Posted October 9, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

violin-by-wisdoc.jpgThe word “orchestra” has always driven me because my mother was a musician and played the violin, too. Playing the violin has taken me places that you only imagine for fifteen year old girl like me. Since the fifth grade I’ve been playing. The first day I laid an eye on a music note was the day my life changed. Knowing that you can play any instrument or accomplish anything in life is one of the best things you can have for success.

by Zaundra, age 15

The Leaf

Posted October 8, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

fall-leaves-by-smallchih-v-flickr.jpgI am in a tree.
I see kids.
Birds fly above me.
I fall down and land on an ant.
I hear a train from far away.
A girl picks me up,
then she throws me on the ground.
The people step on me a lot of times.

I am the leaf.

by Jasmine, 1st Grade
[photo by smallchih via flickr]

My Town

Posted October 5, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Mother says to go and play because she is ready to make supper. So I decided to collect my coins and go to the corner store. When I got to the corner store, I went to the bakery and got a fresh chocolate cookie and a cup of sweet lemonade. After I paid, I went to the park and ate my food. I noticed that I had 10 coins left. I went back to the corner store and got a wooden play set for my cotton baby doll to play with.

I got my things and went home. I told my mother what I got at the corner store and went to my room. I opened my wardrobe, got my doll and set it on the table. I closed my wardrobe and sat at my table. I went to the closet and got my basket of scraps. I started making clothes and blankets for the wooden play set.

I also made some hangers out of wire. I found the bar where you hang the hangers. I put the clothes on my hangers. After that I heard my mother call me for supper. I ate all of my soup and crackers, and I ate my cookie. Then I went back to my room and played with my toys. After I played with my toys, I got my book and read for a while. It had been a great day!

by Erin,  3rd grade
Condit Elementary

Ode To My Dogs

Posted October 4, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

My dogs bark and bark as if they see a ghost, but actually I feel joy once I open the door.

I feel love once I touch my dogs. I am sure they do too.

It seems scary things and evil is being pulled away when I am face to face with my shining dogs. Shining like stars in the night sky and the light the sun gives us, my dogs run toward me. When they get hurt I feel my heart bri-said-sit.jpgeak….

I will always love my shield dogs.

Evil is too weak to take my love away.

by Jeong, 3rd grade
Condit Elementary

Are You Mad?

Posted October 2, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

This spring I met a cool high school teacher at a writing conference who supervises an online forum for young writers. If you’re are a student who’screate_caption_solonitz1.JPG interested in either creative writing or subversive approaches or both, check out MAHC today.

MAHC is a community that couldn’t be much more diverse. It includes:

Journalists, photographers, a college dean, a city attorney, three ex-cons, a folklorist, a horse race handicapper, a chef, a suburban housewife turned environmental activist, a novelist, a software designer, a stand up comic, a couple of teachers, a salsa dancer, a coffee roaster, a real estate consultant, some high school and college students, a lesbian couple, a couple of moms, a psychiatrist, a few dads, a British actress, a really savvy 12-year old, two cartoonists, one street musician, and a guy who manages a Blockbuster in Canada are among those who compose our forum.

And that’s a quote.

There are publishing opportunities galore, both on the site and elsewhere. If you think you’re mad enough, check it out.

Emerald Green by Andrew

Posted September 30, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Emerald Green, I adore you
When the wind blows, you shake
When we jump, you land first
I want to sing, “You’re everywhere
around me, making my heart want
to burst!”
You’re on the trees I always climb
You’re on the grass I lie in
You grow on me
You make me smile everywhere I go
I am always thinking about you
You flow down the river, whistling
my song

by Andrew, 4thGrade
Crespo Elementary School

Another Op: Frodo’s Notebook

Posted September 28, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Frodo’s Notebook publishes exceptional writing and art online by kids ages 13-19. If you’re interested in submitting to this journal, read several back issues to get a sense of the kind of work that they publish. The details of how to make your submission are here.


Posted September 26, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader. He helped black people. He said everyone should be nice. He reminds me of my grandma. She says, “Don’t fight. Be nice.” I have a black friend named Brianne. We play together. Someday I hope everyone will play together.

by Caesar. age 6
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by Okul via Flickr]

Crunchy or Extra Crunchy?

Posted September 25, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Dav Pilkey wrote many books that kids love–The Paperboy, Dog Breath, and Captain Underpants. Dav Pilkey’s Extra-Crunchy Website O’ Fun is filled with hilarious flip-o-ramas, free video, music and avatar downloads, jokes and riddles, and you can also create your own animated e-card. Oh yeah, insights into Pilkey’s writing process are included, too.

Beach Time

Posted September 24, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

beach.jpg I love going to the beach in Galveston. I like to walk in the sand. It feels like quicksand, like I’m sinking. Sometimes I bury my feet in the sand. The water is brownish and the waves aren’t very high. I walk out a little way, but not too far. Sometimes I think a crab is pinching my toe, but it isn’t. I hear the waves hitting the shore and people laughing. I love going to the beach.

by Tobi, age 8
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by Eschipul via Flickr]

My Fish

Posted September 21, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


My fish live in
my house.
They blow bubbles
all day long.
They breathe through
their gills quietly.
I feed them with a
little, tiny spoon.
They don’t make any
noise when they swim,
but all together they look like a rainbow –
orange, red, yellow, brown.
They’re friendly fish.
I know because when I put
my finger in the tank,
they don’t bite too hard.

by John, age 9
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by ShaneWarne_60000 via Flickr]

Perpetual Motion

Posted September 20, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Spinning around
like a tornado
I could go on
smiling for a long, long smile.

I love my mom and dad.

by Bria, age 8
Texas Children’s Hospital

[photo kwisatc via Flickr]

El Sol [The Sun]

Posted September 19, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

El sol me
es un diamante
gigante. Es una
canica flotante.

Es una semilla,
es una estrella
El sol es
que me seguira todos
los dias de mi vida.


The sun
surprises me.

It’s a giant
diamond, a floating

It’s a seed,
a giant star.

The sun is

that will follow me
all the days of my life.

by Gina, 3rd grade







Photo by Sakura via flickr

Free Day

Posted September 18, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


I am from spaghetti and meatballs and a place where you can sit with your family and talk without feeling uncomfortable. I am from a house that stays with Clorox, detergent, Tide, and everything you can think that helps keep a house clean. I am from the sun, because when you are in my bedroom, it seems as if you are in light. I am from a calm place that I like to call

by Jasmine, age 12
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by guas via flickr]

Writing in Nature

Posted September 17, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

I feel surroundedrobin-bird-by-webted-via-flickr.jpg
I feel relaxed
because the forest is

very silent. The sight
is beautiful. The trees

are big. I feel as
if I shrunk.

I see a bird. It
lands on my arm.
I touch it and

I realize that
this is the

perfect place
to be yourself
and to feel freedom.
I feel relaxed
and peaceful.

by Erika, Neff Elementary

*Meeting* Your Favorite Author

Posted September 12, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

roald-dahl-day-logo-2007.jpgOne of the cool things about being a kid these days is that your can find your favorite writers on the web. Roald Dahl’s site is filled with funny surprises, including a selection of revolting recipes and even a glass elevator.

It’s not all fun and games. There’s real information available on author websites as well. For example, did you know that Roald Dahl was 6 feet 5 and three-quarter inches tall? But that’s not all. Today (yes, today!) is officially Roald Dahl Day. Celebrate it!

Land to Ocean

Posted September 11, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Dear Ocean,

You hit me all the time with all your natural strength Most of the times when my friends come over, you steal their sandals or their jewelry and take ’em with you. After dawn, your bones are scattered everywhere. Seems like you work hard overnight. People seem to think about you as pleasant, but they wouldn’t be able to recognize you when it rains. You let all your fury and at times cause disasters.

by Sylvia, 11th grade

Wash it all away – Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight
Originally uploaded  to flickr by s0ulsurfing

A Poem by Nikita

Posted September 10, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Voices from my Past

Scream my name and bring back all my pain.
Waters of truth flow through my mind.
Open your eyes, I’m not fine.
The glitter of danger has caught my eye and
the voices of my past continue to scream and cry.
Look at me, I’m fighting to be free.
Desperate and damaged, I still manage
to attempt to hurry to the light
but as always the voices of my past continue
to hold me in such a tight grasp.
Lost time, a blocked heart, secrets burning
deep inside. I’m searching, I’m running,
I’m praying for that light to remove all my strife.
But the voices of my past continue to rule my life.
A mixture of panic and faith increased day by day
from the words they say haunting me in every way.

But I know that this too will come to an end.
Maybe all I need is just a friend to help all the
voices somehow end, the numbness I feel,
I’ll feel again…the time lost…I’ll regain 10 x 10.
Instead of desperate and damaged, I’ll be centered
and whole. I’m gonna stomp forward with the voices of
my past buzzing in my ear, with optimism in my heart.

by Nikita, 12th grade

photograph by deborah lattimore
via flickr

Contest for High Schoolers

Posted & filed under Notebook.

Rider University is sponsoring its 28th Annual High School Writing Contest. Here are the details.


  • 1st-$100
  • 2nd-$50
  • 3rd-$25
  • All Finalists will receive a Certificate of Honorable Mention
  • All winners will be considered for publication in Venture, Rider’s literary magazine


  • ESSAY: Write a personal essay, labeled ESSAY, on a topic of your choice of no more than five double-spaced, typed pages.
  • FICTION: Write a short story, labeled FICTION, of no more than five double-spaced, typed pages.
  • POETRY: Write a poem of no more than 50 lines.


  1. Type on the entry:
    Your Name and Address
    Teacher’s Name
    School Name and Address
  2. Include a letter from a teacher stating that the work is original and by you.
  3. Entries must be typed. Handwritten entries will not be read. Stories and essays must be double-spaced. Single-spaced prose will not be read. Please give your story, essay, and or poem a title.
  4. Only one entry per category will be considered. Choose your best writing and send only one.
  5. Mail your entry postmarked no later than December 14, 2007 to:
    Dr. Robbie Clipper Sethi
    English Department
    Rider University
    2083 Lawrenceville Road
    Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Entries cannot be returned.
Winners will be announced in April, 2008.
Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to receive a list of winners.