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Illustration by Max Strebel, 12, published in Stone Soup 2002.

A Note from William Rubel

Thanks to those of you who took our survey last week on themed issues. Here are some preliminary results: 60% of the respondents were age 14 or under. This is great! Thank you, Stone Soup readers! The adult respondents were divided between parents (20%), grandparents (10%), and other adult friends of Stone Soup (10%), a great balance. 80% of you like the idea of themed issues, with the understanding that we don't overdo it. So, we are thinking that we might have three or four themed issues out of eleven issues in a year.

What about the topics? Well, Nature is the favorite theme suggested, and Sports is the theme that was disliked the most. Given the relatively small numbers of responses it is probably safe to say that Food, including recipes, Family, Photography, Comics/Animation, Poetry, and Science Fiction are all quite well liked. However, in the comments section many more fantastic ideas were put forward, so we are thinking of sending out another set of questions on themes in a week or two, building on this first one. To the adults who wrote more extensive comments, thank you.

New survey on reviews! As you all know, Stone Soup has in the past only reviewed books. Our new editor, Emma Wood, would like to expand the range of what we review beyond that, and we'd like to know what kind of reviews you would like to read in Stone Soup. Do you think we should review movies, TV shows, video games, or something else? Tell us your opinion in this new survey, and also tell us the titles of any books, movies, games or TV shows you might like to see reviewed (or review yourself). Emma will publish lists of titles we'd like to have reviewed based on your suggestions, so please let us know what you think!

Simplified submit form: As my daughter is reminding me constantly, school is nearly out. Please look through your stories, poems, and artwork and select the best from the year to send to us. Our editor, Emma Wood, has simplified the submission form so it's never been easier to send us your work!

In my other life, as some of you know, I am a writer. Right now, I mostly write about bread. On Sunday, I am going to Charlotte, North Carolina. I am giving a talk about the history of bread at a conference. I need to finish my talk - so, this being Saturday morning, I'd better get back to it!

Until next week,


From the Stone Soup issue:

November/December 2000

Memories of Sunset Lake

Written by Mandana Nakhai, 11
Illustrated by
Zoe Paschkis, 12

It was getting dark. Zoe lay on the hammock on the front porch eating an ice-cream sundae. She looked out at the golden lake thoughtfully. The porch door slammed. Zoe scooted over for her twin brother, Hunter.“Thinkin’?”

Zoe nodded. She slurped a chocolate drip off the side of the tall glass. Hunter carefully watched Zoe’s gaze drop toward the other white-picket-fence houses ringing the lake.

“I just can’t believe the summer’s over.”

Hunter got up and dangled his feet over the porch, brushing some blond hair out of his intense green eyes. “Well, we can come back next summer. We have to go back to school, you know.”

Zoe nodded, wishing that the summer would never end.

Cool air blew the trees as the twins walked down to the dock. “I just wish we could have done something interesting. All we did is sit around on the dock the whole time.”

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