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Saturday Newsletter: October 9, 2021

Girl with a Camera (iPhone SE) By Eliana Pacillo, 12 (Walpole, MA), published in Stone Soup October 2021

A note from Sarah

Happy Saturday!

First off, we wanted to highlight another tremendous accomplishment from our former contributor Sabrina Guo. Sabrina will be reading aloud her commended poem “65 Cybele” at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) scheduled for November 6 of this year. Sabrina has written a powerful poem about the interconnectedness of the earth and contemplating the beginnings of our world. You can read it here on the Poetry Society website. We’re so in awe of Sabrina’s efforts as a poet and activist and so pleased she will be able to advocate for a better future through her art on this global scale.

Now to the main portion of the newsletter: have you gotten the chance to read the October issue yet? If not, I highly recommend you dedicate some time to do so. It’s always heartening and well worth your while to read the work of the young writers of Stone Soup magazine—we’ve said it before but it still stands: these are the writers, thinkers, and leaders of the future.

In particular, I want to draw your attention to the series of autobiographical vignettes by Anushka, 10 (you can scroll down to read the first, “Emperor Monsoon”). Anushka writes reflectively and honestly about so many different subjects—family, faith, and the pandemic, to name a few. Her vignettes remind me of the therapeutic power of writing, especially when it comes to writing autobiographically. In tumultuous, transitional times, it can be very helpful to process your thoughts and feeling through writing. For many, if not all of us, the past year and a half has been one of those difficult periods. Did you keep a journal through any or part of pandemic, as William suggested? And if so, did you find it helpful?

If you are up to it, the project I suggest for this weekend is to write about a topic that has personally affected you recently. It may be about school, friends, family, or even a book that made an impact on you. Try not to set any expectations for length—express what you want to in as many words as seems necessary.

Oftentimes, writing about your own life can be a private exercise, and we understand that. However, if you do want to share your writing with us, as Anushka has done, we will of course be grateful for the chance to read your piece. Here is the link to submit.

Until next time,

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers on our blog!

Orin, 11, wrote a glowing review of the second novel in the City of Ember Series by Jeanne DuPrau, The People of Sparks.

Anushka, 11, reflected on her return to in-person schooling in her piece, "Schooling in the Midst of a Global Pandemic: Thoughts of an 11-Year-Old."

Jackson, 12, wrote a review of the first book in the Wings of Fire Series by Tui T. Sutherland, The Dragonet Prophecy.

From Stone Soup
October 2021

An Excerpt from Autobiographical Vignettes

 By Anushka Trivedi, 10 (Silver Spring, MD)



The rain looks like crystallized icicles falling in gray sheets from the sky. The earth moves with its impact. Every other sound is subdued, as if bowing down respectfully to Emperor Monsoon.

I watch from the window of my grandparents’ home in the city of Ahmedabad, India. The plants dance as the cascade of water washes off layers of dust from their delicate leaves. The rains have breathed life into them. Green looks greener, grey looks greyer, red looks redder, white looks whiter. Water has colored the world.

About a dozen langur monkeys are escaping into the branches before they are completely drenched, leaping from roof to roof, balcony to balcony, with confidence and ease. They never miss a step or make a mistake. Tiny baby monkeys clutch their mothers’ bellies. They do not have a care in the world. They are safe as they glide above the world with their family.

The stray dogs scurry away as well. They welcome the cool water on their overheated backs but prefer the shaded garage or the space under the cars. They want to hear the rain and feel the earth cool off before they venture out again.

I cannot resist feeling the rain on my skin. I skip to the patio and watch the drenched swing swinging gently by itself in the rain. Even the wood and metal on the swing seem grateful for the cool water on their burning bodies. I reach out and feel the drops on my palms. Slowly, I move forward beyond the shade of the patio and feel the rain thundering on my body. I feel like I am standing under a waterfall. I am completely wet in seconds. There is no stopping me now. I jump in the small puddles that rain has created on the patio, kick water into the air, and raise my face to the sky in utter delight. I skip, hop, and sing in the rain.

To read more of Anushka's "Autobiographical Vignettes," click 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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