Saturday, December 15, 2012



Steam rushed out of the iron. 
My great grandma slid its hot metal face 
over the sleeves of my grandpa’s shirt. 
Part of the shirt was burnt. 
She was too busy watching me.
The tea kettle whistled. 
She trotted into the kitchen.
I crawled toward the iron 
and pulled the wire. 
The burning metal
landed on my left hand.
 I cried and cried.
 My dad brought my teddy bear.
 I threw the teddy bear 
and it thumped into the wall. 

Last Breath

Jingle, jingle
Molly pushed through the door 
to Turtle Tower restaurant. 
She sniffed the air. 
The smell of mi wafted into her head. 
Her favorite is Vietnamese meat called Bo 
and purple potatoes. 
Paper lanterns hung from the ceiling. 
Bright lights amazed one the flies.
Uncle Dong snatched the bug in his fist 
as it took its last breath. 

A Pop of Red

The smell of the doctor’s office
 filled my living room. 
My grandma clenched onto my hand and 
kissed me on the forehead. 
I smiled and I felt my cheeks flash pink. 
My grandma giggled. 
Her lipstick, 
a pop of red. 
When I traced the wrinkles on her hand 
they stretched and softened. 

About the Author

Hi! My name is Linda Munkhbaatar. I am ten years old, and I was born on December 19, 2001 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, little brother, and my grandma. I like to dance and swim. I am also good at both things and want to be famous for swimming. I want to be good at cooking someday. When I grow up I want to be an artist because I like to be creative. My teacher says I am perspicacious. If I were a plant I would be a rose because my thorns would protect me. My favorite series of books are Amelia’s Guidebooks because they are about helping you with problems. One thing I wonder about a lot is when the universe was created. The scariest moment of my life was when I moved to America because I was afraid no one would like me. I was also excited to see new stuff and to do new stuff. If I got the chance to go backward in time I would go to 2008 to experience the time my brother was born. I speak English and Mongolian. This is my third published book. I am also the author of Can You Dance and Anonymity Attacks. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HOW TO JOIN THE ARMY By Brandon, age 10

Ben and John walked into the military recruitment center. They sat down in the waiting room. Someone slammed a door. The painting hanging on it shook from a hook. At the edge of the frame, a girl crouched on top on of a hill, holding an M-16. A man opened the door and stomped into the waiting room. His clothes were stiff. The light reflected off his boots and greasy hair. “Next please.” 
Ben and John followed the man through the door.
“Hi, I’m Colonel Wong,” the man said. “Have a seat. It says on this paper that you dropped out of high school. Is that right?””
“Yes,” Ben said. “But we have something to show you. We have a video of us catching a bad guy.”
“I think we’re done here,” said Colonel Wong.  
“Wait,” John said. “It’s right here on my phone.” He showed Colonel Wong the screen. It showed the Super Bowl on John’s TV. The score was tied, seventeen to seventeen. The camera zoomed in on the quarterback.
“49ers Touchdown!” said the announcer.
“Yes! Touchdown! ”Ben said.
On screen, John stomped over to the window and snatched the remote from the sill. 
Bang! Bang! 
“That guy in the black coat shot a man on the sidewalk!” John said. “Should we call the cops or shoot him?” 
“Oh my god!” Ben said, and snuck over to the window and peeked at the street.
  “Let’s call the cops.”
“Hurry up!” They ran down the stairs and out the door.  
“The guy saw us,” John said.
“He’s running down Pine.”
“He’s shooting more people.” 
Ben glared at a neon sign. “Gun shop.” 
“Let’s go inside and grab an Ak-47,” Ben said, running inside. “Give me an AK-47.”
“Aren’t you two too young to have a gun?” said the man.
“Shut up and give me the freaking gun,” John said. 
Ben grabbed the gun and John opened the door. Ben fell onto the cement. “This thing is so freaking’ heavy,” Ben said.
“Drag the gun!” John said. “We both saw the man running down that street.”
“Give me that phone,” Colonel Wong said. “This is a great video to show what to not do,” said Colonel Wong.
“So are we in?” said Ben.
 “I guess, but you have to fill out more papers.


Hi my name is Brandon. I am ten years old. I live with my dad, mom, sister and brother in San Francisco. I am good at sports. I like to eat and sleep. When I grow up I want to be a firefighter. I am also the author of Because They Smell, Trip to Vietnam and Shadow Cliffs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

THE BETRAYAL By Tai, age 10

Kenny goes to KFC and smells potato tenders. It reminds him of his dad because his dad got a heart attack from eating too many of them and died. A guy comes with a gun and he says, “Give me all your money or I will kill you.” 
  A cop sees him and says, “Hands up, robber!”  
The robber shoots at the cop but misses then the cop shoots the robber’s mask and his mask falls off: it is Jake. He just got fired from his job and became a robber so he could get money. 
The cop shoots at him again and misses. Jake runs away.

The next day the cops go to Jake’s house and knock on the door, but no one answers. The cops break the door down then Jake shoots at the cops. All but one cop dies. One is still alive and he tries to call the other cops. But Jake shoots him in the head.

The next day Jake goes to buy plane tickets with his hood on and puts an AK 47 in his suitcase then he walks down the sidewalk, but he does not see and he bumps into Kenny and his hood falls off. Kenny sees Jake and Jake runs away. Kenny picks up the suitcase and opens it. He sees Jake’s phone and uses it to call the cops and says, “I saw Jake go somewhere.” When Kenny is done talking, Jake comes back to find his suitcase and he says, “Give me back my suitcase or I will kill you.” 
Kenny says, “Jake, why are you doing this?” 
“Shut up,” says Jake, then he pulls a pistol out of his pocket and says, “Hands up!”
  Kenny screams and cries and says, “Don’t kill me. I just want to live a peaceful life with my mom.”
Jake says, “Give me my suitcase back and don’t call the cops” 
Kenny tells Jake, “I already called the cops.” 
“What!!?” Jake says. “Now I am going kill you.” 
“Please don’t kill me. “
“How about when the cops come I will say, ‘it’s just a mistake’?”
“Fine!” says Jake. 
“Now you better say that and give me my suitcase back.” 
When the cops come Kenny tells them it is a mistake.

The next day Kenny goes to KFC but when he gets to the door Jake pushes Kenny to the back of the restaurant and says, “I am going to kill you once and for all.”
Kenny says, “We made a deal.”
“I don’t care,” Jake says. “I can’t let any people know about our deal. Now I will let you say your last word then you die.”
Kenny says, “Please don’t kill me.” Then he starts crying. 
        “Bye by,” says Jake. He pulls out a pistol and tries to shoot Kenny, but misses, then he runs back to his house and turns on his TV. He turns it to channel 44 and he sees Jake trying to escape from the cops on the TV. 
Kenny’s mom says, “Is that Jake?” 
Someone knocks on the door and Kenny opens it. He sees two guys in black suits. 
“You are under arrest,” one of the men says. 
Kenny says, “Why am I under arrest?” 
“I saw you talk to Jake. You made a deal with him.” 
The building manager bumps into the two men and says, “Sorry.” He turns to Kenny’s mom.  “You need to pay the rent.”
  Kenny’s mom says, “I don’t have that much money. Can I come back in one week?”
“Fine,” says the manager. “Only one week.”
  One of the men says, “We need to take your son.” 
Kenny’s mom says, “Please don’t take my son.” 
“Sorry, but this is my job, so bye.” 
Kenny’s mom begs him to let her son come back but they walk away. When they get to the police station, one of the men says to Kenny, “Now we will take you to jail.”
Jake is also locked up in jail. Kenny runs over to him and punches him in the face. 

About the Author

My name is Tai, I am ten years old and I live in San Francisco with my mom and dad. I like to stay home so I can watch anime. I am good at dunking at basketball. I want to be good at kick the ball high some day. I am different than other kids because I watch more anime than them. If I were weather I would be lighting so I could shock lazy people. I would like to be famous for creating a cool video game. One thing I wonder is why are we here on earth. If I could have any super power I would want the power to turn into an animal because I want to see what it is like to be an animal. If I could go forward in time I would go to the year 2090 because I want to see how old I will look. I speak Vietnamese at home. I am also the Author of Todd and Ben, Hill Of The Dead, Ice Cream and Because They Smell.         

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WHEN I AM 80, Poetry by Sharlene, age 9

I am a Little Girl

I am a little girl.
I love secrets.
But I am not good at keeping them.
I always tell my mom.
I love my plastic duck.
When you squeeze it its cheeks turn red 
and it talks and laughs.
But I don’t remember who gave it to me.
When I sleep, my duck rolls around in the bed with me.
I am dreaming my dad won the lotto.
When I wake up I get a new dog.
It always bites my plastic duck.
Until one day it disappears.
My mom says, “It might be under the counter.”
But it is not.
I am very sad.
I try my best to find it.
But I can’t.

When I am Eighty

When I am eighty years old I will look for my duck because
It might help me remember myself being young.
But of course I won’t play with it 
because I will not be a baby anymore.
Well, might have thrown it away!
So what’s the whole point of keeping it?
I’m already old.
But I’m going to get a new house.
When I go to my new house I will find my ducky!!!
I will be so excited.
My eyes will be wide open.
I will drop my cane 
and will hug my duck 
so tight.

When I am Thirty

When I am thirty I will go to Macy’s.
Smooth, blue sweaters will hang from metal racks
And fancy shoes will shine on their shelves.
Then the earth will move and I will move and the shoes will dance by themselves.
The earth will keep shaking but Beyonce will keep singing from the TV swaying from the ceiling.
The sales lady will tap on the cash register, acting like nothing’s wrong.
The perfumes from the counters will float up the escalator and swirl through my hair.
The cash registers will beep and crash to the ground.
I will leave the store but I won’t remember where I parked the car.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Sharlene. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my dad, mom and my brother. I like to draw because my brother is a wonderful artist and I want to be as good as he is. I am good at math and my teacher says I’m ready to learn the lattice method and long division problems. I want to be good at cooking because I want to help my dad earn money. When I grow up I want to be a veterinarian because my mom said that it is a good job, and I love pets. If I were a machine I would be a meat slicer. If I had powers I would want to control things with my mind because I am sometimes tired and I don’t feel like standing up. At home I speak English and my mom talks to me in Vietnamese. This is my first published book.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

THE ADVENTURES OF MAC By Emiliano, age 8

One day Mac woke up and smelled pancakes. “Mom,” he said. “What smells so good?”
“My pancakes,” she said.
“My bus is here,” Mac said. “Bye, Mom.”
“Bye,” said Mom.

At school Mac went on a field trip to the movies. On the way to the movies, Mac saw a witch going into a store. When the witch came out she looked sick. She was coughing a lot. She was so sick she went home. 

Mac really wanted to help her so he went to the wizard for a potion to help the witch feel better. Mac got the potion and went to the witch’s house. He looked and looked but he did not find her. She was not home. She was not shopping. She was not working. Mac did not know if she even had a job. She was not at the library. Mac thought he was not looking in the right places. Mac wondered where he would go if he was a witch.

Mac went to the woods. On the way he saw a little boy. Mac said, “What’s wrong?”
“I have no friends,” the boy said.
“I will be your friend,” Mac said. “What is your name?”
“My name is Jeff,” the boy said.
“Jeff is a nice name.”
“Thanks,” Jeff said.

The new friends found a little house. Mac said, “Maybe that’s the witch’s house.” They decided to investigate. But before they could get inside, they saw the wizard changing into the witch. Mac said to the wizard, “You don’t need to be a wizard or witch for us to take care of you.”
“Sorry,” the wizard said.
“It’s ok,” Mac said.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Emiliano. I live in San Francisco with my mom and sister. My dad lives in Sacramento and I visit him. My mom and dad are from Mexico. I have two cousins. If I could choose a super power I would choose to fly so I could get to school on time and also so I would not have to walk. The Adventures of Mac is my first published book. I had a lot of fun writing it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

CHRISTMAS STORM By Daniel, age 9

I was six. It was Christmas. I woke up before my uncle. He was still asleep next to me. He had a sleeping face and two purple-black eyes because he got in a fight the night before. My dad was already up. He said, “Wake up, everybody. It’s time to put up the lights.” 

My mom pulled out the chairs. I climbed into a chair beside the Christmas tree. I wrapped the tree with lights. I said, “Wow, they’re heavier than I thought.” 

My mom plugged them in then the lights glowed different colors. I said, “Awesome.” I opened my mouth and patted my hands on my cheeks. Wow. Surprise. Electricity. I looked out the window. The clouds turned grey and lightning struck. Thunder rumbled and cracked. The lights stopped blinking and fell down from the tree.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Daniel. I am nine years old. I live with my mom, dad, my two bothers and my two aunties in San Francisco. I like to “pwn cod” people in Modern Warfare 3. I am good at drawing. I want to be good at music. When I grow up I want to be a policeman because I want to fight crime. If I were weather I would be sunshine so I could torture people who hate the heat. I want to be famous for selling art. My favorite author is Jeff Kinney because he writes books that are fun to read.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Leaves tumbled down the hill. Fog floated through the air. A plastic bag flew over Song’s shoe as she wandered to school. She bumped into her old friend Kim. 
“Watch where you’re going!” Kim said.
“Kim?” said Song.
“Oh,” said Kim, “Long time no see.”
“Where are you going?” 
“I transferred to your school, Lexington,” said Kim. They walked the rest of the way together.
When they arrived, Song showed Kim around. They wandered all over the cafeteria, smelling the floor wax. Song led Kim to the principal’s office, the library and all the other places around the building. They passed by one of the hallway patrol. He’d tucked his shirt in but didn’t do a very good job. The ends were sticking out of his pants. 
“Who are you?” said the patroller. “Are you new here?”
Kim introduced herself.
“Well, don’t run or yell in the hallways.”
The principal strolled down the hall to the patroller and whispered into his ear. They both drifted to her office at the end of the hall. Kim asked Song if she would come to the bathroom with her.
  “Sure,” Song said, stepping down the stairs.

Kim pushed the bathroom door open. Paper towels stopped up the sinks. Humid air filled the room. Kim locked herself into a stall.
“Hurry up,” said Song. “We have to go to homeroom!”
Noises like wind mesmerized them.
“What was that?” Kim said, washing her hands.
“I have no idea,” Song said.
They froze like statues. 
“Do you think there’s a ghost in here?” Song said.
Kim nodded.

Song and Kim sat in their seats in homeroom. Their teacher, Mr. Fingbo told the students the history of Lexington School. 
“A girl somehow died in the bathroom,” he said. “Workers put a new floor over her body so now her spirit may be haunting the bathroom.” 
“Why didn’t they take her body out first?” Song said.
“I guess they were lazy,” Mr. Fingbo said. I heard that if you want to help her come back to life you have to find her grave. Her tombstone glows blue and it’s covered by rhinestones.”
“How did the girl die?” Kim said.
“Don’t ask me!” Mr. Fingbo said.
A wobbly-headed girl with braces said, ”Does it mean there is a ghost in the girl’s bathroom?” 
“Didn’t you pay attention?” Mr. Fingbo said. “Ok, class is dismissed now.”

Song and Kim ran to the bathroom after class and made sci-fi noises. That night, Kim went to Song’s house for a sleepover. Song asked her dad if he knew anything about ghosts. 
“I used to be a paranormal investigator,” her dad said. 
“Do you still have any equipment?” Song said.
“I have a ghost detector and suitcases of spirit-detecting equipment the attic.” 
“Can I use it?”
“Sure, I’m retired anyway.”
“Did anything happen to you when you were investigating the paranormal?” Song said.
“No, but they fired me because I was scared.”

The next morning Song and Kim walked onto the schoolyard, securing their paranormal goggles. A ghost drifted out of a classroom window. Song and Kim followed her into the ally behind the school. The ghost led them to an old mansion. The steps were covered with dry leaves and rotten tomatoes. The ghost swam through the air and disappeared through the mansion’s wall. Kim opened her suitcase. She grabbed some pills labeled AD: Absolutely Dangerous. These pills will make ghosts faint. 
Song placed her hand on the doorknob but Kim said, “Wait, don’t you see that this doorknob is covered in rotten crumbs?” 
“I didn’t know!” said Song. 
“Then look next time!” said Kim. 
Song snatched a curly-tipped stick from the ground. She pushed on the doorknob with it but the knob broke and fell down with a squeak. Waves of wind stroked the air. The doors flew open and rats scampered out. The girls leaped into the mansion and tiptoed to the bathroom. Song leaned against the wall and jumped away, disgusted. 
Kim helped song to turn on the bathroom sink. It oozed slime. An oval shaped image flew out of the tap. “Kim, I think it touched me.”  The girls ran to the living room where they spied some ghosts whispering. 
“What are they saying?” said Kim.
“Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh...ughhhhhh,” said the ghosts.
Song looked through her goggles and spotted a gooey figure lying on a couch in the living room.  They tried to get closer to it but another one grabbed Kim like a kidnapper. She shouted for help as loud as she could. Song ran wheezing. She tripped on the rumpled carpet and crawled to the kitchen doors. Cuts covered her leg. 
The ghost slammed Kim onto a counter and stuffed a napkin into her mouth. Kim inhaled, feeling sleepy. Song stood up and kicked open the door, opening her mouth, raising her eyebrows. Song hoisted Kim over her shoulder and carried her into the living room. Song sat her on a chair and said, “Kim, wake up!”
She didn’t wake up. Song took off Kim’s goggles and looked through them. She lay down on her back. She felt something wet at the back of her neck and turned around. It was the same ghost they saw on the couch earlier. Like the wind, it whooshed. Song touched the ghost and her hand went through its skin. The ghost’s face looked like a reflection on a river. Song fainted and fell to the ground.

When Song woke up the ghost was floating right on top of her head. 
“Hi,” Song said to the ghost.
“Aren’t you scared of me?” said the ghost.
Song said, “N-n-o, but, are you the ghost that haunts Lexington Middle School?  By the way, what’s your name?” 
“I don’t know! That’s the problem so just call me whatever you want!” 
“Anyway, are you the ghost who haunts my school?” 
“I won’t stop!” 
“No way! Someone got rid of my tombstones so I’m going to keep on haunting the girls’ bathroom until they put them back where they were!” 
“What if I brought your tombstones back here?”   
“Sure, that would make me glad. You know, this is the house I’ve lived in since I died. They lost my tombstone when they moved my grave so my spirit brought me here. I can’t live in an unmarked grave. I can’t deal with that kind of anonymity.”
“How did you die?” said Song.
“I died in the bathroom. Mean kids threw me in the trash. Nobody else in the school noticed I was gone. The garbage men took me away. I was too buried in paper towels for them to hear my screaming. They threw me into the back of the truck and I was smashed to death in the trash compactor.”
“Whoa. Why did they move your grave?” 
“I was buried in San Francisco but they moved my grave to Colma because of a stupid rule, and left the tombstone behind.” 
“Do you have any clue which cemetery it is?”
“I only remember the words Eternity and Hills,” the ghost said, and jiggled like jelly through the window, leaving a slimy puddle on the sill.
Song lifted Kim’s hair off her ear and said, “Wake up!” 
“What happened?” said Kim.
“I’ll tell you later. Right now we have to go.”

When Song and Kim got to school the next morning, everyone stared. 
The wobbly-headed girl with braces asked them, “Are you the ones who made it leave?”
“Made what leave?” said Song.
“The ghost. Did you make it leave?”
“I’m not sure,” said Kim.
“Show that ghost to us!” said the girl.

The ghost glided out of the classroom door to the principal’s office. The principal was not there. Her cell phone was on her desk. 
The ghost took the principal’s phone, hid under the desk and called Molly. She pressed the buttons slowly and softly. Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, and beep. The doorknob opened before she pressed the last number. The principal walked to her desk with a bagel in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. She sat on her chair and kicked her shoes off. The shoes dropped in front of the ghost’s face. 
“Where is my phone?” the principal screamed. “Where is my phone? Where is my phone! I better not have lost it. No!” 
The ghost hit the end button. She peaked her head up to see if the principal was looking at the door. The ghost floated up a little from the ground, floated out of the door to the girls’ bathroom and dialed Song’s phone number again. 

Song’s phone rang. 
“Whose phone is ringing?” said Mr. Fingbo.
“What, you know that you might be in trouble!” Kim whispered. 
“Can you do something?” said Song. 
“Fine,” said Kim.
“What are you two talking about?” said Mr. Fingbo.
“Umm, it’s not a phone,” said Kim “It’s just a Thank You card that comes with a song in it.” 
“Put it away,” said Mr. Fingbo. “It’s very disturbing.”
“Hello?” said Song, sneaking out of the classroom.
“Hello! It’s the ghost!”
“What?” said Song “I almost got in trouble by you!”
“Please find my tombstones quickly!” The ghost said.
“I’m in class! I’ll try to find it later!”
The ghost’s slippery heart beat rapidly. She felt closer to her own body.

The school bell rang. Song and Kim sat on a bench in the school’s yard. Song called the ghost.
“Hello,” said a voice. It wasn’t the ghost’s. “Who is this?”
“Hello, are you there?”
“Who is this?” Song said.
“You are calling the principal of Lexington Middle School.”
Song immediately ended the call.  “We need to find the ghost,” she said.
Song and Kim put on their goggles and walked towards the old house. The ghost stood next to a truck parked in the mansion’s driveway.
“Song, Kim!” she said.
Song and Kim ran towards the ghost.
“Let’s go find my tombstones!” she said.

The girls brought the ghost to Song’s house. Song sat on a couch in the living room. Her father sat by her, channel surfing. On top of the fireplace stood a framed picture of her grandma. On the bottom right, it said Eun Kyung Ah, 1996. On the back of the picture, it said, “Hills of Eternity Cemetery.”
“Are you looking at Grandma Kyung’s picture?” Song’s dad said. “You didn’t want to go to her funeral.”
“Can we go there someday? And can that someday be today?” shouted Song. She showed him the doorway and handed the car key to him. He groaned then slouched.

Headstones stood in rows surrounded by trees. Song’s dad stood close to his mother’s grave. The girls looked for the ghost’s gave. A blue light glowed through the dirt near Song’s grandmother’s grave.
“At last we finally found it,” Song said.
They rolled up their sleeves and dug. After a minute they hit something. Kim stuck her hand into the dirt and grabbed the tombstone. Words and dates were inscribed on the stone in rhinestones.  The ghost flew right past Song’s dad, took the tombstone then landed on her grave. She smiled, clutching the tombstone, closing her eyes. The rhinestones flashed. She wiggled her fingers: skin and bone and muscle. The wind blew her hair, and her face glowed. 
Kim fainted and fell to the ground. Song dropped to her knees beside Kim. Kim opened her eyes and gasped. 
“What happened?” said Song.
“I had the weirdest dream ever. It was about a ghost.”
“A dream?” Kim whispered. “Look, behind you.”
The ghost-girl, still smiling, walked into a grove of trees.

About the Author

Hi! My name is Linda. I am ten years old. I was born on December 19, 2001 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, and my little brother. I love swimming and I am good at it. I want to be good at English Language Arts one day. My teacher thinks I am perceptive but I don’t know want that means. If I were a plant I would be a Californian poppy because it is bright. My favorite author is Pseudonymous Bosch because he writes about mysteries and secrets. One thing I wonder about a lot is how the universe was created. The happiest time of my life was when my brother was born. If I could pick one super power I would pick shape shifting because you can turn into anything. I speak English and Mongolian at home. I’m also the author of Can You Dance? This is my second published story.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FINAL DESTINY By Manuel & Andrew, both age 10

It coughed. Lungs and a heart oozed from its lips and gums. Its leg shook in the mud. It spread its arm across the ground and slurped blood from its gums. Its eyes swirled around and around. Kids yelled for help while zombies chomped  their moms and dads.

Jack and James spun their monster truck in circles. They slid across the track. James slammed on the brakes. Everyone in the stands was looking at three dead people. The dead people woke up and bit the police and they turned into zombies too. James took the wheel. Jack crawled onto the bed of the truck and shot at the zombies. A humongous one with a hanging eyeball stared at them. Jack shot him but nothing happened. 

James drove onto a highway full of monster trucks. Zombies limped across the cement. They ran them over in their truck.
“Pull over here,” James said. “A police station. Maybe they have weapons.”
Jack stopped the truck. A cop ran out of the building. James rolled down his window and the cop handed him six bombs. “Hurry, there’s one at the beach.”

The zombie moaned at the shore. Jack threw the bombs out the truck’s window. An explosion filled the sky with blood. Black clouds hovered in the air. Blood spattered the sand. Red waves wiggled through the ocean.

About the Authors

Hi my name is Manuel Morales. I am ten years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad and three sisters. I like to do math because I feel happy when I understand it. I am good at sports. I want to be good at the science of automotive engineering. When I grow up I want to build cars. If I were weather I would be snow so kids could play with me. My favorite book is The Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it is funny. This is my third published book. I am also the author of The Race and When I Got Hurt.      
Hi my name is Andrew. I’m ten years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, three sisters, my brother and my cat and dog, and on Fridays, my dad.  My favorite book is the The Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it has funny chapters. If I were weather I would be a tornado so I could blow away houses. I am famous in my class for agreeing with everyone. This is my sixth published book. I am also the author of The Ice Monster’s Anger, John and Snake, Lion Hunt, My Dog Poncho and Time to Die.

Monday, August 13, 2012

THINGS I LEFT BEHIND Poetry by Jessica C., age 7

Things I Left Behind

My hippo.
Its belly-button is soft.
Its nose is black plastic.
Its chest holds a green heart
And when I squeeze it, it squeaks.


Sky blue.
There are eggs and flowers
printed all over it.
I spin it in the rain.
The sprinkles drip on it
And land on the grass.
At home I get into
the bathtub
and  shake the umbrella
and the rain falls off.

Teddy Bear

I didn’t name it.
It’s brown and furry.
Its eyes are black.
When I look into its eyes
I see only black.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Jessica C. I am seven years old. I live with my mom and dad in San Francisco. I am good at drawing. I want to be a botanist when I grow up. My favorite book is When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne because it has lots of poems. If I were part of a plant I would be a petal because it’s soft. I was born in China but I moved to San Francisco when I was three. I speak Chinese at home with my family.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Dark clouds flowed through the sky. Lightning struck a tree in the castle garden.
“My book is missing,” Tubleboard said.
“Your Book of Spells?” Agdor said. Vines snaked over his shoulder.
Fez and Hugh hid behind a nearby tree. “If we can find that book,” Fez said, “We can be heroes.” 
  “Okay,” Hugh whispered.
The boys left their hiding place and approached the men.
“Can we fight?” Hugh and Fez said.
“No,” said Tubleboar.
Tubleboar’s eyes twitched. A red jacket hung from his shoulders. His blue boots kicked at rocks. Tubleboar removed a wand from his cloak and wiggled it. It flew into the air and dropped to the ground. Dust sprinkled over the dirt. The specks smashed together and blew in a whirlwind. A figure appeared in the middle of it. Flames whooshed from his spine. Sparks landed at his feet. Hugh and Fez jogged away from the monster. They swung their palms through the air and two bolts of lightning zigzagged through the sky. Then a centaur jumped in front of them. Red stars sparkled on the monster’s robe. He took out a wand and wove it through the air. A dragon flew over Fez’s head. A centaur rode on the dragon’s back. “Raft of doom!” he yelled.

An army of centaurs galloped toward the boys, swinging their swords back and forth. Hugh and Fez picked up two huge rocks to protect themselves from the attack. The centaurs’ blades spattered acid in the boys’ eyes and they fell to the ground. One of the centaurs zapped the air, and fog spread all around. He dashed like lighting to where the boys lay on the ground and choked them with his bare hands then threw them in the air. Fez and Hugh fell to the ground again and hid behind  rocks. The centaur waved his palm and put his hands together and a fireball appeared above his head and grew bigger and bigger, paralyzing Fez and Hugh. The centaur chained up the boys’ sprained legs. “You will be meeting Fumbletorch,” he said, and dragged the boys all the way to his kingdom. He locked them up in a cage in the dungeon. A man walked up to the bars wearing a red cloak. 
Hugh said, “I think that is Fumbletorch.”
“You will taste my rain of terror,” Fumbletorch said, and dragged the boys out of their cage. He pulled them into the hall. Hugh twisted his leg and spun around. The centaur let go of the chains. Hugh got up and kicked the centaur down. He hit the ground with a thump. The boys took his armor off and hurried into it. They dragged him to a chamber and locked him up.  
The boys found a piece of paper in Fumbletorch’s pocket. They opened it. It was the centaurs’ attack plans. Hugh and Fez pointed their wands at the wall. A portal opened up in the brick and they jumped into it.

At their fort they showed Tubleboar the centaurs’ plans. 
“You have shown your worth,” he said. “You can fight. Return to the centaurs’ kingdom,” Tubleboar said. “Use your portal. Report to Agdor.”
  The boys appeared behind a tree growing over the Centaur castle wall. Fez peeked around the tree’s trunk, spying on the centaurs protecting the wall. They ran around the kingdom with their wands. A black-robed wizard crawled over to Fez and said, “I am Agdor. A rocket is going to blast from behind those trees.” 
Moments later meteors dove through the sky. Centaur brains and guts scattered over the boys’ legs.
“Attack!” shouted the centaurs. 
Fez, Hugh, and the wizards ran toward the centaur castle and threw spears over its wall. They heard yelling coming from the other side. Fez and Hugh climbed the wall. They got to the top and jumped down. They ran through the castle door. No one was there. Fez and Hugh dashed through the castle. They tried the doors but the centaurs blocked the way. The guardians of Fumbletorch yelled, “Intruders!” Centaurs spun their wands, and twisters appeared mid-air and smashed the castle gates open. 
Centaurs shot fireballs at Fez and Hugh. Fez spun his wand. The fireballs reflected back at the centaurs. Hugh opened a portal. “Get in!” The boys jumped in. They emerged at a beach. A book floated into Fez’s hands. The boys opened it. It was Tubleboar’s Book of Spells. Fez flipped to a spell called For the Riddance of Centaurs. “That’s the page, now say the spell.”

Centauros, ire. 
Relinquere hoc terra post. 
Tu olim caelo exulat. 
Sanguinem fluent in inferno  

Centaurs fell to the ground. Blood splattered everywhere. The kingdom walls broke, the castle crashed to the ground. 

About the Author

Hi! My name is Jimmy. I am eight years old. I am turning nine this month. I live with my mom, dad and sister. I like to play basketball, volleyball and dodge ball with my friends. I am good at playing dodge ball. I would like to be good at social studies and science one day. If I were weather I would pick rain so I could soak people’s clothes. I would like to be famous for making a time machine so I could travel back in time. If could have any super power it would be flying so I wouldn’t have to take the bus. I want to go to the year 2024 so I could see how I will look when I am thirty years old. My family is from China and Vietnam. I have been to Vietnam but never China. I would like to go there to see the Great Wall. I speak Cantonese and English at home. This is my first published book.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

SAD PROMISE, Poetry by Jessica G., age 9

Aunts  Story 

We gave Jessica a little 
encouraging pat 
before ice-skating. 
It didn’t hurt 
but we’re not going to tell you where we patted her. 
She wobbled onto the ice. 
The skaters in the center of the rink twirled like parasols 
but Jessica stood at the edge 
and held onto a nail. 
She fell down two times and she really wanted to take off her gloves.
When it was time to leave she let go of the nail and slid to the door. 
She came to us.
She sat down on the bench 
and ate chips 
and drank 7up.


Sasa is my Aunt’s dog. 
When she sleeps 
her fur is her blanket. 
Sarah is a fish I won on May Game Day. 
I threw a ping-pong ball into the cup where she swam.
Oops, Bon-Bon, Chan, Nancy Drew, Fireland, and Moon are fishes my dad bought from the store. 
They march around the tank like they are in a parade. 
Junior was my crayfish. He died and my dad threw him in the trash.
We bought two new ones. Girls. I could tell because of the light color under their tales. 
Then one day the big one ate the small one. 
This is what David told me.
Now the big crayfish is making friends with David’s pet turtle.
I can tell because the two creatures look at each other all night and day. I peeked. 
The weirdest part is that I don’t even know the names of these pets.
When the turtle shuts his eyes it looks like he’s smiling.
Now all of my pets are dead.
A sad promise.

Bacon Smell Soup

My grandma’s soup is the best! 
No one else knows how to make the soup. 
I call it Bacon Smell Soup. 
She learned to make it 
from God. 
One day when she was practicing her English 
she heard a man’s voice in her head. 
The voice told her the ingredients. 
She never 
writes down the recipe
and she still knows how to make it 
after 33 years.

Bike Crash   

Last month 
the 8X bus 
my Gong-gong. 
He was riding his bike through Chinatown. 
He fell down on his head. 
The bus diver was shocked. 
The ambulance siren wailed. 
The hospital has his bike. 
His bruise is gone now. 
My mom gave him a new bike for his birthday.
I think he deserves it.
When he rides, his tires whirl like pinwheels.

The Almost-Gift

My dad almost brought me a Monster High Doll. 
He brought it to the cashier 
but I said, “Don’t buy it!” 
even though 
I wanted it. 
From inside her box,
her eyes stared at me.
I felt like her mind was controlling me.
I didn’t want to waste my dad’s money on a toy. 
I wanted him to use his money for tools and food and shelter. 
My dad was not smiling. 
I knew he was sad because of his lips.  
They hung down like a banana.
In the middle of the store,
a remote control car spun around on a table.
The sign next to it said,
Play it or you’ll be sorry.
David grabbed the lever.
The car squealed
and crashed.

About the Author

Hi I am Jessica. I live with my mom, dad, brother, and sister. I love to knit! When I grow up I want to be famous for fashion design. My dresses will be knitted out of colorful yarn. You know that I am really good at yelling? I want to be good at drawing anime. My favorite book is Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. I wonder if vampires are real. The saddest part of in my life is that I am going to get old and die. If I could chose a super power I would choose to stop time the year before I was born so David wouldn’t have me to bug. All of my family went to awesome places like China, Great America, and Reno. But not me. I really want to go to China. I speak English and Cantonese at home. I am also the author of In My Bakery and The Lost Voice.