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.