Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

POP! Poetry by JC & Tran

Love this title? Download the comic book here!

LITTLE BOY By Sharlene, age 10, Daniel, age 9 & Tai, age 11

Little Boy deals cards 
under my feet.
Little Boy full of cuckoo,
Little Boy full of talking,
Little Boy full of yellow,
Full of I don’t know.
Don’t care.
Little Boy full of pockets,
Full of apples,
Full of butter.
He got a stomachache and
his gut split into pieces.
One heads toward the sky,
One heads north,
Another to the middle of the earth:
1. Ocean
2. Zoo
3. Jungle
4. Space
Full of cuckoo,
Little Boy
Draws four jokers.

NIGHTMARE By Andrew, age 11

Skulls rain from the sky.
Quiet hovers in the air.
Lightning shimmers in the streets.
Mom! Mom!
Are you there?
Yes, Yes.
Why did you leave me?
To save you.
Why is it dark?

DEATH BY Wendy & Jessie, both age 11

Leaves crinkle in the wind
A waterfall roars, 
Darkness drapes the sky.
Night falls in the forest.
Why am I dead inside?
I walk towards the beam of light.

CHRISTMAS By Daniel & Erik, both age 9

It is December at Toys R Us.
An earthquake shakes and cracks my world.
Lights blink.
Dolls tumble down the shelves.
Hotwheels screech.
Rattles rattle.
Tricycles clatter.

FIREWORKS By Sharlene, age 10 & Tai, age 11

Sun beams through the window.
It is three o’clock at Gamestop.
Plastic cases clatter.
If I’m not buying anything, why did I come here?
When I’m sleepy
I will try to be happy and close my bedroom door.
Right now my heart pops like fireworks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

TROUBLE AT TARGET By Emiliano & Ricardo, both age 9

It is noon at Target
Legos shake and carts crash.
If we have no money, 
how are we buying stuff?
When we pay, 
we will try 
counterfeit dollars.
But we’re already in trouble 
right now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

PRESENT PERFECT By the Kids in Room 2

After being out sick for a day, I returned to Room 2 to find this poem along with a note from the sub about how incorrigible the class was. I think the note and the poem cancel each other out in some cosmic way. Before my absence I'd been struggling to teach the present perfect tense, assuming I had failed. But apparently not. The poem is written in the present perfect progressive, a variation on the tense I never mentioned. Nonetheless,  the class figured out it was "perfect" for this particular poem. The kids tell me each student contributed a line or two, and Alex takes credit for spearheading and editing the project. - Robyn

We’ve been lost.
We’ve been gay.
We’ve been controlled.
We’ve been bored.
Nothin’ to DO.
We’ve been cheated.
We’ve been crazy.
We’ve been growing armpit hair.
We’ve been eaten.
We’ve been fat.
We’ve been killing.
We’ve been dead.
We’ve been killed.
We’ve been starving.
We’ve been hungry.
We’ve been hurt.
We’ve been abused.
We’ve been controlling.
We’ve been in misery.
We’ve been miserable.
We’ve been paralyzed.
We’ve been staring.
We’ve been bullied.
We’ve been littering our lives.
We’ve been sacrificing them.

Monday, September 30, 2013

TOFU By Liyi & Anny, both age 11

I run home from Hodo Soy
as leaves fall in my hair.
I arrive at noon
and rush into the kitchen
with a plastic bag of 
Tofu dances on the pan,
chasing oil.
I scoop my meal onto a plate
but I trip
and it spatters to the ground.
My stomach growls.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DEVIL By Khenny, Ryan Ly & Thaksin, ages 9-10

It is noon at the Giants game. 
If I’m not watching it
then why am I here? 
Why did I buy this expensive ticket? 
And why am I dying of baldness? 
I don’t even have any underpants. 
Does the devil have fan-girls and green eyes? 
He says, “And don’t forget my sweet leg.” 
Why is he talking to me? 
I am going home.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

TALL GIRL By Tran, Jessica C., Jessie, Wendy & Alex, ages 9-11

Tall Girl hops over kitten.
Kitten purrs.
Tall Girl twirls
around the playground.
Teacher screams,
“Watch out for the wall.”
Tall Girl gallops to the library.
The donkeys here kick 
books off shelves.
Tall Girl’s ear tears into 
four furry bits that hear:
1. Screaming
2. Stomping
3. Shuffling pages
4. Silence. Shh!
Tall Girl reads about how to
regrow sadness. She wants to be alone.

Inspired by Anne Waldman's poem "Fast Speaking Woman."

Watch Room 2 perform a Readers' Theater adaptation of the poem here:

NOON AT KFC By the kids in Room 2

It is noon at KFC. 
Oil sizzles,
Bones crack.
If I am not eating,
why am I here?
When I order
I will try joy
and button my sweater.
Right now I am leaving. 

THE FOOD By Thaksin, age 10

I am Thaksin. 
I am ten years old. 
I come from Thailand. 
I am learning English. 
I like San Francisco 
because I like bananas and hamburgers. 
I like soccer. 
I learned to play in Thailand.
I like rice. 
I like to play chess. 
I learned how to play it in America.
I love America 
because I like food.
I have a friend. His name is Khenny. 
I play soccer with him.
I live with my father and two brothers on Geary street.
I don’t have a sister.
I like basketball. I am learning how to play it in San Francisco.
When I was in Thailand I rode a motorcycle. 
The motorcycle was red 
and had flames on the sides.
I was scared but it was fun. 
It felt like I was flying, 
but I don’t want to do it again. 

About the Author

 Hi my name is Thaksin. I come from Thailand. I moved here last year in December. I am ten years old. I like to play soccer, basketball, kickball and football. I live in San Francisco with my dad and my brother. I like to eat apples, bananas and hamburgers. I like to drink cola. My best friend is Khenny. He likes to play soccer.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

THE RESCUE By Andrew, age 11

“Mike,” Roy said. “Come down. We’re going to get him, ok? We should get ready. It’s almost time.” 

Roy and Mike drove deep into the forest until they reached two guards blocking the door to a palace. Above the door, lights twitched as slaves screamed. Torches burned in the turrets beside goblins who staredat the boys with eyes like lava. Skulls hung down the castle walls from sticks.
Mike took out his AK-47 and blew the guards’ heads off. Blood shot out of their necks. Mike and Roy snatched the guards’ clothes and put them on. They found a castle map and two walkie-talkies in one of the pockets. They marched to the palace door but a guard stopped them. “Password?”

Mike looked around and said, “I don’t know.”

The guard twirled the revolving door open and let them in. Mike and Roy shimmied out of the bloody guard uniforms. “Eww,” Mike said. “Those were gross.”

The boys bolted through the guards inside. They found the cage where Mike’s brother was locked up. They pulled on the door and it squealed. They grabbed Mike’s brother. He shivered with fear. “E-boy!” Mike said.

“Let’s get out of here,” E-boy said.

Mike and Roy tried to sneak passed a guard but got caught. E-boy snatched his brother’s sniper and shot the guard in the chest. His body fell to the ground. The boys bolted toward the exit. “Stop,” E-boy said. “They’ll be waiting for us.”

“But what if-” Roy said.

“Just listen,” E-boy said.

“Ok,” Roy said.

“Now,” E-boy said, “you and Roy jump into the vents and I will sneak my way out of here.” E-boy handed the map and a radio to Roy. “Call me when you’re out.”

Mike and Roy slithered to the exit and radioed E-boy. “We are out,” Roy said. “I repeat. We are out.”

E-boy spiraled into the palace lobby, wove through the guards, and hopped into the truck with Roy and Mike. 

About the Author

Hello, my name is Andrew and I live in San Francisco. I am 11 years old and I have one brother and three sisters. I like to skateboard with my brother and cousin. I am good at playing 3-D games. I want to be good at not moving. I do not have a lot of anger. If I could be anything in the world I would be Spiderman because he got bitten by a spider that gave him powers. The saddest moment of my life was when my mom and dad got divorced. I speak English and Spanish at home. I am also the author of Lion Hunt, My Dog Poncho, Final Destiny, Time to Die, The Ice Monster’s Anger, and John and the Snake.


Teddy Bear

Soft with a strawberry smell and stiff arms that bend.
When I press its plastic belly button,
it says, “Chow” in a little girl’s voice.
When I hug it
I remember my grandma
because when I hug her
she makes a pig noise.
Chow means oink in Vietnamese.


When my grandma found a boyfriend
my mom bought me a fancy dress to wear to the wedding.
It was white and covered with daisies.
I was three years old.
My job in the wedding was to walk behind my grandma
and throw flowers on the floor.
The flowers were plastic because
people in Vietnam don’t want to pick real daisies.
They worry that the daisies will disappear.
Before the wedding I practiced at home with my mom
so I knew what to do.
I didn’t cry or walk in the wrong direction.
I felt embarrassed when everyone
watched me.


My mom put
a cup of mocha
on the table.
My brother pushed it and spilled it on
his head, shirt and hand.
The drink was warm,
not hot.
My brother got all wet and smelled
like coffee.
My mom saw him laughing and wet and
she said, “Go take a bath!”
He asked my dad to give him a bath.
And he did.
When I walked into the bathroom,
I said, “Why did you take bath?”
“Long story.”
“Tell me.”
“I thought the cup
was a cow because it has black polka
He was interested in cows.
He said, “Sorry,” to Mom.
He does not remember.
But I do.

About the Author

Hi! My name is Tran. I am eight years old and I was born on August 10, 2004 in Saigon. Now I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. I’m good at knitting. When I grow up I want to be a doctor because I like helping people. Black Polka Dots is my first published book. If I were a bird I would be a robin because I like red.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

JACK'S PROBLEMS By Spencer, age 10


Jack scoops the batter up.
He pours it on the pan and oil spatters everywhere.
Flames rise and steam flutters across the hallway.


Jack chases his dog.
He slips on his chessboard and crashes into the stove.
Jack’s blood drips like water onto the burners.
Steam and smoke whoosh up to the ceiling.


Behind the starting line, Jack stretches.
The referee points the gun it the air and pulls the trigger. BOOM!
Jack digs into his pocket and pulls out some metal things.
The pieces rattle and their hooks stab the ground.
He picks them up and puts together a jetpack.
A bird poos on the referee’s head and
he covers his eyes with his hands, 
and runs to the bathroom.
On Jack’s last lap, the jetpack runs out of gas.
The ref sees him from the bathroom and blows his whistle.
Jack ignores him and keeps on going.

Emptying The Trash

Jack goes down to the basement to dump the garbage.
The can is full of rotten food and dirty napkins.
Red and green eyes glow in the dark.
A monster roars. 
Jack throws the can and runs up the stairs.
He turns on the light and the monster
disappears into the trash can.

Bus Ride

Jack looks out the giant window and sees a meteor.
A red oval with a flaming tail shoots across the sky.
Jack calls 911.
“911. What’s your emergency?”
Jack shouts, “A meteor is coming.”
“That is not a meteor. It is the sun.”
“Oops,” says Jack.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Spencer. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad and brother. I am ten years old. Soon I will be in middle school. I am also the author of Kim Goes to Hawaii and My Confusion. My favorite book we read in Room 2 is The Hobbit because it has a lot of war and a dragon. I like writing poetry because you can make a few words say a lot.

LOOKING FOR LAVENDER By Anny & Vicky, both age 11

Lavender and her sisters twirl in the sky above their backyard. Birds sing. They chirp into the blue. Covered in seaweed, the Demon King swaggers through the clouds. He hurdles to Lavender and smacks her cheeks. Blood rolls down her chin. She howls, fainting. He shakes his wand at her. A tiny box drops out of his pocket. Thump. The box sucks her into its stomach.
“Hahaha, I got Lavender. When Madam finds out her precious daughter is missing, she will give me her magical wand. I’ll be the King of the Fairy Land soon!”

Mint and Rose flutter with the birds past kites.
“Did you hear that?” asks Mint.
“Hear what?” Rose wonders. 
“Where is that sound coming from?”
“I don’t know.”
The fairies practice their powers. They loop, swirl, swing, and twirl through the sky. They fly together and meet in a circle. The sisters hold hands, a rainbow appears in the middle.
“Stop this,” says Rose.
“Why?” asks Tulip.
Lavender isn’t here,” Rose says. “We have to stop immediately when I count to three.”
The others look confused. “We’re ready,” says Mint.
“Okay one, two, three,” says Rose. The wind pushes her into a red ray of sun. 

The queen walks through the air, watching her daughters. “What are you girls doing?” asks Madam. Leaves fall on their hands. The clouds stop moving. The sisters pause. 
“Nothing, we are practicing our powers,” Mint says. 
“One, two, three of you. Where is Lavender?” Madam asks.
Sweat drips down Rose’s face. “Maybe inside.” Her legs shake.             
“Tell her to come out,” Madam says.
“I’ll check,” says Mint. She flies inside the palace but Lavender is not there. She returns to the backyard. “We don’t know where Lavender is. I think she got trapped. We can’t practice our powers without her.”
A voice whispers inside Rose’s mind, I have control over you. Rose tries to say something, but the voice shuts her mouth. 
“Rose,” says Madam. “I trust you to find Lavender.”
“Lavender,” Rose calls, darting through the sky, “You need to come home now.
Leave her alone,” says a voice in the clouds.
Rose turns around. Lavender is tied to a sky-tree. “Lavender?”
“Yes, it’s me!”
“What happened?”
“The Demon King did all this to me. He shrunk me and put me in a purple box. When I got out of the box he wasn’t there. I was tied up like this. Good thing I got big again. Tell Madam to come here.”

Swoosh. Up Rose goes back to the sky palace. “Madam, Madam,” she says. “I found Lavender.”
“Where is she?” asks Madam. 
Light sprints from the sky and points her wand at an empty house below. Dead leaves lay on the ground. Dust flies everywhere. Wind swirls through the air. Darkness covers the sky. The light dims as Madam walks down the cloud stairs. Whoosh
“Finally you’re here,” Demon King says, laughing.
“Who are you?” asks Madam.
“You don’t need to know.” 
“Come out, I’m not afraid of you.” 
“You should be afraid of me.”
Help, Madam!” yells Lavender.
“Don’t worry Lavender, I will come back.”

Madam goes to a house of potions. “Help! Anyone there?” she asks.
“Who is that?” a wizard asks.
“It is me, Madam. Don’t you recognize my voice? I am the queen!” 
“Oh sorry, I was too busy making a potion.”
“With a crystal ball?” 
Yep and what do you need help with?”
“Lavender is tied up and the one who kidnapped her wants my powerful wand. It is the Demon King. He must want to be the king of the Fairy Land.”
“Don’t worry,” the wizard says, handing her a purple jar. “I have a potion for that.”
“Bye,” Madam says and zips away.
“She could’ve said thanks. Who am I kidding? She is the queen.”

Madam flies back to where Lavender is tied up. “I gonna kill him. People who mess with me never have a good ending.” She pours the potion over Lavender’s head. The clouds brighten, evilness disappears. The ropes fade away. 
“I am free! Thanks, Madam.” Lavender says. She skips to Madam and gives her a big hug. Fireworks pop and pinken the sky. Lavender walks through the clouds. On the other side, her sisters sit on a floating bench.
“Hey guys!” says Lavender.
“Lavender, you are back!” says Mint.
A rainbows appears and shines down on the sisters.


Hi, my name is Anny. I am a fifth grader going into sixth. I live in San Francisco with my mom and dad. I was born in China and came to San Francisco when I was four. At home I speak Chinese. I am good at math. I want to be good at baking cakes. I am different from other kids because I wear my hood up a lot. If I could be anything thing in this world I would be rain because people hate it when it rains. Writing this book was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life! This is my second published book. Yay! It took Vicky, and me almost a year to finish this book. I am also the author of Connie’s Magic

Hi. My name is Vicky. I am a fifth grader going into sixth grade. I live in San Francisco with my mom dad and my sister. I speak Chinese and English at home. I’m good at math. I want to be a scientist when I grow up. I am also the author of On Tumble Legs, Sunny’s Poison, Memories of Toisan, and Guang Zhou Zoo. This is my fifth published book.

NOTHING By Wendy, age 11

Blood oozed out of bodies. Screams wandered through the air. Lightning struck a garbage can. Clash! Damon walked beside Joey, holding a knife. Blood dripped from the blade into a pond, feathering through a school of fish. The moon’s reflection glistened on the water’s surface. Joey’s eyes gleamed brown.
“I want the pearl!” moaned Damon. 
Joey ran out into the woods, clutching a handful of shiny orbs. In the middle of the strand hung a glass pearl. Legend said it gives power to the one who shines it on the full moon. He ran straight and saw nothing but trees. Then Damon held the knife in front of him. “Give me the pearl!” he shouted. Joey ran deeper into the woods until he came to a ledge. A waterfall poured into a pond beneath him. Sharks circled around. Joey quickly jumped in. Splash
“I’ll find you later,” Damon called.
Glug, glug, glug! Joey gasped for air. Something rubbed against his leg, leathery and rough. It was Damon’s shoe. 
Joey pointed at the necklace in his fist. “Why do you need it?
“He who holds the pearl controls the world,” Damon said, twisting his head. Damon dragged Joey out of the pond up by his collar and cut the string of the pearls, scattering all but one to the bottom of the pond. He slammed Joey down to the ground.
“Now you must obey my master,” said Damon, roping Joey’s wrists together.
“I don’t want to,” said Joey, but Damon’s crimson eyes hypnotized him. “Yes I must.”
“You will meet him now.” 

Damon led Joey toward a crystal cave. Gems, rubies, and emeralds glittered on the walls. Standing in front of the cave was an altar. Flames flashed from two pillars. Between them was a table set with a bowl. 
“Now my master shall arise.” Damon dropped the remaining pearl into the bowl, a ring of fire circling the bowl as the gem fell. Thunder roared and lightning sparked. Wind rocked the bowl. Whoosh. The pearl spun. Then all the lightning and thunder vanished and it was a clear night sky. Stars blinked, the moon glistened.
“Nothing is happening?” Damon said  to himself, but behind him black smoke swirled through the air. Joey stared into the distance. The smoke floated towards the moon. Two ruby eyes dotted the forest. From between two tall trees, a dragon swooped over the altar. His eyes stuttered as he looked the pearl. Little gusts of wind froze Joey’s fingers as the dragon led him towards the ledge of the cliff.
“Don’t!” said Damon. 
“Why shouldn’t I?” said the dragon. “My name is Drogan, the God of Evil, isn’t it? Are you questioning me?”
“Yes, what would you do with the pearl then?”
“You will find out. Do you remember that the pearl can raise the dead?”
“You are going to do that?” 
“Yes! So if you want to live, listen.” Damon plucked the pearl from its bowl, climbed onto Drogan’s back and they flew to a cemetery. The dragon  pointed a claw at a moss-covered cross. “Now place the pearl on top of this.” Damon did as he was told and the cross cracked. Snails crawled all over it, sliming the wood.
“Lift it so that it glows in the moon’s light, and point the light into the hole in the cross.” 
Damon balanced the pearl on the cross. Behind the cross was a chest, and in the chest was a staff. Drogan clawed the staff and shouted, “Arise, my friends, and listen to my command!” Then groaning rose from the ground.
“It worked, master.” 
“Yes I know.” Drogan rose the staff into the air and arms and legs grew out of the ground. Then bodies and heads popped out too. They walked towards Damon. Arms crumpled to the ground. Blood splattered on the gravel. One of the bodies tripped on a rock and toppled another behind him. The smell of rotting flesh strangled Damon’s lungs.  

“I can’t breath.” Damon swayed through the army of shredded bodies, rubbing his neck. Drogan hovered overhead, now with Joey on his back. Damon floated into the air, still rubbing his neck, and landed beside Joey on Drogan’s back. 
“Where are those things going?” said Damon.
“To the city to get more, and they all obey me!” said Drogan.
“So what are you going to do with the kid?”
“I will...”
“You will what?”
“This,” he said, flying over the ocean, throwing Joey’s body into the blue water. “We won’t be seeing him any more.” Damon sprouted wings and flew with Drogan towards the rising sun. Flames burst out of his flesh. The heat scorched Drogan’s scales, throwing them off his body and turning them to meteors that scattered over the earth. One crashed onto the Great Wall of China. Tourists took pics and tweeted, The sky is falling! 
“Why must you do this, master?” said Damon. “You destroyed your home. Where will we go?”
“If you say one more thing I will burn off your wings and you will fall to your death.”
Damon turned around and watched the earth disappear. 
“I remember now,” Damon said.
“You remember what?”
“I remember now that I am a human. I was born on earth. My mom died when I was born, before she died, I was wrapped in a blue cloth and placed in a basket then dropped in a river. I floated to the entrance of your cave. That is where you found me.”
“How can you still remember that?” Drogan said. Somehow. Damon fluttered down to earth.
Joey floated in the sea. Some sharks swam up beneath him, looking like they were going to attack, but they didn’t.
“We know how you feel, Joey,” one of the sharks said.
“How do you know me?”
“We heard you talking to Damon and saw you fall into the pond. We were there, Joey.”
“We feel nothing,” said the second shark, “and so do you.”
“Nothing?” Joey whispered. Nothing...

About the Author

Hi! My name is Wendy and I am eleven years old. I live in San Francisco, sometimes in Chinatown with my mom, grandma, and my brother, and sister, sometimes on Polk Street with my dad and the lady from Beijing. (Read about her in my book, My Family Who Cares About Me But Also Makes Me Crazy.) I speak Chinese at home, and my family comes from China, somewhere I have never been. If I were weather I would be a cloud so I could watch all my friends from above. I would like to be a photographer when I grow up, because I like to take pictures and hold a camera. This is my fourth published book, and the last book I am ever going to write in Room 2. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

WAR & CITIZENSHIP By Alex, age 11

war & citizenship
book 2 in the adventures of the liangs series

Hello, my name is Admiral Luu. The story I am about to tell you travels from San Francisco to the Middle East, for two reasons: war and power. Actually those two things are the same. Okay, I’m going to stop yakking and move on to the story.

A San Francisco flag snapped on the balcony. Commuters honked. A radio sat on a shelf. The room was filled with books. “Time to wake up,” said Mayor Liang. “It’s time for you to take the Standard Citizenship Test.” 
“Why?” Mrs. Liang asked.
“Because you’re undocumented. That’s why you’re just an unpaid intern.” 
“Just get the book.” Mr. Liang opened his drawer and took out two books. He handed Mrs. Liang one of them.
Mr. Liang flipped through the pages. “Okay,” he said. “What rights are guaranteed by the First Amendment?” 
“I don’t know.” 
“Who was President during the Korean War?”
“I don’t know.” 
“Why not?” he asked. “I don’t have a General Education Development diploma.”
 “Okay, you’ll get your education.” 

Car horns honked on the street outside. Voices chanted. People united, if Earth is divided! Mr. and Mrs. Liang ran to the balcony with their binoculars. They looked down. 
“I see ants,” said Mrs. Liang. 
“I disagree,” said Mr. Liang. “I think they’re protesters.”
“Get the tank.” 
“Remember, I’m driving.”

“Are you ready?” Mrs. Liang said.
 “Yes,” Mr. Liang replied. 
Mrs. Liang climbed up the ladder and plopped down on the seat as Mr. Liang started the engine. They stopped at United Nations Plaza. 
“Are we at the League of Nations Plaza?” Mrs. Liang asked. 
“Yes. Remember it’s United Nations, not the League of Nations.” 
United! United! People chanted. 
Protesters ran everywhere. Some of them threw rocks at the tank. People pepper sprayed ts windows. Cannons flew into the air. Mr. Liang turned the tank around, and they scuttled back to City Hall.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A shore patrol officer checked his watch as he stood guard at the entrance to the registration office. Mrs. Liang walked up to him. “Welcome to the US Navy,” said the officer.
“Are you sure it’s the Navy?” asked Mrs. Liang.
 “Just knock the door.” 
Mrs. Liang looked at the sign. Welcome to the US Navy. It’s 9:45. All buses go to the California National Guard HQ. Tap. Tap. Tap. Knock! Knock!
“Come in,” I said. “I’m Admiral Luu.” 
“I want to join the US Navy,” said Mrs. Liang. 
“Give me your information.”
 “My name is Mary Liang, I live at 1 Polk Street.” 
I gave Mrs. Liang the forms, and we both filled them out.

Knock! Knock! Knock!
“Come in,” said Mr. Liang.
I opened the door. Silence filled Mr. Liang’s office. He was signing tax return checks. “Comrade,” I said, hugging him. “May I talk to Mary Liang?”
“Yes, go to the door on your left.” 
“Are there any warnings I should take?” 
“She’s actually part of a sacred communidad.” 
“But she’s Chinese, so she can’t be.” 
“Go in and see.” 
“How is the 82nd Airborne?” 
“Fine. They’re working at the shipyard, preparing for deployment tomorrow as ordered, though you’re second in command. ” 

I opened the door, swaggering in front of Mrs. Liang. I gasped. Guns were everywhere. On the walls. On the ceiling. “Hello,” I said. “Hi,” said Mrs. Liang. “Did I forgot something?” 
“Yes, your military identification card and uniform.” I gave her the card and her uniform. “Join the 82nd Airborne at the Hunter’s Point-Daly City Shipyard tonight.”

Vroom, vroom. Screech. Clink.
“Prepare for the ceremony,” said Mr. Liang. Chairs clinked. Water splashed. Rain poured down. 
“Sir,” said a man in a khaki uniform. “Seaman Blue requesting postponement.” 
“Show must go on,” said Mr. Liang. “Hurry up.” Chairs slipped. Officers trudged. Mr. Liang raised a banner. The rain stopped pouring.
Cars and buses lined up at the shipyard. People sat down quietly. Soldiers and medics marched to the aircraft carrier. I walked to the podium, escorting Mr. Liang past a row of news cameras. 
“Today is a special day,” said Mr. Liang. “I’m going to be at war.”
People gasped. 
“Now,” he said. “My cousin, Bobby Liang, mayor of Daly City will temporarily take People cheered. The Shore Patrol escorted us to the ship, blocking civilians and reporters asking questions. 
Chinooks lined up at the runways. Soldiers embarked. “Take off your patches,” said Mr. Liang. “We’re now the Operational Bravo-Detachment 9017, Alpha Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group.” 
Soldiers put on the new patches. We flew across the Pacific and disembarked at the Af-ghan-Iran border. 
“Admiral Luu,” Mr. Liang said to me. “Here’s your new uniform. You’re still second in command, but you’re Sergeant Major.”

Boom. Boom. Boom. Buildings crumbled. Civilians fled the city. Tanks rolled over the debris. Dust flew through the air. Paratroopers landed on the road. They inspected the buildings, raised American flags. Mr. Liang’s troops cheered, but he did not. I walked towards him, staring at the dead bodies. There was sadness on his face, but glory, the same look I had seen when he watched the mayoral election returns. He stood on a pile of rubble.
“March to Qom!” yelled Mr. Liang. Our troops left the city.

Vroom, vroom. Tanks and trucks rolled onto the tracks leading to Qom. Soldiers walked beside them. Mr. Liang turned to me.“We’re heading this way,” he said, “because there’s no military there.” 
“Except the Iraqis and the British,” I said. 
“How do you know?”
“There are the Brits!” yelled Mr. Liang. “And Iraqis!” 
Soldiers cheered from approaching tanks, hopping to the ground. “Major Camp,” said a stocky man, shaking Mr. Liang’s hand. “I’m leading the Iraqi-British Campaign for the Battle of Qom.” 
“Specialist Liang,” said Mr. Liang. “I’m leading Afghan-American forces with my assistant Sergeant Major Luu.” He pointed at Mrs. Liang who was knitting behind him. “And over there is my wife, Private Liang.”

Fshh. Fshh. Leaves rustled. Soldiers looked into the forest bordering the road. Major Camp entered the green maze. Mr. Liang’s troops followed. Birds chirped. Camp’s troops found a box, opened it: a weapon for mass destruction, a Teller-Ulam.
“Nuke!” yelled Mrs. Liang. “Honey,” said Mr. Liang. “We need your yarn!” Mrs. Liang attached the string to the fissile sparkplug. The soldiers scurried to the train yard. Mr. Liang tied the yarn to the safety pin, yanking it from the grenade. He threw the metal egg into the forest. A cloud mushroomed out of the greenery, cottoning the sky. Trees collapsed. Major Camp’s soldiers inspected the area.
“Safe,” said Major Camp. “No damage, but retreat.” 
“Back to the train station,” Mr. Liang yelled. 

Soldiers set up camp on the platforms, exploring the station. They split into two groups. Mr. Liang’s troops stayed at the station, Major Camp led his to battle.Iranians walked along the road to Qom, escorting tanks. Soldiers scurried through the sand, pointing their M16s upwards. Bullets flew everywhere. Civilians ducked. Iranians wandered around, searching for Ma- jor Camp’s troops. Major Camp looked up. A plane soared through the sky, dropping bombs on a nearby tank.
 A soldier rushed to Major Camp. “Phone,” said the soldier.
“Fire!” yelled Major Camp, then he picked up the phone. “Hello,” he said. “Who is it? Ministry of Defense?” 
“Hello,” said Mr. Liang. “It’s Specialist Liang.” 
“What is it?” 
“Ministry of Defense and DoD called.”
“The States’ Navy is covering for you guys.” 
“Thanks, bye.” Major Camp hung up the phone, throwing grenades at the enemies. Iranians raised a white flag, dropping their arms. Major Camp’s soldiers retreated to the train station. “Specialist Liang,” said Major Camp. “Onward to Tehran.” 
“Tehran!” yelled Mr. Liang. “All ATVs must leave through Qom-Tehran Railway.”
Tanks rolled down the tracks. Soldiers climbed onto trucks. I watched the forest. Leaves flew through the railway. Air Force Thunderbirds soared through the sky, dropping First Aid tubes to the ground.Blood filled Mrs. Liang’s uniform.

“So help me God,” Mrs. Liang said. Mr. Liang awarded her the Distinguished Service Cross and Citizenship Certificate, con-
gratulating her as he hung the cross over her bandaged neck.
 “Specialist,” I whispered. “I hate to have to tell you this now, but American involvement in the ASEAN conflict is unavoidable. We’re heading to the Republic of China.”

about the author

Hi, my name is Alex. I am eleven years old. I am a San Francisco native. If I had a superpower, I would like the power to grow up instantly and become the United Na- tions Secretary-General. I do wish there were no clubs
that discriminate like the Boy Scouts of America. If I could go back in time, I would go back to June 6, 1944 at Normandy to see D-Day in action. This is my third published book. I am also the author of Don’t Worry About It and Other Stories and Shark Story.