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detail from fall
"Fall" by Alyssa Wu, 12 (Pleasanton, CA) Published in the July/August 2020 issue

A note from Sarah

New Issue

What a special summer issue we have this year! I highly recommend reading the lovely poetry by Analise Braddock and Tatiana Rebecca Shrayer that makes up the July/August 2020 issue and that won them both second place in last year’s book contest. You can also support them by buying e-book versions of their books. Both young writers create such eloquent, thought-provoking poems that deserve to be read over and over again.

Black Lives Matter

Although we might not be hearing as much about the Black Lives Matter protests in the news, I encourage everyone to continue to educate themselves and work towards being anti-racist. If you missed KidLit4BlackLives Rally, I suggest watching the video recording. The rally featured bestselling middlegrade authors like Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander. We’ve published some reviews of their books but are always looking for more! Consider submitting a review if you’ve read something by them before or picking up one of their books from the bookstore or library.

Weekend Challenge

The other day, my roommates and I had a spirited discussion about what books we enjoyed when we were young. My suggestion is that you reflect on some of your favorite books and come up with a list of your top 10 or so. Think about why you choose each book. What is it the book that appeals to you? If you favor a certain genre, why is that? Do you tend to like books with a fast-paced plot, or do you prefer a slower narrative? It’s always worthwhile to consider why it is we like what we like. If the exercise inspires you, turn your list into a more in-depth essay and submit it to the Blog category!

Lastly, welcome back to our editor, Emma, who began her gradual return from maternity leave this week!

Until next week,

Winners from Weekly Flash Contest #13

Weekly Flash Contest #13: Some of the earliest novels were written in the form of letters between characters (“epistolary novels”). Try writing a story as a series of text messages, group chats, emails, letters, or postcards exchanged between at least two characters.The week commencing June 22 (Daily Creativity prompt #66) was our 13th week of flash contests, with a challenge taking us back to one of the earliest forms of the novel: stories told through letters, or “epistolary novels.” Our entrants had the option to bring the form up to date using today’s equivalent of the letter (text messages, group chats, etc.), or to take themselves back in time with more formal writing evocative of a past age. The form was no limitation on the imagination shown in the stories these messages between character told. We loved reading the many entries that came in, and thank you all for participating.

Special congratulations to this week’s winners and honorable mentions. Your work really stood out for its creative response and playfulness! You can read this week’s winners’ work below, and the all winning entries from previous weeks on the Flash Contest Winners Roll page.

“Letters to the President” by Prisha Aswal, 7, Portland, OR
“Child of Magic” by Amelia Pozzo, 11, Arnold, MO
“Apocalypse” by Ian Xie, 12, Weston, MA
“Black and White” by Ella Yamamura, 12, Cary, NC
“The Excuse” by Michela Yu, 11, Lexington, MA
Honorable Mention
“Well that escalated quickly . . .” by Lucy Berberich, 11, Oxford, OH
“Venus and Mars and the search for Pluto” by Sara Shah, 8, Portland, OR
“The Banter of the Bathroom Buddies” by Mihika Sakharpe, 11, Frisco, TX
“Apple & Banana” by Kevin Zhang, 10, Lexington, MA

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

With a short simulation video, Rebecca, 9, shows how quickly the coronavirus can spread if social distancing measures aren’t practiced.

Hooria, 6, wrote two poems, “COVID-19” and “Appreciating My Teacher,” about her experience during the pandemic.

Samson, 12, wrote an impassioned review of his favorite book, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Read the review to find out why Samson has read it three times already.

Read some of the excellent work produced at our last Friday Writing Workshop, where the theme was to write about someone reading.

In Kaitlyn’s poem “Then and Now,” she imagines what she would tell her past self before the coronavirus and what her future self might tell her.

Adrianna, 8, wrote a prose poem about pasta sandwiches, birthdays, and missed weddings during the pandemic.

Nisha highlights three exceptional women in her blog post “We are Better Than You Think.”

Katie, 11, divided her poem “Going to the Beach” into three sections: “Yesterday,” “Today,” and “Tomorrow.” The poem contrasts the natural beauty of the beach with heartbreakig thoughts about coronavirus.

Kathleen, 10, reviewed The Mole, the Boy, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. Read what Kathleen thinks of this illustrated book that features friendship as a prominent theme.

Matilda, 6, hand-wrote a poem and included a small illustration to go with it. Read “Fish,” about COVID-19, fish, and school.

Ella, 12, wrote a piece for the blog about her favorite painting: The Scream by Edvard Munch.

Contest & Partnership News

Book Contest

Keep working on your manuscripts! Remember, the deadline for this year's book contest is August 10!

Reviewer wanted!

We’re looking for a reviewer age 10 or younger to review a book for the blog, with the possibility of conducting an interview with the authors. If you’re interested in Indigenous stories from the Pacific Northwest, or want to learn more about them, please get in touch with Sarah (sarah@stonesoup.com) for more information!

Analise BraddockFrom the Stone Soup July/August 2020

The Code

by Analise Braddock, 9 (Katonah, NY)

The universe she is in has a code
Oh, she knows it
The code is corrupt
The trees are shaking
Things are glitching
They’re moving together
No, the code is corrupt
The universe is corrupt
It is falling apart

Read more poems from Analise and Tatiana here

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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