Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writing winners, 8 to 10

1st Place
Title: "Ode to Baseball"
Author: John Vernaglia

Baseball I love you!
You wipe away my problems,
Like a broom
Sweeping away dirt.
When I go to your games I hear
The bat
Against the ball
When I see the green grass
And brown dirt of your field
It’s like fresh fallen snow
Ready to play in.
Oh Baseball
Your fans
Lions Roaring,
I am
The king
Of the lions.

2nd Place
Title: "Dugongs"
Author: Sam Wachman

Diving, cheerfully
Vegetarian giants
Dugongs are awesome
Dugongs, endangered
Species down in Mozambique
Cows of the ocean

3rd Place
Title: "A Flock of Leaping Words"
Author: Benjamin Ringler

There once was a flock of
leaping words
There were words like
snake and moss
friend and wend
words like twitters and laughs
and flitters and snow
That big flock of leaping
words would leap on your
head and under your bed
We area flock of leaping words
leaping like flames
rushing like water
We are a flock of leaping words
We help you with writing
and how do you repay?
You stuff us in a book and
No longer will we leap

Honorable Mentions (3 way tie!)

Title: "A Pilgrim’s Diary"
Author: Eliza Broughton

June 2, 1621
This morning be cold and rainy. Mam told me to help her clean the house and knit a little hat for my little brother Benny. He was outside throwing rocks at the birds to keep them away from his seeds. I snuck away out of the house to play with my best friend, Remember, because I didn’t feel like cleaning. Remember and I snuck into a barn to try and get some eggs for our mothers. Unfortunately the owner saw us, and our fathers and mothers got set in the stocks for 2 days! When they got home from the stocks, they punish me. I have to sit in my room for 2 days straight! I wish I never snuck outside.

June 4, 1621
T’was a sunny morning, so Mam and I sat on the hammock and practiced my reading. T’was getting better, that’s what Mam said.

June 6, 1621
I woke Mam up early in the morn, and we walked ouside and planted some seeds. After 3 months, the plants started agrowing potatoes on them! Mam and I were so happy we could hardly speak. It meant that we would have potatoes to eat instead of lentil soup and stale bread!

June 8, 1621
Today it’s Sunday, which means it’s also church day. On church day we have to sit on hard benches all day, which isn’t very fun, but at least it’s better than cleaning the house all day! The only time we get a break on church day is when we have our meal that we always have in the middle of the day.

Mam= Mom
T’was= it was
Agrowing= growing.

Title: "The Pre-Birthday Mystery"
Author: Lila Cardillo
I am Jenna Cameron.

For my whole life, since I knew they existed, I wanted to be a detective. But when my first mystery cam to, I changed my mind.

This was my first babysitting job, and I was really excited. I was babysitting my little sister, Thalia, while my parents were at the movie theater down the street, seeing some boring movie. But today was a special day. It was the day before my sister’s birthday, and everything was set up for her little “Pink Princess” party, because she was only inviting her two best friends, Lean and Isabelle.

I was walking around the yard, because, well, it was a nice day, and I just love being outside. But then I noticed a spot that my mom (the planner of this party) had missed with the “Pink Princess” streamers. I slid back inside, making sure I heard the screen door click closed behind me so that the mosquitoes wouldn’t follow me inside. I jogged past the kitchen and to the stairs. I reached my destination, the top floor. I skipped over to the cabinet where my mom keeps the ribbons and streamers and wrapping paper and stuff like that. Then I checked the bottom shelf because that’s where I saw Mom put the streamers. The streamers weren’t there. I checked the middle and top shelves. The streamers weren’t there either! I couldn’t think of a good explanation for this. I came up with, maybe Mom moved them.

“Oh well,” I muttered, the party can go on with out that part being covered. I walked into the kitchen to get a snack, finding that the stack of plates with the face of “Pink Princess” on the front weren’t where they had been. Even the forks weren’t there! This was getting kind of weird, I had to admit. But was I scared? Just a little. What if a robber had broken into our house? But the, I wondered, what kind of sensible robber would want a bunch of “Pink Princess” party supplies…? I just thought again, Mom must have moved them.

I walked up to my room, relieved to find a pile of gifts still sitting on my desktop…but there were only give. I thought I had counted six this morning. I guess I counted wrong this morning. I really hoped I did!

Then I remembered that I was babysitting! I had a little Thalia to entertain! Where had she been all of this time? I found her in the playroom reading a book (you guessed it, “Pink Princess”).

After that she could’ve slipped away from me while I was daydreaming about the “Pink Princess” cake…I wonder if it’s considered “uncool” to still like her. Well, regardless of the character, chocolate cake, any kind, is good! But then I remembered… THE CAKE! If all of the other party supplies had gone missing, what about THE CAKE?!?

I dashed to the fridge, opened the door, and found that the cake was still there, but not the whole thing. A jaggedly cut fraction of the cake was clearly missing. Whoever this robber is, they might want to work on their cake-cutting skills. Panic rushed through me. Where had all of the party supplies gone?! Then many questions rushed through my head. Should I call mom? If id did would she think I’m an awful babysitter? It didn’t matter-yet. I won’t call mom yet. Right then, I was going to find Thalia and see what she was doing. I looked in the playroom,. I didn’t find her there. I went up to her room, which is where she likes going second most. I find, no, hear her there. I knock on the door.

“Don’t come in,” says Thalia’s small voice.

“Why not?” I inquire.

“Because. I’m the birthday girl, and I say so!” is Thalia’s reply.

“This sounds a little suspicious,” I say, feeling grown up, “This is my first mystery and I think I might’ve just solved it!”

I come in, only to find the plates, one wall decorated with the “Pink Princess” streamers, the missing present, which was a “Pink Princess” in doll-form, and of course, the missing fourth of the cake. I had gotten all scared when all that happened was my little sister got a bit overexcited, and had a little party?!

“Busted” I muttered as I grabbed the phone and punched in mom’s number.

“Um, hi? Is everything all right?” asked my worried mom, recognizing the number.

“Yes,” I reply, “everything is good, just, could you come home?”

“Sure! We’re on our way, actually, the movie just ended.”

“Oh, and when you come home, please don’t think that I’m a horrible babysitter!”

“Goodbye,” she said.

Later, my parents came home.

My dad said, “I don’t think this is a case of a bad babysitter, I think it’s a case of a sneaker baby-sister!”


Title: "The Unknown, the Mysteries, the Death"
Author: Gabriel Colburn

I woke at the sound of the window opening. The faintest tingle far off in the night. I had that feeling you might get before the first day of school, an odd churning feeling. I had pulled myself out of bed. All was dark, but I knew my room well enough.

I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to get back to bed that night. So I quickly—as if something was chasing me—hurried over to my dresser. I pull on the first pair of clothes I found, and cautiously opened my door.


The hallway was darker than the deepest of seas. Yet my bare feet on the wood stairs and the dull pounding of my heart still gave myself away. Suddenly I heard a movement right next to me. I could have sworn that all I would have had to do is stretch out my hand. Later I will never know what stopped me, some small instinct that saved my life. I had no way of knowing what the mysterious noise was. Yet new ideas kept swimming through my head.

I really wished I had had a plan or at least known what I was doing.


I walked as surreptitiously as I could across the creaking wood floors. It was summer and the damp air made my eyes sting. After a while I turned around, cutting back and up the stairs at the back of the house, through the hallway. That was when it happened. I first heard the click. For once I hadn’t read too many Alex Rider books. As I dived to the ground I thought I was over, but then the crack of the bullet hitting the mantelpiece told me differently.


I was bleeding. Time seemed to have stopped, and broken glass was everywhere. Bullets ricocheting off everything. I had no sense of direction, and perspective seemed to me to be nothing at the time. And then it was over as fast as it had begun. The man had disappeared. It was as if nothing had happened. I fell to the ground and the night curled around me.

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