to go to the nurse?” the teacher asked.

“Yes, please,” Rosin responded. “I would like that very much.” She hurried over to the nurse with the teacher’s guidance and lay in the cot, thinking how miserable school was already.

*          *          *

“Honey! John! Come down here!” Rosin’s mother said. Rosin didn’t hurry to come down. She tucked away her newspaper and walked downstairs. Her mother had a worried look on her face.

“I found out from your school that you were sick. Do you want to go to school?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know!” Rosin yelled. She wanted to make her parents happy, but maybe she could go to a tutor. Her thoughts jumbled up when she realized something.

“Yes, Mom. Yes, I do. Bye!” Rosin hurriedly said. She sauntered off to her bedroom and remembered her idea: “Make the news and sell it for a fortune.”

*          *          *

It was Monday at 3 p.m. Students were filing out of their classrooms to the yard to wait for their parents. Rosin followed them and took out a large stack of paper. It was neatly stapled together, and the front page read “Sully Times.”

“News! News! Get your own copy! Twenty-five cents!” Rosin shouted. A few kids took out a quarter and got a copy. They ran off reading it. Rosin smiled at her work. Then she noticed a girl selling something. She had long blonde hair and a tie-dyed sweater. Her jeans and glasses matched perfectly. She was carrying a stack of paper too. A page got swept up in the wind and landed at Rosin’s feet. It read, “Harmonica’s Comic Corner.”

Rosin stared at the work, outraged. Before she could stomp to the girl, she heard her mother calling. She picked up the other girl’s paper and took her bag over to her mother, and they walked home.

*          *          *

“Are you ready, Rosin?” Rosin’s mom called from the kitchen. Rosin was putting on her jeans when she remembered her newspaper. She swiftly buttoned her jeans and took out a copy. It was now a bit thicker than before. She smiled at it and recalled the girl selling comics. Rosin stomped down the stairs holding tons of her copies. Her father noticed it.

“Why such a heavy load? It’s only your third day of school.” Rosin didn’t reply. She took a cup of cereal and a plastic bag. While stuffing all the papers in, she walked out the door and soon out of sight to school.

*          *          *

“Dismissed!” Ms. Karlio yelled in a hoarse voice. Rosin left as quickly as possible to the field. She saw the girl selling the comics and set up her own papers next to her. Rosin quickly glanced at the girl’s work.

“Harmonica,” Rosin muttered. She began selling copies but ignored Harmonica’s smiles. Suddenly, Harmonica frowned.

“Are you mad at me or something?” she asked Rosin.

“Or something,” muttered Rosin.

“Um, well, what about?” Harmonica asked. Rosin knew she couldn’t hold in her feelings. She started breaking down about why she was mad, and how much it had taken her to just get an idea for a newspaper, and how Harmonica was stealing the spotlight.

“Sorry about that. I was making money for a charity. It’s nothing to get mad about,” Harmonica replied to Rosin.

“Sorry,” Rosin said. Then she got an idea.

“Do you, well, want to make a school paper together? I could write, and you could draw.”

“Sure!” Harmonica replied.

At that moment Harmonica had agreed, Rosin knew she had made a friend.

“Thank you.”

Olivia Rhee
Olivia Rhee, 9
North Bergen, NJ

Jena Kim
Jena Kim, 13
Seoul, South Korea