Thursday, December 8, 2011

BECAUSE THEY SMELL By Brandon & Tai, both age 9

What he wears:
Scooby-doo t-shirts,
saggy pants,
his sister’s Hello Kitty shoes,
because he can’t find his.

What he plays with:
jump ropes and fire.

What he drinks:
7-up and Mentos.

What he makes:
guns, in case someone breaks in,
tables, to eat off of,
Pillow Pets, to sleep on,
and bowls and cups to eat out of.

What he hates:
gum, because it sticks to his hair,
and girls,
because they smell.

Where he goes:
to bed on the roof of his car
because he likes the cold and the stars,
every day,
where he orders Happy Meals.
He gives the food to a homeless person and keeps the toys.
His favorite is Darth Vader
because he can choke people with his mind.

What he does not do:
Smoke in the shower,
because of the water,
and swim in the ocean,
because the sharks don’t like him anymore.

About the Authors

My name is Tai and I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom and dad. I like to sleep. When I grow up I want to be a sleeper. I want to let scientists do experiments on my brain so they can learn the future from my dreams. I am good a soccer when I am playing defense. I am also the author of Todd & Ben and The Hill of the Dead.

Hi, my name is Brandon. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, sister and brother. My favorite thing to do in the Laundromat is to let my brother push me around in the carts. I am also the author of Trip to Vietnam, Beef Jerky and Shadow Cliffs.

Friday, November 4, 2011

MY DOG PONCHO By Andrew, age 9

It was storming the day I got my dog. My dad ran into the house with a box. In the box was a dog. He was wet and shaky, and also crying. The first time I touched him he was soft like a blanket but he peed on me. It was okay because it wasn’t a big mess. Poncho jumped on me and kissed me. Then I kissed my dad and he said, “Goodbye, got to go to work now.”

I got a bone and a chocolate chip cookie from the kitchen. The bone was for Poncho but he wanted the cookie. “No,” I said. “Chocolate is bad for you, ok?” I gave him milk.

The next week we went to a dog park. I bog Rottweiler trapped Poncho in the bathroom. I was scared. Bark bark! Poncho barked at the big dog and it ran away. Poncho was free!

We took Poncho to the beach in San Jose. It was cool and I went diving. Poncho did not want to swim. It was okay though because he didn’t like to swim. It reminded him of a bathtub.

Once I saw Poncho at an open window. I was on the ground. I ran upstairs and got him before he dropped down. He was lucky I got him or else he would have been jelly.

About the Author

My name is Andrew and I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, sister and brother and dog. My favorite author is R.L. Stine because he is scary. If I had one wish, I would wish for ice powers so I could freeze people who are mean to me. I would like to travel to Canada because I would like to play hockey. I would like to go to Alaska so I could snowboard with my friend. If I could be an animal, I would pick wolf so that I could hunt. If I could ask everyone on Earth on question, I would ask if today is the end of the world so everyone will freak out. If I had one wish, I would wish for my blay-blay back from my teacher upstairs. This is my fourth published book. I’m also the author of The Ice Monster’s Anger, John and the Snake and The Lion Hunt.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


School is closed but Jose and Emerald show up at the gate looking for their lost jackets. They take their swords out of their backpacks. Jose puts on his iPod headphones. “Blame On Me” is playing. Emerald slashes Jose’s finger while he spins it around the volume control. Blood spatters the screen. "Why did you hurt me?” Jose says. “I am your brother."

"Because of what happened at work!”

Jose holds his cut finger.

“Also, you didn’t help when I was drowning in the pool at Shadow Cliffs! The big nice lifeguard helped me!" Jose pushes Emerald across the street.

Emerald says, “Ha, you can’t get me!” He gets up from where he landed—right in front of Rite-Aid. Someone walks by and drops a bottle of suntan lotion. He stares at it spilling on the ground. The smell reminds him of Shadow Cliffs. They drove there with their parents when they were little. Emerald buried Jose with sand. They ate popsicles that day. Emerald dropped his on Jose so Jose chased Emerald into the water. Jose and Emerald met some kids and played soccer against them and won. “You are a great defender,” Jose said, “and I am a great player.”

Emerald stares through Rite-Aid’s window. A red Doritos bag falls from the shelf and he remembers the last time that happened. Emerald had been working at the cash register. Clean up on the chips aisle.

Emerald said, “Yes,” and headed for the chips aisle. There were so many bags of chips.

Jose hopped down the chip aisle.

"Hey Jose," Emerald said. "Help me.”

Jose ignored Emerald and walked to the toy aisle.

"Help me,” Emerald said again.

Jose came back with a Whiffle bat and whacked the chips off the shelf again.

Their boss came stomping down the aisle. “You're fired Emerald," the boss said. “Go get your stuff. Jose will clean this up."

Jose holds his cut finger. "I’ll be back," he says to himself. He goes to the hospital and talks to a doctor.

"You need stitches,” says the doctor. “You’re lucky this cut isn’t worse.”

“Okay. Stitch me up.”

“First, you have to get some baby potion from the Goblin King’s castle.”

“Where is it?”

The doctor points out the window. “Just down that alley.”

Jose calls Emerald. “I apologize for getting you fired,” he says.

“Apology accepted,” says Emerald.

They meet at Jose’s car and head toward the Goblin King’s castle but stop at a shop and buy a sleeping potion. They put on masks so the potion won’t make them fall asleep.

The castle is surrounded by hundreds of goblins staggering toward Jose’s car. Jose tries to run them over but one of them jumps on the car’s windshield. Jose sticks his hand out the window and takes hold of the goblin. “Emerald,” Jose says. “Hand me the knife in the glove box.”

He opens the compartment and grabs the knife. He passes it to Jose. Jose holds the knife up against the goblin’s neck.
“Back off,” Jose says to the other goblins, “or I’ll kill him.”

The goblins retreat, all except for one. He has a red ribbon wrapped around his forehead. The ribbon flutters in the wind. He throws a ninja star at Jose but he shields himself with the goblin he’s still holding, and blood splatters into the other goblin’s eyes. Jose drops the goblin and drives to the Goblin King’s Castle. He drives though the door and knocks down an expensive TV. The glass shatters on the floor. They drive through another door. Mold covers the room’s walls and shelves fall onto the Goblin King. He thrashes through debris and hides in the corner with the baby potion in his hand. Jose bursts out of the car and snatches the baby potion from the Goblin King.

“Huuug huuuug huuuuuug hhuuuuug,” the Goblin King says. “Gettt themmmm III wanttt myyy babyyy potionnn.”

The goblins chase Jose and Emerald out the door but they cut their feet on the glass. Jose and Emerald drive back to the hospital.

“Doctor!” says Jose.

“What?” says the doctor.

“Can I get my stitches now?”


Jose lies down on the exam table. The doctor gives him a shot and stitches his cut closed.

“Ach,” says Jose.

“We’re, done,” says the doctor. “Try it out.”

“Ok,” says Jose. “This my finger finally!”

About the Author

Hi, my name is Dustin. I am ten years old and I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, brother and sister. I like Legos and I am really good at soccer. I want to complete a lot of goals. I want to get better at spelling because now I ask for too much help. I am also the author of My Enemy and Bill’s Adventures in the Anti-goblin League.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The dragon wants a powerful diamond that belongs to the Dog People. The dragon wants the diamond because if you find it and say, “Zabra,” you will disappear. The Dog people keep the diamond in a dark cave. It is frozen inside an ice crystal.

The Dog People guard all the food. If the Dragon could turn invisible he would be able to sneak past the guards and eat. The dragon walks up to the cave. The Dog People say, “This is our diamond.” They stomp their feet on the ground and scare the dragon with a stick.

The dragon goes home.

When it is nighttime, the dragon flies back to the cave. He blows fire at the dark. He breaks the ice with his claws.

“Zabra,” the dragon says.

The Dog People check the cave. The diamond is gone. The dragon is invisible. He is eating the Dog People’s chicken and grapes.

About the Author

My name is Khenny. I live in San Francisco with my mom and my sister. I am eight years old. I like to play zombies and I am good at running. I want to be an artist when I grow up. My favorite books are the Pokemon books because I like to see all the animals and creatures in those books. If I could ask everyone I know one question I would ask, “What is your favorite book?” The Dragon’s Adventure is my first published book.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MY BROKEN LIFE By Arnold, age 10

Forehead Scar

I was in the shower. My skin felt isolated from my body. When I stepped back from the soap holder, the soap bar fell. I slipped and my head hit the corner of the sink. It felt like a piece of glass piercing the skin above my left eyebrow. The blood looked like watery red paint. My head felt cold. My brother walked in and told me, “Hurry, go lay on the bed.”

Scattering Rice

He brought me some paper towels and told me to put them on my head. My mom came home and told me to get two band-aids. I bled on the bed, my mom had to wash the sheets. My brothers wrapped me with a blanket in a cocoon. I couldn’t use my hands. They were tightly bound in the blanket. I wiggled my head over the edge of the bed. I wiggled too much and my face hit the floor. My brothers helped me up but I tripped over a shoe and banged my toe on the corner of the door. I broke my toenail. My nail bled. My brother brought me a hot rice pack but it unsealed accidentally and rice scattered all over. My brother stepped on it and the rice got mashed into the green carpet. He burned his foot on the rice and hopped around, tripping over a chair and crashing into the door.

Broken Wall

Earlier that summer my brother leaped from the table to the bed, his head flew into the wall. When he pulled his head out of the wall pieces of plaster shattered on the floor. Wall crumbs whitened his hair. In the morning my mom found out but she didn’t yell at my brother. She yelled at me.

Collapsing Curtains

The next day my brothers yanked the curtain string really hard and the curtains collapsed to the floor. When my mom came home she got so mad. She told them to get my Grandpa because he knows how to fix things like that. When he showed up, he got mad. He thought we were playing but it was an accident.

Dog Bite

The last time my brother went to Vietnam our dog jumped on him and bit him on the nose. The dog bit his right nostril, but he bled from his left nostril.

Chick Eye

The next day my brother threw a pebble at the eye of a chick and the eye came out, stringy and gooey. When he told me about this I felt weird inside, a tingling feeling in my stomach.

Milk Flood

One day last year when the sky shone yellow, my mom came home with food and milk and my brother and I stomped on it and I popped the carton. My mom got mad. “Go clean it up all of you!” she said.

Melting Water Bottle

Three days later my dad took me home. I took out a Lipton teabag and I made tea inside a plastic water bottle. I poured hot water inside. My brother and I saw the bottom of the bottle shrinking and I started screaming. My brother yelled, “Stop yelling and get paper towels.” Tea gurgled out the top of the bottle and my brother tried wiping it up with the towels. The tea scalded him and he hollered and my aunt called and said, “Why are you yelling” then she hung up on accident. The burn healed and no one found out until now.

About the Author

My name is Arnold. I am ten years old. I live in San Francisco with my brother and my mom. I like to swim and draw. I want to be good at math one day. When I grow up I want to be a chemist. I would like to be famous for being a chemist who builds bomb shelters and bombs. I am different from other kids because I have a huge and complicated family that is like a regenerating body. If I were weather I would be rain so I could grow trees so they can give us air. I like the book Valley of Thorns because it has a character that drives off a cliff and dies in a valley of thorns. If I could ask the world something, I would ask: Why do people live if they are going to die? The scariest moment of my life was when I got a hole in my head, the one I wrote about in this book. If I could have a super power I would want to communicate telepathically and to control anything. If I could go back in time I would go the year 2001 to see myself being born. My family is from Cambodia, Vietnam and San Francisco. I would like to go Vietnam. The languages I speak at home are Vietnamese and English. I am also the author of The Bad Example.

Friday, September 23, 2011


This piece was inspired by (a G-rated version of) Michelle Tea's "Pigeon Manifesto." It was a group effort, written shout-out-style with Robyn transcribing at the laptop. Collage by Alex, Liyi & Wendy.

I live on Polk Street. It was once a stream but now it is cement. It’s named after President Polk, who started postage stamps and died of cholera, a thing that sounds like college and collar and cocktail but is actually a disease that can kill you with pooing. If you walk south from our school, you’ll find KFC at the corner of Eddy Street where Serenity’s mom and Judith’s mom both work. People in holey clothes fidget near the soda machines, chattering about money or drugs. Once Jessica’s dad had a coupon for ten free biscuits. When we ate them we felt like kings! Keep walking and a block before you hit Market Street, City Hall will light up the sky and the library will feed you books and the park will squeal when you swing on its tire. If you ask Polk Street, “Why do you let people sleep on your shoulders, and why do you let jackhammers drill through your skin, and why do let buses roll down your spine?” Polk Street will tell you, “It feels like a massage.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MORRIS WATERS By Serenity, age 9

Jimmy dribbled down the court. A player from the other team pushed him to the ground. There were ten more seconds left in the game. “Oww.” It felt as if the sky had fallen on his hip. “Please help me,” Jimmy said.

Jimmy’s team called a timeout. An ambulance took Jimmy to the hospital. His hip was broken. He stayed there for weeks. It still was broken. Jimmy said, “When is my hip going to be fixed?”

“I don’t know,” said the doctor.

Jimmy had never had so many tests done on him in his life. Painful ones with needles.

Finally it was time for Jimmy to go home. His mom gave him pain medication. He started to walk more and more each day. One day, he went out for a walk and forgot his water bottle at home. He fell to the ground, dehydrated. Hours later Jimmy woke up with chatter.

“Oh my poor baby,” his mom said. “Oh my baby.”

“I am ok, Mom,” Jimmy said, twitching an eye.

A few days later he lay on the couch, watching TV when a commercial came on. A man said in a deep and strong voice, “Do you want to walk more?”

Jimmy nodded.

“Then try Morris Waters. It gets you on the go. Free shipping and handling.” Barney was on next. I love you, you love me, we’re a big happy family with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won’t you say you love me too?

“Boring,” Jimmy said, and changed it to Sponge Bob. He heard someone in the hall and he recognized the jingle of his mom’s keys.

She gave him a hug and said, “I hope you feel better today?”

He didn’t say a word.

“I am going to cook dinner. What do you want?”

“I don’t know.”

“How about fish?”


They ate. Jimmy picked at the bones with his fork. “Mama I need to- never mind.”

“What baby?” She said.

“Never mind, Mama.”

“Ok then.”

Jimmy spent the next morning on the couch, channel-surfing. He stopped on Exercise TV. Yoga for Kids was on. Jimmy got on the floor and copied the woman on the screen. Gently, bend at the hips, lower your forehead to the floor. This is Child's Pose. Beautiful.

"It is beautiful," Jimmy whispered to himself.

"What's beautiful?" Jimmy's mom said from the doorway. “I thought you were injured?” She glared at him. She looked flabbergasted.

He clicked off the TV but hid in child's pose like a turtle. “Ok. I’ve been fine for a week. I just didn’t want to go to school. I hate how you make kissy-kissy faces at me when you drop me off.”

“What did you say?”


“No, you said something. What did you say?”

“I said you have pretty eyes.”


“Fine, I’ll tell you. I said I don't like when you make kissy-kissy faces at me at school.”

“Have I ever embarrassed you?”


“You do not talk that way to your mama. Now go to your room.”

“I hate you.” He went to his room and locked his door. He found a notebook with a π on the cover and wrote I HATE MY MOM in big letters on it.

The next day Jimmy came home from school and looked for the notebook. His mother was already home from work.
Jimmy said, “How was your day?”

She opened her bag and took out the notebook with π on the cover. She flipped to the page that said I HATE MY MOM. “You wrote this?”

“Uhhhh... no.”

“Answer me!”


“Fine then.”

The next day at school Jimmy opened his lunchbox and found a note that said, Sorry I yelled at you. I was out of line. There is a surprise for you, at home. Ok. P.S Love you.

“Wow," said Joey, leaning over Jimmy's note. "Are you a mama's boy or something?”

“Shut up.”

When Jimmy came home from school he saw a big package at the front door. It said, For Jimmy Smith.

“Surprise!” said his mother, opening the front door.

“What is that?”

“Your package, silly. Open it.”


Jimmy ripped open the package and found a DVD box that said, MORRIS WATERS YOGA KIT FOR KIDS AND GROWN-UPS.

“Sooo…. Do you like it?”

“Mom, you really didn’t need to do this. Really.”

“Ohh, don’t be silly. I will do anything for you.”




They went inside and Jimmy’s mom carefully placed the DVD in the player and pressed PLAY. They sat on the floor in front of the TV. Now, go into half-lotus. Jimmy’s mom placed one ankle on top of the other and Jimmy followed.

“Ah, I think I just broke my hip again.”


“Just kidding.”

About the Author

Hi, my name is Serenity. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom. My brother and my great-grandma live here too. If I could have a superpower I would pick being a mind reader because I am curious. I would also like to travel to the future. I would go to the year 2100 because I want to see myself eighty-nine years from now. I want to be good at drawing and writing. I am also the author of That’s the Way Life Works.

Friday, August 19, 2011

TWO AT A TIME By David, age 10

Nelson cut veggies on a chopping board for carrot soup. Victor loaded BBs into his gun at the kitchen table.

"Can I take a bite off your head?" Victor said.

"No!" said Nelson. "Victor, are you crazy? It is my precious pear head. If you're jealous then I'm not your friend, dude."

Victor lunged at Nelson and took a bite out of his head. Red juice and black seeds squirted from a gash below his ear. Nelson's face turned red. His eyes swelled shut.

"Aww," Nelson said. “Dude that's my only head. Go dial 911."

Vcitor dug his cell phone out of his pocket.

Beep Beep Beep.

"911. What's your emergency?"

"Hi, My friend is bleeding. We need an ambulance and a couple of smart medics now."

"I'll send one now, okay? Remain calm."

"Open up now! This is the cop. Hello you there? Are you okay?”

Victor locked the door and pushed a table in front of it.

“Open up or I’ll break down this door.”

He dragged a sofa up against the table.

“I’m going to give you five seconds. Five, four, three, two, and one.”

The whack of an ax. A blade splitting the door in half. A table leg snapping off and splintering.

Victor grabbed the knife from the counter and stabbed the medic behind his ear. The medic fell. A needle rolled out of his first aid bag. Words printed on the needle said, morphine. Victor poked him with it and walked out the door, mumbling, “Yeah, smart medic, who's stronger now?”

“Victor, are you crazy," Nelson said softly. "You killed the medic that wanted to help me.”

"Bye, I better get out of here,” Victor said. “See you in the hospital. Yahoo. I’m going to the store.”

Victor jogged to the corner store and picked up a Mr. Goodbar from the candy rack, whispering to himself, “Nothing happened, okay. I’m feeling weird, ready to blow up. I’ll get something to eat and stay cool. What do I want? Hmmm lets see, a candy bar, or a bag of chips? I'll get a bag of Ruffles with sour cream and onion.”

Victor got in line and thought about the last time he ate Ruffles. He’d been walking home from the store with Nelson. Rain drizzled on the chips.

“We better hurry up and eat the chips,” Victor had said.

“Why?” Nelson said.

“They’re gonna get all soggy.”

“Ok,” Nelson said. “Eat two at a time.”

A siren squawked from the street. Victor walked back toward Nelson’s house, munching the chips.

About the Author

Hi my name is David. I’m ten years old. I live with my two sisters, my dad, and my mom. I like to play sports such as soccer, basketball and many more. I want to be better at not kicking the ball out of bounds in soccer. When wrote this story I could barely think of the words, so I want to get better at making choices faster. When I grow I want to make a new videogame system. I’m very different from other kids because all I want to play is sports most of the time. I don’t like sitting down and talking about random stuff. If I could be a plant I would be a cactus because if you tried to touch me, sorry I would poke you. I would like to be famous for bringing someone back to life by magic. If I could ask the world a question it would be: Who came up with god, or is it real? If I could go back in time I would go to the 1800s because I want to see what the Gold Rush was like. How many people died trying to get to the gold? This is my third published book. I’m also the author of There are Five People in my Family and Trouble in Madagascar.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

IN MY BAKERY By Jessica, age 7

In my bakery, it will smell like pudding and strawberries. Everything will cost one dollar so even homeless people who live on the street can buy things. It is not that hard to get a dollar. The store will be in Chinatown and it will never close. I'm going to sell wedding cakes and chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, muffins, doughnuts, waffles and pancakes. I will keep the food under a glass counter.

I will have lots of plants hanging from the ceiling. There will be pea plants and strawberry plants and banana trees. Charms that look like houses will hang over the door. In the night it will still be open. I will have dragon statues made out of wood and I will put them on the tables. I will have a rubber stamp that says the name of my bakery in Chinese and English with the phone number and address. I will put the cakes in pink boxes and stamp the boxes with my rubber stamp. There will be two tables with five chairs at each table.

At my bakery I will have something to bounce on, like a trampoline. The trampoline will be outside, behind the building, and you will need to pay to jump on it, twenty-five cents for each turn. When you jump it will feel like you are flying.

About the Author

My name is Jessica. I am seven years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, sister and brother. I like to run and I like to bake cakes. When I grow up I want to be a baker. If I could be a machine I would be a food machine so I would not have to buy food. My favorite book is The Big Adventures Of Majoko by Machiko Fujo. One thing I wonder is: Are ghosts real? The scariest thing in my life was the time I went in a haunted house. If I could choose a super power I would choose the power to freeze people so I could win when we play tag. I want to go forward in time so I could see what I look like when I’m dead. My mom and dad come from China. I have never been to that place. I would like to go. I speak English and Chinese.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

BEEF JERKY By Brandon, age 9 & Destin, age 10

A piece of beef jerky hanging from his mouth, Ruff scurries past a circle of pigeons, an old crone with a stick and a Quickly, then turns down an alley wiggling with rats and bats. He stops and jumps inside a dumpster. Robert sneaks up behind him, tongue wagging. “Boo!” He drools for Ruff’s beef jerky.

Ruff hops out of the dumpster and climbs up a tree, shaking. He looks over his shoulder. Robert is climbing up behind him. Ruff whines and yelps. Robert snatches the beef jerky from Ruff’s mouth. Ruff chomps into Robert’s hand. Robert doesn’t feel it and drifts away.

“Slow down!” the Old Crone says, shaking her cane. She swings it in front of Robert. His face pelts cement. The jerky flies across the street and lands at Ruff’s paws. He devours it.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Brandon. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, sister and brother. I like to draw and I am good at ice-skating. Someday I want to be good at writing neatly. When I grow up I want to join the army and write kids’ books. At the Academy of Sciences, we went into an exhibit that measured body temperature. When I went in my reflection turned red. Everyone else’s turned blue and yellow. This shows I am hot and other people are cold. My favorite books are the Goosebumps books because they are scary. I am also the author of Trip to Vietnam and Shadow Cliffs. Beef Jerky is my first published fiction.

Friday, July 29, 2011

THE RACE By Manuel, age 9

“It’s time to race,” said Jack’s coach.

Fans screamed and clapped. Jack got into his car behind the starting line. Buttons flashed on the dashboard. He heard the starting gunshot and hit the gas. He was in the lead then a car passed him but Jack caught up and crashed into it. Jack stayed in the lead. In the final lap, Jack’s car lost a wheel. His coach came running with a new wheel and tools. He fixed it and Jack was back in the lead. He crossed the finish line but crashed into the stands. He was injured. He bumped his head and cut his hand. He felt a lump growing on his forehead. Everybody cheered. A man ran to Jack’s wrecked car with a prize. Jack was happy and he almost cried.

It was time for Jack’s next race. He put on his helmet.

His coach said, "You can do it!"

Jack was ready. He went outside. A lot of people whistled and clapped. Jack got into his car. The race started. Jack was in second place, but a car passed him. The car crashed into Jack, and Jack went rolling until his car stopped. Medics ran to the crash.

“He’s injured,” said a doctor. “We have to take him to a hospital. He has a broken leg."

A the hospital Jack asked the doctor, "What happened?"

The doctor said, “You crashed."

“How many days do I have to stay in the hospital?" Jack said.

The doctor said, “Six days. You need an x-ray. You have broken feet."

"Can I still race?" said Jack.

"Yes you can,” said the doctor.

Six days passed. Jack left the hospital. He went to his next race. Jack saw his coach at the track.

"Sorry," said Coach.

"Why?" said Jack

"Because someone else took your spot."

Jack left sadly and alone. He heard someone scream from the racetrack then he saw flames. Jack ran to the track. There was a man inside a burning car. He screamed. No one was helping him. Jack didn't know what to do. Jack ran fast. The burning car was going to explode. Jack tried to take the man’s seat belt off. "Where is the button?” said Jack.

"It’s on the other side, where the fire is," said the guy.

Jack ran around the car to the other door. He stuck his hand through the flames and pushed the button. He jerked his hand out fast but he was burned." Are you ready?" said Jack. Jack grabbed the man. The car exploded with a big kaboom! The man’s face was burned. Jack covered the man’s face with his jacket because it looked so awful. Fans were hurt from the explosion. Children were crying and lost. Everybody looked at Jack and clapped. Jack was happy. Then the ambulance came. The paramedics asked Jack if he was ok.

Jack said, "Yes."

"Thank you for saving the man," said one of the medics. “But you’re really burned. You should get in the ambulance.”

Jack didn't talk. He ran to his house. Jack looked in the mirror. Jack saw his face. It was burned all over. His skin was black and falling off. Jack didn’t want to go outside. He was afraid that everybody would be scared of his burns.

The next day Jack grabbed a Mexican wrestling mask and put it in his face. Jack got on the bus. People stared at him. He got out at the racetrack. Jack saw his coach.

“Jack,” Coach said. “You should go to the hospital.”

“I want to race.”

Jack got in a car behind the starting line. The gun shot. Jack went fast. When jack got to the final lap he pressed a button that made his car go faster. Something was wrong with his wheel. His car flipped over and crashed into the wall. One of his legs flew across the track. A doctor ran onto the track. “He’s dead,” the doctor said.

But Jack was pretending.

When they took Jack to the cemetery, his friends did not bring flowers. Jack screamed for help from underground but nobody heard him.

About the Author

My name is Manuel. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad and three sisters. I like to play with my friends. I am good at kickball. I want to get better at math. When I grow up I want to be a police officer. My favorite books are the Goosebumps books because they are scary stories. I want to be famous for building houses. The scariest moment of my life was the time I got lost in Walgreens. If I could choose any super power, I would choose the power to be invisible so I could scare bad people. My family comes from Mexico. I would like to go there some day because I have never been. I am also the author of When I Got Hurt.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

MORE PIGEONS! By Alex & Wendy, both age 9

On July 12 two pigeon nestlings hatched in the corner of the playground under a bench. They are from the rock dove family. Their scientific name is Columba livia. Today the nestlings are four days old. Their eyes are open and their down is starting to turn grey and they have started cooing. They cuddle together, looking cute.

Pigeon Eggs & Egg Care

The mother pigeon laid the eggs in a sloppy nest made of sticks and trash on the ground. Jose and Brandon found them while they were playing hide and seek.

Here’s what we learned about pigeon families: The father finds food at night while the mother sits on the eggs, then in the morning the father sits on the eggs while the mother looks for food. Pigeon eggs incubate for seventeen to nineteen days. After the eggs hatch, sometimes the parent sits on the nestlings and sometimes the babies are alone.

Crop Milk

Crop milk is food for baby pigeons. It comes from both the mother and father pigeon. There is a special chamber in pigeon throats. This is where the crop milk comes from.

Fledgling Period

During the fledgling period the nestlings stay in the nest. The fledgling period is thirty days. At the end of the thirty days, the nestlings leave the nest.

Here is a video of the nestlings. It's from the day they hatched.

Friday, July 15, 2011

CAN YOU DANCE? By Linda M., age 9

Tap, tap, tap. Hermit Crab twirled and jumped. He was Contestant Number 6 on Can You Dance. Lights flashed and it was a little dark. The studio was filled with salt water. There was an echo when the judge talked. Hermit danced the moonwalk. Other hermit crabs joined him. They said, "Go Hermit!" twice. He stopped because someone began singing the ABC song. The crowd clapped with the beat. He got dizzy then he felt his legs crack.

Oh no! Hermit thought. The other hermit crabs cheered for Hermit even though he lay on the floor, curled up like a baby.
He took a cab home. He was covered with scars and dry patches. Some of his rough skin fell off.

At home, Hermit’s mother asked him what happened.

Hermit said, "I cracked my leg."

"Let me get a broom to sweep your cracks."

"But how will sweeping fix my cracks?"

"It works on messes.”

The sweeping helped clean the floor but did not fix Hermit’s cracked legs. Hermit went to bed. He thought he might have to go to the doctor.

The next morning he threw up on his covers. He still felt dizzy. Hermit’s mother took him to the doctor.

“Could you come in tomorrow morning?” the nurse said.

“Can’t you see him now? It’s an emergency.”

“Well Dr. Phil is almost done with lunch. So please wait.”

Hermit waited until a nurse called his name.

“Hermit,” said a nurse. Hermit followed her into an examining room.

Bright lights shined down on the bed. Some of the shelves had glass doors with locks. It smelled like a laundromat because of all the cleaning chemicals.

"So tell me what happened,” the nurse said.

Hermit told the nurse about the disco injury.

“So you danced and then cracked?” said the nurse. “Well if you do that again just put oyster cream on the spot you cracked.” She pointed at a cast on the counter. “Or, put on a cast if you crack your leg, or these band-aids for anywhere else.”

The nursed rubbed the oyster cream onto his legs. It burned. It smelled like mint and felt like sticky honey.

"Thank you,” Hermit said. “But how will it help me?"

"Just try it out. I will tell you how later. Come back tomorrow morning ok?"


The next morning, Hermit found out he made it to the disco finals. But he had to go to the doctor’s office too. He decided to go to the contest. When Hermit arrived, it was his turn but he ran away because he was scared of getting dizzy and cracking his leg again.

"Well that is a waste," said the judge.

Hermit took a bus home.

He opened the door. He walked to the kitchen and got a cup of salt water. He set the cup on his stool near the couch and sat down. He picked up his cup of salt water. He took a sip but then he sneezed! The salt water spilled on Hermit and burned his cracks. Hermit went outside to get some fresh air and to visit the dolphin, Grace. He walked into Grace’s house. It was big. She had an old telephone next to a small TV. Grace was making seaweed tea. The teacup had little flowers on it, which reminded him of the time he drank tea after his first dance competition. The dance studio had the exact same teacups.

Grace invited Hermit to a restaurant for lunch. Hermit followed Grace into the sea. "Thanks Grace," said Hermit.

On the way to the restaurant, Grace asked Hermit, ”You have a doctor’s appointment right?"

"I skipped it,” said Hermit.

"You’re going to the doctor’s, come on!”

"Fine," Hermit said. " But I want to eat first"

"At the Pacific Clams."


They swam to the restaurant.

"It smells bad here,” Hermit said when they got there.

"That's you."

They went inside and sat at a table.

"Are you ready to order?" Grace said.


Grace grouched and a waiter came up to their table.

"What would you like," the waiter said.

"I would like lemon chicken and wrapped seaweed," Hermit said.

"Ok, it will be ready in fifteen minutes."

"Wait, wait, wait. That long?"


"Can't it be ten or five minutes? I am starving!"

"We need time to cook it."

"I’m going to the bathroom," Hermit said, getting up from the table.

In the bathroom, Hermit looked in the mirror. He felt dizzy and about to faint. He fell down and turned green. Hermit passed out and he came to on the floor with a bloody nose. The waiter was there, looking down at him and freaking out. He carried Hermit outside. Grace ran over.

Grace said, ”He’s still breathing but he’s out cold.”

The waiter called the ambulance.

Hermit woke up in the hospital. He felt like he was gone. His hand hung over the edge of the bed, clutching the TV remote. He turned the TV on and flipped through the channels. The disco contest was on the dance channel. Welcome back to Can You Dance. We are missing a contestant. Hermit Crab. He is in the hospital. We are very sad so we are giving him a gift card to the Pacific Clams.

Hermit turned off the TV and closed his eyes.

About the Author
Hi, my name is Linda. I am nine years old and I was born in Mongolia. I live with my mom, dad and my brother in San Francisco. I like doing math and I am good at it. Someday, I want to be better at doing art. When I grow up, I want to be a pediatrician. My favorite books are the Ivy and Bean book collection. I want to be famous for being an actress. If I could only ask one question for the rest of my life, I would ask, “Why is there human life?” because I wonder if someday humans will become extinct and there will be new creatures. I want the power to predict the future so I could warn people if something bad was going to happen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SUNNY'S POISON by Vicky, age 9

Sunny goes to the market and buys a basket of cherries. At home she opens the pack. Sunny washes all the cherries and she eats eight of them. She almost eats the ninth one, but it talks and says, “Hello Sunny.” Its voice sounds like a four-year-old child.

Sunny says, “Hello cherry.” Sunny eats the cherry. Now the cherry is inside Sunny’s stomach. Sunny drinks some water and sleeps on her bed. The next morning she looks in the mirror and there is a little green thing on her head and she screams. A branch with two little leaves grows from her head. Sunny touches her head and feels the plant. Sunny is afraid of the plant because she lives near a garden, and if the bees smell her head they will sting her.

Sunny goes to the hospital. The doctor uses a machine to see inside Sunny’s stomach. There is a seed. The doctor says, “Every single day you have to trim your leaves. If you don’t cut the plant on your head, you will die because there is poison in the plant.” Sunny drinks a lot of water everyday because she is thirsty and the plant keeps on growing. Every single day Sunny cuts the plant off her head.

A week later, Sunny goes to the market and buys some vegetables and fruits, and she sees her friend Fanny.

Sunny says, “Hello.”

Fanny says, “Hello.”

Sunny doesn’t want Fanny to see her head so she covers it with a hat.

Fanny says, “Why did you cover your head?”

“A plant is on my head,” Sunny says sadly.

“I have an idea.”

“What is it?”

“If you want that plant to be gone you have to say the magic word.”

“So, what is the magic word?”

“The magic word start with M,” says Fanny.

Sunny says, “Mango?”


Sunny says, “Mango.”

Nothing happens.

Sunny goes to a flower shop to ask a florist for help. Lilies stand in pots by the door and the florist sits at a table in the corner. “Do you have some medicine to kill plants?” Sunny asks.Bees buzz outside the shop window and Sunny shakes.

“Yes,” says the florist. “I have some medicine for killing plants, but if you eat it your toenails will get dark.”

Sunny takes some plant killer home and she eats it. Right away, the plant dries up and dies but her toenails turn dark. She goes to the hospital. The doctor brings Sunny to a room and says, “Wait here until I come back.” Sunny waits and waits and waits. Finally the doctor comes back with seven chewy candies. “These are medicine,” the doctor says. “Each morning eat one.”

She eats the candy everyday. After a week the greyness on her toenails is gone.

About the Author

My name is Vicky. I am nine years old. I live with my mother, my father and my sister in San Francisco. I like to do math. I am good at times tables. I win contests a lot. I like to write and I am getting better at it. I want to be an artist someday. If I were weather, I would be snow because my mom tells me to wear a lot of clothes so I am always too hot. If I could have a super power I would choose invisibility so I could trick people. I am also the author of Guang Zhou Zoo and Memories of Toisan.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

THE MAP ROOM By Andy, Age 11

The Map Room
Book One of the Fire and Aqua Series

Soldiers collide and swords clang. Arrows whistle across the field. Captain Liu dodges them and tears through the forest. He makes it to Top Security Plant. He spots a guard, pulls a bottle of sleeping potion from his pack and sprays it at him. The guard drops to the ground and Captain Liu snatches his entry card and swipes it through the slot on the wall. The door opens and he sprints inside, triggering the laser defense system. Beams of red light shoot out of the walls, floor and ceiling. No way to get past, he thinks. He digs in his backpack for his book about how to disable laser systems. It says the only way to shut them down is to find a camouflaged button and hit it. He takes out his camouflage goggles and sticks them onto his eyes. He looks around until he spots a circle on the wall about the size of a fist. There’s no way to get to it without triggering the lasers. He removes a saw from his backpack and cuts out a hand-size chunk of brick. He throws it towards the button. The button clicks and the laser turns off.

Captain Liu runs down a hallway and calls for reinforcements on his walkie-talkie. The reinforcements show up bruised and cut up, but standing. Captain Liu spots a door labeled Map Room. He looks at his troops. “In here,” he says, turning the knob. It’s locked. “We need to ram this door open. Rip out that beam.” He points at the ceiling and the troops remove tools from their packs and hack away at the ceiling. Captain Liu and the reinforcements loosen the beam and lug it over their shoulders. They ram the door open and lasers shoot out of nowhere.

Captain Liu grabs a book called How To Make Laser Armor from his backpack and flips to the materials page. He tells the reinforcements to find the stuff listed. They scatter all over the building, collecting metal, helmets, thick cloth, indestructible leather, a pair of boots, and coal. They bring everything to Captain Liu and he assembles the things according to the instruction manual. First he grabs the metal and hammers it into a suit of armor. The reinforcements dig a hole in the floor and put coal in it. Sergeant Hull places a fire torch on the coal and Captain Liu lays the armor over the embers. The coal melts holes through the armor. Captain Liu works the rest of the metal into a helmet. He hot-glues the thick cloth into the inside for comfort. He equips Sergeant Hull with the armor and he proceeds to the map room. Captain Liu watches from the doorway. As Sergeant Hull walks through it, lasers reflect off the armor. Sergeant Hull walks in a circle through the room to make sure his armor is laser-proof then heads back out.

“The armor works,” Sergeant Hull says.

“Now,” Captain Liu says, “go inside and grab the map then come back out and hand it to me.”

Sergeant Hull strides through the door and darts across the room. He grabs the map from its pedestal. The door begins to close. He sprints back out of the room before it snaps shut and hands over the map. Captain Liu looks at it, rolls it back up. “All of you follow me,” Captain Liu says, running down the hallway. The entrance to the building slams shut. There’s no doorknob. They go back for the ram, drag it down the hallway, hoist it over their shoulders and run toward the door. The ram collides with the door and shatters. There is a combination lock attached to the door. Captain Liu types in some codes. None of them works. Sergeant Hull types one in. The door slides open. Captain Liu places a time bomb in the middle of the building and they run out.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Andy. I am eleven years old and I am about to turn into a sixth grader. I live on Polk Street in San Francisco with my dad, sister, baby sister, and my grandma. I am about to move to Chinatown. I am good at being a goalie in soccer, playing Hero Smash and running. When I grow up, I want to be a videogame designer because I like to play video games and I want to make a game that everybody would like. If I were a Greek God I would be Hermes because he is the God of thieves and the God of messengers. My favorite books are the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series because they tell you about the Greek Gods and there is a lot of fighting in them. If I could have a super power it would be super speed so I could explore the world easily. I am also the author of My Broken Wrist, Quan’s Head, and many poems.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

HILL OF THE DEAD By Tai, age 9

Jim’s dad was a magic man but he was gone because a car crashed into him. Jim wanted to do magic but his dad never taught him. Jim started to cry. He lived in an alley and slept in a box. A boy said, “Why are you crying?”

“Because I do not have a mom and dad.”

“Do not cry,” said the boy. “My name is Fox and I am like you. I have no mom and dad.”

“Watch out!” Jim said. “There’s X-Boy. One time he gave me a bloody nose.”

X-boy said, “Jim, I’m going to tell you something. I will hit you with a bat.”

“Let’s run,” Fox said.

Fox and Jim ran fast. X-boy could not catch them.

“Let’s hide in the grass,” Jim said.

“When I find you,” X-boy said, “I will hit you with a pizza and with a bat.”

“Go away X-Boy,” Fox said.

“Let’s get food,” Jim said.

“How?” Fox said.

“We can steal it.”

“No we can’t.”

“Yes we can. We can take the bus.”

The bus stopped but they did not have money. They tried to get on.

“Get out,” said the bus driver. “You need to pay.”

“We need food,” Fox said.

“Help me clean the bus and I will give you food,” the bus driver said.

Ok,” said Fox and Jim. “When?”

“Now, I don’t have any passengers.”

Jim and Fox started to clean the bus with mops. Under a seat Jim saw a book. “What is this book?”

“Don’t open that book,” the driver said. “It will give you magic if you read the words right.”

“But I want magic!” Jim said.

“Then open it.”

Jim tried to open the book. It was stuck.

“You need to say the magic word,” the driver said. “The wizard in the sky has the magic word. You have to get it from him.” The bus driver handed them two plane tickets. “Use these to take a plane to the sky.”

They got on the plane. The plane took off. Jim and Fox saw X-Boy. He was hiding in someone’s suitcase and jumped out of the overhead compartment. Jim and Fox ran as fast as they could.

“No running in the plane,” the flight attendant said.

“I found you kids,” X-Boy said. “Now go back to your side.”

Jim and Fox went back to their seats. X-Boy tried to hit them. Jim and Fox started to run again and found a place to hide. X-Boy could not find them.

Jim and Fox looked out the window. The Sky Wizard slept on a cloud. They broke the window with their suitcase. They jumped through the window and landed on some grass. They climbed the Hill of the Dead. They climbed for twenty-four hours without rest. At the very top of the mountain, they saw an old man with white hair and white clothes. He said, “Do you boys want the magic word?”

“Okay,” said Jim.

“I will tell you after you give me some M&Ms.”

Jim and Fox hiked down from the mountain. “We have no money,” Fox said.

They went into Walgreens and asked a man there for money. The man gave them some and they bought the M&Ms and went back up the mountain. They gave the M&Ms to the wizard.

“The magic word is mountain,” the wizard said.

Jim and Fox bounced down the mountain and went to the bus driver. They found him at a pizza shop, buying pizza at the counter. Jim and Fox ran up to him. “Mountain,” they said.

The bus driver took the magic book out of his bag and opened it. Yellow light floated from the book into Jim’s mouth and he said, “Magic, come out.” He pointed at a chair and the chair moved. “Thank you,” Jim said.

About the Author

My name is Tai. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom and dad. I like to eat hotdogs. I am good at building toys out of paper. Some day I want to win a lot of eating contests. I will be famous for eating pizzas. I drink a lot of water. I would like to be a robot because robots don’t get bloody noses. My favorite author is Dr. Seuss and my favorite book is Hop on Pop. It is easy to read. If I could have any super power, I would choose the power to freeze people. If I could go back in time, I would go to the year 2010 because that year I ate a really good cupcake. I am also the author of Todd and Ben.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


It was midnight. The moon shined through Bobbie’s bedroom window. She had fallen asleep hours ago but her friend Gina was still awake from the moon’s bright reflection. She rubbed her ankle where a bruise was forming. Bobbie had kicked her there earlier. But Gina wasn’t sorry about writing that nasty email to her. Gina left Bobbie sleeping and headed outside. I wonder if it will hurt to walk, she thought. She walked down the back stairs. Her leg seemed ok. She found an old-fashioned key on the ground beside the trashcan. The words Frozen Forest were printed along the teeth in fancy letters. She picked it up and ran back into Bobbie’s room.
“Bobbie wake up!” Gina said.
“I found a key outside your house. It must be special.”
“I’m sleeping.”
“Come with me,” Gina said. “I wanna figure out what this unlocks.”
“No, go by yourself.”
“Come on. I’ll quit those nasty emails if you come.”
“You’re a liar,” Bobbie said.
“I promise.”
“Good,” Gina said. “Let’s go to the Frozen Forest.”
“What’s that?”
“I don’t know. Those are the words on the key.”
“Oh,” Bobbie. “When will you start being nice to me?”
Gina didn’t answer.

Bobbie and Gina walked past old houses and dead trees. They tried pointing the key in different directions. When it glowed, they went the way it pointed. They stopped in front the gate to the Frozen. Across the path they spotted a library.
The gate to the forest was rusty and covered in webs. Bugs lived in the trees and creatures lived inside the cavces. Signs on the gates said, electric trees, War Hogs, and quick sand. Bobbie and Gina went inside.
“Why is it so dark in here?” Gina said.
“Be careful when you’re walking.”
“Look at all these pink mushrooms on the ground,” Gina said.
“Those are War Hog ears, not mushrooms,” said Bobbie. Bobbie pointed at a sign on the gate. “It says, Beware of the War Hogs.
“Oh,” Gina said.
“If you want to know what this key is for we’ll need assistance, and I think these pigs will be helpful.”
“They have noses,” Bobbie said. “They probably know where things are.”
“How do you make them help us?”
“Let’s try offering them things in our pockets.
The girls dug through their pockets and pulled out an mp3 player, four pieces of candy, a shopping list, and crackers. The hogs didn’t move and just stared at the things on the ground. Then slowly they plodded towards the candies. They ate them and sniffed around. The hogs led the girls past crystal torches that hung from mountains, icicles that melted on the cliffs, and rock that froze on the ground. The kids and the hogs stood in front of a castle. It was as big as a mountain with ice torches poking up from its parapet, and windows and bricks of ice.
“This is the place were looking for,” Bobbie said.
“Probably, but how do we open it.”
“With the key you found.”
“Oh yeah.”

The door opened. There were six rooms. Books lay on the floor, music blared from a record player, and paint was splattered on the walls. Colorful keys were taped to each door. They went into the first room, which was filled with books from the ceiling to floor. The hogs and girls entered.
“Why are there so many books?” said Gina.
One of the war hogs made an oinking sound and the others wandered around in the entranceway the room while the girls searched the shelves for anything special. Bobbie opened a book and found a ruby. The ruby had a leaf inside, one side was blue and the other was gray.
“Hey Gina what are we going to do with this ruby?”
“Well let’s go to the library and see if we can find any books about this ruby there.”
“Where’d the hogs go?” Bobby said.
“Maybe they’re in a different room,” said Gina. “Let’s just go.”

Bobbie and Gina left the forest and walked across the path to the library. Staff members from the library were leaving. One of them turned the lights off. Bobbie and Gina looked through windows. Workers were putting books away and locking up rooms.
“The library is closing!” Gina said.
“Then let’s sneak in,” Bobbie said.
“Go through that opened window.” Bobby pointed. “It’s not closed.”
Bobbie and Gina jumped through the window when the lights went off.
“I can’t see!” Gina said.
“I brought a flash light,” Bobbie said.
“Good thinking.”
They went to the mineral aisle where there were books about gems, rubies, and crystals. They searched for a book about gems. Gina opened a book and found a picture of the same ruby they had.
“Look,” Gina said. “It says this ruby will bring you to an ice town if you break it. The ice town is also filled with gems.”
“That’s awesome!” Bobbie said.
“Then let’s go and find them,” Gina said.
Gina snatched the ruby from Bobbie then hit it against a table. A hole formed on the library floor right beneath the girls’ feet. They fell through the opening. Icicles stuck out of the walls of the hole and leaves fell along with the girls.

“I’m going to die!” Bobbie said. “Ah I hate you Gina!”
Boom! The girls fell to the ground.
“Ouch that hurts,” Bobbie said. “I’m alive.
The place was cold and foggy. No one was there except bones and ice. They heard water drip and saw nothing but a barren town. They wandered around a pile of bones looking for shiny gems when she found an igloo.
“I found an igloo,” Bobbie said.
“We don’t need an igloo!” Gina said
“We can put things we find in here or just rest.”
“There’s nothing to put in here unless you want to put bones or more blocks of ice,” Gina said. “I’m leaving.”
“Why,” Bobbie said?
“Because this place is creeping me out.”
“You said you wanted to find the gems and that’s why we came here.”
“Fine then.”
“Okay,” Bobbie said. “Now look around for something shiny, like those things over there.
“Yes it’s the gem.” Bobbie said. “The one they mentioned in the book. We found it!”
“But how do we get out now?”
“There’s a glass bottle there go get it.”
“What’s in it?”
They looked through the glass.
“Some papers I guess.”
“Take them out.”
Bobbie threw the bottle at the igloo. Pieces of glass scattered and they grabbed the papers from the shards. They were a map and a note. The map had paths and directions placed everywhere around the map.
“I think it’s a map to get out of here, hooray,” Gina said.
“But what path are we suppose to take?”
The map had different directions and paths marked everywhere around it. Some directions were crossed out and some weren’t.
“Just read the other piece of paper then.”
“It says ‘Get out of he!’ Isn’t it supposed to say, ‘Get out of here’?”
“How do you know?” Bobbie said.
“I don’t,” Gina said. “Maybe it’s just a note warning us to leave.”
“Maybe that means someone was trying to write this but died and couldn’t finish,” Bobbie said.
“You’re not scared right?”
“No, this is great. I get to discover even more about this place.”
Gina threw the note on the ground and said, “Stop being sarcastic. This is serious. What if we don’t ever get out and eventually die.”
“Then think of how to get out.”
“This map shows oceans, cliffs, and random directions—wait one says, Go to a cliff then jump off,” Gina said. “What!”
“You never know,” Bobbie said. “It might lead you back to your home.”
“Fine. We’ll find the cliff since if I die I won’t to be nice to you.”
“How do we get there?” Bobbie said.
“The map shows a bone path.”
“I think it’s that one over there.”
“Then let’s go now.”
They followed the bone path to a cliff about thirty feet high.
“This is scary.”
“Let’s just do it quick and get it over with.”
Goose bumps covered their bodies. Fog was forming and it was starting to sprinkle. Then they put the map down, held their noses, closed their eyes and jumped off the cliff.

About the Author

Hi my name is Lisa and I am eleven years old. I live with my mom and my three sisters in San Francisco. I am good at drawing and I want be better at it someday. When I grow up I would like to be an artist. I’m very quiet compared to my classmates. If I were a plant, I would be ivy because it is an active grower. This is my first published book. I am the author of many poems, including, “If Eyes Were Lightning” and “Things that Make Me Feel Like a Floppy Blanket.” If I could choose any super power, I would choose the power of invisibility so I could play tricks on people.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Chapter 1
The Meeting

The sun shined through the leaves of the rainforest. King Tao hid Easter eggs in the branches of the trees. Some of the eggs had powers and some were empty. Some were full of goods like bananas, fish, and leaves. Others contained magical crystals. The evil crystals were red. One kind of crystal could blow you up if you touched it. Another kind of crystal could give you special powers. King Tao invited the forest animals to the egg hunt. The animals brought their own Easter egg baskets and wore their own bunny suits to King Tao’s palace.

The king said, “Hi everyone! You are all on time. Are you ready to search?”

They all nodded and went off to search for Easter eggs.

Chapter 2
The Hunt

A bunny named Jill found an Easter egg in the bushes. Jill fell, the egg broke. The crystal inside shined red and it gave her the power to control anybody she hugged. Jill went home and hugged her mom.

“What can I do?” Jill’s mom said.

“What?” Jill said. “Mom do I have powers?”

Jill’s Mom said in a nice voice, “I see that you have powers because I need some instructions.”

Jill returned to the egg hunt. King Tao watched.

“Hi King Tao!” Jill said. “I have powers. I love them! I want to have a fight with you.”

“Why?” King Tao said.

“I want to be ruler of the forest,” said Jill.

The other animals heard Jill’s challenge and wandered over to listen. “Do it!” they said.

“No!” said King Tao.

“Are you scared?” said a monkey.

“I want that bunny to change the laws we can eat candy,” said a bird.

“Hold on, I’m getting a text,” said King Tao.

“Hurry up King Tao,” said Jill.

“I need to go to the muffin store,” said King Tao. “My muffin order is ready.”

“I know the muffin shop is closed now,” another Bunny said.

“Prove it,” said King Tao.

“I own it!” said a bird. “I closed it today for the egg hunt.”

“Now, what are you going to do?” said another squirrel.

“Alright, alright,” King Tao said.

“Let’s fight on the palace stage,” Jill said. “All the animals can watch.”

“Okay,” King Tao said. “Wait in the palace.”

Chapter 3
The fight

The king’s lab was next door to his palace. He went there and got two of each kind of crystal from his shelves. He shook his hands diagonally. Strong wind blew in invisible waves. There was a swift sound. Jill was still in the palace. She felt a shock run through her body.

“I am ready,” King Tao called to Jill in the palace. “Walk through the door on your right.”

Jill opened the door. She saw King Tao’s crystals lying all over a table.

“The pink ones are for you,” King Tao said.

King Tao and Jill punched their crystals. It sounded like a whole bunch of glass cups breaking and it looked like stars shining.

They saw a door covered in spiders and ants. They walked through the door. It led to a stage with a staircase on each side. King Tao walked up the staircase on the left and Jill walked up the staircase on the right. A pedestal sat in each corner of the stage. All the animals from the egg hunt were watching from seats in front of the stage.

King Tao waited to see what Jill would do. Jill closed her eyes and stomped. The floor cracked. Sharp pieces of ice shot out of the stage. King Tao melted the blades by flicking his hands through the air and strong wind blew. The pieces of ice on the floor melted. Jill moved her hands left and right and the magic made the time go faster. She moved her hands up and down. The magic made a tiny earthquake. King Tao blew at the pedestal and a big round stone fell from it and bounced like a ball.
Jill yelled, “What is that?”

King Tao said, “Bye!” He walked off stage and headed for the muffin shop. “Mmm. Blueberry is my favorite.”

The ball landed on Jill. It sounded like an explosion.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Jessie. I’m eight years old. I live with my mom, dad and brother in San Francisco. I like to sit and talk to my friends. I’m good at reading and drawing. My favorite books are adventure stories. I want to be good at playing kickball. When I grow up I want to be an artist. My teacher thinks I have a sneaky face sometimes even though I am never sneaky. This is my first published book. My life is perfect!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ELECTION DAY By Wendy, age 9

“Oh no!” said Blossom. “The pancakes are burnt!” Flour was everywhere, eggshells cracked, and milk spilled all over the floor. Then she accidentally ran into the stove. Her hand swung into the flame. “Ouch!”

Her mom came into the kitchen. “I’m going to vote,” she said. “This mess better be cleaned up by the time I get back!” Blossom’s mom ran outside to catch the 19-Polk.

Blossom sighed as she walked past the mess in the kitchen. She went into the living room and turned on the TV. A news reporter said, “There is a monster attacking City Hall. It is red and eats people. The monster is now eating—Ahhhh!” Munch, munch. Blossom switched to another channel. She saw the monster stomping around the steps. The monster was as tall as city hall. Scales and spikes covered its skin. It grabbed people with its four long arms, shoved them into its mouth. Another TV reporter talked about how the monster wanted to be mayor because he loved loud noises like the Blue Angles. Blossom’s mom loved loud noises too! Blossom looked at the crowd of people on TV. Blossom’s mom and her friends were there, chanting! Vote for the monster! Loud noises, loud noises, Vote for the monster! Librarians were running out of the library across the street. It looked like they were saying, Shhh! Shhh, but nobody could hear them. Then the monster began to eat everyone up, whether they liked loud noises or not.

Oh my gosh! thought Blossom. My mother is there. I have got to save her. But how will I? Blossom smelled smoke. She turned around and looked into the kitchen. Flames danced from the stove to the curtains to the wall. “There’s a fire,” she yelled. Blossom called 911. There was no answer. She called again. “Still no answer, one last time.” Beep.
“You have called the police.”

“Hi, my name is Blossom and the house is on fire.”

“Ok, ok don’t yell,” the operator said.

“Fine,” Blossom said.

“Ok, we’re coming.”

Honk, honk. Blossom heard sirens and ran outside.

Splash, splash, splash, splash. The firemen knocked a hole through the wall and sprayed the hose into the kitchen. There was still a little bit of fire. Swoosh. The wind went through the new hole. Swoosh. The fire was getting bigger and bigger. They kept on spraying the hose.
The firemen said, “We need more water. There’s a fire hydrant across the street.”

Another fireman went across the street. He hooked up the hose and handed it to Blossom. “You have to finish this yourself,” he said. “We just got a call form City Hall. There’s a big disturbance and we need to get there quick.”

Blossom grabbed the hose and sprayed it into the kitchen. The flames disappeared and she ran inside. The kitchen was burnt and smelled smoky. The floor, counters and even the walls were all wet. “No time to clean this now,” Blossom said, hopping on her scooter. She scooted all the way to City Hall. Her brother Stephan was already there with some rope. He threw an end to Blossom, and she threw it around the creature.

Swing and swing.

“Got you,” said Stephan, pulling the creature across the steps.


“The more it eats, the more it grows,” said Blossom. “Keep pulling! Ok. Now squeeze that monster to death. Ok squeeze harder!”

Boom! The monster exploded. Jell-O flew through the monster’s eye sockets and landed in the park across the street. All the people the monster had eaten popped out of holes in his stomach. Blossom saw her mom on the steps covered in slime.

“Mom,” Blossom said. “Are you ok?” She ran to her and gave her a hug.

“I’m ok,” Blossom’s mom said. “Let’s go home.”

At home, the kitchen was still a disaster. “Sorry mom,” Blossom said. “It’s not cleaned up.”

“It’s ok,” Blossom’s mom said. “Let’s get dim sum.”

About the Author

Hi! My name is Wendy and I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, grandma, my brother, Andy and my little baby sister, Judy. I like to draw and I am good at running. When I grow up I want to be an artist. If I were weather, I would be snow because it never snows in San Francisco and I want it to snow here! My biggest wish is for my baby sister to learn a lot when she grows up and have a happy life. I am also the author of Stung.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

KIM GOES TO HAWAII By Spencer, age 8

Kim is hungry. He walks into Cala Foods and touches the donuts. He gets sick. He gets a stomachache and he throws up in aisle seven. He hates aisle seven. He hates every aisle, except the watermelon aisle. He gets a cart and starts looking for watermelons. He loves watermelon because he is allergic to every other food in the world.

It is winter. Watermelon is out of season in California. Kim decides to go to Hawaii. He travels there by airplane. When he gets there, he goes to a farm to look for work. The man there says, “You can work here on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.”

“Ok,” Kim says.

“Each day you come, you get fifty dollars.”

“Ok,” Kim says.

“On Mondays you have to milk cows. On Fridays you have to plant plants and on Saturdays you have to get eggs.”

“Ok,” says Kim.

On his first day of work Kim asks the man, “Can I eat watermelons?”

“When you are done Kim,” the man says.

At the end of Kim’s first day the man says, “It is getting dark Kim. You have to go home.”

“I don’t have a home in Hawaii.”

“Oh,” says the man. “You can come home with me.”

“Ok,” says Kim.

Kim and the man walk to his house.

The next morning is Tuesday. “I do not have to go to work,” Kim says. Kim folds a toy gun out of paper. “Boom!”

“Be quiet Kim,” the man says. “You are too noisy.”

“Sorry,” says Kim. “Can I have the watermelon yet?”

“They are not done growing. They will be done in May. It’s still December now.”

“Fine,” says Kim. “My birthday is Monday.”

“How old are you?”

“I don’t know what year I was born.”

“Why not?” says the man. “Where are your parents?”

“They are dead.”

“When did they die, Kim?”

“When I was six.”


“A stranger shot them.”

“Tell me the story, Kim,” says the man.

“My mom and dad were walking with me on a street where a lot of strangers lived. I saw a man with gold earrings and a gun. I was about to tell my mom and dad but it was too late. They fell on the ground. The stranger smelled like rotten cheese and when I smelled him, my asthma was cured, but I got terrible food allergies after that.”

“Then it’s time to go to the doctor,” said the man.

“NOO!” said. Kim. “I do not like to go to the doctor.

“Too bad. You have to or else you will die. The watermelons won’t be ready to eat until May.”

“Fine,” said Kim.

The man brought Kim to the doctor.

“Hi,” the doctor said to Kim. “Follow me.”

Kim followed the doctor into a little room.

“Where do you want your allergy shot?” the doctor said.

“On my stomach.”

“Okay, pull up your shirt.” The doctor poked the needle into Kim’s stomach.

“Ouch,” Kim said. “That hurts.” Kim felt his body changing. He felt his insides moving. “I don’t have to eat watermelon anymore.”

About the Author

Hi, my name is Spencer. I am eight. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad and my baby brother. I am good at jumping high on my bed. I can almost touch the ceiling! Some day I want to be good at taking care of my baby brother. Right now it’s hard because I have so much homework. My earliest memory is of the time I ripped up my mom and dad’s important papers. I was so little, I didn’t know they were important. If I got one wish, I would wish for a baby sister because my baby brother hits me a lot.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A DAY IN SAIGON By Giang, age 10

When my mom and I got out of the airport, the afternoon heat enveloped us. Many of my relatives stood on the sidewalk waiting for us. My cousin Ngan faked a smile. Long, black hair covered her eyes. My other cousin, Tam waved. Sweat ran through his hair. His eyes were swimming with happiness. Tam said, “We should leave now and go eat.'' My mom got in a taxi. She asked me if I wanted to go with her. I said no and got on my cousin's motorcycle.

We took off and the sticky air flew past us. The sun burned my skin. The street was full of motorcycles, the sidewalks were cracked and trash was everywhere. Gasoline was the only thing I could smell. My cousin went really fast and I almost fell off. I yelled, "I’m going to fall." The motorcycle slowed down. The smell of sewage hit me. I asked him, “Why does it stink so much?”

He said, “This is where people throw their trash.”

I looked down. We were on a small bridge. Trash rotted in the water below.

“Why would people throw their trash here?”

“I don’t know.”

My shirt was covered in sweat. “Can you go any faster?”

“I can’t go any faster.”

“Do you have any water?”


I wondered about my dog. The last time I saw him, he was a puppy. My cousin was taking care of him for me while I was in America. “So how is Lucky?” I said.

“He’s okay.”

The motorcycle stopped in front of a grey house. There were shoes in front of a white door. My cousin parked the motorcycle and we walked inside. The walls where white with a little bit of dust. The stairs were light blue. Large cracks covered them. This was my grandma's house. I lived here when I was little. My mom and I went inside the kitchen. She started talking to my grandma. A picture of me when I was little was stuck to the refrigerator. I was at the water park splashing water at my mom.

My grandma gave me pho. When I finished eating my mom and I went to our hotel. On the way in, I saw a coin. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. We went to our room and slept. When I woke up it was eleven o'clock. The moonlight shined in my face.

About the Author

Hi! My name is Giang. I’m ten years old. I live with my sister and her baby, my mom, and my mom’s boyfriend, who I think of as my dad. I’m (sometimes) good at getting along with people. I want to be good at drawing. When I grow up I want to be an inventor, so everyone will see the stuff I create. Something that makes me special is that I can get along with people and make them happy (sometimes). What confuses me is why there is life and why we’re all here. If I were a gas, I would be air so I would know everything everyone’s doing. If I had one wish I would wish to be better at math. I am also the author of When My Dog Died.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

LION HUNT By Andrew, age 8

My dad is a hunter. He hunts big cats in Mexico. One day my dad went out to the hills in his green army fatigues. Eagles flew through the sky. Flying lizard glided to the trees. He stayed all night. He got his gun out. He heard a growl and saw two red eyes glaring at him from a cave. It was a lion. Orange mane stood up around its face. A wild pig hung from its teeth.

No hunter had ever shot a lion before. My dad imagined that the lion was going to eat me. He shot but the lion did not die. He got mad and he said, “It’s you time to die!” And he shot the lion. It did not move. My dad touched the lion’s neck. There was no pulse.

About the Author

My name is Andrew. I am eight years old. I live with my mom, my three sisters and a brother. I like to pick up my sister and carry her. I am good at spinning the stick. I want to be good at making beats and rhythms. When I grow up I want to be a fireman so I can save people’s lives. Night confuses me because the stars look like eyes. If I had one wish I would wish to be a night crawler so I can disappear. I am also the author of John and the Snake and The Ice Monster’s Anger.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Bee Sting

When I lived in Toisan a bee flew through my window. I was three years old. I touched the bee softly and it stung my finger. After the bee stung me, it died. My dad removed the stinger from my skin and gave me the bee. I smashed it and it looked like mush. My mom gave me a bandage. She said, “Does it hurt?” It didn’t hurt. This memory smells like cigarette smoke because my dad was smoking that day.

Preschool in China

When I was three I went to preschool. One day after lunch my teacher took us for a walk inside the school. The walls were painted the color of tan horses. The school smelled like floor cleaner. My mother brought me a blanket. I saw her in the hall and ran toward her. I held onto my mother. My teacher said, “Let go of your mother.” I cried. Two teachers pulled me off of my mother because they didn’t want my mom to pick me up. Then I stopped crying. The school was strict about parents visiting their children. They wanted the kids to become more independent.

Packing for America

When I packed to move to America I brought these things with me: my blanket, my pillow, clothes, family pictures and one toy. Everything smelled like the soap my mom washed my clothes in because I packed it all together. I chose my pillow because it has the words Good Friend and Mickey Mouse on it. My blanket has a flower on it and I’ve had it since I was little. I brought clothes for cold weather because I knew about the cold fog in San Francisco. I chose my teddy bear because it’s my favorite. My mom said only one toy because we were already bringing too much stuff.

About the Author

My name is Vicky. I am eight years old and I am shy. I live with my parents in San Francisco. I like doing math and I am good at drawing. When I grow up I want to be a teacher. If I were a plant I would be a tree because trees give us fresh air. I hope my sister will be smart when she is born. Right now she is still inside my mom.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

HARVEST TIME! By Alex, age 8

Last fall we planted purple kale, rainbow chard and lettuce in Room 2's garden. Yesterday we finally harvested all of our winter greens. Look at all the colors. The chard has green leaves, and red or yellow stalks and veins. Yesterday, we ate lettuce with sesame dressing. Today, we will steam the chard and kale with rice for lunch. We will eat light brown rice because it has nutrition in it. We will eat it with soy sauce or sesame dressing. Next week we will plant beans. We can’t grow tomatoes because Tenderloin summers are too foggy.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Birds flew across an orange sky. Squirrels jumped through dead leaves on the ground. The sun was setting over the sea. Children climbed the monkey bars and grown-ups ate icecream on benches.

“Why are you crying?” Ann asked her sister.

Katy did not answer. She opened her notebook and wrote the words Beautiful lady.

Ann saw what she wrote. “Who’s that?”

“I don’t know,” Katy said.

“Come on, Katy, just tell me.”

“Let’s go home.”

“No!” Katy said. “Aren’t you going to tell our parents that you’re sad?”

Katy did not answer.

“Come on Katy, answer me. Just say something.”

Katy kept crying.

“Don’t cry Katy. It’s getting late. Let’s go home.”

Katy stopped crying and said, “Ok.” She turned left.

Ann pointed right and said, “Home is that way.”

“I know a short cut.” Katy tiptoed to the monkey bars without Ann.

Ann walked home alone. At the door, she felt a prickle at her back. She took it off and looked inside. She saw a porcupine climbing on her books. “How did that get there?” she said. She felt something wet on her back and it hurt a lot. “Mom!” she called.

Ann’s mom hurried over to her. “What happened?”

“A porcupine got in my backpack and it poked me!”

Ann’s mom carried her to the hospital. The doctor put medicine in the pokes and kept the porcupine and did some tests on it to see if it was poisonous.

When Ann returned home from the hospital she could not find Katy. She looked everywhere. She went outside and finally she found her at the park. “Where have you been? What are you doing out here?”

“Umm. Nothing, “ Katy said. “I just stayed here.”

“Let’s go home and go to bed.”

“Ok,” Katy said.

At home Ann asked Katy, “Can you please tell me who the beautiful lady is?”

“No,” Katy said.

“Just tell me Katy.”


“I’m telling mom.”

“Then I’m telling dad that you are bothering me,” Katy said.

“Fine,” Ann said. “I won’t tell mom.”

At school the next day, Katy met a new kid named Jennifer. She was good at hula-hooping and she had smooth hair.

“Hi,” Katy said to Jennifer.

Jennifer did not say anything

“You did not even tell me your name,” Katy said. “Who’s your teacher?”

“Ms. Water. Who’s your teacher?”

“My teacher is Mr. Sock,” Jennifer said.

“Are you scared?” Katy said.

“No,” Jennifer said. “Why should I be scared?”

“Because Mr. Sock is so mean. Once he said GET OUT OF HERE to me and my sister, but we didn’t do anything wrong.”
The bell rang and everyone went home.

In the schoolyard Ann saw Jennifer. They stared at each other. They recognized each other from preschool. Ann remembered the first time she saw Jennifer. Ann and Katy were building a palace and a castle out of blocks. Jennifer came over to them and knocked over their kingdom then she grabbed Katy and said, “What do you want to play now?”

Ann and Jennifer said hi to each other on the yard and started to fight and shout. Then they went home and took baths. Ann went to bed and fell asleep. She had a dream that she hit Jennifer’s head and gave her amnesia. Ann was the master of Jennifer, but when Ann woke up she was not.

The next morning Ann and Katy got dressed. Their mom said, “Quickly, you’re getting late for school.”
Ann and Katy ate breakfast while their dad drank tea. They went to school. At recess they played tag. When recess was over their teacher gave them a math test. Ann gave Katy a note. It said, Katy, I know who is beautiful lady. Sophie told me Jennifer is beautiful lady.

Katy wrote a note back. It said, How did Sophie tell you? I told her not to tell anyone. I was so scared I cried. I knew Jennifer was coming, that’s the reason I cried too.

Ann read the note and wrote back: Why did you cry?

Katy wrote: I think Jennifer is going to make some trouble between us like in preschool.

Ann read the note and the girls quickly finished their math tests and gave them to their teacher. They put their chairs up and went home. Their mom was in the kitchen on the telephone. She hung up and looked at the girls. “That was the hospital,” she said. “They got the results of the porcupine tests. They found out the porcupine belongs to a girl in your class named Jennifer.”

“How can a test tell you that?” Katy said.

“I don’t know. It’s science.”

“I knew Jennifer did that kind of stuff,” Ann said.

The next day at recess, Ann pushed Katy on the swing. The girls talked and giggled. Jennifer was jumping rope. She stopped jumping and walked over to the where Ann and Katy were swinging. “Hey,” she said. “Could I play?”

Katy and Ann closed their mouths.

About the Author

Hi! My name is Liyi. I am eight years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom. I am good at math and hula-hooping. I want to be good at painting. When I grow up I want to be an astronaut because I want to see what everything in space looks like. I hate kickball. I’d rather get shots than play kickball. English confuses me when two different words sound the same. If I were a planet I would be Pluto because it is icy and I like to make people shiver. I wish I wasn’t so shy because sometimes I just stand there. The Beautiful Lady is my first published book.