Page 1

Proud Heritage, Bright Future: Building Community at Lake Forest Country Day School Lake Forest Country Day School is known for its commitment to community. We are a small school, dedicated to partnership among all members of the School community; conscientious responsibility to others; and student participation in all aspects of School life. These tenets, along with academic excellence, form the basis of our mission statement. They pervade the traditions we have grown since 1888 and inspire myriad service learning opportunities we develop to share with others outside of our School community. This year we have built upon this proud heritage by inaugurating a House System.

Pairing students within one Lower School and one Upper School grade level, the House System encourages cross-class mentorship and friendship. The four Houses, named for the School’s founders, each represent one cross-class pairing. The pairings of Grades 1 and 5 (Alcott House), Grades 2 and 6 (Bell House), Grades 3 and 7 (Farwell House) and Grades 4 and 8 (Mason House) allow the class years and buddies to grow together within their Houses. When fourthgrade students graduate from the Lower School and eighth graders graduate from LFCDS, the rising fifth graders will stay in the same House and the rising first-grade students will become their younger buddies and housemates. Five House events transpired this year – the initial kickoff meeting where cheers and buddies were established, the Homecoming Pep Rally where buddies and Houses sat together and enjoyed the festivities, a Holiday House meeting, a Valentine’s Day Buddy Breakfast, and Field Day. All were joyful community experiences that cemented feelings of student, faculty, and staff camaraderie and respect.

In honor of the inauguration of the House System this year and our ongoing commitment to School community, we offer you cross-divisional student writing and artwork. You will find the theme of community embedded throughout Dimensions – in its literature, art, and design. This is the very first Dimensions publication that that spans Lower and Upper Schools, with a writing submission from each Lower School student beginning in Senior Kindergarten and from a representative sampling of Upper School students. Because the submissions from Upper School students may reflect more sophisticated topics and content, please use your good judgment about reading these selections aloud to younger students. Enjoy the hard work of all of our students from the Alcott, Bell, Farwell, and Mason Houses!

Index of Authors & Artists Aagaz Baig

Abegail Byun

Brooks Osborne


Grayson Brown



Calvin Osborne


Harrison Potts


Caroline Swenson


Ian Strudwick



Adam Steinwold


Aidan Murphy Alaric Ma

64, 92

Alex Gunton


Alexis Dennis


Alexis Jimenez


Allen Mons


Amanda Bozorgi


Angelique Alexos

38, 77

Amanda Tibbals


Andrew Xakellis


Anna Pierson

88, 150

Anna Schilling

Anne Marie Boardman Annie Hennesy

Anthony Grushevsky





Anton Walvoord


Asher Anderson


Arlo Lidstrom

Aryana Farimani


Autumn Rabjohns Barbara Canty

Barrett Medvec


Beatrix Leffingwell Becker Roloson Belle Clay

Benjamin Arthurs Betsy Regan Blair Flavin

Brendan Murphy Brian Silver

Brooke Farrell

Brooke Mordini Brooke Theis

180 28

Asher Sklarov



156 72


23, 133,153


180 182



98, 135 17, 36 180 13

Caitlin Kolb

Caitlyn Mathews

Cameron Wacker Caroline Keil Chris Dennis

Christopher Neill Claudia Bijak

Colin Pickens Colin Weil

Constantine Alexos Cynnie White

37 6





34 42

46, 57



Daisy Connery


Eleanor Hutchinson


Dominique Hance Edie Tynes Elise Kalin Ella Cabbil

Ellen Roloson

Emily Callahan Emily Cullitan Eric Bijak

Erin Bowler

Erisa Farimani Eva Hanson

Freddie Wacker

Gabbie Jakubowski

41 7


71, 86


10, 84



38 82

29, 93 167


Gardner Brown


Georgia O’Neil


Genevieve Farrell George Hodgkins Gino Farrell

Grace Fitzgerald Grace Lee

Graham Pierson




18, 47


13, 35

Grayson Pruett

Griffin Slobodnik Harry Hodgkins Henry Thomas Isabella Farag Jack Canty

Jack Gilcrest

Jack Kempczinski Jack Marshall Jack Walsh

Jackson Silvester

Jackson Van Paris





11, 15



26 42 19



Jacob Phelps


James Rausch


Jade Bury

James O’Keane Jaro Bijak

Jessica Pasma

Jessica Vignocchi John Tobin

Johnny Silver

Jonathan Xakellis Josselyn Joanem Joyce Caldwell

Juliana Roman

Kaiden Britton

Karisma Chhabria Kate Danaher

Kate Stephenson Katie Gilcrest

Katie Schilling

Kaylie McDonough Kevin Woods Kiesha Bland


42 18



80 19

24, 52


68 70



8, 95

13 79


165 58


Index of Authors & Artists Kiley Rabjohns

Kimberly Stafford

19, 89 163

Kimie Han

86, 108

Lexie Kolb


Lauren Sexton Leo Anderson

56 57

Liam Larsen


Lila Fitzgerald


Libby Blodgett Libby Tancula Lilia Swift

Lillianne Carrasco Lily Connery

Lily Kempczinksi Lily Silvester

Lily Steinwold Louisa Hance Luis Correa

Luisa Hance

Lukas Maggos

167 9

181 165 75

100, 117 120 166

178 167

21 74

Luke Jannotta


Lydia Puryear


Luke Larsen

Luke Tibbals

Maggie Andrea Maria Johnson

37 37

87, 170 153

Marie Giambrone

15, 106

Mary Xakellis

63, 112

Mark Basgall Mary Lee

Matthew Basgall

Matty Slobodnik Max Brenner Max Bury

Max Collins

Mia Walvoord

Michael Giambrone


180 145







Michael Shanahan


Simone Sawyer



Sophia Burt


Mike Mesrobian


Nairne Clark


Mimi Baeseman-Smith 135,164 Mimi Osborne Natalie Goeks

Natalie Regan

Nathan Barnes

Nicholas Bauer

Nicholas Lubaev

Nicky Mesrobian Nneka Okoli Obi Okoli

Olivia Barnes

Olivia Vrablik

Ollie Hodgkins Owen Linback Paige Roby

Parker Othman

Paul Podedworny Peter Jannotta Phelim Tong


108, 113 13 61








183 27


130, 183



Posy Connery


Quintin Primo


Preston Anderson Preston Pickens

Rachel Boardman Rachel Roberts Ryan Carney

101 85


151 167

Sasha Sklarov


Shaena Wright


Savannah Silvester Scott Skinner

Shelby Pruett

Sheridan Leahy Shirley Knight Siena Phelps

180 67

99, 125 79, 131


Skylar Othman


Sophia Banner


Sophia Gray


Sophia Maggos


Spencer Chun


Sophie Banner


Sophie Zacka

Spencer Werner


Stella Baeseman-Smith Stephen Knobel

Stewart Thompson Sydney Steinberg Sydnie Mathews Taha Ahmad Tara Janas

Tatum McBreen

Thibaut Sacherer Thomas Dixon

Timmy Thompson Toby Harris Tyler Kolb

Tyler Medvec

Vicente Nagel



85, 137


152 103


134 66

105, 142

102, 171 81





Waverly Wildman

102, 143

Whitney Jannotta


Wes Stephenson

Wesley Stephenson Will Blodgett Will Collins Will Meyer Will Owen

Zachery Barker


87 19

124, 175

118, 132 167






Caitlyn Mathews

December Grade 3

“Mouse!” I screamed as something jetted through the bushes.

My sister was tugging me along in a wagon. She was acting like a horse harnessed to a carriage. The wagon had a long history. One time a neighborhood cat climbed into this very wagon with a dead mouse in its mouth. When the cat finished with the mouse, there was still blood in wagon. We washed the blood away, but the memory remained. We were going into our front yard. Everything was so serene, like nothing was there but us. Then there was a soft scuffling sound in the rosebushes…MOUSE! The mouse was furry and black like midnight. I screamed! I tore through the yard like a bunny getting chased by a fox.

I shrieked, “Ma, I think I saw a mouse!” I was shivering all over. The mice around our house are colossal.

“What!” She exclaimed. She was pale.

“Yep…Sydnie and I heard it alright.” My face was red from bounding the long way from the front yard. I was panting like a dog. I had a terrified face, but I was trying not to look scared. “Yeah,” Sydnie said. She had taken the short way into the house, so she wasn’t as breathless as I was, but she was still shaking with alarm.

“I’m going to tell Daddy. He will get traps.” She is very scared of mice, so she wasn’t too happy. “NO! It’s a blameless little mouse,” I screamed.

“Okay…but if it happens again, I’m going to tell Daddy.” “Alright.”

“Good. We really need a cat. Now let’s go back to the party.” “Make sure Daddy doesn’t know about this, alright?” “Alright.”

But a few minutes later Sydnie and I went into the front yard and heard the mouse again. It ended up being a chipmunk that was searching for food, but it was in our wagon stealing our nuts that we had saved up to put on our patio.


Longer Recess

Edie Tynes

February Grade 3

Have you ever wished for a longer recess? I have, especially in the wintertime. It’s important to have more time because it will take you longer to get on your snow gear and stomp to the sled hill.

First, you need to put on all your snow gear like snow pants, a cozy jacket, waterproof gloves, fuzzy sock cap, and heavy winter boots. So that takes about five to ten minutes. Once you have all your gear, you need to wait for the whole class to find all their gear and put it on. When you’re finally outside half of your recess is gone! Then you take a deep breath and get ready for the cold. Getting ready really takes time! Now you are ready to go! But…the walk! Pit-pat shhh; pit-pat shhh as you stomp and drag your sled. Finally, just as you cry “uncle,” you’re ready to go, tired and out of breath. You take a look behind you and see your friends. All of the sudden, you slip, and you’re off! You only get about six runs until the teacher calls you in, and you have to go back and do the walk all over again.

Pit- pat, shhh. Surely we desperately need more recess! It would be preferable to have fortyfive to sixty minutes and about fifteen minutes to put on our snow gear and another fifteen to walk to the sled hill.

My First Soccer Goal

Constantine Alexos

February Grade 2

One sunny afternoon it was time to go to my soccer game. I saw my soccer buddies. Then it was time to play soccer. I kicked the ball, and it went far and I passed it to Teddy. He went down the field. He shot and missed the goal.

Then it was the next period. I sat out. Teddy kicked the ball, and he chased it down the field. The other team took the ball from us, and then they passed it and they scored on their own goal! They couldn’t believe it.

Then it was the next period, and I went in. Teddy kicked it to me. I went down the field. I shot the ball. I scooted right through their legs. When I shot, I also scored! Just like a hockey player! I was so happy. I ran down the field screaming! I was so excited; it was my first goal. The last period the other team kicked the ball. The boys went all around the field but no goals. The game was over. I went home.

How to Save Money

Asher Sklarov February Grade 2

Contents 1. Where to Put the Piggy Bank 2. Where to Find Money 3. How to Save Money

First, get a piggy bank. Then put it on a shelf in a safe place. Don’t leave the piggy bank out. Tip: A safe place would be in your bedroom where people can’t reach it. Second, keep on deserving money or finding money. Put your money in the piggy bank right away. Tip: Try to get or earn money. You can earn money by cleaning your room or doing chores. Try to find money under a couch or bed!

Third, save your money. Try not to spend your money. Don’t spend the money unless you have to. Tip: Save money and don’t spend it on toys.

My Trip to Disney World

Kate Danaher November Grade 1

When I was five-years-old, I went to Disney World. My brother and my parents and my grandparents came, too. When I got there I was happy. We had a beautiful room. We had to unpack. I was a little tired.

When we got to the park, I went on a roller coaster. It was called Space Mountain. The roller coaster was very fast, and my dad had to hold on to me. I was a little scared because I was fiveyears-old. I did not say a word, I was so scared. When I rode the roller coaster it was dark. It was loud. I will never ride the roller coaster again! I went to a haunted house. I liked the haunted house. I like the haunted house because it was so scary. There was a lady in a crystal ball. She would talk to us. It was only her head that was in the crystal ball. In the haunted house there were spooky things. There were ghosts. There were spiders. I wouldn’t dare touch the spiders! It was dark. It was loud. It was spooky. There were ghosts, goblins, and crawling hands. I saw fireworks. They were beautiful. I liked the fireworks. The fireworks were huge. I liked the blue fireworks the best. The fireworks were right behind the castle. The fireworks looked very pretty. Sometimes the fireworks would go on at night. I would watch the fireworks from my hotel window.


I went to Animal Kingdom. There were lots of animals. There were some fake animals. The fake animals made weird sounds. The animals did good behavior. They were very interesting. Some animals would go in the water. But we didn’t scare the animals. They didn’t even look at us! There were many different kinds of animals. There were elephants, monkeys, and alligators. I can’t wait until I go back to Disney World again. I was a little sad I had to go.

The Broken Vase

Gabbie Jakubowski

October Grade 2

“Smash, crack, boom.” When I broke the vase I was so scared. I was in my condo in Florida with my grandma. My grandma said, “Call your mom!” I asked, “What if she will get mad at me?” My grandma told me that my mom will get even madder if I didn’t tell her now.

I told my grandma, “Just get a new one that is the same as this one.” My mom was coming to Florida in two days. The next day, I called my mom and told her that I broke the vase. She said that it was okay and that she was glad that I told the truth. She told me that she was coming home tomorrow! Then she said that tomorrow we would go to the store and buy a prettier one. I was so happy that I didn’t get in trouble.

So the next day we go to the store and got a real pretty vase. My mom asked how I broke the vase. I said I was playing catch with Grandma, and it broke. Then we bought the vase at the store, and it looked very pretty. My mom was happy that we got a new one, and I love my new vase, too!

Book Review: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Libby Tancula

October Grade 4

How could a fairy’s blessing be such a curse? When Ella was born, Lucinda, a fairy, gave her the gift of obedience. When Ella was older, her mother died. Char was her best friend. Char was always there for Ella. Her father sent her to finishing school. Finishing school is a place where people send their daughters to become proper ladies. Ella has many adventures in this book.

In this story, the author made up words for fake languages. My favorite word was “FFnOO,” which means “sour” in Ogrese. One thing I like about the book was that the author made the book like Cinderella.

This book was very adventurous. I would recommend this book to girls in third or fourth grade. I would not recommend this book to boys who are afraid of cooties.


Emily Callahan, Grade 2


Isabelle Farag, Grade 1




Michael Giambrone January Grade 3

When I got on the plane, I felt scared and good. I felt happy to go to Utah for the first time. I felt scared to go on the really big mountains for the first time. They are huge and tall. I like the hot tub a lot. Utah is a fun state to visit. It has a lot of places to ski and tube. I also enjoy going in the hot tub.

It is fun to go skiing in Utah. The mountains are huge, so I got to go really fast when I went down the second time. It is better to ski in Utah than Wisconsin. It has a lot more mountains. They are steeper mountains. When you are going down the mountain, there are sometimes bumps to go on; they are a lot of fun to me. My instructor taught me to do some tricks. There’s a thing called the spine. It’s a long pile of snow, so you can jump on and off. I fell the first time I went on the spine. I did not fall the second time; it was easy. I did jumps on it, spins, and tricks.

Tubing is awesome when it is on snow. I spin around on the tube. I hit a bump, and I didn’t feel so good. I smiled when I got to the bottom. I jumped in the air when I hit a huge bump. I love tubing in snow more than water. It’s hard to go tubing on water. You go a lot faster, and you can flip over. You also aren’t going down mountains. When you go on a mountain, it is a lot more fun. The hot tub is the best place to be in winter. It is really warm. When you are tired from skiing, you should go in the hot tub. The best part is being so hot when you are surrounded by snow; you’re not being touched by snow. I love being in the hot tub. I thought it was so relaxing by how warm it was. The hot tub does not have bubbles at all. This was our first family ski trip, and I hope we go every year. I can’t wait to go skiing, tubing, and going in the hot tub next year. This was the best family ski trip I have ever been to.

First Time Skating Blair Flavin Follow a chair With a Hat, helmet, Snow pants, and Mittens Skate around the rink one time Then do it again

January Grade 2


Cinquain Poetry


Graham Pierson Balls Hard, white Kicking, scoring, winning Team with eleven players Soccer

December Grade 3

I’m Too Fast Nicky Mesrobian I’m TOO fast at R N I G! U N N I’m TOO fast at eating. I’m TOO fast at um ing. J p Why can’t I be slow?

Grade 2 January

Thanksgiving Nathan Barnes

November Grade 4

I hear the pots and pans banging I see the jiggly, wiggly cranberry sauce in a bowl I see a big, fat mouthwatering oven-baked turkey Just as the snow starts to fall

Brooke Theis

January Grade 2

Lollipops are lovely. I can see their perfect swirl. They’re waiting in the candy store. Just wait and see, there will be plenty for you and me.

Fast Hockey Matty Slobodnik Hockey fun Like you run Elbows, knees, shoulders Helmet hard Skates sharp And neck guard Championship sing Score keeper records

January Grade 2

Where I’m From

Elise Kalin

November Grade 4

I am from the street that’s a spice and the only house with a red door. From frozen grapes to chocolate chip cookies.

I am from the house with the red door and the white vinyl siding. I am from the house with too many trees and, in the fall, with too many leaves.

I am from Secret Santa Christmas without the big secret and from Hannukah with the menorah, from the father who makes bad choices on bikes and on ladders, and the brothers who have fun with their friends on computers. I am from the family with a fast black malti-poo, Spooky, who came after Peaches died, and came around Halloween time. That’s why he’s called Spooky.

I am from “stop that smiling” and “sweet potato.” I am from French-Indian heritage, from England, Russia, Ireland, Poland, and Hungary, pizza, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, chocolate chip cookies, and popcorn.

I am from family pictures on the wall, in boxes, on computers. They show grandparents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, and cousins. I can think about them every time I see the pictures.

When I Picked My Puppy

Toby Harris

October Grade 4

I was thinking hard one day about what wire-haired dachshund I would choose for my new pet. My head was like a factory working so hard that steam was coming out of my head. I could not think! “Rose”? “Daisy”? None of these sounded right, and that was when the name “Harriet” sprang into my mind. Yes. That was it.

The next day, I hopped into the car with my family, and we drove to the breeder in Wisconsin. When we got there, we all hopped out of the car with a thump. I saw a big yard and a one-story house. We rang the doorbell. We went inside. The breeder showed some dogs on the way to the wire-haired dachshunds’ pen.

When we got to the pen, I put my finger in the cage, and it gave me a whopping, big lick. The breeder let all of the puppies out in the yard. I quickly laid down, and they ran to me. One jumped on my chest and attacked me with licks. The licks felt like velvet brushing on my cheek. I loved it!


I chose the one with the black back and some bronze-colored fur and cute floppy ears with a bark that sounded like a little bird chirping. I held her nice and tight, and we went inside, and the breeder drew a pink mark on Harriet to let us know which dog was mine. I went into the car with a bucket full of love in my heart. Six weeks later, we went back to get my new best friend named Harriet in my arms.

My Playdate with Spencer

Isabella Farag

November Grade 1

I got up in the morning, and I got in my clothes and had breakfast. I went to the door to wait for my friend, Spencer. Then I heard a “ding dong.” It was Spencer. I ran to the door to greet him, and we started to play. First, we played in the basement. We played and played and played. Then we colored up stairs. Then we went outside and played. I said, “Let’s go!” Spencer said, “I’m coming.” We played pirates in my tree fort. Landon and Trevor played with us. At the end of the day, Spencer’s dad came. Waa! Spencer had to leave! I said goodbye to him. I was sad to see Spencer go. Then I went back inside, and I went to bed.

My Grandpa and Me! Marie Giambrone I have a secret! When I was in Florida, I sat in the front seat for the first time. Shhhhhh. I never told anyone that secret before. I only told you guys and my sister and, of course, my grandpa… Because HE WAS DRIVING! My grandpa is really nice. He lets me climb trees. It is awesome! I go so high that I cannot get down. I need some help, so my grandpa gets me down. I can only get down half of the way by myself. I love my grandpa!

October Grade 1


Adam Steinwold, Grade 5


Brooke Farrell, Grade 1




Grace Fitzgerald

December Grade 3

One day we were in my cousin’s backyard in Wisconsin. The backyard wasn’t very big. It had big rocks on the outside. That very day something happened. My older cousin Jasper was giving piggybacks to my cousin and my younger sister. I asked for one.

I tried to get on his back, but I couldn’t. It looked like I was on a trampoline going up and down. I started squirming up like a worm and was trying to get on, but I couldn’t. He was bending down, but he was still a little too tall. I started squirming up and was trying to get up but I couldn`t. I said, “I can`t get up.” Then I looked behind me and saw one of the big rocks. “I’ll get on this rock. “ He said, “Okay.”

Then I got on the rock; it was a big, pointy, and slippery rock. There were logs behind me because there were a lot of trees in Wisconsin. All of the sudden I fell backwards…kerplunk! My foot slipped backwards, and my wrist flew backwards in a fast motion. I couldn’t hear it crack. My mom and dad weren’t there. My uncle was the only one there. I didn’t cry, but it hurt. I didn’t cry when I did it. But I did when I heard I was going to the hospital. That night I went to the hospital and did not like it. I finally found out my wrist was broken. I wasn’t able to swim the rest of the summer.


Jaro Bijak October Grade 3

This is what I don’t like about waltzing. First, I don’t like dancing with the girls. I don’t like putting my hand on the girl’s back. I don’t like holding her hand. Second, I don’t like looking in her left eye. It is very embarrassing. It looks like you are in love with the girl. It is hard not to make your eyes shine. I also don’t like the dance. The dance is very romantic. I don’t like that we have to do it at music. Last, but not least, I don’t like the song. I don’t like how the girl sings. The song is sort of romantic. That is what I don’t like about waltzing.


Chocolate Jack Walsh February Grade 2

Squared bridge Ant crawling on this brown bridge What happened? The bridge is only half now! Sadly, the bridge is in the esophagus And the ant is on table

Waterfalls Will Blodgett February Grade 2

Water goes down and down and down They go around and around and around Splash! It hits the ground.

Bright Green Tennis Kiley Rabjohns

January Grade 2

Neat and fun We run Play games and matches Sometimes lose, mostly win Coach wears a pin Balls greenish-yellow as bright as sun Tennis rocks

Valentine’s Day Johnny Silver Grade 2 January

Valentine’s Day is all about candy. Just like Halloween is more treat than trick. Easter chocolate eggs make children sick. Besides, who needs cards? Never-ending lovey stuff. I’m a boy, and I’m tough. Endless lovey-and-dovey things. It doesn’t make sense. It makes me tense. Oh, Valentine’s Day is about love? Oops!

Davy Crockett

Jackson Silvester February Grade 3

“I stood no chance of becoming great in any other way than accident.” That’s what the hero Davy Crockett said. Davy Crockett will go down in American history. He was born August 17, 1786. He had a mother and father named John and Rebecca Crockett. He also had six brothers and four sisters. Davy Crockett had a difficult childhood, so he ran away from home when he was thirteen. Later in life, he was interested in politics, so he joined the U.S. Congress to represent Tennessee. In his life, he was inspired by all of Tennessee’s land, and he thought Tennessee should have more land. His inspirations led him to his achievements. He wrote a very famous personal narrative, and he won the election for U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, on March 6, 1836, when he was fifty years old, Davy Crockett died at the battle of the Alamo. Davy Crockett was brave, hardworking, and daring. Davy Crockett was brave. In the book, Davy Crockett by George Sullivan, the author describes Davy surviving a difficult situation. Davy was stuck on a flooding ship, and he pounded his way through the wood. Also, Davy was once hunting bear with his son, and he ran out of ammunition while shooting at the bear. The bear came charging. Davy took his knife and lunged to stab the bear. Davy was so brave, he gave up his life to fight for Texas.

He built a windmill when he was just a little boy, but unfortunately it got destroyed in a flood. Also, Davy was hardworking. Davy wanted to be in Congress, and he was in the congressional election four times. That takes a lot of hard work. He also got divorced four or five times, but he never gave up. That’s why he eventually got married to Polly Crockett.

Davy was daring. He ran away from home when he was thirteen because his parents were hard on him when he skipped school. He then explored and met John Kennedy. He worked for him for three years on Kennedy’s farm. He made enough money for more schooling. He also wanted his son to be a good hunter, so he took him hunting. That did not last too long though; he almost killed himself and his son from a bear attack. Finally, he was daring because he was always looking for more money. He got money by hunting and joining the U.S. Congress.

Davy Crockett should be remembered as an icon of his time because he was hardworking, brave, and daring. He had more achievements, like being a strong fighter for the independence of Texas, and he also fought in the Creek War! He did take a lot of chances. He should be remembered in American history.


Visiting My Gramma in Arizona

Luisa Hance

November Grade 1

Once, Dominique and I slept in the queen-sized bed. Sometimes we sleep on the blow-up mattresses. We always go to the pool to swim. There are two pools at the same place, an inside pool and an outside pool. My favorite is the outside pool. At the pool there are sprinklers and sometimes our dad chases us in the water. Sometimes we shop with our dad for flip-flops. We also play Wii bowling. The way to win is to get lots of strikes. My sister always wins! We go to the zoo. There is a log ride, and we saw flamingos. The flamingos walk in the dirt, and they have a black bucket that makes a nest for them. My Gramma and Dominique and I made jewelry. There were pink flowers, blue flowers, and purple ones, too. We also made rings. My Gramma and I look on her patio for bunnies because my Gramma has an orange tree and bunnies like oranges. We see swans at the pond. She also has a pineapple palm tree in her front yard. Once, my Gramma said to me, “Do you know how to play the piano?” I said, “Yes!” Once she gave me a late birthday present. I opened it and it was a knitting kit! On Valentine’s Day we made a heart cake with strawberries on the top. We have tea parties, too. Gramma makes the tea. She makes the best chicken, too! It’s delicious! Once we made peanut butter patties. At Thanksgiving we eat green beans and, of course, chicken! The water tastes really different; my Gramma likes it, but I don’t! My Gramma has a screened-in porch with a table in the middle. We got little cars at Walgreens, and my sister and I played with them on the porch. Sometimes we play cards. My favorite is War. We usually use our Gramma’s car to go to the airport to go home. We always have fun!

My Cousin Steven Jessica Pasma My cousin Steven works really hard at his job. Sometimes he comes over to my house. He comes over to play. Sometimes he comes for lunch, and we go to Japanese. At lunch I sit next to him. I have shrimp. Shrimp is a kind of food. Steven has curly hair and peach-colored skin. When I see him, I run to him and give him a big hug! Sometimes he chases us downstairs. It is fun. When he has to leave, I say, “Boo, hoo!” I love Steven!

October Grade 1


Emily Cullitan, Grade 6


Becker Roloson, Grade 4




Anna Schilling

December Grade 3

Bam! Mason was on the ground crying. One day my brother was in a Spiderman costume, so he thought that he was Spiderman. He ran over to the curtains and gripped the curtain with his right hand, then his left hand. He left his feet dangling in the air. Mason clambered higher and higher. Then his hands started to slip. I started to get worried, but I didn’t do anything. I just stared.

The curtains were wobbling and began to wobble more the higher he climbed. Suddenly, I heard a sharp click. Then curtains tumbled like an apple as they fell on to Mason. He didn’t make a sound because he was so shocked. When he got to the ground, he cried so much. I was watching the whole thing. My mouth was wide open. I heard my parents’ footsteps “boom, boom” like a giant.

Then I ran as fast as lighting, hoping that they would not come to my room. They did and asked what happened. I replied, “I was just cleaning my room.” Mason never climbed the curtains again.

A Day with Mom

Jonathan Xakellis

November Grade 1

Why I got a day with Mom? Because my sisters always got a day with Mom. It was finally my turn! First we went to make a “mess-terpiece.” It is the place where I made a paper monkey and bath and shower chalk. Next we went to Barnes and Noble. I couldn’t wait to get lots of books! When we got inside I was hungry, so I got a snack. I got a bottle of water and a fruit thing that was strawberry and grape. Next, we got lots of books. I got three series. My favorite series was Beast Quest. Last, I got monkey bookmarks. We went home. I was tired! I finally got a day with Mom. I loved my day with Mom. It was fun, fun, fun! It was awesome, awesome, awesome!


Anne Marie

Anne Marie Boardman

November Grade 4

I am from a road with no sidewalk, with gravel on the sides. From backgammon, a jumpy brown Labrador, a fire every winter night From balsam fir incense streaming out of a miniature log cabin

I am from the rectangular, white stucco, flat-roofed home with chipped paint. From where great-grandparents lived seventy-two years ago

I am from singing “Happy Birthday” at the bottom of the stairs on birthday mornings. From backyard barbecues with cousins in Chile From “Don Francisco” on Saturday night

From Governor William Bradford landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 And from Jacob Beidler landing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania one hundred years later From a Native-American Quilodran, a Spanish Chavarria, an English Boardman, A Jamaican Bailey, a Belgian Carton, a Scottish Robinson, and a German Beidler I am from a large wooden kitchen table built inside of the home With legs once covered in Tabasco sauce (now PCV pipe) To protect them from a teething puppy I am from a family that respects others and treats others fairly.

I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Paris, France; Maloja, Switzerland; Yumbel, Chile; Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Lake Forest, Illinois. From empanadas and from cheese fondue

From the pictures that blanket our walls and remind me of who I am

Thomas Edison

Jack Kempczinski

February Grade 3

“I find out what the world needs and I try to invent it.� Those were the words of Thomas Edison should be remembered as one of the greatest American inventor who ever lived. Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio in 1847. His parents were Samuel and Nancy Edison. Thomas was the youngest of six children. When he was younger, Thomas never did well in school. He did not hear well because of scarlet fever. His parents took him out of school and started to homeschool him. He was a great business man even early in life; at thirteen he had his own newspaper business. He spent most of his days at the Detroit library reading books. When he was thirty-five, he invented the first working lightbulb. As he got older, he created more and more inventions. He died in the fall of October 14, 1931. Thomas Edison was a great inventor. He was a genius, amazing, and proud. Thomas was an amazing person. In the book Thomas Edison by George Sullivan, Sullivan tells how even though that Thomas Edison could not hear, he still became one of the best inventors who ever lived. Thomas claimed that he could work without distractions because he could not hear. He made a piece of cardboard into a horseshoe shape. Then he put it in a test bulb, and it burned for 170 hours! Edison had the great honor of giving the whole state of New Jersey the power of the lightbulb. Thomas Edison was a very proud person. He was just into inventing when he had invented the telegraph, so the newspaper The Tramp Telegrapher wrote about his success. Thomas was very proud of his telegraph. When Thomas had his newspaper business he brought home 600 dollars of cash he was very proud of himself. When Thomas lit his first working lightbulb, it worked; he could not hold his tears back for being so proud of himself.

Thomas was a genius. When he was inventing the phonograph, he figured out the sound waves and figured out the right material. When Thomas was trying to improve the lightbulb, he put a piece of cardboard into the test bulb. The peace of card board glowed for 170 hours! Early in his career he made an invention that sent out minute-by-minute updates on stocks.

We should remember Thomas Edison for all of his inventions. He invented the phonograph and the lightbulb. He was a genius, proud, and amazing.


Where I’m From

George Hodgkins

November Grade 4

I’m from the house of the running bases king and queen. The rotten old scary dog walker on the street every Sunday morning. The negative neighbors on our street come haunting our fun on a nice winter day. I’m from the replica of the George Witch House, the orange brick center and two white sides and a “ho, ho, ho” on Christmas Day.

I’m from the house with the big TV, the house with the four front steps, the house with the big stumpy lump in the front yard. From Warner, DesShetter, and Stele. I’m from Christmas Eve tacos and a nice pig at dinner. I’m from the house with the painting that nobody values; also my mom, dad, and three brothers. I’m from the house that goes to Arizona in the winter and Canada in the summer, with the tradition of Thanksgiving turkey taste-off…ding, ding, ding.

I love where I live and the people I do it with, but one bad thing…nothing! Thank you to the people who help me live the way I do now. You are a big step into my life.

Kate and Annie

Paige Roby

December Grade 1

Kate is almost 16 and Annie is 14. They are sisters. I met them on our trip to England. They were also flower girls in my parents’ wedding. Annie has three instruments: a keyboard, a piano, and a drum set. The piano is downstairs, and the other two are in the attic. My favorite instrument is the piano. I went over to stay with them for two days. My brother, Gavin, went for one day. On the last night I was crying in my bed because I met new friends, and I had to leave them. But I know that I will see them again. My mom said that we will see Annie and Kate sooner than seven years the next time. When it was time to leave, I gave Nigel, Ginny, Kate, and Annie big hugs, and I said goodbye.


Aryana Farimani, Grade 5


Eva Hanson, Grade 3



Free Verse Poem Mia Walvoord Never-Ending Story The Never-Ending Story goes on forever As long as the skies are blue Some parts of the story are as gray and weary as an old, old fence Some are as exciting and happy as the best time your world has ever known Go on, go on forever We may sit here till we are old and withered It will be worth it to hear your fabulous story that you tell You should not be ashamed of what you do and do not say Go on, go on forever Your story is of unicorns and missing horns How many people will listen to your story? Many Go on, go on forever Some people may or may not like your story Even those who do not listen, will start to hear your story We will listen day and night Go on, go on forever

Cursive is a Waste of Time

January Grade 3

Andrew Xakellis May Grade 4

Have you ever thought about why we have to learn cursive? Students spend a lot of time learning cursive in third grade. It is a big challenge to write in cursive. My hand hurts when I write in cursive. Forming the cursive letters is difficult. Students are expected to do all of their work in cursive in fourth grade. However, there is no cursive required in mathematics or in Upper School. My opinion is we shouldn’t have to waste our time with cursive. One reason cursive is a waste of time is because cursive is more difficult for some students. Some students have fine motor problems, and they work with an occupational therapist. They worked really hard to learn how to print, and now teachers are asking them to learn another form of writing. Cursive writing is a waste of time.

31 Another reason cursive writing is a waste of time is because in fifth grade it is optional to write in cursive. There is a student in fifth grade whose cursive writing is so catastrophic that he can’t even read it. The student’s teachers ask him to print! Many other Upper School students prefer to print. In Upper School, cursive is optional.

Finally, cursive writing is a waste of time because in Upper School you have to do most of your work on the computer. Next year in Upper School we will be doing 1-1 computing with laptops. In some classes there are no books. All of the work is done on the computer. The majority of the writing will be done on the computer. Therefore, students will not need to use cursive very often. When they do need to write, they can print. Cursive is not necessary. Cursive writing is a waste of time. Teachers and administrators should think about this because starting in fifth grade, most students either print or use the computer. With the present system, students have already wasted a total of approximately 2,130 minutes of their time learning and practicing cursive writing. We will be doing 1-1 computing next year, and I believe this is another reason why cursive writing will be less important. Let’s not waste our time learning to write in cursive.

Where I’m From

Alexis Jimenez

November Grade 4

I am from a neighborhood near a high school, pool, and water park. From a trampoline I jump on endlessly until I am dizzy

I am from the big house on the corner with lots of room to hide and play. From stairs, mirrors, and a big crystal chandelier just inside the door

I am from a very big Mexican family, a Christmas Eve party that goes all night long with cookies and milk. From Yoshio, Michelle, and Maggie

I am from the family that likes to talk day and night, full of noise and yelling.

From all the stories of my mother’s childhood in San Diego, and the missing snow from my dad’s years in Mexico I am from an Indian culture. I am from nine uncles, five aunts, twenty cousins that all join together to feast in Mundelein and share life stories.

I’m from Evanston, Mexico, Columbia, shrimp, crab, and pizza. From the pictures that show laughter and love that hide in boxes waiting to be opened. I am from my family, and we continue to grow and remember our connection to the past.

Albert Einstein

Aagaz Baig

February Grade 3

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” That was one of Albert Einstein’s famous quotes. Albert Einstein was born March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany. He was one of the most famous scientists ever. Albert’s parents were Herman and Paulina Einstein, and his only sibling was Maja Einstein. His first job was at the Swiss Patent Office. He went to the University of Zurich and later became a professor there. He died April 18, 1955. Albert Einstein should be remembered for his brilliance and humble manner. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music inspired him to play the violin. Albert took refuge in his work when his daughter died. He became a full professor. Albert’s relativity theory was one of his most well-known ideas. Albert Einstein was humble, inquisitive, and brilliant. Albert was a brilliant man. In the book Ordinary Genius: The Story of Albert Einstein by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, the author describes Albert’s life. Albert was brilliant at the age of twelve. He taught himself an advanced math called calculus. Albert found out that the speed of light never changes. Albert wrote a paper that said the universe is like a balloon. You can’t find the beginning or the end, but it has boundaries. Albert was humble. After World War I, the Americans disliked him because he was German. His friendliness calmed the people who were mad at him. Albert made a speech about peace between nations. After the speech everybody stood and started clapping. Albert felt at home anywhere he went because he was so humble and everybody showed him lots of respect.

Albert was inquisitive. After he won the Nobel Prize, he tried to forget about the speed of light, but he couldn’t forget. He still thought there was something wrong with the ideas about light. He was inquisitive about how light, space, and time are related. Albert was inquisitive about if there were two identical spaceships, one in space and one on the ground, if they look at each other which one is smaller. In 1921 Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his photoelectric theory. His relativity theory was finally proved. Albert should be remembered as one of the most famous scientists ever. Albert Einstein was a humble, inquisitive, and brilliant.


Our Trip to Alaska

Sophia Banner November Grade 1

Alaska is awesome. I took a family trip. When we were driving we saw a big grizzly. The big grizzly was very, very close. The big grizzly had no cubs. He was next to a berry bush. I was very, very scared. I was scared because I thought the grizzly would charge.

The next day I went to the glaciers. The glaciers are light blue. Glaciers can have caves. The glaciers are made of ice. It was awesome to be close to the glaciers. The glaciers can be different sizes. I went to Mount McKinley. Mount McKinley is the biggest mountain. Snowcapped mountains are called snowcapped mountains because they have snow on their tops. Snowcapped mountains are beautiful.

The next day I went to National Park. I volunteered for the Alaska Husky Arrangement. We had heard stories about it. In Denali National Park we saw Mount McKinley. I felt like gliding off the mountain. The best part was seeing the beautiful glaciers. I can’t wait to go back to Alaska.

Farewell Note to Mrs. Rosso

Griffin Slobodnik November Grade 4

November 23, 2010

Dear Mrs. Rosso,

You have been a great helper for the last fifteen years. I know the Academy will love having such a good, friendly helper like you. Every time I walk past your empty room, I will miss seeing your heart-warming smile. This school will always remember you, and when you take one step out those doors to see your new life, we will never forget you. But we know you won’t be gone for good, and when you do come back to visit, I will be happy to see that smile—that smile that always makes my day. Good luck in your new life. From, Griffin Slobodnik


Claudia Bijak, Grade 5


Graham Pierson, Grade 3



Rosa Parks

Belle Clay

January Grade 1

When Rosa Parks was a little girl, black and white people were not allowed to go to the same school or the same college. The white people got new playgrounds, and the black people did not. Black people needed to ride in the back of the bus. The bus driver told her to stand up, but Rosa wouldn’t listen to him. She went to jail. Some people helped her by having a boycott of riding the buses. They did not go on the bus, and the bus lost money. The law was changed.

I Went to Universal Studios

Brooke Farrell

November Grade 1

I went to California. The plane ride was so long. And then I went to rest at the hotel. I rested my head. The next day I went to see my three-year-old friend. Her name is Gracie. She is very cute. We were really looking forward to seeing her. Our parents were talking about me and Gracie and how much we look alike.

We went to a restaurant. And finally our dinner was ready. We had steaks. Then dinner is over. Then I had to go to the hotel and go to sleep.

The next day we went riding. Thomas rode Blackout. I rode Cinnamon. It was a little bumpy. Then we went to Universal Studios. It was a blast! We saw special effects like fire. It was scary because I was surrounded by fire. We saw animal acts. A chimpanzee and a dog were acting together. The dog took the chimp’s bra, and the chimp was covering its chest. I was a volunteer. A bird landed on my head. Its claws hurt my head. The day was over. I went back to the hotel. I went to sleep. The next day I had to go home. I said bye to everyone. I was on the plane. The plane was four hours. I got home at 9:30. I was so tired. The next day I was home. I missed California. I cried. The next day I felt a little better, but one tear came out of my eye.


Fun Hard Sports Taha Ahmad Run the track Round and round Kick the ball On the ground Swim to the line Up and down Swing the puck In the goal The basket is shaped Like a bowl

January Grade 2

Poetry Caitlin Kolb Cookie Soft, gooey Chewing, biting, eating The chocolate world Chocolate chip

December Grade 3

In the Dark, Dark Cavern Luke Tibbals In the dark dark cavern I saw something look at me. I don’t know what. I’d like to see.

January Grade 2

Football Luke Larsen February Grade 2

When someone kicks off The team charges forward They made a goal It’s awesome!

The Roller Coaster

Angelique Alexos

November Grade 3

In Disney World, my dad wanted me to go on a roller coaster ride. I heard the terrified screams of the people on the ride and implored my dad to not make me go on it. My dad turned to me, and I saw an ear-to-ear grin on his face.

“You’re going to like it,” he lilted.

I pressed my sweaty palms together and pleaded with my dad, “I don’t want to go, I might get sick.” My dad turned his face away from me and ignored my plea. I started to cry and tasted my salty tears in my mouth.

When I sat down in the car, I stammered, “I ‘m n-n-not going to l-l-like th-th-this.”

The car took off with a startling jolt, and my voice quivered, “Oh, no!”

Where I’m From

Erin Bowler November Grade 4

I am from a bike-riding neighborhood, from M&Ms and pink lemonade with ice at the top the cup, floating. I am from the white-and-gray house with a swing on the porch and a big hill as a driveway.

I am from running through a wrapping paper wall on Christmas morning and the New Year’s Eve party. From the four-girl family with one boy, from Pop Geisel and Sir Bill Bowler I am from the family who loves basketball.

From let’s go kick some “honey butts” from the movie Mulan and some funny stories about Micha as a baby I am from the kitchen with all of the cookies; vanilla, white icing, and cookie dough. I’m from Lake Forest, key lime pie, and potato chips halfway dipped in chocolate.

From Grandpa’s house with all of the pictures and books about our family and cards, glass, and newspapers about things that happened in the 1900s or 1800s


The Wisconsin Dells

Max Brenner January Grade 1

I went to the Wisconsin Dells. My favorite part about it was the arcade. I won a lot of prizes. I won a pool set, a Charmander, and a laser top. I won a wolf pillow for 659 tickets! I won so many prizes that I can’t remember them all! There was an awesome water park. Note to myself: Never ride that roller coaster again! I got sick the next day! When we got home, our vacation was over. I was sad to leave, but I was happy to be going home. It was fun!

Mashing a Banana

Obi Okoli

October Grade 3

Mrs. Bowler mashed a banana. First, she broke it in half like a bridge splitting into two sides. Then she mashed it like something fully disintegrating. Next, it fell on the table like a heavy weight plopping on the floor. It went on the table and looked like someone stepped on it. There it was – a blended banana right on the table. Many students buzzed like a swarm of screaming bees. The people at the table backed away as if there was a monster in front of them. The peel of the banana was going up and left the mashed banana behind.

My Mom’s Haircut

Christopher Neill

October Grade 3

When I got into the car at Friday pickup, there was a big surprise. It wasn’t a good surprise – like a book or a toy – it was my mother…her hair. It looked tremendously terrible! She went to the barber shop and cut eight inches off. She looked half alien, half Neanderthal! I moaned, “Never do that to your hair again!” But she thought she was pretty cool and so did my older sister, Katie. So I confided in Dad, but he said I was wrong about the haircut. Oh boy, I hope she puts growing shampoo in her hair! I can’t wait until its back to normal!


Ian Strudwick, Grade 5


Dominique Hance, Grade 6



Cinquain Poetry


Colin Pickens Rock Hard, solid Sitting, waiting, staying A pet that doesn’t move Stone

December Grade 3

Nothing Jessica Vignocchi

January Grade 3

Nothing is an empty word Nothing is a songless bird I write about nothing with nothing to say Nothing is an awful way I can’t think what to write So I just write nothing

James O’Keane

November Grade 4

I smell the apple pie being made I see the turkey being basted I see my family watching the game I smell the steaming hot stuffing I see me with my family

All-American Sport Jack Marshall Silver trophies Super Bowl Pro Bowl Quarter minutes Oval as an egg Fast, tough Crowd cheers loudly Cities and teams Numbers and players That’s football

January Grade 2


Where I’m From

Alexis Dennis

November Grade 4

I am from a big beautiful stone house with many balconies and chimneys in Lake Forest. My house is very cool. It has a wooden door and a bunch of stone, and it is surrounded by very tall pine trees.

I am from a family tradition of “spot the pickle” on the Christmas tree and at every Thanksgiving, we have all our cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents over and we say a prayer before we dig into the big Thanksgiving feast.

I am Greek. My dad’s grandpa’s name originally was Papadennis. My grandpa changed Papadennis to Dennis to make it more American. I am also Dutch, Scottish, and Irish. My mom’s last name is Crawford. I am from “yitza calamitza” and according to my dad, “Greeks Rule!” Everyone who is not Greek wishes they were!

We live by the beach where the famous Lake Forest beach monster lives. Every Christmas we get magical elves from Santa that visit with their magical snowflakes and cause mischief. I am from love, care, delicious pound cake, and fruit salad. Yummy! Eldorado expeditions in Mexico, karaoke night, bonfires on the beach, and Slip ‘n Slides.

From the yearly Christmas cards displayed in the family room showing our family’s growth from birth to present, including the old dogs and the new dogs.

All of the special memories that we’ve shared, kept safely in their silver frames


Spencer Werner November Grade 1

My friends and I play football. We get passes for touchdowns. We make field kicks and touchdowns. We tackle soft. One time they threw the ball to me, and I got it and made a touchdown. Sometimes we get carried away and fall in big piles. We all get grass stains. We run a lot to make touchdowns. We run a lot and that makes us sweaty. You run to tackle guys. Scoring is good because you get another point. You kick in field kicks and you get another point. I love football. It is one of my favorite sports.

Simple Recon

Michael Shanahan

Grade 8 Short Story Contest—Second Place CLICK. The slide locked back. CLANG. The empty magazine hit the floor. CLACK. The slide slammed forward. BANG, BANG, BANG! Three rounds hit the target. He turned ninety degrees, scanned, located another target, and pulled the trigger one more time. “Clear.” “Clear.” “Clear.”

“Clear! Alright I’d say we’ve run this mission enough. Let’s get out of the shooting house and give the Rangers a shot at beating our time. Clear and holster your weapons and re-arrange the targets for the Rangers.” said Sgt. Johnson. “Oh and for God’s sake would it kill you to give me an OOH-RAH?” “OOH-RAH!” shouted the rest of the MARSOC Alpha Team, arguably the best special operations unit in the world. They then proceeded to the barracks.

“Alright don’t tell me we’ve forgotten proper weapon care and maintenance! Boys, grab your cleaning kits and let’s go,” said Sgt. Johnson.

“Don’t you think it’s about time you upgrade your sidearm, old man?” teased Pvt. James.

“Soldier, I’ll upgrade my pistol when you can find me one that consistently performs better than the M1911,” retorted Sgt. Johnson.

“See, that right there shows just how old you are. You carry a pistol designed in 1911 that weighs twice as much as it needs too and holds half as many bullets in a mag as my Beretta.”

“Oh, that same Beretta of yours that jammed in the middle of a firefight in Kabul and had me running 20 meters in the open, while being trailed by a machine gun just to save your sorry ass?” “Will you let that go?” Pvt. James pleaded. “That was my first mission on the team nearly five years ago.”

“And what in impression you made,” joked Sgt. Johnson

“That’s enough, you two. We came here to qualify for a top secret mission and to defend our reputation as the most effective spec. ops. team in the U.S. and your little argument isn’t helping,” snapped Pvt. Morgan. “Fair enough,” replied Sgt. Johnson. “But it’s better to talk aimlessly than to not talk at all like our newest member, Pvt. Vanyev, over here.” “I am a man of few words, but many bullets,” said Vanyev, as he finished cleaning his pistol and lit the Cuban cigar that had been hanging out of his mouth for the past several



“You scare the crap out of me you know that?” stated Pvt. James.

“That’s why he passed selection,” said Johnson “Oh and if you wanna keep up that many bullets philosophy of yours, I recommend trading in that Soviet piece of crap for a firearm that the Corps actually carries munitions for.” Three hours later, after all of the other competing military units had had their shot at beating the time set in the shooting house by Sgt. Johnson’s team, Colonel Mathers’ voice came to life over the speakers in the barracks and the men of the MARSOC Alpha Team went silent. “After taking into consideration several tests, some scientific, others combat-oriented, it has been decided that the team most capable of succeeding at the task at hand is none other than my very own men of the United States Marine Corps Special Operations Command,” Mathers proudly decreed. There was only enough time for a brief round of high fives and a celebratory “OOH-RAH,” before Col. Mathers came back on the speakers and said “I would like to see all members of the MARSOC Alpha Team in the briefing room at 18:00 hours.” At the appointed time, the Johnson’s team opened the doors to the briefing room and saw, along with colonel Mathers, a senior representative of every other branch in the military, as well as the Secretary of Defense, John Stephens, and the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Abraham Newman.

Sgt. Johnson broke the silence. “Sir, with all due respect, I would like to know exactly what my team just signed on for, cuz from where I’m standing, it looks like a little more than a simple recon mission.”

“You’re right, it isn’t exactly recon,” said the Secretary of Defense.

“Mr. Secretary is right,” cut in Col. Mathers, “This is a matter of international relations that needs to be handled delicately and professionally.” Mathers walked up to the board and hung a picture with the name, David Brown, written underneath it. “This is David Brown, the head of Israeli-Palestinian relations. As you probably know, tensions have been rising between the two countries and from the looks of it, they aren’t going to die down any time soon. Three days ago, David disappeared from his Tel Aviv apartment. A few hours later, the local rebels claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in a phone call to his office. The kidnappers stayed on the line long enough for us to triangulate their location. Unluckily for Israel, our intel shows that they are holding him smack dab in the middle of the West Bank.” Sgt. Johnson stood up, looked the Israeli ambassador straight in the eyes and said “If what my CO just said is true, why haven’t IDF tried to rescue him, and what in the name of God does this have to do with my team?”

“When you are speaking to me, Sergeant, please keep in mind that I am a foreign dignitary, and as such, can have your job terminated with a single complaint. Needless to say, you shall from now on treat me with the utmost respect, correct Sergeant?” “Yes, Mr. Ambassador,” grumbled Johnson.

“And with regard to the reason that we need your team’s help,” continued the Ambassador, “Fatah, the militant Islamic organization that we believe has Mr. Brown, has recently allied itself with the surrounding Muslim countries and have repeatedly announced that any Israeli military action on the West Bank will lead to a unified force waging a full scale war on


Colin Weil, Grade 4


Grace Fitzgerald, Grade 3


48 Israel. This is why we have contacted NATO and requested a small team of soldiers to run the operation and save our man, while avoiding the political fallout that would ensue if Israeli troops were to attempt the rescue. And as you know, after rigorous testing, you and your men have been selected for the job. This is no simple intel mission,” continued the ambassador, “Your team will need to silently infiltrate the facility, secure Adams, bring him to the extraction point, and bring him home.”

“Thank you, Mr. Ambassador,” cut in Col. Mathers, as he clipped an image to the board. “This is a satellite image of the compound where we believe Mr. Brown is being held by enemy combatants. Our intelligence has gathered that the building has no security cameras, but it is guarded by members of the local militia who are armed with modified AK-47 rifles. The architectural design of this building suggests that the east entrance will provide the safest and easiest method of entry into the compound. Your team will be supplied with an ample amount of C-4 explosive as well as with stun grenades to aid in your entrance to the building. My superiors have recommended a plan to be followed during the operation.” “I assume that by ‘recommended’ that they mean required. Is that a fair assumption?” asked Johnson with a tone of dry sarcasm.

“Yes Sergeant, that would be fair,” answered Mathers. “Now, as I was saying, the battle plan calls for two men, a marksman and his spotter to be operating around 800 meters west of the compound on elevated ground to provide sniper fire while two shooters armed with assault rifles are to breach the compound, secure the politician and meet up with the rest of the team at the extraction point. Any questions?” “No sir!” exclaimed the members of the Alpha Team in unison.

“Good. Now I suggest you and your men decide positions and head down to the armory because your flight into enemy territory leaves in two hours,” said Col. Mathers.

“Will do sir,” answered Johnson.

The team kept quiet until they were well out of earshot of their superiors. Once in the armory, Pvt. James looked at Johnson right in the eyes, grinned ear to ear and excitedly said “Hey, Top, you and I both know that I was born to be the sniper in this operation, so if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go grab an M40A5 and some 7.62s.” “Calm down,” answered Johnson, “You may be a good shot, but you are seriously lacking the one personality trait required of a marksman and that is patience.”

“I may be impatient, but the fact that I am the only one of us that passed scout sniper school still stands,” continued Pvt. James, as his grin shifted to a satisfied smirk. “Alright, you can be our sniper. But to make sure you don’t do anything stupid, I’ll be your spotter,” said Johnson reluctantly, as he picked up an M14. As he examined the armory’s one and only AK-47, Vanyev muttered, “What? Are you too old to fight up close and personal?”

49 “Stand down soldier!” snapped Johnson, “You can call me old after you’ve proven your worth to the team. ‘Till then, you’d be well advised to shut your mouth.”

Pvt. Morgan pulled Vanyev aside and whispered “Don’t take what he just said to you too hard. You’ve gotta remember that he fought through ‘Nam and doesn’t very take kindly to communists, especially those that remind him that he is old enough to have fought in that war.” Vanyev stared back at Pvt. Morgan, chuckled and said “Your compassion is touching, but Johnson’s temper is nothing compared to my CO in Soviet Union.”

“What? Your Soviet CO chewed nails, spit fire, and put out cigarette butts in the eyes of his enemies,” joked Pvt. Morgan.

“Yes,” replied Vanyev in the most serious tone he could muster.

“Alright lovebirds, you two are on assault, so pick your rifles ricky tick. Wheels up in less than an hour!” shouted Pvt. James from across the room. Vanyev opened his mouth to speak, but Morgan cut him off. “Uh uh Vanyev, you are in America now and you are using a real rifle today. Drop that lump of scrap metal and take this M4 carbine.” Vanyev put down the AK47, sighed, and took the rifle from Pvt. James, while Pvt. Morgan silently selected his weapon of choice, a Bushmaster ACR.

The next day, Alpha Team’s plane landed in an Israeli air base, where the team quickly and quietly entered the Apache helicopter that would take them to their final destination. “Here’s the plan,” yelled Sgt. Johnson, over the ever-loudening whirr of the spinning blades. “New intel says OpFor just received a shipment of Stinger missiles, so our bird’s gonna have to land an extra few miles out. Washington didn’t approve a revised departure time, so, if we run like hell, we still lose about forty-five minutes of combat time. In short, this better be a damn near perfect operation! “OOH-RAH!” exclaimed the rest of the team.

A few hours later, the Apache set down in the hot, dry and stagnant air of the West Bank with Pvt. James and Sgt. Johnson each making mental note of the fact that these arid conditions were ideal for a sniper and his spotter.

“See you on the other side,” said Pvt. Morgan, as he examined his rifle. “You too,” said Johnson and James in unison.

Vanyev’s response to Pvt. Morgan was indecipherable, probably due to the lit cigar in his mouth.

After a good twenty minutes of running, Johnson and Pvt. James stopped and began preparing their sniper’s nest by laying down, covering themselves in camouflage blankets, and sighting into their scopes.

“Target spotted, 10 o’clock,” whispered Johnson. “I see him,” replied Pvt. James.

“Distance, 800 meters, wind, 5mph East,” continued Johnson. James dialed in his scope, cycled the bolt, flipped the safety, and placed his finger on the trigger. He was ready. He was in his element. “Locked and loaded.”

“Fire…fire…fire,” said Johnson. James squeezed the trigger. PHEW! The silenced shot left the barrel at 2,550 feet per second and found its mark in the guard’s head roughly a second later.

“Ice Cube, this is Father Time, do you copy?” said Sgt. Johnson into his radio.

“Haha, very funny,” retorted Johnson sarcastically. “Are you and Red Rider in position?”

“Sadly I can, old man” replied Morgan jokingly. “Yes sir,” answered Morgan.

“The gate guard has been neutralized. You two are free to breach the perimeter. Over.” “Roger that, breaching.”

If the two men of Johnson’s squad had been further from the C4, they might have heard the explosion, but all Ben Morgan and Alexander Vanyev heard as they ran through the gate and into the empty guard station was a loud, high pitched and seemingly incessant ringing that had been induced by the concussive force, which, itself, had been caused by the detonation of the C4 plastic explosives. Although the Marines’ hearing was greatly affected, the ringing in no way diverted their focus from the task at hand. The blast itself ripped a gigantic hole in the metal fence and left two guards disoriented and easy prey for Vanyev’s initial spray of bullets. “Reloading!” shouted Vanyev over the volley of returning fire.

“Alright, my 203 should buy us a few seconds,” replied Pvt. Morgan as he popped his rifle over the window sill and fired a 40mm grenade round towards the enemy forces.

Although neither of the men saw the round hit, they could tell from behind the cover of the building that they had struck gold when they heard and felt the explosion of what could only have been the series of barrels filled with gasoline that they had seen on their way in. Vanyev jumped up with his freshly reloaded rifle and cleanly picked off the survivors stumbling away from the blast site, leaving only a pile of smoldering remains, where a formidable opposition force had stood just moments before.

“Ice Cube, Red Rider how the hell did you two manage that!” exclaimed Johnson over the radio. “It looked like the Goddamn fourth of Ju-ly from up here! Wooh-eeh!” cut in Pvt. James.

“Looks like my 40 mil hit their gas reserves. Lucky shot is all,” answered Pvt. Morgan, trying to mask his excitement.

“Alright. That can’t be all of them,” said Johnson. “You better secure the prisoner before more militants show up, cuz quite frankly, I’m not sure those scumbags are worth the price of the bullets that we use to take them down,” he continued jokingly.


“Fair enough, Ice Cube out,” said Pvt. Morgan.

When Vanyev and Morgan opened the door to the improvised prison, they were immediately assaulted, not by bullets or grenades, but by cries for help in dozens of languages from what looked like about fifty prisoners. Brown was easy to spot because, having only been held for a few days, the politician was one of the few men in the cells that had any semblance of proper nutrition, He was also one of few Caucasian prisoners, and the only one wearing a business suit. Even though Mr. Brown was easily found, Pvt. Morgan decided to give his call sign for good measure. “Washington.”

“Masada,” replied the man in the suit.

“Mr. Brown, in the interest of your safety, I need you to stand towards the back of your cell as I attempt to open this door,” said Pvt. Mogan, as he placed a pea-sized piece of plastic explosives onto the lock on Mr. Brown’s cell and removed a detonator from his pocket. Mr. Brown nodded in acknowledgement but he didn’t move an inch. BOOM! The door swung into the cell, knocking the disobedient Mr. Brown flat on his ass. “I told you to move for a reason,” said Pvt. Morgan. The politician remained sprawled across the floor, immobile.

“Dead weight, just what we need,” remarked Vanyev as Morgan kneeled down to check the man’s heartbeat. “He’s still alive, but it looks like we’re going to have to carry him out of here,” said Morgan.

“…And by we you mean me, correct?” inquired Vanyev. Without waiting for a response, the Vanyev slung Mr. Brown over his shoulder, pulled the pin on a smoke grenade and threw it out the door of the improvised prison. The smoke was immediately lit up by the muzzle flashes of numerous rifles no more than twenty yards away from the door. The bullets flew all around the two soldiers and their unconscious passenger. Pvt. Morgan dived for cover, while frantically yelling into his radio, hoping for cover fire from Pvt. James. Meanwhile, Vanyev, still carrying Mr. Brown, unholstered his pistol, raised it and fired eight shots blindly into the smoke. When the smoke cleared, Vanyev saw three bodies in the sand, surrounded by a pool of crimson blood shimmering in the blazing desert sun.

“Come on scaredy-cat,” chided Vanyev. “It’s safe to come out now.”

Pvt. Morgan skulked out of the building, while making a point not to acknowledge the bodies strewn about him. “Lucky shot,” he grumbled.

“ShotSss, as in multiple bullets,” corrected Vanyev, while he struggled to suppress the smirk that was gradually appearing on his face.

“Let’s just get our buddy here to the extraction point,” said Morgan, “Our one and only flight out of this hell hole leaves in..” he paused as he looked at his watch, “twenty minutes.” Several minutes later, Vanyev and Morgan arrived at the extraction point, panting, sweaty, and covered in blood-tinged dirt. As the welcome whirr of the approaching Apache grew in the distance, Vanyev and Morgan looked enviously at Johnson and James who appeared far less depleted from the afternoon’s excursion. The four of them remained


Jonathan Xakellis, Grade 1


Lexie Kolb, Grade 5


54 relatively silent until the helicopter arrived. Once safely on board, Vanyev began recounting his heroic role in the mission. Once he was finished talking, Sgt. Johnson grinned and said “I’ve known you for months, soldier, and I know for a fact that you have uttered more words in the last five minutes than you have since you were put on this team. And well, not to uh disappoint you, but the chivalrous tale you just told us isn’t, how do I put this, entirely accurate. You see it was Pvt. James here spotted those three men long before they opened fire on you. Unfortunately, his rifle jammed while he was cycling the bolt so there wasn’t much he could do in the way of stopping them. While he was frantically trying to unjam his rifle, I shouldered my M14, adjusted the irons for windage and elevation, and rattled off the shots. I confirmed my kills through my thermal spotter scope, just seconds before you emptied your mag into the smoke.” Vanyev’s face twisted into a scowl, and then quickly into an embarrassed grin. “Well Sarge, it looks like I owe you one,” Vanyev conceded as he reached into his MOLLE vest’s magazine pouch and removed a Cuban cigar and a lighter and handed them to Johnson.

“Much obliged,” said Johnson, “It looks like you have proven your worth after all.” He tried to keep a straight face for as long as he could, but eventually, the entire team, including Vanyev, burst into laughter, as they would many times in the years to come because no matter how tough life got, the men of the MARSOC Alpha Team stuck together serving their country with devotion, loyalty, firepower, and a touch of humor.

Championship Peter Jannotta Sweat is all around you The pressure has pervaded through your body It’s the championship game and you’re up You Hit it to right field You Run like there’s no tomorrow You Stay Coach says to steal You Steal They over throw You’re turning for home Coach says keep going Coach yells DOWN!!! SLIDE SAFE You won the championship! Now go shake hands and be a good sport

Grade 5


Snow Olivia Vrablik Snow. Coming from the sky. Falling Falling Falling

Grade 5

My house looks like an iced cake. The bushes look like popcorn. The snow colder that ice itself. Children. Playing outside. bundled up in their winter clothes like sardines. Will spring come? I will never know. I feel like it’s been winter for so long, oh how I wish spring would arrive!

They Can’t Talk But We Can I wake up, I had a marvelous dream That I was loved and cared for I am, starving and covered in a bunch of dirt I’m itchy and I have bruises all over I have a tremendous cut on my back It hurts, extremely I’m in excruciating pain I need to go outside but if I bark I get hurt So I sit here and wonder what kind of abuse I’m getting today I’m scared and I want to have a real home A real family Oh no my owner is here and doesn’t look happy My heart is racing, he walks in Slowly coming closer Step by step He’s here and I’m terrified I let out a cry I got hit This is brutal

Annie Hennessy Grade 5

Where I’m From

Lauren Sexton

November Grade 4

I am from a beach, a huge park, and a huge neighborhood. From everyone who plays outside, and people who are Like candy queens.

I am from a house with a black door, with a huge basement And the only house with a three-car garage.

I am from a mom who is never late, a sister who is always smiling, And a dancing dad.

I am from the not-too-big, not-too-small, but just-right Christmas tree. I am from the mom and dad who always tell me The Cat in the Hat and all Dr. Seuss stories.

My Boat Trip at Dairymen’s

Stewart Thompson

November Grade 1

We got the fishing rods and the cooler. And in the cooler there were drinks and worms and ice. Then we got on the boat. We slowly went out. Then we started to go fast. We slowed down at the fish traps. We caught little perch. The perch flopped when they were on the boat. Then we went to a swimming spot. It was cold and rocky. We got in the boat to go fly our kites. My dad started to go fast. The kites flew, but I didn’t want to break my kite so I took my kite in the boat. Then we went back and went fast, fast, fast, and my sister and I got to drive the boat. Then we slowed down into the dock. We called the boat “The Party Boat,” but the real name was the pontoon boat. We got the fish out of the boat. We got the life jackets out of the boat. We took the life jackets in to the dock house. I burst in tears because I didn’t want to help. But I had to bring stuff in. We got the cooler and the drinks and the worms. The three packages of worms turned into two because we used a pack.

After we got everything we went to Picnic Point. We had french fries and wieners and hamburgers and especially s’mores. Yum! I roasted s’mores and wieners. Yum! Yum! Yum! I had two sticks. My s’more stick was curvy and my wiener stick was straight. We were drinking soda, and my mom and dad were drinking wine. We sat by the fire and talked about how it was the best campfire ever. I walked to the cabin with my mom and sister. I love Dairymen’s.


Where I’m From

Colin Weil

November Grade 4

I am from the neighborhood with all of the old people and no kids within a block. From the flat screen TV and the dinner table

I am from the big, scary brick house with the bats flying around at night.

I am from the full house on Christmas with all of my cousins and the really good pasta that my dad makes. From Lonsdale and Waldman and Beecher

I am from the loudmouth family on the phone. And we never like being late.

I am from a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and my great grandma’s house was part of the Underground Railroad. I am from a family that loves to go to Mexico three times a year to relax and play with family. I’m from Czechoslovakia and was born in Lake Forest. From lamb chops and monkey bread

From the memory book that gets passed on every time someone gets married on my mom’s side It has pictures that are one hundred years old.

Basketball Leo Anderson

November Grade 1

I have been playing basketball for three years. Basketball is good for my heart because I run a lot. I also sweat a lot. I am number 35. My uniform is blue and white. My favorite part is shooting baskets. I have to pass the ball because people on my team would not get a chance if I don’t. I have a lot of friends on my team, but I don’t really know their names. We play every Sunday. I get excited! Sometimes we lose, and sometimes we win. I score a lot of points! I have to practice to get better. Once I went to a Bull’s practice. We had to leave early. Derrick Rose was there, and he is my favorite player. If I practice a lot, maybe I will be a famous basketball player, too.


Kevin Woods, Grade 5


Cynnie White, Grade 6



Where I’m From

Josselyn Joanem November Grade 4

I am from farmland and playgrounds. From Peeps and Hershey’s chocolate (oh so good) I am from the big red house with a huge red bow tied around it during Christmas-time. I am from New Year’s Day yellow soup for good luck, from Joanem, Shipley, and Applewhite.

I am from an always-early mom, and a dancing dad, from a Haitian grandma who loves tea and family.

I am from my cat, Harvard. He is orange and white, cute and jumpy. From the Alabama granny who loves peach cobbler. I am from Wadsworth, from rice and fish, and my full pink bedroom with a bookshelf with tons of books, and jewelry and pictures on top.

My Trip

Sophie Zacka

November Grade 1

We went to New York in the city. I said, “Mommy, can we go for a helicopter ride?” “Okay,” she said. I went for a long helicopter ride. It was fun. We had to wear seatbelts, and we had to wear earphones. We flew in a red helicopter. You can see everything. It was scary. The helicopter flew over the city.

We went to a restaurant for lunch. I am not sure what the restaurant was called, but the food was yummy! We had to wear warm clothes. It was cold. We landed. I said, “Mum, can we go see the Statue of Liberty?” It was beautiful. It had a dress and a crown.

61 Then we went to the hotel. We watched our new movie. It was called Protection of the Princess. Then we had dinner. We had steak and fries. We had so much fun. We went to buy a picture for my wall. I got three pictures. One was with a shoe. The other one was with a person. I got one more picture. It had a perfume bottle. I was so tired that I went straight to bed. I slept all night. I cuddled my teddy. All night I didn’t peep. Not once! The next morning I was happy. We were leaving. I jumped up. I packed my suitcase. We were in the airport. We went to the lounge. I had pasta. Then we were on the airplane. We landed. I went to school. I missed 1CE. Mrs. Edwards missed me, too. 1CE rocks! I missed Maggie and Sophia and Kate and Mrs. Edwards.

Where I’m From

Nicholas Bauer November Grade 4

I am from a blasting speakers house, from Nerf guns.

I am from lots of open land and swirly painted house, the old brick house near the old folks home. I am from “too big” Christmas trees and a mom who must have a candle lit, from Grandma Madelyn, Grandma Connie, and Grandpa Bill. I am from the family that talks shorthand, and we cut in “halvsies.” From when I had hiccups my dad called “Nickolups,” and a mom who told me I was sunshine all the time.

I am from loyalty for my friends, family, and animals. I am from Chicago and Germany, sweet corn and beef.

From the boxes under the bed and many picture frames that help bring back memories

Where I’m From Skylar Othman I am from a quiet neighborhood in the middle of a little forest, from my friend, Erin, who Lives two streets away. I am from the red house with A white door. The family room is A place where we play with Our puppy.

I am from Lake Bluff, from Going to New York every spring and Seeing Broadway shows, from my Great, great, great grandfather Who was General Morgain of Morgain Raiders, From John Paul and Dempsey and Katherine. I am from the jokes that Dad tells Over and over and we pretend to laugh, From “If you wish upon a shooting star,” and “You are as cute as a button” when anybody saw me.

I am from a loving family, nice but loud! A mom and dad Who care so much about us and our new puppy Who is as round as a snowball! Last, but not least, by two brothers who are not always fun! I’m from Lake Bluff, chicken piccata, and pan fried steak, From the photos and mementos we Keep in my mom’s office to remember People and places.


November Grade 4


Mary Xakellis January Grade 3

I love the pushing, the blocking, the spinning, the bending, the running, and the jumping. If gymnastics was any easier, they would call it football. I love gymnastics. Gymnastics is fun. Vault is hard, and beam is slow. Bars have a routine, but floor is the most fun.

Vault is hard. A gymnasts needs to use a springboard and vault over a horse. As a gymnast, I can put my hands on the horse and push off hard and fast. When I push off the horse, I am trying to continue through my handspring by bringing my legs over my head. Ultimately, I want to get onto the other side of the horse and land on my feet. I have to run very fast. I have to hit the springboard hard to get enough spring. Keeping my body straight is very important in vault.

Beam is slow. A beam is about twelve-feet long. It is about four-inches wide. It is about threeand-a-half feet off the ground. It is usually brown. The object is to stay on beam and do all your moves. For example, high kick on toe is when I kick one of my legs in front of me and keep that leg straight. Then I needle. Needling is when I bend forward and kick one of my legs back. I do my cartwheel on high beam. It’s not hard to me; I practice it a lot. I do my tall crown. A tall crown is when I put my middle finger and thumb together on both hands above your head and keep my arms straight.

Bars have a routine. The first bar is about four-and-a-half feet off the ground. It’s about oneinch thick and five-feet long. The second bar is almost the same except it’s about nine feet off the ground. First I jump to the bar. Next I grab the bar, slide my legs up the bar, and pull up fast. After that, I roll over the bar. I hold onto the bar, bend my knees, let go with my hands, and stand up on the bar. Standing up slowly is kind of scary because I am high up in the air, and there is only a small bar holding me up. Then, I remember that if I fall, I can just jump down on a special mat on the ground. Floor is fun. Floor is springs and then a layer of squishy one-inch thick mat, then carpet. Floor is graceful when I am slow and ballet-like. Floor is fast when I run and flip my body over. I pound on the ground when I jump forward and back. All the floor moves are active when I flip, run, jump, and pound. Everything is fun. If I didn’t do gymnastics, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t love the sport I do. I wouldn’t be able to do all the skills I can do now. I wouldn’t be writing this paragraph.


Alaric Ma, Grade 3


Grayson Brown, Grade 5



The Closet

portal to the earth.

Tatum McBreen There is a closet In my living room. It screeches and creaks. It has my toys and games. I bet it is haunted! The ghost is playing with My toys and games. The closet is black and fat And the ghost is now t-r-a-p-p-e-d. Yippee! Yippee! The ghost is trapped.

Grade 2 January

Brendan Murphy Basketball orange as an orange Round as a fruit Bounces bounces bong bong Bong wooosh There goes the hoop Jump slam dunk

January Grade 2


A Game Jack Canty There is a game. A game called Tron. It may be dark, but there is a city. A city called The Grid. There appears to be people, but they are really made up of computer codes. CRASH! Shattering to pieces information hidden in discs. CLASH! Prisoners fighting shining light BLAM! Bikes destroyed,

Bouncy Glouncy Basketball

January Grade 2

Katie Schilling Vampires hate the day And all the bats have gone away Lollipops are given out In my heart I feel much joy New friends are being made Today the love is here and there Inside people are so fair Nobody is being mean Ends the day with a loving way

February Grade 2


Book Review: The Lightning Thief, by Brian Selznick

Georgia O’Neil October Grade 4

Imagine if you were hunt down by monsters, and your mother was disintegrated by a Minataur, but she was still alive! This is a new life for Percy Jackson. Someone stole Zeus’s lightning bolt, and Percy is the prime suspect.

The important lesson in this story is that Percy learned not to not care about gods and to be more excited in Greek Mythology class. He should be more excited because his dad, Poseidon, is the God of the Sea. My favorite part is when Percy gets stuck on a love ride with Anna Beth. They were stuck because spiders were attacking them. What I like was everything. What I didn’t like was nothing. I connected with Anna Beth when she was freaking out on a love ride because I would freak out if I was trapped on a love ride with a boy. This is a good book for people who like adventures and Greek gods. I would not recommend this book to kids five-years-old and under because it might be a little too freaky.

Paragraph Writing

Scott Skinner

October Grade 3

Club Penguin is a fun web site. There are really fun games to play, and you can meet your friends. One thing you can do is you can play Card Jitsu. It’s fun because you can win or lose in battles. This also is fun because you can beat missions, and you can get medals. Finally, the activities are fun because you can earn coins and stamps. Club Penguin is awesome!

The Terrors of Terrorism

Joyce Caldwell

Grade 7 Robbie Bermingham Speech Contest—Second Place At the core of terrorism is the spreading of terror and destruction. This is the approach that terrorists use in attempting to change a situation with which they do not agree. Terrorism has not occurred in just the past few years. People of all faiths and political leanings have used terrorist tactics throughout history. Consider the Spanish Inquisition, Hitler’s reasons for slaughtering Jewish people, or the Ku Klux Klan who base their actions on their own interpretation of the Bible. Since 9/11, our media and our political leaders have connected terrorism to Islam. There are, indeed, extreme Islamic groups who do follow Osama bin Laden. Their terrorist activities are tragic and well known. But do they represent the entire Muslim international community? A lot of people would like to make you think so. Some people in this world believe that all Muslim people are violent murderers and terrorists. Why does this image persist? An average Muslim is far from a terrorist. The fact is the great majority of Muslim people in this world are peace loving citizens. Who are the people who become terrorists? How does terrorism spread so fast? Are there any possible solutions to this complicated problem? This is a time when it is essential that we concentrate on what it is that unites us, not what divides us. Who are terrorists? Those who turn to terrorism are often people who feel that they have no rights or no voice in their government. They are commonly poor, uneducated, ignorant, socially outcast, and angry. They turn to violence because they cannot find a better way to attract attention to their cause. Some terrorists are religious fanatics who take their convictions to such an extreme that killing people of differing faiths or lifestyles honors their God. Other groups who have more political agendas use religion to attract and coerce innocent people whose lives are so difficult they can be easily influenced by false promises. Imagine that you are an uneducated person living in poverty. You have never learned to read, write or think critically. Then someone that you admire tells you that God has a special deed he has chosen you to carry out. What an honor! You are told that God will bless you for following his instructions. With no educational background, how can you come up with a good argument against this opportunity? Because you have no ability to question what you’ve been told and you do not dare to doubt your superiors, you blindly follow your instructions. What feeds terrorism and spreads it? Part of the problem lies in the great difference between rich people in the world and the poor. The citizens of first world countries like the United States have so much compared to the people who live in poverty stricken third world countries. Many of the most conservative and poor people in the world are taught to be offended and threatened by our way of life. They criticize our wealth, our greed, and our immoral fashions. They find content of our music, television programs and movies offensive. They are threatened by the freedoms that our men and our women are able to pursue. Some of them call us infidels, or unfaithful ones, and declare that we should suffer for our evil ways. Even the media can be blamed for spreading terrorism. Terrorists, in fact, use the media to broadcast their message, their threats and their demands. The media is eager to broadcast


dramatic events related to terrorism, because it is newsworthy, increases interest and improves their ratings. The powerful people who own newspapers and news stations are usually committed to unbiased news reporting. But there are many biased liberal and conservative media groups who manipulate and twist the news to their own agendas. Many listeners assume that what they hear through media is fact. “I heard it on the news so it must be true.” Bottom line is that the goal of these media groups is to attract viewers and to influence public opinion. To achieve this, they often over report dramatic events or issues, working the public into a frenzy. When our media shows these events over and over, the terrorists feel successful, just like a bully on the playground when he sees his victim cry. The terrorists will come back for more because the success feeling is too great to pass up.

Another reason why terrorists influence other people is religion. When a power hungry group wants to take political control of their region or country, they often use religion as a tool to persuade. They know that religion touches the deepest part of a person’s soul. They understand that, for the poorest people, faith is all they have to get them through life. So they use it, twist it, and corrupt it to their selfish purposes. Most terrorists ease their guilt by reading passages from their scriptures and interpreting these scriptures to justify their intensions. For example, authorities found that one of the 9/11 hijackers had a copy of the Koran with him. That person had instructions written in his Koran that said “You’re doing a job that is loved by God, and you will end your day in heaven.” This kind of brainwashing is a typical terrorist method. They prey on vulnerable people who believe what they are told, and follow blindly. But this is not true; no sacred holy book would encourage such terrible things. Over centuries, political and cultural leaders have twisted sacred words, taken them out of context, and applied them erroneously to attract followers to their violent ways. There are many examples of this kind of religious coercion, and they are not all Muslim! In fact, if you are looking for some, the history of Christianity provides plenty of murderous models.

What is a solution? The conservative columnist Charley Reese wrote, “Truth is said to be the first casualty of war; trust is one of the many casualties of terror. The tragedy is that trust is essential to a free and civil society; when trust dies, petty animosities and resentments will swell and civil liberties will shrink.” One of the costs of terrorism is that we begin to distrust people for no good reason. How many of you have taken a second look at a person wearing a turban in an airport? It’s as if our trust has been hijacked. Terrorism is a monstrous tragedy because it threatens the livelihood of millions of innocent people. The only real solution is education. Beginning with children and informed adults, we must teach and model tolerance. We have so much to gain if we can reach across cultural divides and get to know our neighbors, no matter what color, race or religion they are. We need to start with schools and churches that are willing to open up dialog so that children and adults can learn to accept that being different isn’t a threat. Our differences do not need to divide us and separate us from one another. When we share our cultures, we enrich our lives and we broaden our horizons. We should stop blaming terrorism on whole races of people, and concentrate instead on friendship, understanding and integration.


Juliana Roman, Grade 5


Ella Cabbil, Grade 1



What We Can Learn From the Animals

Barrett Medvec

Grade 8 Robbie Bermingham Speech Contest—Third Place “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” It is evident from this quote that Muhammad Ali, possibly the greatest boxer in the world, drew from a belief that animals have traits that humans can learn from. Although animals are usually characterized for their savagery, is it possible to look to animals to improve our world when savagery is not the key to success? Today we humans feel on top of the animal kingdom. But are we really on top of the world? Even today, as humans feel that we are better than other animals, there are glaring issues that indicate that the human race does not hold the top spot in the animal kingdom. And the thing is, animals have figured out solutions to many of the problems that humans confront. So the question is not whether or not animals have solutions to problems we haven’t solved yet, the question is how our society can implement the animals’ solutions. We as humans must learn to be more flexible and adaptive in our everyday world, and as Charles Darwin’s theory of survival purveys, whoever can adapt to their environment the best, survives. Our world today is always evolving, and for humans to keep our culture well and thriving, that means that we must adapt as well. In today’s society, humans must learn to work together. If one looked to nature as a guide, there would be innumerable instances of unusual symbiotic relationships between animals. One example is the relationship between the Nile crocodile and the Egyptian Plover, a small bird. One would think that the crocodile’s relationship with this bird is that the bird often tends to be a croc’s midday snack. Well, the relationship between these two animals is nothing of the sort. The Egyptian Plover actually offers the crocodiles greatly needed dental treatment by eating the residual food from the crocodile’s last meal. This relationship, although unusual, offers immense benefits to both parties, as the bird does not fear being eaten by the crocodiles and the crocodiles have wellmaintained teeth for hunting.

The need to be able to hunt is vital in the animal world, as there are no supermarkets or grocery stores available in the wild. Because of this, animals have turned to teamwork to acquire food. Such teamwork is displayed by the leaf cutter ants of the Costa Rican rainforest. When our Spanish class traveled to Costa Rica, our class went on a hanging bridges tour in the canopy of the Arenal rainforest. During our hike we stopped to rest on the side of the path, and while waiting to begin again, we noticed a steady line of floating pieces of tree leaves moving across the trail and down the other side of the mountain. When we looked closer, we saw that the leaves were being carried by thousands of leaf cutter ants, all working as a team to support the entire colony. These ants live off of their amazing teamwork and cohesion, because if these ants were independent, they would never be able to build nests or start a new colony. These animals have achieved success through teamwork. In 1981, a former chemical engineer named Jack Welch took the CEO position at the corporate magnate General Electric. At this time GE was known for unusually complicated hierarchies,

73 faulty products, and ineffectiveness in production. Jack Welch’s mission was to streamline GE, and he started firing all the managers who did not have a teamwork-centered approach to the business. He also rewarded the managers known to have the best teamwork with bonuses and lucrative stock options. By simply having his company work as a cohesive and effective team, Welch grew GE’s net profit from 14 billion in 1981 to 410 billion in 2004. Welch realized the necessity for teamwork to have effectiveness in the business world and went on a mission to have his company work as a family and a team.

Building a family is yet another situation in which animals have bettered humans. In our society there are the depressing cases of orphans. Orphaned children in Russia have about a 9 in 10 chance that they will turn to a life of crime. Having parents in childhood is a key factor in how a person’s life will go. Animals realize this and have taken steps to insure orphanage won’t happen to their offspring. One of the most known instances of “group-child care”, as it is known, is in the Spinner dolphins found in all coastal tropical areas. My family travels to Hawaii every year, and while there, we encounter pods of these dolphins swimming alongside us. When we look at the pods of dolphins from beside them, there is no way to distinguish what female is the mother of a child. Rather than a single biological parent assuming responsibility for the child, the entire pod assumes responsibility for all the children. This ensures that every child will have a parent to be nurtured by.

Beyond the idea of communal child-care there is the more basic idea of providing support for parents who are raising children. There is a great example of this in the breeding herds of the African elephants. These breeding herds are comprised of all grown females and their children. Male children stay in the herd until they are fourteen while the female children stay in the herd for their entire lives. While in South Africa on a safari, my family and I saw four different breeding herds with nearly 100 elephants at a single watering hole. One could clearly see the mother of each baby, yet there was also a sense of support of the mother by all the other females in the group. All of the females were playing in the mud with the baby elephants, cooling off in the hot afternoon. They were also teaching the very young elephants how to use their trunks in the water. Compare this to the moms and dads of children who have their entire day packed with running to work, picking up the kids, going to the grocery store, and finally sitting down to dinner. These parents often feel isolated without support whereas the African elephants have clearly figured out a way to reduce the stress of raising children. The ability to work together and support one another is a common display in the animal kingdom. While on the South African savannah, my family and I saw such a display of peaceful interaction. Animals have learned to live together peacefully with many species living side by side. On the savannah, there were countless numbers of zebra, giraffe, rhino and elephants, all different species interacting peacefully. Humans could learn from this as we wage wars against each other over religious differences, racial differences, and cultural differences.

Overall, animals have figured out the solutions to problems that we as humans haven’t yet. In our society there are endless possibilities for improvement, and what we should do is look to animals for the solutions to problems in our society. As Benjamin Hoff illustrates in his book The Tao of Pooh, “Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That’s the problem.”

The Science

Lukas Maggos

December Grade 3

Two summers ago, my brother and I decided to take Mentos and pop and put them together. We wanted to see the reaction. First, we took the bottle cap off the bottle. It was a two-liter bottle of Coke. We put six or seven Mentos in the bottle, and we shut the cap as fast as we could.

My brother had done this before; he knew what the reaction would be. The bottle started to rumble. Then it started to shake like there was an earthquake. Then BAM! The pop shattered. All these plastic pieces shattered, and pop went everywhere. There was nothing left of the bottle except the cap.

Coke was all over my front step and on my door. My mom would never see the pop on the door because our door is brown. We knew our mom would get mad if we made a mess, but I was a mess. It was all over my shirt and my face. The Coke dyed my hat brown. We knew it was a fun science experiment.

Then we went to bed and said to ourselves that we would try again tomorrow.

The next morning, I woke up early and climbed my brother’s ladder. Since it was made out of wood, it squeaked and woke my brother. He took Mentos and pop and put them together. He threw the bottle at me. The pop bottle exploded. Pop was going down my back. It felt like ants were crawling down my body. Pop was getting in my hair and making it sticky. It was so sticky that if a fly got in my hair, it could not get out. My hair was like quicksand. There were stains on my shirt. I looked like a meatball!

I was so mad! I stomped on my stairs like an elephant. I picked up the phone and called my best friend over. We threw rocks at him.

Moving to Lake Forest

Grayson Pruett October Grade 4

One sunny morning while playing on the floor, there was a conversation in the kitchen. My parents realized that we had a small house, and they told me that we were going to move to Lake Forest. I didn’t understand what it meant to move.

I walked over to the family room. As I started exploring, I heard a big boom! It was a big, white truck with a strange man inside it. I started screaming my head off. Then the strange man took my toys away. I screamed my head off even more! I went as fast as my little legs could carry me. My dad started to chase me. It felt like a little game, so I just ran away laughing to my hiding


spots. My first hiding spot was a big, red chair, but it was gone! I went to my second hiding spot, which was a pink couch, but that was gone, too! This time I was angry! I continued running around the house screaming, “Help! Help!” I flopped down on the old, wooden floor, as my face started to cool down. My parents came and picked me up. I didn’t want to go, so I started to kick and bite. They threw me down on my rear end. Without them noticing, I crawled away. I was thinking about the secret stash filled up with candy and everything a baby needs to survive in a home. I put my stuff in a blue bag.

As I felt something tug on my arm, I looked up and there was my mom. Her face was a red as a hot, spicy chili pepper. She took me in the car. All I wanted was sleep and a puppy. The moving van set off for Lake Forest. One year later, I got what I wanted—a puppy—and lots of sleep. And I never reminded my parents about what had happened that day.

Where I’m From Lily Connery I am from the “Little Neighbors,” the spies, forest paths, and raccoon roof, popcorn, bonbons, toys, and daydreams.

November Grade 4

I am from the old house in the Back, the creaky stairs, and the old ice room.

From the ghost house and the spook that hides in the cracks of the house I am from hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree, the Irish twins, and Holzl and Connery.

I am from the sisters’ war, and Daisy, “the tubing potato.”

I am from “Don’t hurt your sisters,” and “Don’t tease your sisters.”

I am from grandma sleepovers, movies, and laughter.

I am from Lake Forest and Chicago, pasta, and steak, pictures of loved ones, and our memories stored in our house that shows what we were and who we are.


Amanda Tibbals, Grade 5


Angelique Alexos, Grade 3



Where I’m From James Rausch I am from a sturdily built neighborhood and summers spent by the lake, from ice cream in the warm summer.

November Grade 4

From chocolate and cookies with tea, home-cooked meals, and a little fresh market where everybody goes.

I am from the peaked gray roof and a house with many windows and a green door, the desk with a computer and the ancient clock on the fireplace. I am from Sci-Fi and video games.

I am from the digital age and big dinners when relatives visit, from Rausch and Ilyn.

I am from the house where modern technology and antiques meet and ancient boxes from all over the world are collected. I am from bedtime stories that my mom read to me and imaginary games from when I was little. I am from love, happiness, and kindness.

I am from a world of caring people and kindness to the earth. I am from Chicago Russian, and Hungarian heritage, mashed potatoes and pasta.

I am from the photos of me as a baby to now in the present time, small statues in the library.

From technology all over the house that show a tiny glimpse of who I am.


When I Said Good-Bye

Katie Gilcrest

October Grade 3

I buried my face in Goldie’s soft silky mane. Was this really it? I guess it was. Wishing I could be with her forever, I hugged her like a child hugging a new amazing stuffed animal. The day’s events had been fun. We went on a Girl Scout trip to the barn. We rode, learned things about horses, how to groom, and what grooming tools to use. We also ate pizza and brownies. But nothing besides getting Goldie back would make up for this.

I just couldn’t believe this was happening. I wished I was dreaming. But unluckily I wasn’t. I just stood there hugging her. What could I do? Who would want to have to sell their horse? Who? Sure, we had some problems, and she was small, but we could do it. Then the door opened. I started at first, but then I saw my mom. She whispered, “Come on honey; it’s time to go.” I gave Goldie one last hug and pat.

Wiping away a tear, I said, “One minute.” I ran to my tack trunk. I got a treat for Goldie and ran back. I fed her the treat and gave her a final pat. Then I had to leave. It was very hard. I know I’ll probably see her at shows, but it will not be the same. I love Goldie, and I hope she loves me.

Losing My Tooth

Sheridan Leahy

November Grade 1

I was so excited to lose my tooth. It was wiggly for thirteen days. I wiggled it every day. I showed my mom and dad that it was getting wiggly every day because I was wiggling it. I wiggled it with my finger. It was still wiggly when we had the playdate. We went downstairs and played with a little fire truck. Mimi accidentally knocked it out with the fire truck. It was almost out, and I pulled it out. It was bloody and bleeding. My mom was so surprised because I lost my tooth. I had a towel to blot the blood off my gum. Then Mimi went home. At night I put my tooth in my tooth box. The tooth fairy gave me a thirty dollar bill. I put the dollar in my piggy bank. When I came to school, three girls saw the empty space, and they were surprised. When I get older I am going to put my thirty dollar in my account at the bank. I was happy to lose my tooth. It was kind of scary to lose my tooth.

John F. Kennedy

John Tobin

February Grade 3

John F. Kennedy was a famous and good United States president. He was one of Joseph and Rose Kennedy’s nine children. John was born May 29, 1917 and died November 22, 1963. The Kennedy family lived outside of Boston, Massachusetts. John spent a lot of his life on the water swimming and sailing. He was a good student and enjoyed history and science. He went to Harvard for college. John was a World War II Navy captain of a PT (patrol torpedo) boat. He even saved many of his sailors when his boat was rammed by a Japanese ship. He started the Peace Corps and inspired people to want to treat black citizens with fairness. John F. Kennedy was athletic, hardworking, and a s­uccessful person.

John F. Kennedy was an athletic person who enjoyed many sports. As a child he took sailing, swimming, and tennis lessons. During World War II, he showed his athleticism when he swam from his rammed PT boat to an island to bring his sailors to safety. President Kennedy played and taught his children many of the sports he played. John Kennedy enjoyed playing sports throughout whole life. Mr. Kennedy was a hardworking person. He wrote two books. The first one, Why England Slept, was written when he was college. The second, Profiles in Courage, was written later and won him the Pulitzer Prize. As a politician, he worked hard for the Democratic Party. He won many elections. He was in the House of Representatives before he was elected the thirty-fifth President of the United States. President Kennedy worked hard to start the Peace Corps. He encouraged young people to volunteer to go to other countries and help people get health, grow food, and learn to read. These are only three examples of his hard work.

This man was a very successful person. Many of his accomplishment show that he successfully studied politics, and he really learned a lot. He lived his dream of being a politician. Before being a politician, he was a successful war hero because he saved his men from getting captured by the Japanese. He also inspired Americans to want to treat all people, especially African Americans, with respect and equality. Another success was that he stopped the Soviets from pointing a deadly missile toward America. John F. Kennedy was a very successful politician. John F. Kennedy had lots of athleticism. In his jobs he was hardworking, which made him successful. He is remembered for so many things, from being a war hero to a great politician. John F. Kennedy helped people to be more caring for others, helped our country by making good decisions about how our country was run, and kept our country safe.


Where I’m From Timmy Thompson November Grade 4

I am from a tall tree, black road neighborhood with amazing pig-out food, video games, and a beach down the road. I am from the black roof, red brick walls, a comfy family room and a big screen TV in the basement.

I am from birthday parties with friends and family and a ship captain named John Douglass, from Franz folk and Annie Carson Dixon and Arthur Dixon. From hiding broken things, and from a sister that pushes you over.

I am from keeping a special box with important things. I am from Lake Forest with ancestors from Scotland and Ireland. I am from loving chocolate mousse and nachos.

I am from the basement walls with our family pictures. This is who I am!

Playing Chess

Allen Mons

October Grade 3

One fall night while sitting at our craft table, my dad and I played chess. It was my dad’s turn and without a great deal of thought, he quickly moved his queen beside my rook. His hands were normal, and he looked normal, but by the casual look on his face I wondered if he moved too quickly. I saw his bad move, and I took advantage of it. My smile was as big as a half a chocolate chip cookie as I moved my rook diagonally and swapped my piece with his queen. It was like tasting your first chocolate. I said, “ha-ha.” We played again. It was a great experience.


Erisa Farimani, Grade 6


Lydia Puryear, Grade 5




The Butterfly Max Bury

Air Air is invisible Air is outside Air is inside Air is floating You give air Trees give air Air

January Grade 1

My Song Mimi Osborne My Song Is a song of love My Song Is a song of peace My Song Is a song of happiness My Song Is a song of family My Song Is a song of beauty My Song

January Grade 1

Aidan Murphy

February Grade 2

The Butterfly The butterfly goes up and down The butterfly goes round and round Around the corner it goes And up and down the breeze it goes Two wings flash open Orange White Black Flash open Monarch

My Grandma Emily Callahan January Grade 2

My Grandma Grandma is nice Grandma is caring Grandma watches out for me Grandma buys me presents Grandma takes me everywhere! Grandma nurses me when I am sick I love my Grandma I can’t say how much I love her I couldn’t live without my loving Grandma


A Dog’s Christmas

Preston Pickens

January Grade 1

Once there was a dog, and his name was Pamper. He liked his life. Pamper liked playing frisbee. But one day it got cold. It meant that Pamper couldn’t play outside. Then Pamper’s owner put up a big green tree in the living room. Then a few days later snow fell, and Pamper’s owner put ornaments on the tree. Following that, Pamper’s owner put up a chocolate Advent calendar in the living room. Finally, thirty days later there were Christmas presents under the tree. Then Pamper’s owner gave Pamper a gift to unwrap, and it was a new bone! It was Christmas! That is why all the decorations went up. Merry Christmas, Pamper!

The Boy Who Wanted To Be a Magician

Stephen Knobel

January Grade 1

One day a little boy woke up in the morning, and his name was Jack. Jack went downstairs and got himself a cup of coffee. Jack then turned on the radio and heard there was a magic show; as soon as Jack heard about the magic show, he got dressed and got a ticket at the magic show window. He couldn’t wait for the exciting day to come. Some days later he woke up, and it was magic show day! Jack became very inspired by the magic show. When the magic show was over, Jack ordered a magic kit.

Two weeks later it came. Jack practiced so hard that he put on his own magic show. Jack learned many tricks and made it to Broadway! Jack became a great magician.

Rosa Parks

Ella Cabbil January Grade 1

We remember Rosa Parks because she worked to end discrimination against the African Americans. She was the great granddaughter of slaves. She went to school for only five months, and the white people got to go for nine months out of a year. She lived in Montgomery, Alabama. She was a seamstress. One day Rosa had a half day from work, and she went to sit in the middle of the bus. The bus driver said, “Go to the back of the bus.” All three of the black people moved – but not Rosa Parks. She got arrested. Rosa Parks’s friends sent flyers that said, “Don’t take the bus.” All of the people did not take the bus. They walked for a year. They held hands with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where I’m From Kimie Han November Grade 4

I am from a musical house with trees to climb and spooky Halloween parties, from pianos and violins, good Tokyo food, and streams of fish to play with. I am from the birch house with colorful ornaments and green bushes.

I am from celebrating my Chinese heritage and a champion jump-roping mom, from Derek, Doris, and Han.

I am from the house where my dad scares people and mom talks on the phone for hours, from getting a toy in a box and falling and not being able to say S’s. I am from a black piano bought on my birthday. I’m from Evanston, China, Alaskan fish and BBQ ribs, from the glass cabinet in the basement filled with pictures of old memories.


My Cousin Addie and Me Maggie Andrea My cousin, Addie, and me My cousin is funny She makes silly faces She says words like “Boom, chicka, boom, boom” I am seven, and she is four I like green, and she likes green I live in Chicago And she lives in Louisiana We visit and play together My cousin, Addie, and me

January Grade 1

Snowy Day Harry Hodgkins I wake up in the morning I feel the breeze The snow looks like glitter Falling from the sky I get my coat on I feel like I am in a Winter Wonderland I make figures in the snow I feel so happy

February Grade 2

Illinois Jackson Van Paris

I Remember

February Grade 2

Wesley Stephenson February Grade 1

I Remember I remember when my cousin was born last year I remember when I was little I remember when I was in Brazil I remember seeing dolphins in the Bahamas I remember the first day of school In my whole life that was called JKPM I remember the first day of first grade We had so much fun I Remember

Illinois Illinois you are very cool Chicago you sure do rule Lake Michigan you are quite a sight World’s Fair you were such a delight Sky ride you are guiding Bears you’re exciting! I love you Illinois


Anna Pierson, Grade 1


Kiley Rabjohns, Grade 2



My Family

Simone Sawyer December Grade 1

The thing we all have in common is that we all have brown eyes.

I like swimming because I love being in the pool. I take swimming lessons. The water is cold! I am good at bowling because I can hit the pins. I am afraid of nothing! My favorite holiday is Christmas because I get presents! I want a DS this Christmas.

My sister Jasmine is so nice! She helps me a lot. She helps me get my clothes from my closet when I can’t reach them myself. Jasmine’s favorite colors are purple and pink. Her room is painted purple. My sister loves bowling, too. She loves to bowl with us. She beats me! Jasmine loves to swim because she loves to be in the water. She is a great swimmer. Her favorite food is mac and cheese. She can make it all by herself. My sister Aleeya is the second oldest. She is twelve years old. Her birthday is August 8. Her favorite colors are blue and green. Aleeya’s favorite vacation is Hawaii because she loves to hula. Aloha means hello. She is a nice girl because she reads to me. Last night she read my library book to me. It was called Holly is Too Jolly. She goes to this school, and she loves to go here. This school’s name is Lake Forest Country Day School, and I go here, too.

I love to cook with my mom because she cooks my favorite foods. I especially love her cooked broccoli, ham, and turkey. My mom’s favorite colors are yellow, black, and red. She is forty eight years old. Sometimes I like to go outside with her and play basketball. I win all the time! My dad’s favorite color is blue. When I am at school, my dad is at work. He works close to our house. My dad’s favorite food is pie…any kind of pie! My dad’s friend is Ralpherd. We play with his daughters. I love my family because they love me!


The Story of Pocahontas

Stella Baeseman-Smith February Grade 3

“Come here and I’ll teach you some English.” “And I will teach you some Indian words.” Pocahontas, who was only eleven-years-old, and Captain John Smith became friends. Pocahontas was the daughter of a powerful Indian chief named Powhatan. She was born in 1595 in Werowocomoco, Virginia. She married an Englishman, John Rolfe. They had a son, Thomas. She is known for helping the early settlers. Pocahontas died when she was only twenty-one. Pocahontas was brave, caring, and friendly.

Pocahontas was a very brave Native American. She walked up to a settler and talked to him. She also went on a strange ship and got kidnapped. She met Queen Anne and King James; I bet she was scared and brave.

Pocahontas was a very friendly Native American. Pocahontas met John Smith and taught him some Indian words, and John Smith taught Pocahontas some English words. She went to her father and asked for him to help the settlers. When the settlers arrived, they did not know how to grow corn, and she brought corn to them. Pocahontas and John stayed friends until she died. This was due to the fact who she was so friendly. Pocahontas cared about many different things. She stopped her dad’s warriors from killing John Smith. She brought corn to John and the settlers because she cared about them. She saved the settlers from the Indian warriors attacking the camp. Pocahontas cared about everyone. Pocahontas should be remembered because she is a brave, friendly, and caring Native American girl that made a difference in history. She was a wonderful woman.

My Brother

Alaric Ma

January Grade 3

There are millions of brothers out there, but let me tell you about mine. He’s five years old. And he is in junior kindergarten. He is also the best brother ever. He’s funny, exciting, and hyper. My brother has a good sense of humor. He tells jokes about personal things like his hygiene issues. There is this one time where he was talking about how he didn’t shower for like two or three days. He also does funny actions like slamming himself on the wall. Another thing he does is tell jokes about his friends and what they do at school. One time he told a joke about a kid that runs like a worn-out dinosaur.

He also is very exciting. When he tries to fly, he gets really excited. He gets on the couch, and flaps his arms like a bird, and then he jumps off, but every time he goes “bam”! He also looks very exciting when he is mad. He charges at me; his face gets red; and he chases me around my house. He also gets really excited when he races me. He takes it like it is a marathon. When he loses a race, he gets really mad.

He is the best brother ever, but he can be a little hyper sometimes. When he is hyper, he tries to kill me by throwing any hard object at me. He also slams himself on the wall for fun. Another thing he does is chase me around with a pencil, and every time I have to lock my room door and wait him out. If you have brothers, don’t think of them as cold-blooded killers but as playmates. So next time a brother does something wrong, don’t go to your mother right away but try to teach him. If you hate your brother…well, try to find companionship with him.

Growing Up As a Seed

Cameron Wacker and Sophia Burt

November Grade 2

I got picked up. PLUMP. I went onto the soft grass. I got picked right back up and into this thing with circles at the bottom. All of the sudden, it got rough. Bump! Bump! Bump! Something opened, and I fell right into a thing made of sticks. I got put on wood. I sat on wood all night. It got spooky and dark. I couldn’t stand it. I saw something move! I heard a sound. Caw! Caw! Caw! Finally the dark was over, and it was light out. I got picked up, and…BAM! Right onto paper. Crinkle, Crinkle, Crinkle, the paper went. Next I felt a little tickle in my body. The tickle got bigger and bigger. I can see! A couple minutes later…I can talk! Now I am a jack-o-lantern, big and spooky like a crow.


Someone put something into me. It’s lighter in my body. Someone put a light in my body. It is the day before Halloween. I sat on wood all night, but there was no need to be afraid because I was just as spooky as a crow.

It was the day of Halloween, and the owner of me was dressed as a knight. Swing! Swing! his sound went. The boy was saying, “I am going to beat you,” to his little brother. But I got a little bored. I made a big spooky face. My owner picked me up and put me where kids were taking things from a thing made of sticks and then eating them. I felt a little cold from the breeze and very lonely. No one was there. I was scared even though I was spooky! Finally someone came, and I wasn’t lonely. I was so joyful! The whole family was back! I felt so much better, and I got to go inside and sit on the furniture next to my owner. But, all of the sudden, I got put right back on the wood, and it wasn’t as fantastic as sitting on furniture. I sat there all day and night, and I didn’t feel well. I felt so tired. I fell right asleep. I was dreaming about when I was a seed, and when I woke up I was a seed and with my family!

The Cool Jump

Eva Hanson

October Grade 3

Thump, thump, thump went my feet as I happily sprinted down the brown dock. I leaped as if I was a frog springing onto a lily pad. Splash! Into the sparkling water I went, struggling to catch up with Anna, Nora, and Will. I heard swishing sounds as I slowly swam closer to our bluefooted paddle boat. Thump! I climb into to the boat huffing and puffing because I was tired. Nora and Will were paddling the boat, and it looked like they were riding a two-person bike. “Why don’t we try to jump off the dock all holding hands?” Nora suggested. “No way are you getting me into that,” I quivered. “I’m in,” Anna and Will yelled at the same time. “Fine, I’ll do it,” I crooned.

We got back to the dock. I grasped Anna and Nora’s bony hands as tightly as I could and closed my eyes. “One, two, three jump!” I could feel the cold air blowing against my face. I felt like a hawk soaring through the sky about to go down and catch a fish. Finally, I splashed into the sparkling water. At that point, I felt like the fish that the hawk was about to catch. “Let’s do it again!” everyone yelled at the same time.


Annie Hennesy, Grade 5


Kate Danaher, Grade 1



To Return to the Surface

Karisma Chhabria

Grade 8 Short Story Contest—Second Place As Oceana slipped the small submersible into the water, she thought briefly about the fact that she was called Oceana for a reason. She loved the ocean; not for its cool, refreshing waves, but for the hidden mysteries waiting to be found in its dark depths. The tiny sub made its descent; with each foot, a pound more of pressure. The comforting sun got dimmer and dimmer, until, except for the sub’s headlamp, Oceana was enveloped in complete darkness. Oceana felt as if she were in a different world; a different universe. The life forms that live in this remote area of the earth could only survive in such a dark and high-pressure environment, and places like this are rare on land. Oceana considered this to be the most exciting opportunity of her life. An Angler fish poked curiously at the sub’s headlamp; in turn, Oceana studied the fish’s bioluminescent ‘headlamp’ of its own.

Oceana moved past the Angler fish, in hope of finding another aquatic curiosity. Exploring around the area, she could almost sense that amazing discoveries were everywhere. Shining her light toward the ocean floor many meters below, she spotted Bythograea thermydron, more commonly known as a vent crab. This struck Oceana, for she knew that this type of crab thrives near hydrothermal vents. These undersea vents are similar to an underwater geyser. In areas where the earth’s tectonic plates are slowly moving apart, cracks and crevices form and seawater can seep in. As the water full of minerals, is heated by molten rock underneath the Earth’s crust, it rises back to the surface, bursting through the ocean floor and releasing its minerals in a tall chimney-like pillar. Oceana knew that one was close by, since vent crabs rely on this mineral-rich area. She started to look around the area, and soon she saw another vent crab, and another and another. Oceana tilted the sub upwards, and emerging from the ocean floor was an immense mass of rock with black smoke spewing out of the top like a Stygian Old Faithful. Oceana rummaged through her papers until she found a map of discovered hydrothermal vents, and to her astonishment, the looming mass she was staring at was not on it. Could it be that she was the first to see this hidden treasure thousands of meters below modern civilization? Yes, this wonder of the world was hers. She decided to run an analytical test of the rock that made up the base of the vent. The sub’s robotic arm reached toward the hydrothermal vent, grasped the top of it with its claw-like fingers, and the arm’s saw sliced a fairly large sample from the top of the vent to examine. The arm retired to its place at the bottom of the sub as the sample was lifted to the personnel sphere where Oceana was still marveling at the find of her lifetime. When the rock arrived from the airlock, Oceana touched an electrode to the surface of the rock, and analytical data appeared on the monitor in front of her. When her brain comprehended what was on the screen, Oceana’s mouth dropped open. The dull, black rock that had been extracted from the mass that was towering over the submersible was forty percent copper and contained twenty

97 parts per million of gold. In other words, with gold and copper becoming extremely scarce on land and prices tripling over the last two years, the grimy and plain-looking rock resting on the floor of the sub could make Oceana thousands of dollars in an instant. She threw her hands up in the air, tossed her head back and shouted for joy. It was as if nothing more could be better, until her eye caught the millions of dollars that were tantalizingly sitting in front of the sub. It was so close; all she had to do was grab it. Oceana looked at the control panel, then to the hydrothermal vent, then back to the control panel. Making her decision, she carefully maneuvered the sub’s robotic arm to the vent once again. This time, Oceana sliced a piece five times as large as the initial sample out of the mass of blackness, and the arm brought it back to her eager clutches. Her hands and fingers were out of control; she mentally screamed at herself knowing the weight of the rock was too much, but her greedy hands did not obey. Just then, a blinking red light took Oceana out of her trance. In a panic, Oceana rushed to the sub’s monitor, which read, “Exceeding weight limit. Cargo overload.” Then, the screen flashed a brilliant white before it was flooded with black and all mechanical noises were silenced. Faint emergency lights flickered on as an eerie chill climbed up her body. Oceana’s heart didn’t want to believe it, but her brain knew; the submersible’s battery had failed. The sub slowly started to sink down to the seemingly abysmal ocean floor. Oceana had only one chance to survive: if she used compressed air to blow water out of the submersible’s ballast tanks, the sub would become buoyant and float to the surface. Oceana reached up to the ceiling of the personnel sphere and in the faint glow of the emergency lights, hastily located the large lever that would release the air. She gave it a sharp tug, but to her dismay, the sub continued to sink; with each second, she was another meter closer to where the small submersible would succumb to the pressure of the vast ocean.

Something was weighing the sub down; something was pulling Oceana to the underwater grave that lay waiting for her. Suddenly, an icy feeling of dread spread throughout Oceana’s body. The rock, the gold and copper, the millions of dollars in the bottom of the sub were bringing Oceana to her death.

Oceana stood motionless in the sub contemplating this precarious situation. Something had to be done, and no matter what it was, it had to be done quickly. She was snapped to attention when tiny cracks started forming on the edges of the two windows of the sub. Then, hearing metal on metal and a slight popping noise, Oceana knew a crucial bolt had just come loose. She heard hissing noises as water seeped into the sub and started to gather on the floor; the tiny submersible was surrendering to the mighty ocean at last. It was now or never; she needed to throw the massive rock overboard, or else she wouldn’t live to tell her tale. Tears streaming down her face, Oceana manually opened the hatch to the external basket underneath the sub. Oceana gazed through the spidery cracks of the windows, watching what might be millions of dollars melt away into the ominous depths of the ocean. Luckily, with the weight of the rocks gone, Oceana slowly felt the sub rising. Then, she heard another popping sound; another bolt. At this point, the freezing water was up to Oceana’s knees. The life was draining from her muscles, but when she saw the spindly cracks getting larger and larger, adrenaline pumped through her blood and gave her a temporary boost of energy.

The sub wasn’t going to last much longer, so Oceana frantically started to look around her for something, anything, to eject in order to expedite the return to the surface. That’s when she noticed, sitting in the corner where it had been all along, the initial sample of gold and copper she had extracted to analyze from the hydrothermal vent. Oceana stood frozen, not knowing what she had to do. Could the sub make it to the surface in time before it gave in to the enormous amount of pressure and imploded or was the rock still weighing down the sub? Oceana knew the right answer, but she couldn’t part with that rock, her discovery, her fortune and fame. She couldn’t move, she was paralyzed; all she could do was stare out of what was left of the windows and hope that somehow, somehow, she could return to the surface with the rock and live the life she used to know back on land. Just then, the dreaded sound of metal on metal returned, and another bolt came loose. If she didn’t do something fast, the sub would implode entirely. She reluctantly looked over her shoulder and saw the piece of rock resting on the floor of the sub, appearing distorted by the water that surrounded it. Oceana made her decision. She dashed over to the other side of the personnel sphere and hoisted the heavy rock in her arms. But it was too late.

Where I’m From

Brian Silver

November Grade 4

I am from loud Fourth of July parades and a steak place for dinner, baseball, football, and hockey. I am from the big red house with a big black gate in front.

I am from big family gatherings, and my great grandma’s cow-kicked-over-the-lantern story which started the Chicago fire. I am from the O’Leary, Fitzgibbon, and Silver. I am from the family with nine people and parties all summer. I am from hearing about my brave grandpa and throwing Thomas Trains around the house. I am from Highland Park and Ireland and Chinese food and french fries. I am from the piano room with all my little kid mementos.



Quintin Primo October Grade 4

“ZOOM!” The plane had landed smoothly and came to the gate. Our trip was over, and it had been a very fun trip to Maine. It was my first time there. We swam and played at the beach, and we met a few friends, too. After we got off the plane, we went to get our luggage, searched for my sister’s stroller for a long time, and headed toward the limo that would take us home. Soon we were pulling into our driveway. The first thing I noticed was a big scratch on the bricks. I wondered how it got there. We got out of the car and went inside the breezeway and into the kitchen. There on the counter was a small, brown box with lots of small holes in it. “Could it be?” I wondered. “Is there really a pet in that box?” I opened the box, and inside I saw a cute, light brown puppy with blue eyes looking up at me and panting. I reached in and picked it up and cuddled it close to me. It took awhile to name the puppy. We didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, so we took it to the veterinarian and asked him. He said it was a boy. We took Buttercup home, and my sister and I walked him down the bike trail. It was a warm, sunny day, and I was thinking, “This is the best day ever!”


Shelby Pruett February Grade 2

On a Monday morning my mom said, “What do you want for breakfast?” We said, “Buns.”

Mom went in the kitchen, and Mom said, “Where are all the buns?” I said, “I know where the buns went.” “Where?” said Mom?”

“Rutli’s stomach.” (Rutli is our dog.)


Lily Kempczinksi, Grade 2


Preston Anderson, Grade 5



LFCDS Rocks the Stage

Grace Lee and Thomas Dixon February Grade 4

On February 25, 2011, LFCDS had their rocking Talent Variety Show with many new and familiar acts including dancing, singing, instrument playing, and many different acts. There were also tech videos, skits, bongos, and as we do every year, the faculty act. LFCDS sure has lots of talent!

Everyone thinks LFCDS does the Talent Variety Show to see who has the most talent. Think again. A few LFCDS reporters found out the real reason why LFCDS does the talent show. Our school conducts the Talent Variety Show to give everyone an opportunity to perform on stage, not just the eighth graders. We should think of it as a Variety Show not a Talent Show because everyone wins with all the amazing and talented acts. Our talent show is organized by students on the Student Activity Board with help from Ms. Caldwell and Ms. Edwards. The Variety Show brings everyone together for a fun and a blissful night of pure entertainment. The Student Activity Board came up with this fun idea for LFCDS to enjoy.

During the Talent Variety Show students learned things that they never knew about each other. For example, there is amazing singing, dancing, instrument playing, and many more acts. This year’s most popular acts were The Grannies and The Faculty Video. Siena Phelps, a fourth grader at LFCDS, performed a dance routine to the song, “Hasta La Vista” by Camp Rock. She said being on stage in front of the school felt exciting and frightening at the same time. The Talent Variety Show is always a fun time to see your friends on the stage. You see the amazing acts, and maybe next year everyone will see you!

A Day at the Beach

Waverly Wildman

November Grade 1

I play in the sand with my sister. We make sand angels. You make sand angels by moving your arms and legs up and down. When we are tired of playing in the sand, we play in the water. At first the water is cold, but then it got warm. We play tag in the water. I got splashed and so did my sister. We felt happy because we liked getting splashed. When we got tired, we had lunch. We had sandwiches for lunch. When we were done eating, we played more in the sand. We built trails to the water. When we were done building our trails it was bedtime. When it was morning we had breakfast. We had bacon and pancakes. I can’t wait to go to the beach again.


Where I’m From Sydnie Mathews I am from big houses with stone walkways and lots of trees.

November Grade 4

From pencils, paper, and my fish

I am from neat rows of rose bushes, shrubs, and trees.

I am from making jokes and persuading my dad to get a kitty. From Rozario, Sharf, and Mathews

I am from a talkative grandma and telling nonsense jokes.

From stories of my heroic, brave great grandpa and my mom as a kid.

I am from my grandma’s keys. I am from Evanston and India and batter chicken from Pakistan nd chocolate cake. From brown tables filled with boxes of pictures of old family members

I Remember Beatrix Leffingwell I remember when my cousin was born last year I remember when I was little I remember when I was in Brazil I remember seeing dolphins in the Bahamas I remember the first day of school In my whole life that was called JKPM I remember the first day of first grade We had so much fun I remember

January Grade 1

My Walk Through Geysers at Yellowstone

Calvin Osborne

December Grade 2

When I walked through geysers, I had a beautiful background. So “click,” I took a picture of Mom, Dad, Mimi, and Brooks. Well, I saw something not like a geyser. It was like a spring. At the edge of it I saw colors like rainbows lying across the sand and right in the middle of the water was midnight blue. I reached in, and it was fiery hot.

When I was walking there was a geyser that looked like a beehive. It was called the hive geyser. It also looked like a cylinder. The geyser was a rock brown color all around. The geyser was still active. While I was walking, I found a crispy pit. It was a dead geyser. The color was a midnight black. You could see little sparkles in the black. You could see a plate-like thing all around it. It didn’t have any cone around it. It was like it was buried in the ground. At the end of the trail, I could see about ten geysers. The color was a pirate fog gray. We could not go any further so, we had a long look at all the geysers. Soon we had to go because we wanted to see Old Faithful erupt.

As I went back, I walked back through the beautiful background, the black pit, the hive geyser, and the hot springs. We threw sticks in a river, went on a trail, and heard a big boom as Old Faithful erupted!

Skiing With My Family in Squaw Valley

Spencer Chun

December Grade 1

I went skiing with my family. We went up the hill in a machine that is like a roller coaster, but it had a room and an inside with two couches. While I was going up I saw people snowboarding and trees and big stones. We looked at a map to see how many hills we have to ski on. We went down the first hill. The hill was called Squaw Valley. While we went down the hill, I saw people playing ski tag. While I was watching them playing ski tag, I slipped on an iceberg. My cousin’s mom helped me up. My cousin’s mom happens to be my aunt. We finished going down the first hill. We also saw a net to slow us down. Next we went down the second hill. We only had two more hills before the hills get a little harder to ski on. While I was skiing I saw another iceberg, but this time I passed around it. And we passed mountain three.


After that we wanted to have a snack so we did. I had lemonade. My aunt had a granola bar and my cousin did, too. My other aunt had an apple. My godfather drank a glass of water. We went on and on and on. Meanwhile my brother was snowshoeing with my mom. He fell asleep. I really liked skiing. I’m sure that I’m going to go there again.

Going to France

Thibaut Sacherer

November Grade 1

It was a very nice day. We went to the airport. Then my mom and dad were waiting. My brothers and I were waiting and waiting, too. When we were waiting we were talking about funny things. Then we went to the security. We had to take off our shoes and put our stuff in the machine. Then we showed our passport to someone. Then we were waiting for our airplane. Then we went on the airplane. The airplane took off, and then we were in the sky.

When I am in the airplane I played my DS. I can play a lot. Oh no, my DS is out of batteries! We landed in France. What a good memory! We got our own car. We drove and drove until we went to a theme park. It was my brother’s dream. We stayed there two days. We saw a movie. We were in a two-seat chair and watched the movie and our chairs were moving. My mom did not want to go on, but she had to. We went to a ride. It showed the future animals. You had binoculars to see the animals, and it changed places. I saw a dinosaur. I cried because my binoculars didn’t work. We ate at the “Flying Pancake.” I ate two sugar pancakes. My favorite! After eating we went to watch a play at night. It was cool because water sprayed, and there was a DJ.

There were weird buildings in France. One of the buildings was like a triangle and a ball inside. Another building was a shape like a crystal, and it was black. One of the buildings was a half hexagon and a big box covered with windows and a person was in the front. The person was not alive. I visited my mom’s mom and my mom’s dad. My mom’s mom cooked every meal because she can’t go to restaurants because she has a garden. And we went to my dad’s dad and mom. They can go to places like here!

Then it was time to go home. We went to the airport. We did the security again. We showed our passport. We went to the plane. We flew in the sky. We landed. We got out. We went to the taxi. We got home! I love France! I wish I could stay at France.


Marie Giambrone, Grade 1


Phelim Tong, Grade 5



Where I’m From Natalie Regan

November Grade 4

I am from the quiet street and the quiet yard where my neighbors and I play, from my piano and my backpack. I am from the blue shingled house with a keyhole right by the garage doors.

I am the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of eating seven fishes, and our every two year trip to Telluride, Colorado because my family likes to ski. I’m from Talano and Regan and Parowski.

I am from the grandma who grows her own vegetables, and knitting, crafting, and sewing.

From “Don’t talk to strangers” and “Be nice to your sister”

I am from my stuffed animal, Bunny, I’ve had since I was one-year-old. I am from Chicago, pasta, and steak. From the shelves full of photos that bring back memories

Someone You Should Know

Shirley Knight and Kimie Han

January Grade 4

You should know...Mr. Brad Cooper. Do you think you know every adult in this school? How about our System Support Specialist, Mr. Brad Cooper? He lives in Lake Zurich and started working for LFCDS in July 2007, after he moved from Wheeling, Illinois. He used to be in a rock band called Codekids, and his favorite song by that band is “Good for You.” He used to work in a hospital, although he wanted to be a music teacher originally, when he came here. Mr. Cooper has a puppy that is one year old and

109 is named Oz. Mr. Cooper’s favorite part of his job is interacting with students and helping them with technology. Mr. Brad Cooper is someone you should definitely know! You should know…Ms. René Spitz.

Ms. Spitz, our receptionist, has a unique interest in soccer and traveling abroad. She is from a small town outside of Dallas, Texas. She used to work in a marketing company called Diversity and Promotion but quickly moved to Wrigleyville, Chicago. Ms. Spitz’s favorite food is steak, cookies, and mashed potatoes, and she loves to watch Modern Family, a well-known TV show. Ms. Spitz started working here at LFCDS in January 2010 and has a black Labrador named Midnight! She loves history and working with kids. She said, “Working with kids is my favorite part of my job; it’s really fun.” Ms. Spitz is someone you should obviously know. You should know…Mrs. Michele Stancil.

Mrs. Michele Stancil is our controller and has been working here for twelve years. She loves to play her twelve-string guitar; she used to play in a contemporary ensemble at her church, but now she just plays when people need her at LFCDS. Mrs. Stancil started playing when she was eleven and was already teaching guitar lessons at age seventeen. Some of her many special interests are her family, traveling, making jewelry, and boating. Mrs. Stancil’s favorite food is chocolate, and she only watches the Super Bowl for the commercials! She now lives in McHenry, Illinois. She used to work at a Jelly Belly factory in which she was allowed to eat chocolate all the time. Mrs. Stancil was born in New Jersey, and her favorite TV Show is Modern Family. Her favorite part of being a controller here at LFCDS is interacting with the employees. Also she likes the school atmosphere and seeing our school’s financial activities. Mrs. Stancil is someone you should know at our school.

These three adults at LFCDS are unique and interesting in their own special ways. We hope that you have enjoyed reading about Mr. Cooper, Ms. Spitz, and Mrs. Stancil because they are all people you should know.

Bartholomew’s New Life

Zachery Barker March Grade 4

Chapter One Bartholomew sniffed the new air in his new home. He thought his life would be great. But that’s the catch. Bartholomew thought he had lots to do here. He had been sent homework from his new teacher, Mrs. Tan. So he sat down and did it. “5 times 9 is…,” mumbled Bartholomew. “450.” Slowly, Bartholomew mumbled and stumbled over the problems. Eight o’clock arrived quicker than five minutes. Bartholomew made his way up to bed. The stairs felt like walking a mile up a hill. Bartholomew slid on the floor in his socks. He could barely support his own weight. He pulled on his pajamas and trudged over to his new bed. “This is where my new life begins,” thought Bartholomew. “And I think I’m going to like it.” Those words rang clear in Bartholomew’s ears. Slowly, he lulled himself to sleep. The next morning, Bartholomew woke up nice and rested. Today was his first day at his new school, Riverside Country Day. He could already hear the laughter of the new friends he would make. He hopped out of bed and threw on his uniform. He hurried down the stairs, scarfed down his breakfast, and jotted down the answers to the last questions on his homework. He packed his schoolbag and ran outside to his bike.

“Goodbye,” yelled Bartholomew to his mother. “See you later!’ Bartholomew set out to a new adventure, the wind blowing through his blond hair. His blue-and-white sneakers were pumping hard on the pedals. His navy blue jacket rustled in the wind.

Eventually, Bartholomew reached his school. He parked his bike and jumped off. He jogged up the stone steps and entered through the spinning door. He climbed up the steps to the second floor. He strode into his new classroom. It was nothing like his old classroom. Red, white, and blue covered the walls with a spectacular mural of the American flag that covered half of the white wall. It had three walls and seemed a little bit cramped. Four bookshelves stood next to the blue wall. In the middle of the classroom there was a sea of desks, some that could contain one student, and some that could contain four students. Some students already sat at their desks.

There was one very big boy who caught Bartholomew’s attention. He looked more like a seventh grader than a fourth grader. Bartholomew thought he even saw a bit of hair growing on his chest!

“Ah, this must be Bartholomew?” asked Mrs. Tan “Yes, Mrs. Tan,” said Bartholomew.

“Alright, Bartholomew, let me show you around,” said Mrs. Tan. “This will be your homeroom. From here you will go to science. Here is your schedule. You’ll love Mr. Wifflocker, your science teacher!” Bartholomew did like Mr. Wifflocker. He thought that Mr. Wifflocker would be a little better


at being a gym teacher. Apparently, he liked to yell a lot more then teach. Bartholomew liked every class he went to, especially writing. He wrote a fiction story that was amazing. Mrs. Thomas, his English teacher, said he could have given Shel Silverstein a run for his money. Finally, it was time for recess. Bartholomew went to play tetherball. Next to the tetherball court, the big boy Bartholomew had seen earlier was talking to two boys half his size. Bartholomew went to go say hello.

“Hello!” said Bartholomew “My name is Bartholomew.” He put out his hand for a handshake. “I’m Billy,” said Billy. “Now get out of here, you runt.”

“Excuse me?” said Bartholomew. “I’m just trying to make friends.”

“But who wants to be friends with the fourth-grade stud?” asked Billy. “And p.s., I suggest you drop the dumb Australian accent.”

“Stop it!” said a voice. Bartholomew turned around. There, behind him stood a girl. She had skyblue eyes and was wearing jeans and a short sleeved t-shirt with a penguin on the front. “Hannah,” mumbled Billy. “And to what do we owe the pleasure of meeting little Miss England, again?” Hannah went a deep shade of red. “Just cut it out, you bully,” retorted Hannah “Oh, and p.s., I thought you had your idiot class on right now, didn’t you?”

“That’s it!” shouted Billy. “You’ve gone too far this time, Firebell, feel my fists!” Billy pulled his hands up into fists. He started to bring it down, and Bartholomew couldn’t help himself! He jumped in front of Hannah just before the fist hit her. Instead, it hit him in the nose! A pain like no other seared through Bartholomew’s head. Warm, wet, red blood came oozing out of his nose. “No!” he heard Hannah yell. “Billy!”

“Not my fault,” he heard Billy say. “He jumped in the…” But Bartholomew didn’t hear the rest. He could hardly breathe with his nose squished. He fainted. Chapter Two “Will he be okay?” asked Bartholomew’s mother. Bartholomew opened his eyes. Light blue sleeping curtains hung around his bed. But where is this bed, thought Bartholomew. It couldn’t be his bed. He didn’t have sleeping curtains around his bed. I don’t think I’m at school, either, thought Bartholomew. Then it hit him. He was in the hospital. “Doctor, how long will he be asleep?” said the voice of Hannah. “I mean, I want to say thank you to Bartholomew. That could be me behind those curtains if it wasn’t for him.” Bartholomew thought about this. He wanted to just rest a little more, but he decided to try and speak to his guests. “Mum?” said Bartholomew.

“Bartholomew?” said his mother. The curtains got pulled back. There, stood his mother. Bartholomew jumped out of bed and hugged her.


Mary Xakellis, Grade 3


Natalie Regan, Grade 4


114 “Hi,” said Hannah. “Thanks for saving me. That Billy can really punch.”

“No problem,” said Bartholomew “After all, I probably would have taken the same path, if you hadn’t showed up.” “Well, I think he’s ready to go home,” said the doctor. “Just take care of yourself, son.”

“Yes, sir,” said Bartholomew. And with that, they headed home. Hannah was invited over for cookies to celebrate. Billy was suspended for a week. Bartholomew went back to school the next day.

It had been almost a week and a half since Billy and Bartholomew’s “fight.” Bartholomew and Hannah were walking home from school. About halfway to Hannah’s house, they saw trouble. Billy stood there, right in front of Hannah’s house.

“Good to see you, Brave Bart,” said Billy. “Awe, look, it’s Mr. and Mrs. Australia.” “How would you like if we teased you?” Hannah blurted out.

“Is that a threat?” asked Billy. “At least you live close to school, cause I’m telling. Oh, and I’m gonna get you on Monday for getting me suspended!” And with that, Billy stormed off. Bartholomew and Hannah just stood there. They were going to get in trouble, alright.

“That was no threat!” shouted Hannah in the direction Billy had gone. But it was no use. Hannah had to go to her parents and face the facts. Billy took their “stopping of the teasing” the wrong way. Bartholomew left Hannah at her house, knowing he would take the exact same path of punishment. Chapter Three It was no pretty sight. Bartholomew had been grounded for a week and couldn’t go anywhere that wasn’t school or home. Hannah got the worst of it. She was grounded for three weeks and got detention from Mrs. Tan. Bartholomew was lucky that Mrs. Tan didn’t tack on any detention to him.

“So unfair!” shouted Hannah. “Billy knew it wasn’t a threat! He just wanted us to get in trouble for getting him suspended!” They were riding their bikes to school. It was a beautiful Monday morning and it was a half-day at school because their parents had conferences after school. Then, they would go back to school as normal the next day. The breeze that blew along this road always helped Bartholomew think. Then, Bartholomew had an idea! “Hey, Hannah, we have a community meeting this Tuesday, don’t we?” asked Bartholomew. “Yeah,” said Hannah, curiously. “Why?”

“Well, why don’t we do a presentation about respecting others?” said Bartholomew.

“What a great idea!” exclaimed Hannah. “In fact, I wrote a piece about respecting others last year. I just forgot to do it.”

115 “No you didn’t!” laughed Bartholomew.

“Yeah, I know,” said Hannah. “Well, come over to my house tonight, and we’ll write it.”

“Okay, see you later,” said Bartholomew. They both walked up the front steps to school and parted ways to go to class, Bartholomew to English and Hannah to homeroom.

All Bartholomew did that day was think. He was in math class, the last class before study hall, and then it would be time to go home. All he could think about was the presentation. What could he write for the script? He thought he would do his homework during study hall. That way he would have more time to write the script at Hannah’s house. He thought they could each talk about their home countries, but people might just think they are telling people about England and Australia. Then he thought that they could make a video and take pictures of people being bullied. After all, Bartholomew was good with computers. But they might just feel like they’re being insulted by being called bullies. He thought he would just talk to Hannah at lunch. Then, the bell rang. Bartholomew picked up his bag and his English, science, and reading homework and headed off to study hall

Hannah sat in a small desk in her English classroom. Like Bartholomew, all Hannah could think about was the presentation. It was her last class before dismissal. She knew Bartholomew was in study hall, probably trying to finish his homework. She had thought, all through homeroom, math, and her study hall, what they could do. She hadn’t thought of anything other than simple script saying do not tease us. Anyone could think of that, though. She hoped Bartholomew had made more progress. Maybe he had thought of something even worse. Then, Hannah realized nobody will think they were actually getting teased if they just said it. She knew they would need it on video or something. But how would they film Billy teasing them without an actual camera? Then, Hannah remembered she’d taken her little brother’s spy hat, which had a video camera built in, to record video for spies and stuff, so she could pay him back for ripping up her homework. Then again, he was only five. Anyway, so he wouldn’t find it, she had hidden it in her bag. Hannah thought about this and then remembered what Billy had yelled: “I’m gonna get you on Monday.” Everything was just the way Hannah had wanted it to be. It was like they were in a fiction story where they could just write everything turned out fine.

Then, the bell rang and it was time to go home. Hannah rushed out to meet Bartholomew at the front steps. Bartholomew was already waiting. They walked down the steps, unlocked their bikes from the bike rack, and headed off to Hannah’s house. Chapter Four Sure enough, Billy showed up. He teased them about being friends and said mean things about their home countries. They just stood there and acted sad and humiliated. Hannah had put on the spy hat, and Billy said nothing about it. They both were so happy when Billy walked away and ran inside Hannah’s house to make the video. Bartholomew whizzed through every process it took to make the video while Hannah thought of a script to go with it.

Finally, Bartholomew had completed and burned a disc containing the video, and Hannah had successfully written a perfect script. Hannah and Bartholomew practiced all afternoon. They were ready for their act the next day. Hannah phoned the Head of Lower School, Mr. Kat, and asked him if they could do their act during the next community meeting. Hannah told him what it was about and why they were doing it. Mr. Kat said it was a great idea and to contact him if Billy gave them any more trouble. Hannah thanked him and hung up. Bartholomew and Hannah were so happy. Everyone would have to respect them now.

The next morning, Hannah and Bartholomew rode to school and only exchanged nervous glances during the trip to school. They were scared and excited at the same time. What would Billy do? Then again, Mr. Kat had said to contact him if Billy gave them any more trouble. That was exactly what they would do. They arrived at school and parked their bikes. They walked up the stairs and headed for community meeting. They reached the gym and sat down where the performers sit, on the small bleachers. Mr. Kat walked up to the microphone.

“Hello everybody,” said Mr. Kat. “Welcome. Now, to begin off this wonderful community meeting, please greet the person next to you with a friendly handshake.” Everyone started shaking people’s hands, two at a time.

“Wonderful,” said Mr. Kat. “Now, please welcome Hannah and Bartholomew who would like to get serious about something.” Bartholomew took the microphone and opened his mouth and began to talk…. Applause erupted from the crowd. Bartholomew and Hannah bowed and headed back to the bleachers. Then, Mr. Kat stood up. He grabbed the microphone.

“Now, I hope everyone in here has learned a valuable lesson today,” said Mr. Kat. “You should never tease people, whether you’re intending to or not. Well, that’s it for this community meeting. Goodbye, everyone.” Everyone stood up and left the gym. Hannah and Bartholomew got up and headed off to music. They knew that there would be lots of questions like, “Was I teasing you?” Hannah and Bartholomew came up with good answers to some questions on their way. “What a day!” said Bartholomew.

“And it’s only just begun,” finished Hannah. Twenty Years Later… “Yeah dad!” yelled eight-year-old Frank. They were at Bartholomew’s last game of the baseball season. Hannah, wife of Bartholomew, and her two children, Frank and Bella, sat in the closest seats to the field. Bartholomew had just hit another home run. “Dada,” said three-year-old Bella. “Dada go home.”

“Oh, Bella, you’re too young to understand baseball,” said Frank. “But, yes, Dada is going home. To the home plate, that is.” “Oh, Frank, stop picking on Bella,” said Hannah. “Look, it’s our friend, Mr. Chang (or better known as “Billie”). He’s at the plate.”

“Plate! Plate!” screamed Bella. “Home! Home!” Mr. Chang hit the ball so hard that it popped right


out of the outfielder’s glove. Mr. Chang got a nice single. The next two batters hit singles, too. Then, Bartholomew came up to the plate.

“Knock it out of the park, Dad!” yelled Frank.

“Dada! Dada!” screamed Bella. “Park! Park!” Bartholomew nodded and got in ready position. The pitch came in fast. Bartholomew swung. Another home run!

I would like to thank my teacher, Mrs. McCormack, my mum, dad, brother, sister, and my brain. Without them, you wouldn’t be reading this.

Driving to My Cousins’ House

Lily Kempczinski

October Grade 2

This book is dedicated to my cousins.

I was packing up my clothes. I packed up some play clothes and some fancy clothes and some dirty clothes. I put them in my bag. Then I went downstairs. My family was waiting for me, so we put our things in the back of the car. We all got in the car and buckled our seat belts, and then we left. We had to pick up my dad from work. It took us thirty minutes to get to his work. I was playing hand games with my brother.

We were almost there. I was so excited! “Yeah, we are here!” My dad was waiting for us. We were moving into his car. We packed up into his car, “Where is my bag?” asked my mom. “Oh no,” I said in a soft voice. “We left it at home,” I said. “Well, looks like we are going home,” said my dad. Then we went back home.

Luckily, we were almost there. When we got home, it was about to rain. We ran inside and got her bag. We put it in the car and started driving. Well, only eight more hours to go, I thought. “Oh no, now we about to drive through Ohio which is so long,” I said. BAM, BOOM. It started pouring rain. Lightning was all over. “At least we were in a car so it won’t pour on us. Oh well,” I thought. We were one hour into the drive when it stopped raining. We were going to have lunch so we went to Wendy’s. It was good! We got back in the car. We were almost there. My mom was going to drop us off at our cousins’ house. They were going to my grandpa’s house. “Yeah, we are at my cousins’ house!” I said good-bye to my mom and dad. They said good-bye, too. I love going to my cousins’ house.


Will Meyer, Grade 1


Ollie Hodgkins, Grade 6



Sand and Beach Lila Fitzgerald Soft brown sand Fresh breeze Cool water Sun out A perfect day! Perfect sand Perfect sun Perfect water

Sand, sand, sand Brown, brown, brown, Water, water, water

Cool breeze in the air Sand is brown Sand is gray We love you sand Quite a beach What a day!

February Grade 2

A Dog That Always Wore a Ballerina Suit Lily Silvester Grade 2 January

There was a tiny dog. She always wore a ballerina suit. Nobody ever knew why, but she did. She never cared what people thought about her. She was really L A Z Y. She usually sat on the couch all day. She was special. She was a dog. And a dog is always there for you.


Where I’m From Jacob Phelps

November Grade 4

I am from paintball forest and Reese’s peanut butter ice cream.

I am from the old gray house with The white door, and the fifty-foot tree In the front yard.

I am from New York trips, a Living grandpa who took part in a war, From Phelps, Wiza, and Farwell.

I am from “taking forever” Mom, Really smart me, the best dad in the world, And the most annoying sister ever.

From “Jacob, you’re so cute” and “You are crazy, Jacob,” to “Stop that” and “Put that down.”

I am from creativity beyond belief, Taking electronic things apart to see how they work.

I’m from Kazakhstan, pizza, and ice cream, And lots of love. From a big bureau with big drawers filled With pictures of my family’s history.

Where I’m From Luke Jannotta

November Grade 4

I am from a neighborhood near the college, From a dead-end street with block parties with lots of kids.

I am from the white house with the green door and the only house sideways from the street, From a big third floor and a nice screened porch. I am from lots of cozy fires and a nice patio. I am from sing-alongs and Thanksgiving, From Addington, Jannotta, and Wood.

I am from a lose-wallet family and messy boys. From stories around bonfires and “No teasing Whitney.”

From being thankful for my dog, Birdie, and my family.

I am from Chicago, England, Scotland, and Italy.


Liam Larsen May Grade 4

Have you ever heard about Denmark and the courage of its people during the Second World War? The Nazis had taken over Denmark and the Jews’ lives were in danger because Hitler wanted to rid the world of people he disliked. The Danes were very successful at saving their people from Nazi occupation. The Danish people were fortunate because the Nazis were less brutal to the Danes. Another reason the Danes were triumphant is they refused to let evil prevail. Finally, the Danes were victorious because they used strategies to trick the Nazis. “Danes by the thousands refused to accept the fate of their fellow countrymen. The Jews were after all Danes. Whether friends or strangers they were their neighbors.”1

One example the Danes were successful at saving their people from the Nazi occupation was because the Nazi were less brutal to the Danes. For example, in 1943 a German high official, G. F. Duckwitz told the Danish government that the Jews were going to be rounded up. The Jews were warned, and they escaped. Another example is the Nazis never took control of King Christian X. They let him ride his horse every day to greet his people. “It was so regular that you could set your watch by it.”2 My grandmother lived in Denmark during the war. Every day she would see the king and shake hands with him. The final example is the Nazis wanted to get along with the Danish government because they wanted the agricultural production. The government said “no” at first but the Nazis took over government buildings and community services. The Danish government gave in.

Another reason the Danes were fortuitous in saving their people during the Nazi occupation is because the Danish people refused to let evil prevail. The people received so much courage and integrity from the example King Christian X set for his community. Another point, the Danish people did not want their navy to go to the Nazis, so they blew up twenty-six ships. Thirteen made it to Sweden, and six were taken by Germans. Lastly, the young Danish people made up most of the resistance movement to save the Jews and stop the German forces from growing. My grandfather was in the resistance group.

Finally, the Danes were successful in saving their people during the Nazi occupation because they used strategies to trick the Nazis. First, Denmark is very close to Sweden so the Danish people used fishing boats to take people to safety in Sweden. I traveled from Elsingbore to Helsingborg, Sweden. It took about 15minutes. My next point is how the Danish people tricked the Nazi police dogs. Handkerchiefs were developed in Sweden. In order to protect their people, Danes used handkerchiefs which held rabbit’s blood and cocaine. The rabbit’s blood attracted the dogs, and the cocaine destroyed their scent temporarily. The last and finally example is the Danes hid people in houses, hospital, churches, and any place they could think of that would keep their friends and neighbors safe. It is true; the Danes were successful at saving their people from the Nazi occupation.


To recap, the Danes were fortunate because the Nazis were less brutal to the Danes. Another reason the Danes were successful is because the Danes refused to let evil prevail. Finally, the Danes were victorious on account of the strategies they used to trick the Nazis. This is why the world needs people who are brave and will take responsibility into their own hands Levine, Ellen. Darkness Over Denmark. Holiday House Book, 2000.

Essay Writing

Harrison Potts

January Grade 3

Scientists have argued whether Pluto is or is not a planet. They decided that a planet has to meet three criteria. First, it has to orbit a star. Next, the globe of rock needs to be spherical. Last, it has to be the biggest planet in its orbit. So is Pluto a planet?

A planet has to orbit around a star. Pluto orbits the sun. The sun is a star. So Pluto fits the first criteria for being a planet.

A planet has to have a large body of rock, like a globe, that protects the core. The planet must be spherical in shape. Pluto does have a large globe of rock. So that means that Pluto is a planet. The last rule is that it has to be the largest planet in its orbit. There are many moons in Pluto’s orbit. Unfortunately, some are about the same size as Pluto. So for this one rule Pluto doesn’t fit being a planet. Scientists tend to call it a dwarf planet. Pluto: Is it a planet or not? Scientist say to be a planet three rules must be met. Pluto follows all but one rule. Because of this one rule scientist now call it a dwarf planet.

The Little Pumpkin and the Little Boy

Brooks Osborne and Ellen Roloson November Grade 2

I think I’m getting loaded in something with wheels and a door. On their way home, I rolled around back and forth, up and down. I thought I was going to break into a million pieces. When I got home I thought everybody was going to kill me. The little boy got out his tools and carved me. I said, “Ouch. That hurt so bad!” The little boy carved me into all kinds of different shapes. It got late outside. I said, “I’m scared.” There were shiny stars. I just remembered that Halloween is tomorrow. I got really scared. Whooooo! “What was that?” Now I am scared. Whooooo!

Now I am going home. Dadada! The next day I got lit by the little boy. I said, “Oh! I’m sparkling; I’m shining; I’m dazzling!” Halloween is tonight! I’m super scared. People were dressed as scary people. “Ah,” I said. “Ah!” When they came up the house they said trick-or-treat. I noticed they were only dressed in costumes. They were really scary. The little boy wanted to go trick-or-treating, too. When he came back he showed his dad. His dad said, “Oh my gosh!” The little boy laughed a lot. Caw, caw, caw! said a bird, and it took a bite out of me. I was missing my eye. But the little boy still loved me, and I loved him, too!


Will Collins, Grade 2


Shelby Pruett, Grade 2



The Runaway Dogs

Sasha Sklarov December Grade 4

We pulled into the driveway. I hopped out of the car, and I headed into the house. As I opened the door, a flash of brown and white passed my eyes as my dogs ran out to the street! I dropped my bag—along with the other things I had in my hand—and I ran after Max and Foley. This was really not intelligent of me to run into the street, but I did because I love them.

“There they are!” I screamed.

I ran as fast as I could before they would get hit because I saw a red car coming towards us. I grabbed them both. As I approached home, I saw my neighbor’s dog, Lewi, come out. Foley ran towards Lewi. As I chased Foley while hanging on to Max’s collar, Max suddenly jerked free. And when I was chasing them, I felt like fainting, because I was so tired.

“Ahhhhhh! This is a disaster!” I screamed.

I ran towards the dogs and said, “Sit! I got you! Now let’s go home, you bad fast dogs!”

As I walked to my house, the alarm went, “Beep, beep.” I said, “Bad Foley! Bad Max!”

As I locked them up, I heard them whine. Then my brother came to give them a treat.

“No!” I screamed my head off. I felt tired and sick. That was really dangerous, and I am never going to do that again. But I had to because I love them.

The New Arrival Sophia Gray

March, 2011 Grade 4

The front door slowly opened, and 10-year-old Sophia Gray could feel her heart beating. Thump, thump.

“Is he home yet? Is he home yet? Where is my baby brother?” chimed Sophia. “Yes, yes,” moaned Sophia’s mom in an exhausted tone.

127 “Go to bed Sophia, it’s the middle of the night,” groaned Sophia’s dad. “But Dad…,” Sophia whined.

“No buts,” replied Sophia’s dad.” “Wah, Wah!” cried the baby.

Sophia plodded up the stairs and into her , already wishing that her newborn brother had not come home. Too tired to do anything, Sophia got into bed and fell asleep. At 12:00 a.m. Sophia was awakened by the sound of her weirdo newborn brother crying.

“Great…now I have a headache,” moaned Sophia who could not fall asleep. Sophia could hear her dad snoring loudly, not making the baby shut up at all! Finally morning came. Sophia expected that her parents would be in a better mood, but Sophia’s expectation was wrong. Sophia walked into her mom who yelled at Sophia for being clumsy. Then the baby began to cry.

“Shut up!” Sophia screamed.

Boom! Boom! came the sound of Sophia’s angry dad stomping toward her.

“Great,” sassed Sophia.

“Sophia Cunningham Gray, I thought you would be helpful with the baby! Go away!” retorted Sophia’s dad.

Sophia ran upstairs feeling hurt inside. “Why was I excited for the little baby devil to come home?” groaned Sophia with a sniffle. Sophia reached for her toothbrush and began to brush her teeth. “Maybe some fresh air will help me,” Sophia said while pulling on a t-shirt.

When Sophia got outside, she thrust her tired body onto the family hammock, wishing that the day would get better.

“Mew mew,” meowed the same stray cat that came to Sophia’s house every summer. Sophia stroked the cat’s soft white and black fur.

“I wish you came to my house every day—not just every summer,” moaned Sophia. Just then a warm summer breeze blew Sophia’s long blond hair in her face. When Sophia got her hair out of her face, the stray was gone.

“Sophia!” called the familiar voice of Sophia’s dad. “What?!” Sophia answered.

“Can I to talk to you?” asked Sophia’s dad. “Uh… sure,” Sophia replied.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you…. I was tired.”

“Tired? You’re tired? Well, I was up almost all of the night listening to the crybaby cry, and

you snore! I should b the tired one,” Sophia said in disgust. Sophia’s dad went red with embarrassment.

“Well, let’s get to the point,” Sophia’s dad said.

“Um… okay,” Sophia said wanting to know what her dad was going to say.

“I noticed that you felt left out so I thought I would take you swimming tomorrow,” Sophia’s dad said with a happy expression on his face. Sophia could not believe what her dad had just said. “Thank you! Thank you!” Sophia screamed with a happy tone to her voice.

“But you will have to watch the baby for the rest of the day,” explained Sophia’s dad.

“Okay!” Sophia said feeling super excited.

And Sophia got to work right away. The rest of the day, Sophia watched the baby impatiently. Finally, Sophia went to bed knowing what a wonderful day awaited her.

“Ugh…I don’t want to get up,” groaned Sophia realizing it was 12:00 p.m.

“Dad!” Sophia screamed while yanking off her covers and reaching for her robe. Finally Sophia was ready and running down the steps. When Sophia reached the bottom of the steps, tears came to her eyes. Sophia could see her dad on the phone talking to her mom. “What should I do when I have to tell Sophia that I have to take care of the baby instead of taking her swimming?” Sophia’s dad exclaimed. “I think that I have heard enough!” Sophia cried.

“Sophia, the only reason I cannot take you swimming, is that your mom had to go to the doctor, and I have to watch the sleeping baby,” explained Sophia’s dad. “Whatever,” said Sophia.

“Ring…ring!” went the annoying sound of Sophia’s doorbell. “I’ll get it,” moaned Sophia.

“Make sure that it’s someone you know,” said Sophia’s dad.

“I know, I know,” sassed Sophia while opening the door with a creak. “Hi, Sophia!” chimed the sweet voice of Sophia’s BFF, Emily. “What are you doing here, Em?” questioned Sophia.

“Your dad called my mom to ask permission for me to come over to your house for a sleepover, and my mom said yes!” Emily squealed. “Give me a second,” Sophia asked while running to her dad. “Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!” screamed Sophia. “You’re welcome,” replied Sophia’s dad.

“But what about the baby?” asked Sophia.

“Well…when I said your mom was at the doctor…” “Go on. Go on,” replied Sophia.


“Well, what I meant was that your mom was at the hospital with the baby to stay overnight,” Sophia’s dad explained.

“So that’s why the baby was not with you when you gave me the fake bad news,” Sophia said. “Go have fun!” Sophia’s dad yelled. “Em!” called Sophia. “Yes,” replied Emily.

“Do you want to go on my new waterslide?” asked Sophia. “Sure!” Emily called.

“How about I go set it up?” Sophia’s dad replied. “That would be great!” Sophia called. “Let’s go get changed,” Emily said.

“Okay!” chimed Sophia. By the time the two friends were in their swimsuits, the waterslide was zll set up. “Let’s go!” Emily said.

“I’m coming!” Sophia called. WHOOSH! Emily slid through the slippery slide. “You have got to try this!” Emily screamed.

“I’m coming down now!” Sophia yelled. WHOOSH went Sophia down the slide. “This is truly going to be the best sleepover ever!” yelled Sophia. And it was.


Paul Podedworny, Grade 4


Sheridan Leahy, Grade 1



Book Review: Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Alex Gunton

October Grade 4

Imagine how it feels to live like Hugo. Hugo is a young boy who lives in a train station with his dad. Their job is to keep the clocks going. Hugo is too young to run the clocks, so his job is to grab the tools. The only way to grab them is to steal them. There is a toy store downstairs owned by a grumpy, old man and that is where the tools are. Hugo’s dad is a great inventor, and one day he gave Hugo a notebook to write all in his inventions in. I liked it when Hugo found one of his dad’s unfinished inventions, which was a robot drawing machine, and Hugo decided to finish it after his dad dies. I also like how the author used descriptive language to make the story interesting. I didn’t like the sad parts. For example, one time Hugo had to go to jail for stealing. I recommend this book for people who like mystery and action. I don’t recommend it for kids under eight years old because it can get confusing and sad.

My Playdate with Waverly

Will Meyer November Grade 1

Hi, my name is Will. “Shhh, Waverly is coming to bake cookies. We’ll make Halloween cookies. She is here! We’re going to have a great time!” Ding-dong! “Hi Waverly. We’re going to have fun! Come in.”

First, we made the dough. We made it out of eggs and other things, and then we mixed it all up. We used Halloween cookie cutters and we made ghost cookies. Then, we added the sprinkles, and we put the cookies in the oven. We went to my room to play. “The cookies are ready!” said my mom. We went downstairs, and we had one. Yum! Mrs. Roby picked her up because Mrs. Wildman was busy. “Bye, Waverly!” I said. “Bye, Will!” she said. “I will see you tomorrow!”


Lake Forest Country Day Students Go Gold!

Kate Stephenson and Becker Roloson February Grade 4

LFCDS’s Ms. Wickstrum teaches the first-, second-, and fourth-grade physical education classes. She invented the Golden Sneaker Award. Ms. Wickstrum found the idea on a physical education Web site. She thought it would be a good idea for our school. What is the Golden Sneaker Award? The Golden Sneaker Award is hard to earn. It is an award that recognizes good sportsmanship, teamwork, and effort. Winning it makes you feel good about yourself, if you win it. Not everybody wins it.

When is the Golden Sneaker Award presented? The Golden Sneaker Award is presented once a month. It is presented in front of the whole Lower School at Community Meeting.

Why is the Golden Sneaker Award even given out? The Golden Sneaker Award is given out because it encourages kids to work hard. That is what Golden Sneaker Award is, and most kids know that it is an honor to win.

Did you know? Once a month, Ms. Wickstrum will come up at Community Meeting and call out the names of the Golden Sneaker winners who have been setting good examples for the other LFCDS students. Did you know that the physical education teachers go to a meeting and discuss some names of people who do well in class and could be winners? The decision is never an easy one.

How can you win? Remember, sportsmanship, effort, and teamwork! Ms. Wickstrum says, “Effort is the most important out of all.” Effort: You try really hard and never are upset with what the class is doing. Teamwork: You can work with your group and encourage them to work harder without being bossy. Sportsmanship: Be happy for the winner of whatever you are playing in class. Never be upset just because you lost. A past winner of the Golden Sneaker Award is Johnny Silver, a second grader in Mrs. Scott’s class. He won the Golden Sneaker Award because he was working hard and being a great role model. The Golden Sneaker Award is an honor to receive because the whole Lower School will get to watch your success with great sportsmanship. Keep trying hard and hopefully someday you will have a Golden Sneaker Award!

The Pumpkin and the Pumpkin Pie

Tara Janas

January Grade 2

Once upon a time there was a pumpkin that lived on a farm. One day the pumpkin found where the pumpkins go. The pumpkin was so scared when he saw where he was going. He was going to be made into a pumpkin pie! A pumpkin pie comes out of the pumpkin pie maker. “You have to be brave to go through that maker,” said the pumpkin pie. “I don’t care. I’m going to run away,” said the pumpkin, and that is what he did. “Where am I?” The pumpkin said to himself, but he kept on going. Then he saw a spider climb down a web. The pumpkin was scared, but he cooled off. Next he saw a bat doing the hoky poky! “Freaky,” thought the pumpkin.

Finally, he saw a nice friendly caterpillar lonely and shaking his booty saying, “I am a booty shaker.” Then the pumpkin decided to talk to him. “Hi, I am a pumpkin. What is at the end of this place?” “The queen of the forest, my friend,” answered the caterpillar and went back to his booty dancing. The pumpkin was really confused but kept on walking. The pumpkin saw an owl and asked the owl, “How much longer do I need to walk to see the queen of the forest?” the owl said. “Only ten more minutes till you get there.”

The pumpkin kept walking and found a sparkly gate and when he stepped forward the gate opened. “Come here my little pumpkin,” said the queen, “You have traveled very far, and I am afraid I cannot stop you from getting made into a pumpkin pie. All I can say is you are brave to go through this scary forest, and you didn’t turn back.”

After talking to the queen the little pumpkin was less scared and went with the queen, and she took him to be made into a pumpkin pie. So that is just what they did.


LFCDS Has A Heart!

Siena Phelps and Brian Silver February Grade 4

Swing that rope for hearts! Jump Rope for Heart helps kids and people throughout the United States help their hearts become stronger. Kids all over the United States are raising money for The American Heart Association. Ms. Wickstrum definitely has heart; she started Jump Rope for Heart at our school because it raises heart health awareness.

At our school, on February 4, we wore red to raise heart health awareness, and we also had an assembly to celebrate how much money the school has raised in the last few years. There was a jump roping contest, a limbo competition, and basketball competitions. This was so we could exercise our hearts. The students participated in gym and the finalists from Lower School and Upper School were in the assembly. Tyler Medvec, a fourth grader, raised $ 1,050.00. He said raising that kind of money was exciting. Tessa Mills, a sixth-grade student at our school, raised the most money in our school’s history which was $5,001.00. Tessa said that it felt so good to win and help others. She was so generous that she donated all of her prize winnings from Jump Rope for Heart to a local children’s hospital. Lake Forest Country Day School’s Jump Rope for Heart was a complete success this year and in the past. So far, we have raised $13,941! We have raised so much money; our school was recognized as one of the top ten schools across the country. I think it’s safe to say LFCDS has a big heart!

Valentine’s Day

Mimi Baeseman-Smith February Grade 2

On Valentine’s Day, we all write heart notes to each other. Sometimes the notes say “I love you” or “give me a hug.” Valentine’s Day is a loving holiday where you can hug each other and kiss each other. Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday; in fact, it’s the most loving and most caring holiday in the world! I love Valentine’s Day, and you should, too!


Sophie Banner, Grade 1


Stephen Knobel, Grade 1



The Interview

Vicente Nagel

Grade 8 Short Story Contest—First Place The more I looked around, the more I knew that I was out of place in the cramped reception area. Around me was a sea of cheap suits and ties covering sleazy looking men with slicked back hair and smirks on their faces. I could sense their eyes staring me down, analyzing me, looking at my clothes and my hair as if they were figuring out a price for me as they would a used car. I could feel them calculating how much of a threat I posed to getting in the way of their making a couple extra bucks. “Whatever,” I thought. I was obviously overdressed for the interview and over qualified for the job. In fact, I probably would never see any of these men again in my entire life. I wasn’t there for a job at a used car dealership with a Harvard Business degree. I was there to somehow reconnect with a man I had never met.

“Mr. Smith,” murmured the young attractive receptionist in a Southern accent “Mr. Romano’ll see ya now,” she continued in monotone not once looking up from her tabloid. At this, I lifted my self from my seat, extended my six-foot-three-inch body toward the ceiling and continued toward the office doorway. The smog of cheap cologne lessened as I retreated from the harsh stares and scanning eyes of my “peers.” It was instead replaced with a piercing fruity perfume, no doubt belonging to the receptionist. “Thank you Brittany,” I replied glancing at the receptionist’s nametag. She looked up from her tabloid and instantly put it down. “No,” she replied, “Thank you,” she chirped with a flirty smile.

I gave a nod and faced the wooden door. This inch-thick piece of wood was all that was separating me from my past as a child. It was all that was separating me from my future as a man. I straightened my tie and turned the knob.

The door swung open with surprising speed as I proceeded into the dimly lit dealership office. It was roomy compared to the reception area I had just been waiting in and was furnished sparsely with a wide wooden desk and two chairs on either side of it. There was a cut-rate looking computer on one side of the desk and a few picture frames scattered across the top. Near the computer’s keyboard stood a name placard boldly reading “J. Romano.” At the far side of the desk sat a man. As I entered the room, he stood up slowly and expanded his tall frame upwards. He was a middle-aged man, probably in his fifties and his presence seemed to dominate the room. He was around six feet and five inches tall with a large stomach and very large hands. His tan skin stood out from his dingy collared shirt, and his hair was pitch black and peppered with white. He reached out his hand and firmly gripped mine in a hearty shake. “James Romano,” he proclaimed in a deep voice. “James Smith,” I lied. “Nice to meet you”

139 At this, we both sat down in our respective chairs. I could see the man scanning over me as I had felt the men in the reception area do. He was evaluating me; figuring out my worth by the clothes I wore, the way I had my hair, my cologne, the way I sat, and the thick folder in my lap. I did the same to him. I examined his suit, the shine of hair gel in his hair, his slumped posture, his round stomach, but most of all his eyes. They were dark brown, the darkest shade of brown possible. They were so dark that to distinguish the color in his eyes from the abyss of his pupils would be a feat.

He glanced at the bulging folder at my lap. “My résumé,” I explained placing it on the table. He gave a snicker and pushed it to the side of his desk.

“How old are you, James?” he began.

“Ahh 1982. A great year in the world of automobiles” he replied knowingly.

“Twenty-eight, sir,” I replied politely.

“Yes, sir one of the best.” I assured him. “What do you drive James?” he asked

“A Cadillac el Dorado, sir” I lied once more,

“A classic,” he grunted. “Kinda young to be driving an oldie like that though aren’t ya?”

“I appreciate its nostalgic feel,” I explained not knowing a thing about what I was talking about. I had somehow overlooked the fact that in an interview to be a used car salesman the topic of cars might be brought up. At this I decided to change the subject to avoid the more technical specifics of the automotive industry to which I was clueless. “I really want to be able to bring others the enjoyment of having such classic marks of American industry,” I said matter-offactly. At this he snickered.

“As far as I’m concerned, I‘m gonna give em the joy that they pay for,” he explained seriously.”I’ll take it you’ve never sold cars before, James?” he assumed, knowing the answer. “No sir,” I replied honestly.

“Then what makes you think you can sell these pieces of trash?” he asked bluntly.

“I studied sales in college, sir and I think I can sell just about anything.” This was true. I was very good at selling things. I had paid off all of my college loans before I was finished with my junior year by buying and selling stock without any help from my single mom who struggled so much on her own having to raise me by herself. I had also worked as an insurance salesman for a year after college and had ridden the corporate ladder quickly to vice president of development and sales in my firm at only twenty-eight years old. “Also,” I continued,” I believe that with the right attitude and proper care, you can gain the trust of your customers. If you get their trust, then they might come back for business or refer their friends to the dealership.” I explained. “You’re confident James,” he said with a smirk,”now that I like in a salesman. But let me

enlighten you on an aspect of the trade you are trying to break into.” At this he leaned forward so that his face was a couple inches from mine. I could smell the liquor on his breath, the musk of cologne radiating from his body and the glistening grease on his hair.” We are here to sell cars,” he continued sternly as if scolding a child. “We aren’t what you would call a company based on customer satisfaction. As far as I’m concerned, if the car breaks down once they’ve made it a block down the road, I’m well off with a couple hundred bucks in my pocket and a crap car off my inventory.” As he explained this, he leaned back as if to show his ambivalence to customer satisfaction.

“But what if they come and ask for their money back?” I asked interested.

He sneered “That’s why we’ve got our no refunds policy kid. They picked the car and if it breaks down that’s their problem.” He said smartly, “It isn’t mine once they hand me the money.” I smiled at this. I could tell that the interview was swaying more towards him than on me, and he didn’t quite realize it yet. Glancing at his desk I saw what was in the picture frames, meagerly displayed on the desk. Two younger looking boys sat in each frame. One looked around fourteen with long hair and sullen eyes. The other, around six, looked happy and had a gap-toothed smile. Oddly they looked nothing alike. The younger one had light, blonde hair with piercing blue eyes. The elder of the two had pale skin and straight black hair with light brown eyes.

“Your boys?” I asked nodding toward the pictures with a smile.

“The wife’s.” he explained plainly. My hand tightened on the arm of the chair I was sitting in.

“Oh, so they were from a previous marriage?” I asked. The man twitched and began to fiddle with his hands, an uncommon habit among salesmen.

“The older one’s from her first husband and the little one’s from number two. Hell, I didn’t know she had kids until we had bought a house together,” he said with a sigh. “I couldn’t leave ‘em either ‘cuz the house was too damn expensive.” At this the man took out a packet of cigarettes and lit one. The flame engulfed the tip of the paper, and the man inhaled. As he exhaled, a thick, gray cloud of smoke spiraled out of his mouth towards the ceiling of the dingy office as if to escape the man that had blown them away. “Any kids of your own?” I asked, foreseeing the answer.

“Not that I know of.” As he said this I saw a twinkle of regret flit through his face. His ear twitched the slightest amount as the smoke, oozing from the cigarette, slowly spiraled away. “Enough of me,” said the man, straightening his back,”You’re a good looking guy,” he smiled”You got a lady, James?”

“Yes sir, I’m expecting a baby boy” I stated proudly. As I waited for a response, I noticed his eyes get darker. “You shudda left when you could!” joked the man, as the dullness lifted from his eyes slightly. The grip I had on my armrest grew tighter as I smiled in a lighthearted manner.

“I’m in it for good now!” I said with a chuckle. At this the man gave out a bout of greasy chortles. “You’re a funny guy, James. A sense of humor always helps get the cars outta the parking lot and money in my pocket,” he said as his mouth broke into a yellow-toothed grin. As I was about to respond the man randomly asked, “Do you go by James, James?”


“My friends call me JD,” I responded. I hated my name. It reminded me of an emptiness that I’ve had my entire life and that could never fully be filled. “What’s that stand for?” asked the man.

“Short for James David,” I continued. The man ruffled his eyebrows slightly for a second.

“With a name like that you must be glad they call you by your initials!” the man said loudly, and this was followed by a storm of unnecessary laughter that I joined in on to make the man feel as if his joke was funny.

“Trust me sir, I am,” I added for good measure with a chuckle at the end. “Now JD,” he continued with a chuckle, “You went to college right?”

“Yes sir, I have a major in business and a minor in psychology from Harvard.” I said in the least inflated way possible, as I assumed “Jimbo Romano, the Used Car King”, would be concerned with where I got my college degrees. “That’s not gonna’ do you too much good here buddy.” he commented with a greasy chortle. I gave a hearty laugh as I had laughed at all his previous jokes in the interview.

“Actually I think that if you understand how someone thinks, you can understand their needs and how to get better acquainted with them, and not to mention knowing how to entice them to buy a product,” I said casually.

“I think I like the second one better,” he said with a sneer. He leaned back after this and I saw his bulbous stomach arch upward. I could tell the man didn’t take care of himself from his greasy appearance. The only groomed part of his body was his hair, which was groomed only with large amounts of hair gel and grease. His teeth were gray and yellow, his clothes were either unwashed to begin with, or had had their cleanliness spoiled throughout the day. If one were to look upon the desk that we were sitting at, he would see a mirror of opposites on either side. A well dressed, fit, handsome man sitting directly across a messy looking, overweight and liquor smelling man on the other side. The similarities were scarce. However, one could sense a confidence that surrounded us. Both he and I were sure of ourselves. Although we had different motives here, we both knew how to get about them in our particular brands of charm and cleverness. At that moment, as I looked into his eyes, I could feel an emptiness where his youth and caring had once been. I felt pity and at the same time, I felt glad that I was not the man in front of me, but also, I felt that I could one day become the man with the greasy hair and yellow teeth, and I shuddered. At this he asked me one final question. “Do you think you’re cut out for this job?” he asked plainly and continued, “Truthfully, I don’t care if the customers like you, or if they tell their friends to go here, or if they get good deals on the cars,” he continued as his voice escalated “I just want their money. I don’t want to deal with people who aren’t gonna make me more money or pay me more money. Those sorts of people aren’t of any help to me. The only thing that other people have brought me is trouble and debt,” said the man with a slightly off-putting fervor in his voice. I thought of the boys in the picture frames on his desk. It took me a moment to respond as I thought about how one responds to such a bold remark. I didn’t even bother to answer the question he had just asked but instead asked him one more. “Not even your family sir?” I asked in disbelief. At this I saw his eyes darken even more, and he gave a long pause that rang with shame yet ambivalence to the question I had asked.


Thibaut Sacherer, Grade 1


Waverly Wildman, Grade 1


144 “I don’t think you’re quite cut out for the job,” he said with a sleazy smile. I nodded.

“Thank you for your time sir,” I responded, standing to shake his hand. He stood and as he shook my hand, his eyes lessened their darkness the slightest bit, and for a split second I thought that underneath the greedy, fat and greasy exterior of this man was simply a hurt one. But as I thought of how he perceived his current family and his job, I knew that the man inside was buried deep within and could not be rescued from the smothering exterior that was Jimbo Romano. After the hand shake, Jimbo said one last thing.

“You know what kid,” he said looking me over, “You wouldn’t last a day in my business. That might be a good thing!” he exclaimed as I gave a short chuckle. “Anyway, nice meeting you JD. Your old man should be proud.” At this I looked at the man in front of me and he looked back at me. I could feel him looking at my eyes almost as dark as his. I could see him looking at my hands; the same as his and at this his face lost all of the color it normally had. He stared in disbelief as I asked simply “Are you proud?” It was not as much of a question as a statement. With that I left the man in front of me as a single tear ran down my face in anger. This man had left my mother and his first son before the baby was born. He had ruined his life by marrying a troubled woman and buying a house with someone he didn’t even love. He had not ever been in my life, yet I felt as if my future was doomed to being a copy of this wretch of a man who I had no intentions of being. I had a wife that I loved and a baby boy on the way. All I knew was that I was going to be there for my son and would not let myself become Jimbo Romano. He hadn’t played a role at all in my life, and I had kept myself distant from him in every way to ease the gap that I had felt. I went by JD instead of James David as that was my father’s name. I graduated from college to be better than he was. At this I saw that I had become the man I was without this man in my life. I thought at the last moment that maybe the best thing that had happened for me was the absence of a wretched father who didn’t care for my existence. Silently, I thanked him. I looked at the man once more and could see the shame in his eyes, the sadness on his brow and his lips moving, trying to form words but unable to. I turned and opened the door. I left the office and then the waiting area. As I got into my car, all I could think of was how great a father my son was going to have and how I would not be yet another Jimbo Romano.


Hockey Lover

Soccer Goal

Matthew Basgall

Rachel Boardman

January Grade 2

Hockey players check Greatest team Blackhawks Game talks Taped sticks Winning Falcons We pass We shoot We score

January Grade 2

Soccer ball kicker Soccer fun, you run Hard hit in the air Goalie into net Play it Score it Goal

Spring Flowers

Tough Football

Daisy Connery

Gino Farrell

January Grade 2

Football sport Tackled or out of bounds Oval ball Run touchdown Score a field goal Crowd roars Defense stops Offense scores Calls plays Tough as a rhino Never be stopped The ball never gets popped Win the game

February Grade 2

Bloom and bring Sweet smells In spring

Lily’s a spring treat, Daises smell so sweet, Violets swaying in the cool spring heat Colors making the grass a rainbow Everywhere in my own backyard

Do you hear? Making spring the best time of year Spring flowers’ scents hanging in the air

Muhammad Ali

Asher Anderson February Grade 3

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. His opponent thinks he will, but I know he won’t. Muhammad Ali is known for his boxing skills, and he is an American icon. The book, Muhammad Ali, Champion by Arlene Schulman, describes his incredible life. He was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. He has one brother named Rudy Clay. His father’s name was Cassius Clay, Sr., and his mother’s name was Odessa. His first words were “gee-gee, gee-gee.” He claimed he was saying “golden gloves” early on. Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) became a Muslim after he won his first heavyweight title. That’s when he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali hasn’t died yet, but he has a horrible disease called Parkinson’s Syndrome. It is a terrible brain disorder. It makes you do things slowly, and you tremble. Doctors say he got it from constant blows to the head. Ali learned to box early in his life. When he was little, he got a bike for Christmas, and someone stole his bike. He walked to Joe Martin, a police and an amateur boxing coach, and said, “When I find the thief who stole my bike, I’ll whip him!” Joe Martin told him, “If you want to whip the thief you got to take boxing lessons.” When he got older he became a marvelous boxer. He became the best boxer that ever lived. Muhammad Ali was brash, fast, and very popular. First, he was very brash. One time Ali taunted George Foreman. He said, “Is that all you got big George?” Then Ali knocked him out! Another time Ali promised Joe Frazier he would hit him in the head the most. He considered Joe Frazier as a gorilla. He said Frazier’s face was so ugly he should be donated to the bureau of wildlife! Frazier got mad! When he fought Floyd Patterson, he said “So long Floyd, be seeing you in about two years when I whip you for the title!” Second, Muhammad Ali was very fast in the ring. He was fighting Sonny Liston, and he did a thing called the Ali Shuffle. He would quickly move his feet, and he wouldn’t throw a punch. He would just make his opponent tired. Ali declared, “I’m so fast, I can turn out the light and be in bed before it’s dark.” When Ali went to the gym, he was the first one there and the last one to leave.

At Ali’s time he was very popular. Ali met the Beatles, and they got a picture of him punching them (but not really). Ali fought Floyd Patterson and won. He became the Heavyweight Champ. He loved publicity. Another time he had a big party. When he saw one of his rivals he ran up to him and pretended to punch him. They became friends. Muhammad Ali will always be remembered for his great boxing skills and for his great leadership. The strongest quote Ali made was the following: “People said that I had a full life, but I ain’t dead yet. There’s bigger work I got to do. The whole world is in trouble. My main goal now is helping people and preparing for the hereafter.”


Bird-watching Stories

Max Collins

January Grade 2

Bird-watching Story Number One

One day I looked outside and saw a bird pecking on a tree in our front yard. I did not know what it was because it was so fast. I looked closer, and I saw a blue jay. I looked in a puddle and saw a northern flicker. Then the blue jay pecked on another branch. Then he flew to the puddle. He looked as if he was fighting with the woodpecker. Their wings flapped up and down as they splashed in the puddle. I called to my dad and my brother Will to see the splashing birds, but they did not get to see the woodpecker because they did not get there quick enough. The bird flew too fast after she finished her bath. I knew it would be a long time until I would see a woodpecker. I thought about how cool it was to see a real live woodpecker for the first time and that it wasn’t in a zoo. Bird-watching Story Number Two

I saw a woodpecker a month later. I did not know what type of woodpecker it was. It was white with black stripes and had red on the back of its neck. It flew over to a window ledge and sat there. I got a close look at it. He moved around a lot and made a small swooshing noise. I was going to call for my brother and dad, but then I remembered the last time I saw a woodpecker. I walked and got them so I did not make a lot of noise. My brother and my dad got to see the woodpecker. Will said, “That looks like the one I saw.” It sat there for a little bit. After we went to look in a book to see what type of woodpecker it was. The next day I couldn’t remember the name of it.

Happy Birthday August

Genevieve Farrell

January Grade 1

Happy Birthday, August! Love, Genevieve

One day a baby was born. The baby was a boy named August. Good morning, August. He is an angel above the sky. Hi! Hi! Hi! I love you so much. I can hug you in heaven and in all ways. I will always have good memories of you. You have light power and are very gentle. You keep me very safe and good. You brighten my day. Love, Genevieve


Wes Stephenson, Grade 1


Mike Mesrobian, Grade 5



My Taj Mahal Lego

Gardner Brown

January Grade 2

When I got my Taj Mahal lego building kit, I was so excited. I started to build it right away. Then it took my dad and me four months to finish it. When we were done, I brought it in for “show and tell.” Everyone thought it was a great share. We also showed all my other friends who live near me, and they said, “It is really good.” But my sisters thought it was not that great. They just said, “Cool.”

One morning I woke up and went downstairs and figured out that there was missing a piece. We found it, and we put it back on. Now the Taj Mahal looked awesome! My dad thought it was wonderful, too!

Rosa Parks

Anna Pierson

January Grade 1

We remember Rosa Parks because she worked to end discrimination against the African Americans. Rosa Parks was the great granddaughter of slaves. She was strong but gentle. Rosa Parks got on a bus through the front door. She was not supposed to. She paid the fare and got off the bus. After Rosa paid the fair and was supposed to get on in the back of the bus, the bus driver drove away without Rosa getting on the bus. Rosa Parks had to wait for the next bus. Then on another day, she got on a bus and Rosa Parks sat in the middle of the bus and the driver said, “I’m calling the police!” The police came and asked Rosa to move to the back of the bus. Rosa said, “No!” Rosa got arrested. She did not move to the back of the bus because the black and the white people were segregated, and she was trying to make things fair. She got out of jail because Martin Luther King, Jr. made a speech saying segregation is illegal. Then the black and white people went to school together, and they began to make friends with each other very slowly.


Annie Oakley

Rachel Roberts

February Grade 3

Would you like to be poor during your whole childhood? During Annie Oakley’s childhood she was poor. Annie watched her father shoot animals when she was little. When he died she wanted her family to have food, so when she was nine she picked up a gun and shot a squirrel. She hit it the first time she tried! When she grew older, she traveled the world doing shooting contests. It was during a shooting match in Cincinnati that she met her future husband, Frank Butler, and got married. Annie was also a helpful person, and she was brave. Annie Oakley traveled around the world competing in shooting contests. Once she got in a terrible train wreck with the Wild West group. The shock of the accident turned her long brown hair white, and she hurt her back. Annie went to Cincinnati with her sister. Annie even took a ship to Europe with the Wild West group. Annie Oakley traveled a great deal.

Annie was a helpful person. When her father died, she and her siblings cooked, cleaned clothes, and made beds to help their working mother. Annie was a helpful person when she helped make the Wild West show a hit. She also was a substitute for Frank’s shooting partner. Annie Oakley helped in many ways.

Annie Oakley was very brave. Once she took a job to go to school, but the people made fun of her. However, she just ignored what they said. Once she was performing in a Wild West show when Prince Wilhelm was there. Prince Wilhelm sent an aide to Annie. The aide said, “Prince Wilhelm wants you to shoot off the end of his cigar tip.” She said it was the scariest thing she had ever done. She was afraid she would kill him, but she didn’t. Annie Oakley was not afraid of anything.

Annie Oakley was a traveler and a helpful and brave person. Annie Oakley got married when she was traveling; she also was brave when the people at school made fun of her; and she learned how to be helpful when her father died. Annie Oakley was a great person.

LFCDS Fills ‘Em

Caroline Swenson and Sydney Steinberg February Grade 4

At Lake Forest Country Day School, we’re filling buckets…not with water but by being nice! LFCDS has become a better community by being kind, helping out, and all working together. That’s because we are focused on filling buckets! The whole Lower School is doing it. Not once, but all the time! Also, at Lake Forest Country Day School, people unfortunately dip buckets. If you dip a bucket, you aren’t being kind to someone. You could be hurting other children with your words or actions. We are writing this bucket-filling article because we want children at LFCDS to stop dipping buckets and start filling them.

We had second, third, and fourth graders take a filling-buckets survey. There were a total of nine questions. For example, one questions asked, “How often do you fill people’s buckets?” Some students agreed to be interviewed or give us more information about their bucket-filling experience. JD, a fourth grader, asked to be interviewed. He talked about his bucket-filling and dipping experiences that both happened this year here at school. His first example occurred last fall. JD fell off a swing last fall, and a fourth-grade boy immediately helped him up and took him to the nurse. Another time at recess, there were a couple of fourth-grade girls who were spreading rumors about him. He tried to stay away from them and feels that students should directly tell others to stop mean behavior; if that doesn’t work, the student should go to a teacher for help. JD believes, “If you are nice to others, they will be nice to you.”

In our survey we asked about the five kinds of unkindnesses that were talked about last fall when Dr. Pickhardt visited: gossiping, teasing, exclusion, hitting, and ganging up. Through our survey we learned that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hitting or ganging up, but we need to work on not excluding people or stopping so much gossiping. The majority of students said that they never dip into others’ buckets. That’s a good thing! However, although not very many students said that they do tease, at some grade levels a lot of students felt they were teased. We all need to work together to not spread gossip if we hear it and to tell people who are spreading rumors that they should stop and not pass it on. It is important that when someone asks to play, even if you are with your best friends, you should let them play. Teasing is not always fun; some people think it’s a joke, but if it could be hurtful, don’t say it. The good news is that almost everyone said that other people at this school fill their buckets weekly. Many students said their buckets are filled daily. A large percentage of students said that other students in their grade fill their buckets regularly, and a lot of students feel their teachers fill their buckets, too. Remember…don’t dip, just fill!


Where I’m From

Becker Roloson November Grade 4

I am from the city, water balloons, Rain Forest Café, and PlayStation.

I am from a small brick house with a tall black fence and hose on the roof.

I am from a family that likes dogs and a five-person, one-pet family, from Henry and Becker and Bilsborough.

I am from a family that’s really goofy, especially Henry. And when Ellen leans to one side of the bowling alley to make sure the bowling ball turns in her favor. I am from a special box that has important things like ticket stubs to all the Cubs games I’ve been to and special family photos. I’m from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, flank steak, and mashed potatoes.

From the family room where the pictures are important to me because they remind me of the time when I was little.

My Mom and Me

Maria Johnson

February Grade 2

Mom and I love to do a lot of things together. We get our nails done together. When it was the first day of school, Mom wanted me to get ABCDE on my left hand, and on the other hand I had 12345 put on; and I had the same put on my feet! Another thing we like to do is shop and, of course, Mom picks out everything!

I love spending time with my mom. When we go to Florida, we swim in the pool together. When I was little, my mom used to throw a ball, and I would hit it with my bat. Those are some of the stories about my mom and me.



The Yellow Hat

Nneka Okoli

March Grade 4

Fawn stepped into the hallways of Maple Hills Middle School. Everyone looked like they were twice the size of her. Maybe they are twice the size of me, she thought. She was tiny, four feet and eight inches. In fifth grade, she was super shy, but she felt she’d fit in.

First class: Mr. Hap, she read the paper in her hand silently. Room 106. Fawn looked around. She didn’t plan on asking anyone. Fawn was good at looking for things. She knew she was. She walked through the hallways. A few people stared, but Fawn didn’t mind at all. She was just going to find the room. Room 102, Room 103, Room blah, blah, blah, blah. Fawn didn’t like reading. It tired her eyes out a bit.

Alright, I give up, Fawn thought. “Excuse… excuse me,” Fawn tapped a girl on the shoulder. “Do you know where Room 106 is?”

“106? Yah. Ya just passed it.” The girl pointed over Fawn’s shoulder. She giggled a bit under her breath. “Ya in fifth grade? Man, you belong in third grade. No fifth grader should be that tiny!” “Nice one, Pam!” another girl high-fived Pam.

Fawn was a bit embarrassed, but she tried to be positive. A messed-up smile grew on her face. “Umm, thanks.”

Fawn stepped in. “Sit here! Sit here, sit here, sit here!” a girl mouthed and pointed to an open chair next to her. Fawn hesitated but decided to sit down. “I’m Polly-Jean,” the girl said. “Sorry if I creeped you out or something. Haley thinks I’m a stalker just because I like meeting people, but avoid Haley as much as you can. I don’t necessarily meet people, I just give them tips to ‘survive.’ If anybody knows about surviving, it’s me.” Polly-Jean’s hair was up in three braided ponytails—two in the back and one in the front. Her skin was slightly tanned, and it almost looked like she was wearing makeup. “I, uh, like your yellow hat,” Polly said.

Fawn’s blood went cold. Fawn promised her older sister, Veronica, she wouldn’t wear her Yellow Kitty Kat costume hat to school. When Fawn was little, Yellow Kitty Kitty was the only TV show she would watch (besides Oprah with her mom). When the show wasn’t on, she would watch old DVDs. And ever since she was five, she would wear the big poofy hat. And it still looked like new.

“Oh, what’s your name? Call me Jeana, by the way.”

“Fawn,” Fawn answered as she took her hat off. No wonder people were staring, she thought. I’m so stupid.

155 “Fawn…It’s a pretty name.” Jeana smiled. Fawn smiled back. Although I’ve embarrassed myself twice in less than five minutes, I’ve made a friend.

“Hello, class!” a deep but happy voice cried in a singsong tone. A round, tall man walked in the room. “We have a new student this year! Fawn, please stand up and introduce yourself.”

With Jeana as a friend Fawn didn’t feel as shy. “Hi, everyone, my name is Fawn Goldwin. I’m ten-years-old, and I come from New York. I have one sister, two brothers, um, two parents, one big fat stepmother, and a big fat Persian cat named Lollipop.”

“So, Fawn, your parents are divorced?” Mr. Hap asked. “Yeah...”

“Okay. Any questions, class?” No one raised their hand. “Okay! So, let’s begin!”

Math was Fawn’s favorite. She was super glad math started that day. Every now and then, Jeana would pass notes to Fawn during class. So do you like MHMS so far? Yeah, I guess. That’s good. Remember to avoid Haley. She’s blonde, dark brown eyes, and today she’s wearing a pink-and-yellow dress with sequins. ‘Kay. I think I see her. Her “minions,” as Zoe and Queenie like to call them, are right over there. Okaaaaaaaay. Who’s Zoe and Queenie? My friends. They’re siblings. Man, they look like twins. Smile. They’re close, but they’re not. Zoe’s a year older.

“Miss Smiths?” a voice boomed. Jeana looked up with her big caramel brown eyes. “Passing notes again, eh?” Mr. Hap crossed his arms against his large chest.

“Mr. Hap, I didn’t say anything inappropriate or anything. You can read it out loud if you want to,” Jeana smiled sheepishly.

“Alright, since I’ll just be wasting my time reading it out loud if it doesn’t embarrass you, I won’t. But no passing notes around, you hear? I separated you from Zoe and Queenie for a reason. And don’t get Fawn in trouble on her first day.” “Yes, Mr. Hap,” Jeana grinned innocently.

English and history were the same. The teacher introduced Fawn; Jeana passed notes and got in trouble.

“Lunchtime!” Jeana stepped into the noisy cafeteria dramatically with Fawn at her side. “The sounds of gossip, food getting gobbled up, and the attempts of boys trying to drink juice from their chicken.” She took a deep breath and muttered, “Disgusting.” Jeana held Fawn’s hand tight. So far Haley had made no contact with the girls at all. They sat down next to Zoe and Queenie.

“Hey, Jeana,” Zoe chirped. “How yah doing?”

Barbara Canty, Grade 5


Chris Dennis, Grade 6


“Fine, fine. Oh, and this is Fawn.”

“Oh yah, yah, we know, we know,” Queenie said in her high voice. “She’s a bit tiny, isn’t she?” “Yeah, but she’s nice. Don’t be mean to her, okay? She’s new.”

“We know. No need to give us a tutorial or anything. Hey, I’m Zoe,” Zoe held out her hand with barbeque sauce all over. “Ohmagawd, Zoe, wipe your hands. That’s nasty,” Queenie frowned.

“Sor-rrrry,” Zoe rolled her eyes as she wiped her hands with a napkin.

“Sorry, if you don’t like them,” Jeana muttered to Fawn. “They’re a bit…off.” “Jeana, did you just call us demented?!” Queenie screeched.

“No, no. I didn’t.”

“Hmph,” Queenie huffed.

“Anyway, I swear, they never used to be this obnoxious. After the second grade, everything just seemed to change,” Jeana said quietly. “See, you did it again. You just called us demented!” Queenie said. “Friends do not call each other dee-ment-tedd.” “I know. Because I didn’t.” Jeana said with a clever smile.

Fawn hopped off the bus as she saw her two friends wave to her goodbye from the window. Queenie wasn’t yet a “friend.” Throughout the rest of the day, she had been giggling at Zoe, and Zoe would always reply, “Back off, Queenie,” and Queenie would go, “Okay, okay, it was just a joke! Stop being such a buzzkill.” Then Zoe would moan and Queenie would start giggling all over again. Although Zoe was similar to Queenie, she was hardworking and serious when it came to schoolwork.

“How was my little buttercup’s first day of middle school in Maple Hills?” Fawn’s stepmother, Mary, ruffled her auburn hair. “It was fine, Stepmom.” Fawn shooed Lollipop away from her chair.

Mary threw her head back and laughed. “I don’t understand! You’re always calling me ‘Stepmom!’ It’s fine if you just call me ‘Mom.’”

Never, Fawn thought.

“Your dad should be coming home in a few hours or so. He’s working late tonight. He just gave me a call.”

Fawn opened her eyes wide. I’m stuck with the fat old witch and her fat fluffy little pillow, Fawn thought sadly.

Mary is very nice, or at least tries to be kind. If anyone pulls at Lollipop’s tail, she’ll literally yell at them, and, I don’t know, lock them in a closet for a couple of hours. Leo, Fawn’s brother, once got locked up. Mary’s closet smells like dirty old gym socks mixed with moldy cheese rotting


for five years straight.

Mary used to be “a lonely little old cat lady.” She had up to forty-seven cats—or that’s what Fawn counted when she visited her old house. Her house smelled exactly how the closet does. When Fawn was little, she thought Leo, Veronica, Marcus, her other brother, were all going to be shoved in an oven in their sleep by Mary, and Lollipop would serve the food to Mary. That’s why Fawn never eats what Mary makes.

Fawn sat there doing her homework, as slow as could be. And when she was done, she pestered Veronica about why they have to share a bedroom. Fawn stared at the wall, stared at the clock, stared at everything.

“Fawn, darling, hurry up!” Fawn heard her stepmother’s voice first thing in the morning. “Are you in your clothes yet?” Fawn quickly hurried down her bunk bed ladder and opened up her dresser. She quickly got changed and brushed her teeth and the same time.

“Fawn, the bus is almost here!”

“I’m coming, Stepma!” Fawn said while she brushed her teeth. She rinsed her mouth and rushed downstairs. “Now, go, go!” Mary handed Fawn her backpack. She rushed out the door with her bag and up into the bus. “Hey, Fawn,” Zoe grinned as Fawn walked in the bus. “Sit here,” “Thanks,” Fawn smiled. “Where’s Queenie?”

“Oh, she and I had a fight last night; she refused to wake up, so now she may be chasing after the bus right this very moment ‘cause our mom usually shouts at us real loud if we don’t wake up.” “Ah, I see,” Fawn nodded slowly. “So, um, how’s your cat?”

“Your cat? Sorry, I’m a bit of a cat person.” “Ah, lazy and hungry as usual.” “Oh.”

“I’m here, guys!” Jeana hopped onto the bus. “Hey, where’s Queenie? Wait, let me guess. Another fight?” she giggled as she sat down next to Zoe and Fawn. “You know me so well,” Zoe gave Jeana a playful punch in the arm. “Hi,” a girl sat next Fawn in class.

“Oh hi,” the girl said. She was wearing a light brown sleeveless shirt and brown shorts. Her hair was short and blonde—close to white. “Hello, hello, hello!” That deep but happy voice cried again. “MHMS has a new student!”


160 “You introduced Tinka or Fellow or Fara or whatever yesterday,” someone said in the back. “Yes, yes, but we have another student. Melody, please stand up.”

“Hi, everyone! I’m very excited to be in another school. My old one back in California was shabby and disgusting. Each day we had to be killing cockroaches. I would’ve been in a private school, but my dad says…” “Melody, please say something about yourself,” Mr. Hap sighed.

“Oh, yah, yah. Anyway, I’m Melody, I’m ten, and I have a dad and a mom. I have a fluffy little Persian cat named Pookie. I have an older sister named Mara, and that’s pretty much it!” Sounds like life when Leo, Marcus, and the witch weren’t here, Fawn sighed.

“Oh, and I would’ve been here yesterday, but the flight from California was tiring; there was a girl next to me who talked on her phone throughout the trip, even when you have to turn it off! Then there was a little kid behind me who kicked my seat, except after I threatened to hurt him, and…” “Okay, okay. I’m sure your flight wasn’t that exciting, but you can share with your classmates after math,” Mr. Hap said. “Now, let’s begin.”

“Lunch time,” Jeana had a large smile on her face. “Still full of filthy smells, but, this is my favorite time of the day.” Jeana sat next to Zoe, and Melody sat across from them. Give her a friend, Fawn thought to herself. Don’t make her feel like a “lonely little old cat lady.”

“Hi, I’m Fawn,” Fawn said to Melody.

“Hi! You sit next to me, right?” Melody replied. “Yea.”

“Move it or lose it, sister,” a rear end scooted Fawn away from Melody. “Hi, I’m Haley.” Fawn sighed. “Um, hi, I’m Melody,” Melody said reluctantly.

“I see you’re wearing a Gucci outfit.”

“Mm. My grandmother bought it for me. She works for Apple, and she’s pretty much rich.” “Wowww,” Haley said.

“Is that the only reason you came to meet Melody?” Jeana muttered to Haley. “Because she’s wearing a Gucci outfit?” “Um, no,” Haley grinned a bit.

“That’s okay, Haley, you can have this one, I mean, not this exact one. My grandma gave Mara one, but it’s the same size as this one. Grandma thought we were twins, but Mara’s almost in

161 college.”

“Really?! Oh, thank you, thank you, and thank you!” Haley gave Melody a short hug and walked back to her table. Jeana rolled her eyes with a giggle. “The only time Haley wants to meet somebody, is if they have the money. Don’t let her fool you into being one of her ‘minions.’”

“Thanks, Jeana,” Melody smiled warmly.

“No problem,” Jeana gave Melody a fist punch. “Hey, Zoe, how come you’ve been so quiet?” Zoe decided not to answer.

During history class, Jeana started the notes again. Hey, can I sleep over at your house tonight?

Maybe. My stepmom is really reluctant to host kids from places other than our own house. Why?

My house gets really loud ever since my aunt Jessie moved in. My little cousin Jack running around the house; my little cousin Gigi popping off the heads of my Littlest Pet Shop toys; etc.

Sounds bad. Maybe not sleepover. Maybe during recess I can call my stepmom to see how she is with you just coming for the day. Sounds like a plan.

“Fawn?” Fawn’s dad said. “Where’s Jeana?”

“Down in the basement playing Xbox with Marcus. Why?”

“Because,” he said slowly. “I want to tell you we’re moving back to New York.”

“WHAT?!” Fawn yelled. Usually she was a quiet girl, but this was a time to shout. “Already? We’ve only been here for a month. We can’t just move back! Just when I’ve made new friends. Please, Dad?” “It’s too late. I’ve already called the U-Haul guys. They’re coming this Sunday.” “Buh-buh-but, you mean we’re driving?” Fawn stared at him. “Yeah. I thought you and Mary needed to be better friends.”

“But we’re not. And we never will be. Have you told Leo and Marcus? And Veronica?”

“Yup. They’re psyched about it. Each day ever since they went to MHMS they’ve been complaining.” “But, just like that? What if someone’s already bought our house?” “Then we’ll stay in an apartment.”

Fawn ran downstairs to the basement. “Jeana, hurry upstairs! The fun’s over: I’m moving back to New York in just a couple of days!” Jeana was frozen there for a minute as she dropped the Xbox controller.

“Jeana, no time for sitting there, hurry up! We need to make my dad change his mind!” The girls rushed upstairs. “Hi, Dad, how was your day?” Fawn smiled a bit too big.

“Fine?” he raised an eyebrow.

“Good, because we’re going to make it better!”

Fawn massaged his shoulders slowly. “Did you know I’ve already finished my ERB test? Mr. Hap thinks I did pretty good!”

“Er, good!” He said.

“Did you know I’ve already made three and a half friends already?” Fawn said. “Half? Who’s the half?” Jeana asked suspiciously. “Queenie’s not yet a friend,” Fawn mouthed.

“Mr. Goldwin, may I make your dinner?” Jeana asked. “Well, Jeana, that’s okay—“

“Why not Jeana? Stepmom’s not such a good cook anyway. What would you like, Daddy?” “Er, um…”

“Jeana, get him some rice, chicken, green beans, and a glass of orange juice!” “Kay!”

“Fawn, I know what you’re doing.” Mr. Goldwin said. “I’ll think about it tomorrow, ‘kay? I see you’ve made some loyal friends that would do anything for you to stay here in Maple Hills, but I’ll think about it.” “Bye, Fawn!” Jeana waved goodbye as her aunt yelled, “Jeana, get in the car before I drive back home!” “Kay, bye!” Fawn waved back. They didn’t get their sleepover, but at least they got something. “See you Monday!” She turned to her dad. “Okay, I gave you some time. Have you thought it over?”

“No. Give me like an hour. But…” before he could even finish, Fawn was running up to her room.

“It’s not fair,” she sniffed to a Yellow Kitty Cat plushie. “All Veronica’s life she’s been getting what she wants, and the others have, too. I wanted to stay with Mom back in New York a couple blocks away from Dad. Did I get that? No. Instead we moved here. At least I chose the good friends here, not like Haley.” A cat climbed from Fawn’s open bedroom window, but Fawn hardly noticed her. The cat pushed the plushie out of Fawn’s hands and sat in her hands instead.

“And did I get ice cream when I got my tonsils out? No! Veronica took mine.” She held the cat up to her face and screamed a bit.


“Goldilocks!” Fawn smiled and hugged the cat. “And Mary always said I should never open my window on warm spring days.”

Fawn ran downstairs and Goldilocks followed. Her dad was there, sitting with Veronica, Marcus, and Leo. Mary was nowhere to be found. “Fawn, I’ve made up my mind.”

“Good! Are we staying or leaving?”

“We’re staying! What’s that—another Yellow Kitty Cat—“ Veronica started.

“No, it’s the real Goldilocks! She’s a good luck charm, and I know it.” Fawn leaped in the air with joy and ran to the phone to call Polly-Jean.

Getting My First Pet

Kimberly Stafford

October Grade 4

It was a steaming day in July, and I had a nearly empty water bottle and a bright orange goldfish gripped in my sweaty hands. I hopped into the car, then started contemplating the plastic bag that had the sign, “WARNING. KEEP AWAY FROM 1 – 3 YEAR OLDS” and the other scary sign that read, “WARNING. HIGH CHANCE OF LEAKAGE.” I had just learned how to read, and that scared the living daylights out of me.

Curiosity spilled uncontrollably in my tiny little head. My nose twitched in delight as I gazed at the slender, shiny scales that were swimming gracefully in the plastic bag. I wasn’t used to the importance of taking care of anything while my mom was used to taking care of a wild animal (that’s me). I was determined to learn from my mother who was taking a sharp, right turn down the wide graveled driveway. I took a quick glance with my curious eyes, remembering the supposedly “carsick” fish. My mother veered into the well-swept driveway. I sprang from the car with my goldfish gripped in my hands, making sure it wouldn’t fall onto the cold, gray cement. My mother trudged behind me carrying the fish essentials. I opened the door to let my mom in since her two hands were full. After my mom trudged in, still carrying the essentials, I gently placed my brand new goldfish on the marble table. I zipped to find a blue bucket which would soon be Goldy’s home.

I filled up the small bucket then gently placed the fishie in the plain, blue bucket. I stood triumphantly on the leather couch while my mother was filling up the glass tank. After five boring minutes, I was ready to take on the challenge of dumping Goldy into the tank. I leaped from the couch and onto the wood floor. In a cautious tone, Mom warned me not to spill. I didn’t listen to her and dumped the goldfish into the clean, warm tank. Goldy and I shared the same happy expression. Later on, Goldy passed away, but that fish will still be swimming in my heart.


Mimi Baeseman-Smith, Grade 2


Where I’m From Tyler Medvec

November Grade 4

I am from Lake Michigan, the park Above the lake, the creepy forest, From soccer balls and Xbox 360. I am from the stone house with The big door and giant staircase.

I am from decorating our house For every holiday and the annual Christmas party we throw for friends, Family, and LFCDS, from Medvec and Husted.

I am from the loud-talking On-the-phone mom and the everythingHas-its-place rooms.

From Mom and Dad meeting in high school And Grandpa fighting in World War II. I am from a loving family that I will always care about.

I am from Highland Park and Europe, Pizza and pancakes we love, from the Hawaiian Islands to Europe to Australia where we have had great Memories that show a glimpse of What was and who I am.

Awesome Gymnastics Kaylie McDonough January Grade 2

Tumbling mumbling Mats and beams Cartwheel Back flips Front flips, too Jumping in the air Double flips On the beam

Cubs Baseball Lillianne Carrasco

January Grade 2

Baseball fun Bats, gloves, balls, and pitching Baseball round like a snowball Softball or hardball Three strikes you’re out Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs



Bad Girl Bella!

Lily Steinwold

February Grade 2

Once upon a time there lived a royal family. There was a king, a queen, a prince, a princess, and a baby. The princess’ birthday was coming up, and all she wanted was a puppy. So the king and queen took the princess to an animal shelter. The princess picked out a beautiful black lab puppy named Bella. They took Bella home, and Bella ripped up all the princess’ presents! “Bad girl,” said the king. So Bella went somewhere else. She went into the refrigerator and ate all the food! “Bad girl,” said the queen. Bella went somewhere else.

She jumped into the shower with the prince! “Bad girl, Bella!” Bella went somewhere else.

She took a nap in the baby’s crib, and now the baby’s first words were “bad giwl, bewa.” The family was furious, and even the baby was frowning. The princess said, “Give her another chance.” So they did.

One day no one was watching Bella or the baby. The baby saw cookies on top of the refrigerator. So she crawled up there and ate cookies! Just then the family walked in and the king screamed, the queen fainted, the princess cried, and the prince shrieked! No one could reach the baby but Bella. So she jumped on the refrigerator and saved the baby. How they did this was the king, the queen, the prince and princess stood on top of each other, and there was a little space left and Bella stood on top of them and saved the baby! Yeah! They didn’t give Bella up now, and Bella watched the baby from then on. And they all lived happily ever after.


The Lost Gold Treasure

Olivia Barnes, Mark Basgall, Eric Bijak, Kiesha Bland, Libby Blodgett, Ryan Carney, Luis Correa, Natalie Goeks, Anthony Grushevsky, Whitney Jannotta, Caroline Keil, Parker Othman, Will Owen, Autumn Rabjohns, Freddie Wacker April Grade Senior Kindergarten

Once upon a time, long, long ago there was a magical kingdom called Hillbertree. Hillbertree Kingdom was home to a royal family who lived in an enormous castle in a field near the woods. The castle near the woods was surrounded by a moat. There were three turrets on top of the castle walls with battlements all over. There were seven arched doors that led into the castle. The main door was made from metal to protect the castle. Above the door was a white coat of arms with a red lion. Guarding the drawbridge was the King’s trusty friend, Knight Glade. Inside the castle lived King Tommy and Queen Jewel. King Tommy wore a gold crown with seven green diamonds. He liked to sit on his throne and count his gold coins. His wife, Queen Jewel, loved to sit on her throne, too, while counting her pink, purple, and blue jewels. She wore a sparkly silver dress with colorful diamonds and a sparkly silver crown with jewels on it. The king and queen had three children. Princess Serena and Princess Sabrina were identical twins. They were gorgeous with long wavy brown hair and gold tiaras. Princess Serena always wore her hair up in a ponytail, and Princess Sabrina always wore her hair down. Princess Serena was awesome at hula dancing, but Princess Sabrina was not. The king and queen also had a son named Prince Aidan. He had short blonde hair that looked like gold. He carried a shield in case of danger. Prince Aidan enjoyed archery and playing chess with his family. One night as the sand fell through the hourglass, King Tommy sat on his throne counting his gold coins. Suddenly, he realized some of his gold was missing! “WHERE DID MY GOLD GO?” the king grumbled loudly. Then the family’s royal mouse, Cuddly Princess Mouse, appeared from her mouse hole. She squeaked to the king, “Last night, when I was outside looking for food I saw Witch Warthog and the fire-breathing dragon flying towards the castle. The witch was riding on top of the dragon.” “Where was Knight Glade? Why wasn’t he guarding my castle?!” yelled the King.

Cuddly Princess Mouse tried explaining to the King what had happened. “He fell asleep. I tried to wake him up but he just kept sleeping. I wonder if Witch Warthog has anything to do with this?” “I bet she did,” said King Tommy. “She’s up to no good! I’ll go and talk to Knight Glade about this.”

So King Tommy walked through the main hallway and found Knight Glade outside the castle door. In a deep, strong voice the king asked Knight Glade, “Who did this to you?” “It was Witch Warthog and the fire-breathing dragon,” Knight Glade said.

Then Knight Glade told his story. “I was on the drawbridge guarding the arched castle gate when I heard a flapping-in-the-wind sound. I looked up and saw Witch Warthog and the firebreathing dragon. They whooshed down and landed next to me. I heard Witch Warthog say in a scratchy, squeaky voice, ‘Hee, hee, didgery dee, blah, blee, la, la, lee, fall asleep!’ Then the firebreathing dragon blew sleeping smoke at me. I fell down with a large boom!” King Tommy felt mad and said, “We must make a plan to get my gold back!”

Back at the cottage in the woods, Witch Warthog and the fire-breathing dragon returned with King Tommy’s gold. “Hee, hee, hee yippee. Now we are as rich as can be. We have all the gold!” she yelled to King Berodius and Giant Jeff who also lived in the cottage.

King Berodius ruled the dark, muddy, tree-filled woods. King Berodius wore a black suit with a big black cape. He felt awesome when he saw all of the gold. “Now, I am the richest king in all of Hillbertree,” he said. “I can rule over the whole Kingdom!” he roared. King Berodius needed to hide the gold so he took it to a safe place. He walked to his throne and shouted to Witch Warthog, “Witch Warthog please come to the throne room and bring your magic broom!” Witch Warthog quickly arrived and asked, “Yes, Your Majesty?” King Berodius ordered, “Open this secret door!”

Witch Warthog waved her magic broom three times over her head and spun around seven times. The paint on the wall started to crack and break apart. Suddenly, a secret door appeared. It was a white and navy blue door with green and silver diamonds that shimmered in the light. On the other side of the door was a dark room with steps that led to the dungeon. King Berodius and Witch Warthog walked down the stone staircase.

At the bottom of the stairs was a dark, spooky room. King Berodius walked over to a small door that was locked. The lock was black with a golden knob. The King twisted the knob to the right three times, then to the left seven times, and the door opened. He put the gold into the cupboard and shut the door quietly.

King Berodius kept adjusting his crown and said, “Why is my crown so itchy? It keeps moving.” As the king went back up the staircase, he opened the magic door and was back in the throne room. But what he did not know was that Cuddly Princess Mouse was on his head the whole time! She used her magic to become invisible and now she knew what happened. “I must go back to the castle and tell King Tommy what I saw!” she thought to herself.

Princess Cuddly Mouse squeezed herself under the door, ran down the hallway, and went out the back door of the cottage. She ran as fast as she could through the woods, climbed over the fallen trees, and went through the field to get home to the castle.

Princess Cuddly Mouse told King Tommy, “I saw King Berodius and Witch Warthog go down to the dungeon with your gold and put it in a secret cupboard.” King Tommy was angry and yelled, “WE MUST STOP THEM!”


The king called his family to meet in the Great Hall. Princess Serena, Princess Sabrina, Prince Aidan, Knight Glade, and Queen Jewel all met together. King Tommy announced, “I have a plan! The two princesses will go to King Berodius’ cottage and get the gold back.” So Princess Serena and Princess Sabrina dressed the same and wore their hair down. They went to King Berodius’ cottage, but only Princess Serena knocked on the door while Princess Sabrina waited to sneak in past the king.

Once the door opened, Princess Serena started to hula dance for King Berodius and Giant Jeff. She distracted them while Princess Sabrina ran down the stairs into the dungeon. “What an exquisite hula dancer you are Princess Serena,” the king said. “Why thank you your majesty,” Princess Serena said as she blushed.

In the meantime, Princess Sabrina was in the dungeon opening the lock to get the gold.

Suddenly, Witch Warthog swooped into the dungeon and saw Princess Sabrina gathering the gold. “Hey, I thought you were upstairs hula dancing for the king. How is it possible for you to be in two places at the same time?” wondered the witch.

“We just want to be friends with everyone in the kingdom, so I’ll tell you the truth. The princess upstairs is my twin sister Serena. We came here to your cottage to get the gold back that you took from our father. We don’t want any trouble; we just want the gold,” explained the princess. “Okay. That sounds fair. You may have what is yours, but that will leave us with nothing. This will make life very hard for all of my friends in the cottage. We are very sorry for taking your gold,” said the witch sadly. Princess Serena was thankful for the apology and started to feel bad for the witch and her friends.

“I’m sure my family will accept your apology. How about if you and your friends come to our castle for a party tonight?” asked the princess. “Oh yes! We would love to come. Thank you so much for the invitation. See you tonight!” replied Witch Warthog.

That night, the friends from the cottage and the royal family gathered together in the Great Hall to celebrate their new friendship. They feasted on seasoned roasted boar, turnips, and pie for dessert. At the end of the party, the royal family had a special surprise for their new friends from the woods.

As the trumpets sounded, King Tommy announced to his guests, “Thank you all for coming to our royal gala this evening. It is so nice to finally all be friends. As a token of our friendship, my family would like to give you half of our gold. Please use this fortune to build a nicer house, buy some food, and make the woods prettier. We can work together to make Hillbertree Kingdom a nice place for everyone to live.” And they all lived happily ever after.


Maggie Andrea, Grade 1


Thomas Dixon, Grade 4



The Gracious Hostess

Amanda Bozorgi

Grade 8 Short Story Contest—Third Place Through the winding, empty halls a faint noise tip-toed quickly, joined promptly by the musical chime of a thousand shattered pieces of sparkling glass plunging to the marble floor. Desperate and doubtful footsteps scuttled the length of the foyer, searching. The thin weight of the falling feet sent slight vibrations through the house, causing the china figures to shudder in the old woman’s chamber. Her eyes snapped open suddenly, and the entire house abruptly held its breath, as though obeying her piercing gaze. Around her, luxurious rarities beamed proudly from every corner, but she shifted awkwardly on her lumpy mattress. Suddenly, the house was set aquiver once again as the footsteps approached with increased confidence and pace. Her weathered face pinched together with keen deliberation for a moment, then smoothed out quickly. Feigning sleep, she waited calmly. The bare feet continued to hastily scuttle down the corridor, the starved, bony toes clicking dully against the icy, indifferent marble. The old woman’s face, like the calm sea before a storm, did not betray the inner turmoil within as she gracefully slipped a hand under her mattress, feeling her own weight push upon her palm. Feeling four hungry, feverish eyes burn her from the doorway; she slipped her hand back under the covers. From the void under the mattress there came a slight rustling sound as she shifted, and she stiffened as bitter fear froze her mind and forced her muscles to clench as if the ensuing panic itself now controlled them. Her hands broke out in a cold sweat, and she choked slightly on the air she inhaled too swiftly. Besides the maid unwittingly preparing supper in the kitchen, the old woman was alone and defenseless. Except her grandchild living far away in the land of promise and opportunities, she had no one in the world. If she died, life would go on as before. Her death would merely be a small ripple in daily life compared to the tsunami of violence and anarchy surrounding her country. In the nightmare playing like a broken record in the warped vertexes of her mind, she could see the two men standing not ten feet from her incredibly clearly. She could see through their eyes now. These were not two savages whose only goal tonight was to murder an old rich lady in cold blood and ravage her home. Rather, they were two desperate men who had been driven by poverty and hunger to insane acts so that they could support their starving wives and children. They still hesitated by the door, unable to truly wrap their minds around what they were doing. They thought of the image of their children’s malnourished hands reaching out, searching for food, but finding nothing. Each day another rib was visible, their once round and babyish faces grew sharp and their skeletal bodies could no longer fill their clothes. The images of their wives clouded their mind, untiringly searching through the garbage bags heaped on the street for their families’ necessities. Each day, the two men wondered how much longer their families could go without food and money. And so, they stepped forward aggressively and set their voracious sights on the old woman. Their gaunt cheeks sank in further as each muscle gritted together in determination, and a mean grimace froze on their faces. The corners of the old woman’s mouth

173 twitched upwards in a smile, then the wrinkles around her mouth released the tension and her features melted back into place. A rough hand grabbed her shoulder, and suddenly the floor rushed at her face. She was surprised to see her hands reach out instinctively in front of her as panic signals rushed through her brain. There was a weak thud as she collapsed on the lush carpet. “Where is it,” a threatening monotone demanded softly.

She didn’t respond. A sharp kick smashed into her side, and bright bursts of color sucked the air out of her lungs. She curled up and brought in great gasps of air, but it was if her lungs no longer functioned and she was left breathless and gasping for several minutes. A stiff silence towered over her, breathing down her neck for an answer.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. You must be mistaken,” was her clipped reply. She sat up straight on the carpet and glared at them reproachfully. One of the men sneered at her and narrowed his eyes menacingly. She looked into his eyes with interest, and then wheezed suddenly, her breath stolen from her once again. Angst flashed through her eyes as those eyes stirred a vague recognition inside of her. Slowly, the memory came back to her in floating pieces, like a broken ice floe bobbing in the freezing waters. It was that morning, at the bank. The old woman had wandered purposefully into the bank on the far side of town, where no one knew her, and withdrew a large sum of money. A tingling at the nape of her neck caused her to swivel hastily, just fast enough to catch the eye of a man watching her intently. His rapt gaze shifted to her hand, where she clutched her money tightly. He pivoted neatly and casually strolled off in the opposite direction. As she subsequently walked home, she was certain she felt those burning pair of eyes watching, always watching. A throaty snigger brought her back to the present. She exhaled faintly, then leaned up against the bed post and appraised her captors. Despite the intimidating glares and threatening stances, she detected doubt, and maybe even a trace of doubt. Reassured and confident, she smiled disarmingly at them. Taken aback, the ominous expressions pasted on their faces drained away, replaced by confusion. “I do not have money here. Search my house if you must. There is nothing to find. I see you are hungry. Once you have searched my home you must stay and eat a dinner with me. It is the very least I can do for unexpected guests.” Subdued and abashed, they exited her chamber with drained pride and hanging heads. As a last half-hearted intimidation one of them threw a snarl in her direction. Chuckling to herself, she slithered back into the nest of fluffy blankets to wait.

She didn’t have to wait long. For twenty minutes she heard the distant bump and clang of expensive furniture being shoved roughly aside as the men took out their swelling frustration as they continued their fruitless search. Every drawer was yanked open, every bed searched thoroughly, and every nook and cranny investigated with their sweeping gaze. The two men exchanged glances, and then looked simultaneously down the hallway to the old woman’s chamber. They could just see her sitting smugly on her throne, expecting the men to approach her any moment now with empty hands and defeated spirits. A terror rose up in them, causing

their hearts and stomachs to flip upside down and their heads to spin. Like little children fleeing the punishing hand of their parents, they dragged out their pursuit of treasure, tiptoeing around corners to make certain that the old woman had not vacated her chamber in search of the two miscreants. With downcast eyes and lagging feet, they slogged through the undeniable disappointment and presented themselves before the old woman.

“Why, you’re back! And so quickly! Why how lovely, it’s the perfect timing. Please allow me to lead you to the dining hall. Dinner is served, and it is perhaps my favorite dish. I do hope that you enjoy it. Please, sit, sit, I will take your jackets.”

As if handling a king’s own ceremonial garb, the old woman lifted the threadbare rags of the shoulders of the mortified men. Gracefully, her hand slipped unnoticed into each jacket pocket as she hung the coat hangers in the closet. Plate after plate of steaming food was brought out, and the men breathed in with all their might, eating up the scent of the delicious meal. Barely containing their ravenous longing for the food, the men sat rigid in their plush seats. Smiling, the old woman sat back and motioned for them to help themselves. At first they took only a polite amount of food so as not to seem as desperate for nourishment as they really were, but that did not last long. Soon, each man had eaten five heaping plates of the food that each had so long been deprived of. Groaning as their stomachs stretched to capacity, the men leaned back in their chairs. The gleam of despair and starvation in their eyes slowly subsided as they drowsily digested the meal. “Well, now that I have provided you with this food, perhaps you can do something for me.” A curt voice broke them out of their stupor. Dumbly, they nodded their heads in unison and sheepishly looked at the old woman, slightly embarrassed that they had accepted such hospitality from the woman they were planning to rob. Like little children following their mothers through the overwhelming new world, the men trailed after the old woman as she wordlessly stood up and exited the dining hall. They were led to a telephone on the kitchen wall. “My phone seems to be broken; could you two perhaps fix it for me? I don’t know what happened, it must have been disconnected or something of that sort.”

The men once again exchanged glances red with shame. One of the men cleared his throat roughly, kneeled down below the table where the phone was placed and plugged the cord back into the wall. “Ah, that’s great! I was so unhappy when I tried to call someone while you were eating; this is a brand new phone!” The old woman smiled innocently at them. “Well, your families must be waiting for you and I really must send you on your way. I will wrap up the leftovers from dinner so that your family can eat tonight.”

The men stood awkwardly in the hallway, shifting from side to side as they waited uneasily. As they took their jackets out of the closet they heard rustling sounds in the kitchen and then the old lady appeared, burdened by bags after bags of food that could support both of their families for at least a week. They eyed the mountain of precious sustenance for a minute while the old woman stood impatiently tapping her foot, waiting for one of them to politely step forward and aid her. “Ahem, are any of you two going to help me? Excuse me!”

They jolted forward suddenly, awakened from their dream-like state of hope for a better


future. They thought of how happy their children would be, and how relieved their wives would be. For once, something bad had turned into something good. Without another word, they carefully took the food from the old woman and crossed the threshold of her home. One of them stuck his hand into his jacket pocket, encountering a small cloth bag. It made a dull metallic clang. He opened it in his pocket and turned one of the coins over in his palm. Smiling to himself, he increased his pace towards home. The old woman felt the somewhat superior smirk that had been arranged on her face thaw into an expression of total relief. The clock on the wall ticked and she jumped at the sound. She noted the time, and decided that she would give the men twenty minutes to walk home and present their families with her gifts. Then she would call. Meanwhile, she dragged her feet into her room and went up to her bed. Carelessly, she tossed the entire mattress onto the floor and counted her money carefully. Twenty minutes later the police received a call reporting an attempted break-in and a description of the criminals. Those men had to learn their lesson, the old woman thought.

Stuffed Snail

Will Collins

September Grade 2

We went to the Botanic Garden. We went to the lake and saw some carp, bluegills, sunfish, and ducks. When we were done we went to the gift shop. Our mom said, “Only look.” Max and I started to look. We saw a stuffed snail. We asked if we can get one. Our mom said, “No.” We were mad. We went home. Our mom told us, “You have to save up with your own money.” We asked, “What can we do?” She said, “You can clean up your room.” We went to our room and started to clean up. When we were done, it looked really nice. Our mom told us, “That is five dollars.” Max and I were so excited! The next day we cleaned up the basement. We earned five more dollars. We put our money in our box. We needed one more thing to do. We thought and thought. We asked our mom. We did not want to do anything she said. It was getting late. We went to bed.

The next morning, we got out of bed and made it again. Our mom said it was five more dollars. We asked if we could buy a stuffed snail. Our mom told us, “Yes.” We were so happy. We got dressed and left to go. When we got there, we started to look at the flowers. When we were done we bought two stuffed snails!



“Captain James Lovell”

Jack Gilcrest

Grade 6 Robbie Bermingham Speech Contest—First Place

You may say,” Houston, we have a problem” as a joke. Uh-oh, I lost my home work! Houston, we have a problem. But does that actually mean anything? I mean was there any guy who got launched into space for a mission, and due to unexpected events his ship crippled, who actually said “Houston, we have a problem”? Yeah, there is. Don’t worry. He’s alive and well. Wait, who is... he? Is it Ryan Seacrest? No. Is It Eldrick Woods? Not even close. Lady Gaga? Yeah, nope. It is James Lovell, the astronaut who lives in Lake Forest. He started as a Navy test pilot, ran more than three space missions, and runs a restaurant near Sunsets. He won many awards, too. Did he walk on the moon? Maybe not. But he did something better: survive after being stuck in a big metal cone with no power at times. Even if it was a failure, the fatal mission of Apollo 13 might have been the most successful failure ever. Captain Lovell, or as his parents knew him, James Arthur Lovell, had a nice family. His mother was Czech. Unfortunately, his father died in a car crash when Jim was young. How many of you have had your father die in a car crash? Yeah, that’s what I thought. He must have been pretty sad. When he moved on to get married, he married former Marilyn Gerlach, and moved on to have four children. Imagine having an astronaut for a dad, especially if you were five or six years old. For those who are an astronaut, or even in the military, it’s hard on the spouse, knowing that you may never see the person you married, that the person that you devoted your life to live with may never come back.

Captain Lovell went to a load of schools. I mean, if you’re going to be in the Navy as a pilot, then go into space... yeah, you’re going to need a lot of schooling. First, he went to the University of Wisconsin. He then went on to Test Pilot School in 1958 at NATC, which is in Patuxent River, Maryland. At the University of California in 1961, he went to Aviation School. He even got in to Harvard Business School, one of the most prestigious schools in America, for the Advanced Management Program in 1971. He got numerous other honorary doctorates, too.

Before Captain Lovell became an astronaut, he was a test pilot in the United States Navy. He logged a lot of flying time- over 7,000 hours! He spent 3,500 hours in jet aircrafts. On September 1962, Jim’s colleagues elected him to become an astronaut because he was one of the elite. Even though Captain Lovell became an astronaut, he was far from being the one-day captain of Apollo 13. Jim Lovell started as a backup pilot in the Gemini missions. He served as the backup pilot for Gemini 4 and the backup commander for the Gemini 9 flight. December 4, 1965, he and Frank Borman were launched up in the historical Gemini 7 flight, which lasted almost 14 days! It was also the first time that two manned spacecraft met in space. Finally, on November 11, 1966, James Lovell commanded the Gemini 12 flight with pilot Edwin Aldrin. Later he served as the pilot and navigator on the six day adventure that is known as Apollo

177 8. He completed his fourth mission, Apollo 13, from April 11 through 17 in 1970. Little did he know what would soon happen on that fateful mission.

When people hear the name of Lovell, they think of a spaceship that really crashed and burned. When the pilot, Jack Swigert, was going through his normal routine, an Oxygen tank exploded, sending the ship spiraling off course. This mission was planned to go for 10 days, but it was easily cut short. Their power was also severely hindered, so they had to choose which apparatus they’d use wisely. They had to build a little contraption out of everyday items, like a sock, to keep the carbon dioxide level below 15, which is where it gets dangerous. To get enough speed and power, they had to use the moon’s gravitational field to slingshot around the moon, and back to earth. With their service module damaged severely, they had to enter the Aquarius, which was the lunar module planned to land on the moon, to survive while going around the moon. Meanwhile, the guys backstage, or those in mission control, were working very hard to coach the three astronauts through the whole process. If it wasn’t for them, the astronauts would have died from carbon dioxide. On April 17, their re-entry capsule, a small little piece of the ship with a heat shield, hit the water and the astronauts were lifted out into the light. After each mission, the astronauts have to live in a decompression chamber, which is a place where gravity is altered, slowly changing back to that of Earth’s for the astronauts to get used to. They get very simple foods, like toast. If I were James Lovell, I’d be kissing the ground when I got off the space ship. Wouldn’t you? James Lovell will always be remembered because of the fateful mission. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He’s not dead. He’s still alive. Later that, he left the Navy and Space Program on March 1, 1973. On January 1, 1977, he was promoted to President of Fisk Telephone Systems. On January 1, 1981, he became Group Vice President of Business Communications Systems, Which was a Centel Corporation. He finally retired in 1991. Now he runs a restaurant in Lake Forest, near Sunsets Foods. His son even cooks there. Let’s face it. Lady Gaga is the Fame Monster, Tiger Woods is in the paper for… other reasons, and Ryan Seacrest is adored by thousands of American Idol fans. But did any of them go to the moon? Did they accidentally blow up part of their space ship, yet find a way to pilot it back to Earth, No! They are not heroes. James Arthur Lovell is a real American Hero, who ran four missions to space, managed to pilot a space ship that blew up back to Earth, and now has settled down within a quick car ride from our houses. When you think of American heroes, think of James Lovell.

Louisa Hance, Grade 1


Shaena Wright, Grade 5


Princess Rosie Gets Lost

Benjamin Arthurs, Kaiden Britton, Abegail Byun, Nairne Clark, Posy Connery, Eleanor Hutchinson, Tyler Kolb, Mary Lee, Arlo Lidstrom, Nicholas Lubaev, Sophia Maggos, Brooke Mordini, Savannah Silvester, Henry Thomas, Anton Walvoord April Grade Senior Kindergarten

Once upon a time in a dark, deep, and muddy forest, there was a king and a queen. They were taking a walk with Princess Rosie. The king and queen discovered a beautiful flower, but when they turned to show it to Princess Rosie, they realized that she was not there. Meanwhile, Princess Rosie continued to walk along the path not knowing that she was all alone.

When she turned around and saw that she was alone, she took out her magic necklace to help guide her home, but it didn’t work. She turned around and started to look for her mom and dad. “Mom, Dad…where are you?” she yelled. But nobody answered. So Princess Rosie walked along the path in the forest until she saw a house that looked like the castle she lived in. She knocked on the door, and when the door opened she was greeted by a tall knight. “Please come in,” said the knight when he saw the scared princess. “Let me take your coat and get you a hot drink of tea,” said the knight. Princess Rosie handed her coat to the knight who hung it up. Then she sat down while the knight went into the other room to make her some tea.

In the back room, where the knight went to make her tea, there was an evil witch. She gave the knight a potion to put in the tea that was poisonous. The knight turned around and took the tea to the princess. Just before the princess started to drink the tea, there was a knock at the door. As the knight went to open the door, the witch came into the room and said, “He, he, he…drink your tea, my pretty.” But before the princess could drink the tea, everyone turned to look at the fire-breathing dragon that was standing outside the door. In her wicked-witch voice, the witch commanded the dragon to come in. Then she asked the dragon and the knight, “Why are you just standing there? I command you to make the princess drink the tea! I want that necklace!” she cackled.

Upon hearing that, Princess Rosie looked in her cup of tea to see smoke bubbling over. In one of the bubbles in the tea, she saw an image of herself throwing the tea on the witch. She knew this must be a sign! The princess picked up the tea and pretended to put it to her lips to drink. But before she could take a sip, she threw the tea all over the witch!

The witch yelled, “NOOO!” and began to melt. As the witch melted more and more, the evil spell on the knight and the dragon melted away, too.


Princess Rosie looked down and saw that her magic necklace was glowing and working once again! “Hooray!” she cheered. “My necklace is working! Now I can get back to the castle!” Princess Rosie and the knight climbed up on top of the friendly dragon and began to fly over the dark, deep, and muddy forest. As they flew over the forest, Princess Rosie’s necklace started to flash. She looked into it, and it showed her where to find the king and queen. The dragon saw the king and queen and swooped down to pick them up. They all climbed on the dragon’s back and used Princess Rosie’s necklace to guide them back to the castle.

When they arrived back at the castle, they had a grand ball with lots of dancing, talking, eating, and entertainment. At the ball, Princess Rosie wore the beautiful flower in her hair that the king and queen found in the forest. And they all lived happily ever after.

Reflections Lilia Swift The cool breeze whispering through your hair gently lifting it up to the glistening sun rays slowly promising itself to the sparkling water.

Grade 7

The delicate grasp of sand on your foot bending over as you see the last reflection of summer slip out from under you as the sun slowly sets on the horizon…



The Scary Night Betsy Regan Grade 2 January

I walked outside on the scary night which gave me such a big fright. Whoo Whoo went an owl, Creak creak went a tree. Oh, how I wish I was not here. But I kept on walking when a black cat meowed. I closed my eyes and then opened them… “Oh,” I said,” It’s just a dream.”

Thanksgiving Jade Bury

November Grade 4

I smell the juicy turkey in the oven I see all the delicious layers of the stuffing I smell the mashed potatoes boiling I see my dad mashing them I smell the delicious heating gravy I love the smell of a Thanksgiving meal

Owen Owen Linback November Grade 4

I am from a fat house at the end of the road. From pumpkin pie pudding, lizards, and horses.

I am from the owl on the roof, the stuffed dog, and the green tile roof.

I am from games of “Fact or Crap” with Grandpa And long trips with Bob and Tom. From Lindenbeck and Greenstone, and Gorman

I am from a sense of humor (not for school) and camper living. From “Tie your shoes!” and “Wear your helmet!”

I am from clay models with Grandpa, Pac Man with Uncle Chris, and skiing with Papa. I am from spending time with my family.

I am from Germany and Poland, Black-bottomed biscuits and dog noodles.

From the photos on the calendar wall to the picture book in the cabinet, Reminding me of my life.


Where I’m From Paul Podedworny

November Grade 4

I am from a quiet neighborhood, long driveway, and a tennis court. I am from iPads, dogs, and dirt bikes. I am from celebrating Christmas Eve and Polish food, and from winters in Florida. I am from Julia and Agata, my step sisters, and Janusz my grandpa. I am from a family that jokes and enjoys scaring me. I am from stories and storytelling and making up my own language. I am from a memory shelf that takes me to other places. I am from Chicago and Poland and Polish food and chicken noodle soup. I am from a shelf that has all my albums of pictures.

2011 Lower & Upper School Dimensions  

2011 Lake Forest Country Day School Literary Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you