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Issue 22 / SGD 7.50

ISSN: 2010- 1376

YRC Investigates


Email From the UK


2 Featured Stories



Dejoy Shastikk Kumaran Our Featured Author of the Month

“We need to save up for the future.”

Scan here to know more about YRC!

Building the Next Generation of Thinkers & Writers


YRC TEAM Managing Editor/Publisher Catherine Khoo Editor Carlo Venson Peña Circulation Manager

Nannette Cruz Designer

Lim Soo Yong Editorial Assistants Natalya Thangamany, Brian Lee Editorial Advisory Board

Catherine Khoo, Vijay Chandran, Noel Chia Contributors

Ruth Kan, Paulina Lee, Eden Nelle Illustrators

Adeline Lim, Natalya Thangamany YAC Core Contributors

Kenrick Lam, Lee Tat Wei, Theresa Ellsworth, Ron Yap, Ee Chonghui, Woon Kaiqin For advertising and sales enquiries

6336 8985 Education Subscription Agents

ILoveReading.SG 9007 8361 Emit Asia 6372 0330 Email: Website: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Call 6336-8985 for back issues. Printed in Singapore by SC International Pte Ltd on Lumisilk Matte Arte Paper Cover and additional photos by

Carlo Venson Peña

The end of the year marks the beginning of yet another. With YRC magazine, the new year is not just a beginning; it is also a time to reflect on new paths to take, and more people to connect with. Another year dawns the coming-of-age for us, as we venture into unchartered territories of literary seas, to ensure that what we have in store for you is only but the best. In this issue, we look at the monetary landscape that has changed over the past few years. The dismal financial crisis that the world has faced in the earlier half of this decade has seen a lot of long faces among adults and children alike. But as gloomy as forecasts are, we need to look at the brighter side of life, as with the features that we have for you in this issue. Read through the stories of triumph in our Featured Stories, and find out how our young authors have weaved their characters into finding their full potentials. Features like Professions give readers an insight on pursuing passion over money, while our regular commentaries from CORE 101 give you insights about how teens nowadays handle their financial woes. We have parents seeking advice in Parents Ask, Teens Answer, in instilling financial values among ‘financially-challenged’ teens, and YRC Investigates brings us a step back to the YOLO principle and everything in between. This issue’s focus on money may sound dreary for others, but like any value and tool to succeed in life, we need to make ourselves more equipped and more aware of what is happening around us– all in the pursuit of building the next generation of thinkers and writers.

Happy reading!

is published by Experiences & Experiments Books Pte Ltd 442A Joo Chiat Road Singapore 427655 Issue 22


YRC Investigates




Featured S t o r i e s

features 8

Featured Author: Shastikk Dejoy Kumaran After winning in the 2011/12 Young Author Awards, Shastikk went on to NUS High School of Math and Science to continue his studies. YRC talks to this insightful young man and asks him about how it has been since his first days under the Young Author Scheme.


My Grandfather’s Story by Mohd Imran A man faces his destiny and more than his fair share of turmoil, twists and turns in life. Read through this touching story about a grandfather and how his grandsons see him as the man he is now.

28 Professions Money isn’t everything, as the saying goes. Meet the independent band Animal Parade, and you’ll know what we mean. 30

He Said, She Said Two teens from each side of the spectrum share their thoughts about being teens and being aware of important issues in this breakthrough column on YRC!


Pet Pals Former YRC health columnist Paulina Lee takes on the wild side, as she features favourite pets, their peeves, and how we can properly maintain them as our lovable companions.


Email From the UK A two-part special, read how children from the other side of the globe live their lives at home, in the community, in school and in their country. Learn their about culture and discover how closely similar your life is with theirs.


Deadly Decisions by Lee Pei Wen It all started off as a vacation. Now, Ericia is all alone. As she meets two new friends, she discovers the truth about herself: she has to save her friends and win a battle against her enemy, Nayumi. She needs to choose between two deadly decisions. Which one will she choose?

CORE 101

30 He Said,

She Said

33 Pet Pals

national education


YRC Investigates Singapore’s Money Matters We live in a day and age when some children in developed countries are slowly forgetting the value of hard-earned money that their parents toil for in the workplace. Read through insightful features on money, meet people, and visit places that teach us how to respect what makes the world economies go around.


Parents Ask, Teens Answer Parents would give anything to their children. But what happens if teens start taking things for granted, just because they think they can have it all? Our experts share their views on teaching teens how to save up without being scrooges.

58 Resources The YRC is more than just a magazine. I t ’s a useful tool for learning better English comprehension and writing for both primary and secondary students. Tap these useful guide questions for your next group discussion in class or at the student study area, which are coupled with resource sheets available for schools and parents!

inspirations CORE 101: Teens’ Voice Is there a way to teach the youth to prepare for their future? Or is Y.O.L.O. the way to live life in this new, fast-paced world? 40

Y.O.L.O. No Go by Woon Kaiqin, Canberra Secondary School


Y.O.L.O. by Ee Chonghui, National Junior College

CORE 101: Points of Views Are today’s youth able to manage their own money? Are they prepared for their future, financially? What is our concept of spending, saving and investing? Have the youth imbibed a culture of saving up or spending out? 35

Money and Teens: A Dreaded Combo? by Lee Tat Wei, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)


YRC Magazine recognises the talents of our regular co nt r i b u to r s a n d writers. For article, illustration and photo contributions, please contact the Editor at info@ or call 6336.8985.

Adeline Lim Educator / Illustrator What Adeline did for this issue: Featured Stories Ad e l i n e L i m i s a n illustrator, designer and visual artists educator who is currently residing in Singapore. Experienced in both physical and digital mediums, Adeline has worked as a layout artist for magazines, as well as covered a broad range of illustrated work in ink, watercolour paints and digital collage for children’s stories.

Paulina Lee Student, University of Adelaide What Paula did for this issue: Pet Pals Pu r s u i n g a d e gre e in health sciences in Australia, Paulina used to be the health columnist for YRC m a g a z i n e. N ow a l l grown up, she spends most of her time on her studies and in documenting travels she often goes to.


Ron Yap YAC Core Member, Zhong Hua Secondary School Wh a t R o n d i d fo r this issue: He Said, She Said As a budding writer, Ron started his stint with the Young Author Scheme, becoming a merit prize winner in the Young Author Awards. Now at 16, Ron aspires to be a travelling author, in pursuit of his ultimate inspiration to write his bestseller.

Ee Chonghui Student, National Junior College What Chonghui did for this issue: Singapore Insights A wee lass when she e nte re d t h e Yo u n g Author Scheme, Chonghui is now in secondary school at NJC and has continually kept in touch with the magazine through her contributions. This is her first column for YRC.

Kenrick Lam Student, AngloChinese School Independent Brian Lee Jun Wei Student, Nanyang Technological University What Brian did for this issue: YRC Investigates Shifting from BioMed to English Literature was not a difficult decision for Brian. His love for the written word, coupled with the passion to write, fuels his desire to one day become a published author.

What Kenrick did for this issue: Parents Ask, Teens Answer The most senior of the YAC Core, Kenrick is a romantic at heart and an objective writer by training. He won second prize in the 2007 Maybank Young Author Awards and has been writing for the magazine since its inception in 2010.

Theresa Ellsworth Student, Occidental College What Theresa did for this issue: He Said, She Said Even before winning a merit prize in the 2 0 1 1 / 1 2 Yo u n g Author Awards, Theresa has shared her writing dexterity to YRC in snippets of contributions that underline her love for writing and her dream of becoming a published author in the future.

Lee Tat Wei Student, Anglo-Chinese School Independent What Tat Wei did for this issue: CORE 101 A senior member of the YAC Core, Tat Wei wrote his first book of 27,000 words when he was 11. Now in secondary school, Tat Wei is a football goalie at school, but is just as hard-hitting as a contributor for the magazine.

Carrie Tan Founder, Daughters of Tomorrow What Carrie did for this issue: Breaking Boundaries A Singaporean social entrepreneur, Carrie has been closely working with women and young girls in India and Indonesia, equipping them with livelihood skills that make them more independent and productive members of society.

Woon Kaiqin Student, Canberra Secondary School What Kaiqin did for this issue: CORE 101 A finalist in the 2012/13 Young Author Awards, Kaiqin is currently a student in Canberra Secondary School.

Ruth Kan Content Strategist, (Youth) Focus on the Family W h a t R u t h d i d fo r t h i s i s s u e : Pa re n t s Ask, Teens Answer As the Youth Specialist w i t h Fo c u s o n t h e Family Singapore, Ruth has been involved in the development of No Apologies and I t ’s UnComplicated program, and has been interviewed by the media on relationships and sexuality issues. A vibrant and passionate individual, she also regularly speaks to young people and has inspired more than four thousand students from secondary and tertiary institutions in the past six years.

At YRC Magazine, we ensure that stories are kept at their most original form, yet there are times that content is abridged to suit the magazine’s readership. Stories featured in YRC Magazine are abridged as necessary, to fit page constraints. The YRC is a literary magazine that conforms to the reading palate of 10-16 year olds. Once a story is featured in the magazine, it is at the discretion of the editor to copyedit articles to a certain extent, to suit the target audience. The views and opinions of the contributors do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of YRC magazine and its staff.

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YRC Magazine welcomes your comments, suggestions, and anything that you wish to share with us! Here are letters we received from students like you. Send yours to or snail mail it to our address!

The Young Reader Club magazine contains a lot of information that follows after each story, which are written by pupils from different schools in Singapore. The publisher, Ms Catherine Khoo, also tells her feelings about each issue in the magazine. The magazine is interesting for pupils since it uses great words in the stories. The first time I received the magazine this year, I started reading it right away, and I was so engrossed in it. The thing that I like about the magazine is that I can learn new words and build my vocabulary. The magazine inspired me, and helped me decide to take writing as a hobby. It also gave me great ideas for planning my own story.

Licia Loh Jia Wen, 10 Junyuan Primary School 6

Featured Author ...Young writers of today

Interview by Natalya Thangamany Photos by Carlo Peña

Fondly known as ‘Shastikk’ to all, our 13-year-old featured author is currently in his first year at NUS High School of Mathematics & Science. Stout, intelligent and blessed with the gift of the gab, Shastikk made waves in YRC several times through his written contributions and was even a model for Giordano in our first fashion spread. Having matured over the past few years since we first met him in 2011, Shastikk displays a quiet, strong wisdom and awareness under his witty sense of fun.

It was in June 2011 when Shastikk signed up for the Young Author Scheme during the June school holidays, which then led him to his achievements in the Young Author Awards 2011/2012. His story ‘War and Peace’ earned him second place in the competition; it was about a young soldier who was severely injured during World War II but got back on his feet– literally– and became an Olympic track runner in order to promote peace. Getting second place was a huge surprise for Shastikk, who had not expected his win.


“If I had expected it, I would not have been so surprised,” he says with a grin. “I was really surprised. I didn’t think much about my story as I saw a lot of mistakes in it after I submitted. Even as a finalist, I thought I would only get a consolation prize but I never predicted that I will win.” The story was inspired by the 2012 Olympics.“I was reading a lot about the Olympics because there were qualifications and preparations for it so I was very interested. There was also all this talk about Usain Bolt


Mohamed Imran Jashirudeen, 16

A s i a n Ta l e s

Raffles Institution I am Imran and I love sports and fitness. I love to play football, run, read and listen to music. I took part in Janus Education’s story writing competition as part of my school’s English module and I’m glad I was shortlisted. My parents suggested I write a story with a local theme and I thought that “Asian Tales” was recently becoming a popular genre too. I spoke to my grandfather and got to know more about his life like how he came from India and eventually made Singapore his home. I decided to write the story based on his life and experiences. Writing the “The Grandfather Story” ended up like a mini family project and I am glad it is now reaching out to more people.

A Grandfather’s Story Written in Sec 2 at Raffles Institution

“Hey! Imran, your grandfather’s house is so much bigger than your Bedok flat and there are only three people in the house. Your grandfather must be rich and I hope you are his favourite grandson. I think I should ask him for a big Hari Raya present,” exclaimed Raul, Imran’s best friend as he visited Imran’s grandfather’s house at Joo Chiat during Hari Raya. Grandfather’s friend Kareem was there and overheard their conversation. Later after Raul had left, he pulled Imran aside and said, “Imran, you should know that this house has a long story filled with hard work, sadness and of course happiness. Your grandfather’s story starts all the way from India. Your grandfather is not as lucky as you want to think. In fact, you and your father have a better start in life than him.

Illustrations by Adeline Lim

You are lucky to have a person like him in your lives. I shall tell you the story of how your grandfather came to Singapore and how all of this came about if you are interested. ” “Oh, Appa Kareem, sound’s interesting. I could use a story like that”, Imran said. “You may have heard a lot of Asian stories, right son? Well here is an Asian story where your grandfather is the hero. Come let us get a drink and find some seats at the back-lane of the house.” Imran rolled his eyes as he was impatient and wanted to hear the story immediately. He only knew little bits about his grandfather’s past when his father spoke of him at times. “Young man, don’t give me that face. I will tell you and you can record it on your

Due to the length of the story, YRC has created an abridged version of the story. Catch the full story at www. under Resources.


STORY TRIVIA With its name derived from the River Indus, which flows across the valleys where its early settlers thrived, India has the world’s largest and o l d e s t co nt i n u o u s civilisation. Sanskrit, an ancient language used by Indians, is the mother of all European l a n g u a g e s. I n d i a’s intricate civilisation also created the number system, and is also the world’s largest democracy. Here are a few other quirky facts about this vibrant and colourful nation:

Cows wander freely in India *because they are considered

sacred, and often wear an ornament that symbolises good fortune. Cows in India are considered as one of man’s seven mothers, since they provide milk. Contrary to popular belief, *mar tial ar ts was ac tually

India has the world’s largest movie *industry, situated in the city of Mumbai.

invented in India. It later spread to Asia by nomadic Buddhist missionaries.

Almost all Indian movies are musicals.

to take Indian rupees *outItofistheillegal country. India is the birthplace of *chess, whose original word in Sanskrit was chaturanga, which means ‘four members of an army’ referring to elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers.

The Bengal tiger is India’s *animal. Sadly less than 4,000 remain now due to poaching. 22

national of them

...Understanding how the world works

By Natalya Thangamany With additional reporting by Brian Lee


YRC Investigates


has been around much longer than most people think. In fact, when our ancestors came up with trading objects of value for other objects of similar value or to gain something material, this became the precursor for what we now call “money�. In this issue of YRC Investigates, we look at how children and adults value money, and how important a role it plays in our lives.

Issue 22



Money has become the driving force of everything today, for better or worse. Today, the average human being will not be able to do anything without money. So where did this magical thing called money come from? It is a question that most of us took for granted, until YRC visited the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum, a place where both past and present are lined up next to each other; with holographic coins in Gallery 3 below barter spices and Singapore’s first dollar notes in Galleries 1 and 2. Currency in Singapore first existed in the form of barter, the exchange of one product for another. Rice, spices, metal and even rock salt could be exchanged for one or the other in the ancient world. Cowry shells as a form of currency came about much later on as a way to make up for smaller values that could not be exchanged. In the 8th century, this gave way to China’s silver tael and copper cash, as the middle kingdom grew in prominence. Displayed in “Gallery 1: Pre-Independence”, Singapore was something else surprising. Money back then could be shaped like anything; for example, spears and swords in China. In the

15th century, the native Malay culture began using tampangs, or metallic money shaped like miniature pagodas, pyramids or animals. It was only with the western powers that currency in its modern form began to take shape, but history is never that straightforward. With Sir Stamford Raffles came the prototype for modern currency, but the Spanish and Mexican dollar held sway at first. They were globally accepted in the late 18th century. In 1835, Indian rupees were used in Singapore, but so were many other foreign currencies. Even before 1835, Singapore Merchant Tokens as imitation coins were produced to facilitate trading due to a shortage in Mexican dollars. It was only in 1845 that a local (Britishenforced) Straits Settlement currency was introduced, and when the Straits Settlement became a crown colony, new coins reflecting this prestige were circulated. Notes, however, did not come as early as coins, and began only when private banks started issuing banknotes and post bills for use in their premises in the middle of the Issue 22


PlayMoolah, an online interactive portal that teaches financial literacy, aims to inspire youths to explore different perspectives of money and develop smart and informed decisions, encouraging young people to have open conversations with peers and parents. PlayMoolah is formed around five main values: Earn, Give, Spend, Invest, and Save. These values inspire looking at money from different perspectives, and practice them in real life actions. The most popular part of the Moolahverse is the guardian jobs where players can earn money by playing the role of a doctor healing the minis, or a chef whipping up cool recipes,

or even manage a hotel! Players can also SAVE up for a real-world goal, or GIVE their money, time, or talents to causes they believe in. The game hopes for kids to explore different perspectives of money and encourage smart decisions. “We realised that many adults have forgotten what money is. That it’s really just a concept invented by human beings to make the trading of actual goods and services more efficient, money is not true value in itself,” says Min Xuan to YRC. “On the other hand, things like food, time spent with the people you love, opportunities to expand our minds, to travel and see new cultures, to learn new and exciting things, to laughter, and to create memories– these are things of true value!” PlayMoolah works with schools to give kids the opportunity to use the game in the computer lab, and even conduct a fun series of workshops to get smart about money and decision making. The game introduces kids to earn, spend, save, invest, and give, to see how money can help achieve your goals and create more value in the world. In 2012, PlayMoolah won the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge, which awarded them a $50,000 grant for the game, besting 10 other start-ups in the US. They are based on The Hub Singapore, where they have also received funding from the National Youth Council. Issue 22



Aud re y Tan an d Lee M i n Xuan met while they were undergraduates on a oneyear work-and-study exchange programme at a Silicon Valley start-up, during the economic crisis. Both had friends in the US whose families were worrying about debt and mortgages. It got them thinking about what the real problem was– that people didn’t know how to manage their money, and they realised that these lessons shouldn’t be taught to working adults and professionals, but to children, right from their first allowance.


Lee Min Xuan Princess of Possibility


...Understanding how the world works

Singapore as a country is best k n ow n fo r i t s t r i u m p h s a n d exploits in the commercial world, with its busy port, towering skyscrapers and a currency just a few cents b e h i n d t h e U S d o l l a r. In history though, this has not stopped culture from flourishing even when economic measures are placed against it.

touching worms during prawning, leading down to a path of songwriting and performance. The band is driven by one passion: putting fun first– a far cry from the business-oriented society of Singapore. The music they have produced so far are all about local and personal issues they are passionate about, and for the moment they have no plans to

The same can be said for music in Singapore, in the form of The Animal Parade, a band of three young adults, Tan Siling, Jonathan Liang and Kelvin Tan, whose beginnings were humble, bearing no long term grand ambitions. Jonathan and Kelvin were friends since secondary school, and the group came together in 2010, not as a band but merely as friends hanging out together. Their transformation began when they ‘randomly decided to jam’ one day with friends. After some time together playing badminton, having barbeques, and going prawning, the group became inspired one day to write a jingle about Kelvin and his fear of 28

go international. At the same time, they do not want to be overly negative and give out a cranky vibe. It seemed natural that their production method is one of spontaneity, relying on the same ad-hoc moment that is

He Said, She Said The Voices of Teens Today...

Are today’s youth able to manage their own money? Are they prepared for their future, financially?

YRC talks to two teens to get their side of the story from both sides of the fence.


Pet Pals

Taking care of pets better

For this issue of YRC, we are focusing on reptiles. Nope, it will not be your every day house lizard b u t r a t h e r, t h e c o o l l i z a rd s l i k e t h e b e a rd e d dragon and the bluetongued lizards!

By Paulina Lee

NotYourEveryday HouseholdLizard!

Do you know that lizards are popular pets in Australia? They can cost anything from $50 to a few hundred dollars and that is excluding the price you need to pay for the equipment such as the cage, food and heating. Essentials Vivarium. Unlike a normal house pet like the guinea pig or rabbit, reptiles require a vivarium to thrive. A vivarium is a habitat that resembles that of their natural environment. For different lizards, this habitat would be different but in general, it would require several items such as heating, lighting, shade, pool, and sand. Heating. Most lizards require a heated environment since lizards are built for the deser t. Hence i t i s i m p o r t a nt that where you set up the vivarium, there is a power supply. Heating is essential since lizards are unable to heat themselves up like warm-blooded animals are able to. Instead, lizards absorb heat from their

environment, such as the sun, to keep their body warm and to help digestion. However, it is important to also have a heat gradient in the vivarium since lizards also need to vary their temperature different time of the day and for different requirements of their body. Hence, having Issue 22


CORE 101... Points of View

By Lee Tat Wei Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

Money and adolescents – the two words that most parents dread to hear in the same sentence. Not only are they the reason for school fees, pocket money, but also the annual birthday gifts; the Christmas presents. I ndeed, the youth seem to be money-gobblers with an insatiable hunger.

Are youths really able to control their own finances? Is the constant money-spending simply due to the seemingly-infinite capital provided by the presence of our parents? If we were to be given full control of limited finances, how would we spend it? In my opinion, youths today are generally not as smart with their finances as one would expect an adolescent to be. This, of course, is in no way the complete fault of the youth, but rather the culture that this society provides. We have to first recognise that there is a difference between this generation and generations of the past (in Singapore’s context at least). We must realise that with poverty not being such an ever-present issue, the need to save has also been minimised in comparison to the need to spend. That being said, it is in no way justifiable for one to splurge simply because he or she has extra money on hand.

However, this does mean that the youth of today are more accustomed to want more, in comparison to previous generations who struggled to sustain their current lifestyle. In a sense, to the youth, “spending” is using money on hand to purchase desired items, while “saving” is storing those money away to spend on a more expensive desired item. Peer pressure is one of the more obvious catalysts for this desire to spend. When someone gets a new game, or a new pair of shoes, or a new bag, there becomes a want to buy said items as well. Rarely do I hear friends saving up money for their university education or wedding– most of these cash are directed into short term items like the recently released GTA V or a new gaming set-up. Adolescence is a time where children grow up; but not all have the foresight to see the need to save in comparison with the Issue 22



Email from... England Brandon Ly Age: 10 School: Vauxhall Primary School Ambition: Game Designer or Actor Hobbies & Interests: Sports


YRC talks to k ids from the UK in this three -par t series. Check out what k ids from their side of the planet love about their country, their communities, and their families.

hat makes my school special is the fact that I get to meet my friends and get to do things that I enjoy. The teachers are also very nice. I enjoy school. What I love about my town London is, the fact that nearly every person is friendly, which sets a good atmosphere. My school and my community is the best place I could ask for. Everyone in my community knows each other; I’m just so familiar with everyone! Really I love everything about my school, but if I had to choose two things, they would be the pupils and the staff; they are so nice and a pleasure to work with.

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Parents Ask, Teens Answer ...Linking teens and parents together

For the privileged few, money is no object. But for parents whose hardearned money means hours of work and sacrifice of being away with the family, helping teens to respect money as a tool for success becomes a Herculean task. Mrs Jones from Sembawang writes: My son was born at a time when the family had finally become more or less financially sustainable. Growing up, he had it easy to ask for things he wanted and needed. My husband and I worked hard to reach this point in our lives, but recently, I’ve noticed that my teen has been wantonly buying things online and at stores in the mall, without regard for the money we give him. How do I help my teen to value the money we give him? How can we impart better money values to him, without looking like we’re becoming scrooges? Our resident youth specialist Ruth Kan answers the query first. Teenagers typically face peer pressure and peer comparison, she says, which can be very real and intense situations for them. Furthermore, every teen wants to be accepted and wants to avoid ridicule. Teens could be facing these issues at the moment. In the case of Mrs Jones, Ruth says he might want to possess certain things that his peers have or is in fashion amongst teenagers. Your son’s friends may also be getting more allowance and he may be comparing himself to their ability to purchase things that he wants. Moreover, he may also be inundated with the media about what he needs in order to be popular or cool. If not careful, he can become sucked into the false belief that only what he possesses will boost his image. Hence, Ruth suggests, it is important to first understand the kind of pressure he might be facing before moving on to teach him better money values. Otherwise, you are not giving 42

Magic & Fantasy

Lee Pei Wen, 13 Nan Hua High School I’m a bookworm and I love reading fiction books. I enjoy playing the guitar in my free time and reading is a form of relaxation to me. During the time when I was writing this story, I was obsessed with the Percy Jackson series. It was my inspiration as I penned down one of the many ideas in my head. As a child, I figured that I would write to appeal to other children of my age, and I believed that they would love a story filled with adventures. This story is about an ordinary girl discovering a whole new life and new powers, and how she overcomes the challenges she faced. I felt as if I could relate to the main character as both of us were going through big changes in life. I hope everyone will have fun reading this.

The Deadly Decision Written in Pri 4 at Pioneer Primary School

My friends Smiles were plastered on our faces as we alighted the black and shiny limousine. Alyson, Betty, Cynthia, Drew and I dashed into the villa. Alyson had brown eyes, a friendly smile and brown hair. Betty had snowy grey eyes, blonde hair. Cynthia had orange-brown eyes and a bright smile. I am so much different than them. I had dark black hair and dark blue eyes. Also, I do not smile that often. “Wow, this villa is huge!” we gasped in awe and covered our mouths with both hands. Our eyes widened and jaws dropped when we stepped in the multi-storied villa. There was a four meters long leather couch in the centre of the living room. A huge plasma television was placed on a lengthy metal table which shined brightly. A chandelier with gleaming diamonds hung on the ceiling. The exquisiteness of the place was breathtaking. Alyson, Betty, Cynthia, Drew

Illustrations by Adeline Lim

and I laid our bags on the couch. We headed enthusiastically for the kitchen. Counters and pots were polished. A glass table was situated in the middle with five neon-coloured seats. “Alyson, how did you manage to get this amazing villa?” I questioned. Alyson, the richest among us, grinned and led us to the stairs. “I pleaded my dad for this villa. He allowed me to use this for vacation because it is the smallest of all the villas he owns.” “Smallest?” Betty, Drew and I squeaked. We scanned the villa and figured at least a million people could fit into it. We held our thoughts and continued upstairs. The floor of the corridor was covered by a red-and-white carpet. I counted; there were five rooms in total. After the quick tour, we went downstairs to the kitchen. “I’ll prepare lunch,” Betty offered. The three of them began to

Due to the length of the story, YRC has created an abridged version of the story. Catch the full story at www. under Resources. Issue 22




Vacation Ideas Galore Although we can’t have awesome adventures like Pei Wen’s characters did in ‘Deadly Decisions’, we can definitely check out these cool vacation destinations that are just as adventurous. Seagaia Ocean Dome, Japan The largest indoor Polynesian-themed waterpark in the world, the Seagaia Ocean Dome in Mizayaki, Japan is 300 metres in length and 100 metres in width. It had a fake lava-spitting volcano, and the world’s largest retractable roof. Sadly, it closed in 1997. Giraffe Manor, Kenya Found in one of the suburbs of Nairobi in Kenya, the Giraffe Manor is home to the endangered Rothschild giraffes of Africa. Aside from being a bed and breakfast, the hotel offers guests the opportunity to feed the giraffes either from their own plates during breakfast or tea time, or when they open their windows in the morning.

Metropolis, USA Yes, the place does exist. Metropolis, Illinois in the US is the only city on Earth that is dedicated to the Man of Steel, and they have a gigantic statue of the man in blue tights, to prove it. Their biggest festival, the Superman Celebration, is a large gathering of book collectors from around the States.

I s l a n d o f t h e D o l l s, M ex i co Locally known as La Isla De Las Muñecas, visitors often feel chills running up their spine once they see the dismembered and mutilated dolls that hang from the trees on the island, courtesy of the island’s one and only former resident. It is advised that visitors leave an offering for the dolls, which locals believe are the resting place of spirits of the island. Issue 22


By Ee Chonghui, National Junior College

(You Only Live Once)

It is a very common sight to see many parents set off for work in the early hours of the morning and return home long after their kids are asleep, just to earn some extra cash to ensure their kids are able to attend a good university. And how do these kids reciprocate their parents? YRC Core contributor Ee Chonghui has the hard-hitting answers. Nowadays, quite sadly, many teens spend their parents’ hard-earned money on unnecessary items. And by unnecessary items I mean items like buying another pair of shoes when they already have ten other pairs at home. Their excuses: you only live once; why not make this life the best you’ve ever had? But should that be the correct mindset? Foremost, what does it mean by living the best life you can? Does it mean to change a new wallet every month or get the newest gadget before your classmates do? Not really. Have you ever stopped to wonder, what do I want to do when I grow up? Of course many will say: I want to be able to buy the stuff I


want, to own a big house, expensive cars, fly across the globe… Many youths today dream of making it big, becoming famous and rich. But most of their dreams rarely turn into reality. This is due to a very simple reason: as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. If we want our dreams to come true, we have to make them come true. The world, as I see it, contains three different categories of people who achieve their dreams in three different ways. The first type, I call them the Lucky Ones. These are the kind of people most people want to be. They are the ones born with a sliver, or even platinum, spoon in

Tiger Girls by Abigail Cheng She was quiet; a silent sufferer. With a hunchback, small eyes and round face, she was not ver y attractive. Everything she said was ignored– be it criticism, complaints, questions and even compliments. Need to know more? Read through this haunting tale by YAA merit winner Abigail Cheng in the next YRC magazine!

The Forge by Alexander Yean A compilation of vignettes about an unnamed boy as he grows up in the dystopian world of Vedora, where every vignette shows an important event in his life, each set years apart and happening in different seasons, catch this chilling saga by YAA second prize winner from Raffles Institution, in the next instalment of the YRC!

P LU S O U R N OT- TO - B E - M I S S E D CO LU M N S AND DEPARTMENTS: Nat iona l Edu cati on * YRC Inve stig ates * COR E 101 * Ema il From * Pet Pals * Insp irat ions * He Said, She Said * Professions

* New columns coming in 2014!

Get to kno w mor e abo ut YRC Mag azin e! Visi t ww w.y oun gre ade rclu for sub scri ptio ns, contributions and more!

YRC 22  

Money might make the world go 'round, but reading and writing brings us further down the road. Read through this issue of the Young Reader C...

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