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All About Me AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND SHORT STORIES

Fall 2009


Stickers Live It Right! It was the worst day ever. I was in Hermann Hospital, and I was about to fall asleep when I heard a doctor telling my mom, “Your daughter has blood cancer.� I just turned to the other side of the bed and cried and cried. Then I promised myself that I would do whatever it takes to be a cancer survivor. Time passed, and I got sicker instead of better. I never gave up, though.

I remembered my promise and thanked God every day just to be alive. It has been a hard journey for me. But the

When I was little and sick, two clowns came into my room while I was at TCH. They gave me stickers. After they left, I decided to take off all my clothes and put the stickers on my chest. I started running around the room with my clown stickers and IV pole, and my mom took a picture of me, and now we look back at it

and always laugh and remember the good times in the midst of the bad. Morgan, age 12

hard times have made me stronger. All I want to say to you is to live your life and live it right! There are many people, like me, who would like to be in your place, living a normal life.

Motivation to Change Careers

Jessica, age 14

My experience of being in a hospital and going through surgery and lots more has motivated me to change my idea of the future.

Grandpa Lopez I am Alexis, and I am ten years old. This is the story of how I took care of my great-grandpa when he had his heart attack in front of me in his room. It was scary at first to see my grandpa suffer, but I did all I had to do to make sure he would survive. My grandpa was taken to Houston to the hospital, and I was with him every day and some nights until he came home. He is doing better now. I love my Grandpa Lopez forever.

I will always be there for him.

Alexis, age 10

I now want to be an ultrasound technician. I used to think I only wanted to be a cosmetologist, but now my mind has opened to new possibilities. Going through the experience of having a cyst on my ovaries has been surprising. I thought only old women got problems like that, so that makes it more difficult because I feel like I have no one to relate to. I also have a problem with my blood. It does not clot so that is dangerous. It affects me because I have to miss school all the time and be in the hospital. I try to keep my mind busy so I do not get overwhelmed. My whole life has turned upside down the last month. Getting so many ultrasounds has not been fun. It is painful, but I have also seen how neat it is to study the body and figure out what is wrong. That is what inspires me to want to do ultrasounds for others. I like the idea of doing it for pregnant women and showing them their babies. That would be happier than what I have to go through.

Daisy, age 15


The Dentist Office Last summer I started the day off really easily. Everything was going my way until it was time to go to the dentist. When I got there I was not nervous.

After all, I brush my teeth three times a day and floss. I did not imagine there would be any problems. The nurse took me back and cleaned and x-rayed my teeth. That is when I started to get nervous. The doctor came in and said, “Well, we are going to have to pull at least 6 teeth.” I could not believe it. They got started right away. First, they had to strap me down because I do not like needles. Then they numbed me and gave me laughing gas. I felt scared. My hands were sweating, but once they started I did not feel much pain…except for one tooth. When they were done, I was relieved. My mouth felt like cotton filled with soft candy. I had to take a cup with me to spit the blood into. When we got home, my mom cooked my favorite foods but I could not eat. The good news is I recovered, and, hopefully, I will not have any more cavities or in-grown teeth. We will see. I go to the dentist this week!

Chrystal, age 11

Listen Up I think everyone deserves to have a good, free education. Some kids who are poor can not go to summer school, and that is sad. I believe that every kid deserves to have fun while they learn. Math should not be boring! They can use blocks to learn. Anything is possible.

Janet, age 11

Pet Horses I live in Texas, and I have horses, lots of them. In Texas horses are like pets—you keep them just like you would keep a dog. We have a barn and we feed them every day. They like hay and horse feed and horse treats that are like cookies. The hardest thing about having horses is cleaning their stalls. You need a wheelbarrow, a shovel, and a rake. You put on old clothes and some boots. Then you start cleaning. You have to do it right, so you have to take your time. My brother, uncle, cousin, and I work together as a team. I know how to saddle a horse and put on its bridle and bit. Once I am on, I walk it around the pen and then I start loping it. After I am finished exercising them, my friends come over with their horses and we start roping the steers. It is exciting. My uncle taught me how to use a lasso. You twist your wrist, throw the rope, hope it lands on the steer’s neck, pull back the slack, and you are done. Everybody gets a turn. Then we walk the horses and cool them down. I have three horses that are my favorites to ride: the Big Red, Leon, and Jay. When I ride horses. I feel happy.

The best part about having horses is riding them.

Hennessy, age 11

Riding I ride horses on the weekends. I was scared when I first tried, but now I am not. I hold the reins and the horse walks, trots, and gallops. . I like riding my horse named Shadow the best. He is dark. The other two horses are Mariachi and Snowy, and they are white. Last weekend, I got to go on a wagon ride and held the reins. Horses make me feel good about myself and the world.

When he goes fast, I feel my heart beating and I feel happy

Jennifer, age 15


Horses

The Lady and Her Babies

I used to like dogs, but then I got interested in horses. I live in the city, but I would read about them in books and see them when we traveled. I started to draw them. It was easy. I always start with the head or neck. I think the legs and hooves are the hardest. I can also draw other animals, including wolves and cats. When I was seven, my parents signed me up for horseback riding lessons. I was not afraid because I have always been good with animals.

I have a lady dog named Snowball. She’s white except for some brown on her ears and stomach. I found her on the road and we rescued her. Now she is going to have babies with her boyfriend Duke. I think there will be 12 babies.

When I grow up, I want to be an alligator wrestler or a horse trainer. On my first lesson we

learned how to groom the horses and lead them. Eventually, we learned how to walk, trot, and canter. I even learned how to jump. The only time I ever fell off was when I was riding a Shetland and he did not want to jump. It is actually easier to ride bigger horses. The one I usually ride is Rollick, and he is an ex-racer. It has been a long time since I have been able to ride, and I am looking forward to doing it again soon. In the meantime, I will keep drawing them and saving money for more lessons.

Makenzie, age 11

Babushka I have one Schnauzer named Heidi. Her nicknames are Babushka and Boogers. She is white like a cloud. She likes to run around and bark. When she gets in trouble or we vacuum, she hides under the bed. Sometimes, she also tags the vacuum and growls. She sleeps with my brother Dalton.

One thing she likes is tortillas with butter! When she goes outside, she likes to catch birds, but she has never caught one. She likes to play with her toys, especially the squeaky ones. When I ride my bike, she goes with me.

I am going to sell the puppies for five bucks each.

I think Snowball will miss her puppies. She might take one and hide it in her dog house so nobody can find it. Then maybe I will keep that one.

Dillon, age 9

Biscuit I have never had a dog, but I have always wanted one. My mom wants one too, so we are going to get a puppy. I have read the book Marley, so I know it will be fun even if they do crazy things like eat the couch. If the puppy is bad, my mom will send him OUTSIDE! I want to name the new puppy Biscuit. I have read books about that dog.

I can not wait to get my new puppy.

Emily, age 6

My Family I love my family. We help each other. We take care of each other. When I am sad, my sisters make me feel better. When I am happy, they play with me. My mom and dad are the best cooks. I like to help cook.

I love tamales. I hope my family will stay together forever. Natalie, age 5

Jolie, age 4


What I Believe

Fishing with Dad

I believe that kids need to listen to their moms and take care of the environment. And if they do, God will help them.

This summer my dad and I and some friends from his work went fishing to Bessie Heights Marsh. We went at four in the morning. When my dad and I got there, we cast the cast net and caught some finger mullet as bait. After 30 minutes of fishing, my dad caught the first fish. It was a redfish. It was a keeper, but we let it go. Later, I caught a 27� redfish. It was also a keeper, and we did keep it for supper. That day, we caught one croaker, one hardhead, one speckled trout, six redfish and two flounder.

Out of all the fish, we kept only one for supper. I love fishing!!!

Jeremiah, age 10

Going Fishing My dad and I like to go fishing. We go to a lake that is far from our house. We buy lizards to catch the fish. When we get there, we go out into the water with our boots. The water is clear and warm. We fish for about ten minutes. The first time I ever went, I caught two big fish. We put them back in the water. The hardest thing in fishing is reeling them in because the fish are heavy and fighting to get away. When I do catch a fish, I feel good.

We go

early at six o’clock.

Bryce, age 7

We want the Earth to be beautiful and happy. To make God and the sun happy, we have to take care of the flowers and grass and butterflies. We also have to take care of people. If we see an old man, we should help him. Then everyone will be happy.

Macario, age 7

My Trip to Pakistan In 2008, we went to Pakistan for my uncle's wedding. It took two days to get there. We had to take six suitcases. We were excited because it had been a long time since I had gone because I had cancer. When we arrived, our uncle was there to hug us. We went to his house first and ate breakfast. Then we went to another uncle's house, and I took a long nap. The next day I went to my aunt's house and played tennis with my cousins. I got really good.

I also learned how to play cricket, which is really popular in my culture. I ate rice and daal

and chicken and spinach. In Pakistan, they mostly eat vegetables. I got tired of that. We celebrated Christmas while we were there. It was fun. We also visited our uncle's grave. Everyone was crying. On the way home on the airplane I dropped orange juice on my brother's pants. We did not have extra clothes, so he just had to sit there. I had a great trip, but it was nice to be back in my own bed and see my dad.

Hina, age 9


My Trip to Hawaii Two weeks ago, I went to meet my uncle in Hawaii. We went through Dallas, then Seattle, and then on to Hawaii. I felt good when the plane landed. We rented a 12-seater van to get around the island. Then we went to our house. It was awesome. It had two pretty good climbing trees and one that was okay. The fence in the backyard was made out of lava rock. There was also a tree house, but it was full of spiders and there was a cactus back there too. While I was in Hawaii, I got to go surfing with my cousin. I took lessons. They taught us how to paddle, how to get up on the board and how to do a switch. I was a little nervous the first time, but I made it all the way to shore. I also got to boogie board. I nosedived three times, but it did not bother me. It was fun.

They had some awesome waves. Sometimes they would curl over you like a cocoon. Once my dad and I were boogie boarding. My dad was on the bottom and I was on the top. Suddenly, I dropped like three feet down. Once I was riding behind him and we piggybacked. On one of the islands we visited, there were chickens everywhere! Once when we had stopped at a waterfall, we saw people feeding crumbs to the chickens to get them to move out of the way. I hope to go back to Hawaii soon!

Matthew, age 8

New York City When we went to New York, we went to see my uncle who missed us. It was fun to play with him. We took care of him because he had had an operation.

We did not get to see the Statue of Liberty because it was closed, but we did get to visit lots of parks. We had to go to school there. It had seven floors. I made my best friend Damien there.

Hamza, age 7

About Nepal Last summer my family and I went to Nepal for three months. I was born there, but I have been here for five years. All my 22 or more relatives live in Nepal. My ears felt like they were bursting, but I made it. My role model, my dad’s youngest brother, was there to greet us. I respect him because he is a doctor, has visited China and is cool. One of the things I noticed in Nepal is the way that they mix food together and how active people are. It is a poor country, so everyone rides bikes or walks. There is little technology, so people have to use their bodies. I visited a village that was a six hour drive from Katmandu. In the village there are two blackouts a week, but there is so much culture and the stars are so beautiful. When I left Nepal, everyone was sad to see me go.

To get there, I had to ride on four planes.

Shreyas, age 8

Ronald McDonald House At the Ronald McDonald House, I helped Mommy make the bed. I got to play in the playroom with the big tree and big doll house. Mommy and I got to play Bingo after our wonderful dinner.

I got a Bingo! My prize was a Little People Happy Birthday building block set. Danielle, age 8


Parleeshia's First Day of School One day, I started school. When I got to my class, there were a lot of people. I tried to figure out their names. One looked like Rosa, another like Alfredo, another like Cassandra and Jolena and Michelle and Andrew. Those were the only people I recognized.

I was excited to start school here because it always looked fun.

On Fridays, we go to P.E. And, if it rains, we jump in the puddles or play board games. On Wednesdays, we go to computer lab and do the Ticket to Read program. On Thursdays, we go to music and I like playing the xylophone. On Tuesdays, we go to reading. On Mondays, we read too. I'm in third grade. I like making presents for my teachers. I have made a necklace out of recycled tabs on cans.

Parleeshia, age 8

When I Get Older I want a Jeep when I get older. It will have two seats, two doors, six gears and the color will be camouflage. I will drive out to the woods.

I might camp. I would sleep out in a sleeping bag, build a campfire and relax. I might fish at night with

a little lantern, or maybe not because the bears attack at night. I think I will wait ‘til morning.

Gunnar, age 8

My Talents I love all the arts, but it is singing and drawing that I love the most. My brother and my cousin Gabby are really good at drawing, so I think I got some of my talent from them. When I draw, I feel relaxed. I like drawing animals, especially birds and seals. I think birds are cool because there are so many types of them in all different shapes and colors. I like seals because they can do tricks, like jumping in the air. I think I was just born with my love of singing. I sing songs of people I already know, but I also make up original songs. My favorites are hip hop and pop. When I sing, I feel good. I get nervous sometimes, but I do it anyway.

I once sang “See You Again” by Cyrus at Greenspoint Mall, and I tried out for America's Got Talent with the same song. I love the song because it's about people who are separated and can not wait to see one another again.

One of the other things I like is sports. My three favorites are volleyball, swimming and gymnastics. I think I am naturally good at volleyball because I can bump it and keep it in the air. I can get it back over the net. I remember my first time swimming at my cousin's house. I was not scared at all. I jumped right in, and my cousin who was ten helped teach me. Now I can do back flips and dive and do somersaults. I really like gymnastics because I am flexible. I can do backbends, front flips, back flips, and one and two-handed cartwheels. I am working on the splits, but usually I can only make it halfway down.

Loretta, age 9


It’s More than a Hobby! I like PlayStation games. You get to buy all kinds of disks, and each one is a different game. My baby brother broke one of the PlayStation games at my mom's house, so I now use the one at my grandma's. My mom and grandma do not know how to play, but my brother and I do.

I think older people do not know much about PlayStation because they have never tried it. They think it is a waste of time, but I do not.

Bailey

Being an Artist I have always loved drawing, ever since I was six. No one in my family is an artist; I just taught myself. I love to draw cars, houses and animals. The hardest thing about drawing is making the outline. The easiest part is coloring it in. When I draw, it makes me feel like I can do anything. I draw for lots of reasons: to have fun, to relax, to make the time go by. Every year, I make my mom and dad a Christmas card. One of my favorite pieces of artwork was a pair of sneakers I drew. I keep a notebook full of drawings.

When I grow up, I might be an artist. I think it would be neat to inspire others to become artists too.

Victor, age 13

Why I Write Songs When I feel really alone and sad, I write songs to make myself better. I think about how I feel and sometimes get my mom to write the words down. When I am outside on the swings, I always get ideas. They come from my heart. I like to sing to myself and my dollies, but not on stage.

Keila, age 10

Who I Am! I am an artist. I love pencils and paints. I think my dad who is an artist inspired me. When I first started, all I could do was circles and sticks. I practiced and got better. I keep a bunch of paper in a folder and draw whenever I can. I like to draw when I don’t have anything else to do. It is discouraging when you think your drawings are ugly. That is why I encourage my brother. I like what I draw. My favorite things to draw are people walking and ballerinas in a line waiting for the music to start. I also draw animals like puppies and kittens and kangaroos. I might be an artist someday, but I also dream of being a doctor.

Kendra, age 10

Skateboarding I got into skating when I was about five and got my first skateboard. My mom was a skater when she was young and lived in California, but she is not really the one who taught me. I taught myself by watching other kids and trying to imitate what they did. I live on Honey Island, which is near Kountze. The only thing there is a General Store. Not many kids there skate, but I had a teacher at my school that made boards. You give her $50 and she would make you one. Some of the kids in her class would skate and I would watch them before school. I would practice kick flips, jumps, and ollies. I would also watch skateboarding videos to get inspired. I like the movie “Skateboard Kid”. A group of skaters find a warehouse and turn it into a skate park. One of them puts a weed eater motor on the back of his board when he gets bored. When I get bored, I either skate or find an old board, sand it down and paint it. I have done boards for my cousins, my sister and friends. I have painted designs like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Blue’s Clues paw print and a cross.

I think I will still be skating when I am 80 and walking with a cane. Darrin, age 13


Life in the Studio It starts like this ... at one point in your life, you discover a dream that you want to fulfill. It is my time to shine in the year of '09. When I am in the most need of comfort, I turn to music, a type of music or song that connects with my emotions. I write words from my heart and keep it true. My words on paper are how I feel. So many unanswered questions, but I let it all out in the studio, a loud, but quiet place to feel alive. My dreams are personal, but free. I am staying on top to succeed, and that is spending a life in the studio.

Music – that is my life, my heart, my soul.

Bailey, age 16

For the Love of Hip Hop Music makes my feet tap to the beat, my hands jitter to the rhythm. Hip hop lives in your heart, in your bones. Ever since I was old enough to listen to the words that they were speaking, I knew hip hop could open up a lot of doors to the world. Hip hop is about telling whoever wants to listen your story.

It is about overcoming, making it through your struggles, trying to survive. Hip hop is my antidote to

the world. I use it to motivate me to go further, to reach my goals. Hip hop is not just about negatives. It can push you toward the good. It is not for everyone, but it is worth a try. For me, it reminds me of where I come from and where I am going.

Shamar, age 17

The Big Game It all started at dawn. I was nervous because it was a big game day. I played for the Twins, a baseball team in my town. That day we were playing the Angels, who were really good. I got to Pinto Field early. A lot of my family was there, along with a big crowd. I was getting more and more nervous. We started our warm-ups in the outfield. Then it was time for the game to begin. We did our batting order and the huddle.

Our coach said, “Don’t worry if we’re going to win. Just do your best!”

I played third base. The game was going along okay until the last inning. Suddenly, a batter hit a line drive right toward me. I dove to get it but it stung my hand too bad and knocked my breath out. We lost, 10-9. It had been an exciting game and season!

Jessie, age 9

Blue Dragons I play soccer. It is hard, but it is fun. On Saturday, my team the Blue Dragons played a game and I scored a goal! I ran down the field really fast and I kicked the ball into the net against the Zebras! My little brother, who is five, plays on a team too. He scored two goals. He would have scored three, but he hurt his foot. I used to play for the Hawks when I was five. I remember in the last game I scored a goal and I felt good. It was my first one.

After every soccer game I get a snack—goldfish!

Cole, age 7


Soccer

School

I have liked soccer for a long time. My brother taught me how to play. We would go to the park and I would practice dribbling, kicking, and being goalie. I like the position of goalie. It is a lot of responsibility, but it is fun.

I enjoy school a lot because I like meeting new people at the beginning of school and getting to know new people along the way. I also like getting to know my teachers. They are cool, but sometimes a little weird too. My favorite subject is English and I enjoy History too.

To be a good goalie, you need to concentrate and be quick. I think I am good because I practice a lot. I remember

playing one game where I blocked a lot of goals. I felt proud. I hope I can keep playing and teach my two little brothers how to play too.

School is fun in many ways. I am always sad when it is over, but I do love summer! Dranae, age 14

Eric, age 12

Playing Video Games with My Dad I was about three-years-old when I played my first video game. My dad had some games, and he played all the time. At the beginning I would just press a bunch of buttons, but then I got better. I learned how to control the game. I remember the first time I ever beat my dad. We were playing football. I told him, “I can beat you.” And I did. Now I play video games a lot. As soon as I get out of bed, I start playing basketball. . The only time I stop is when I get tired or bored. I hope I get “Grand Theft Auto Chinese Wars” for my birthday.

I would play all day if I

could

Kenneth, age 8

Missing School My favorite part of the day is recess.

I am in first grade. We get to do PE, Art and Music.

I get to do the monkey bars, slide, sand circle and rock wall. They are all easy to do now that I am almost seven. The hardest thing is math. I like my teacher Mrs. Farmer. She is nice to me. I have to miss school a lot to come here. I do not like that because I want to learn more.

Camp This summer, I went to Camp Periwinkle. I got to canoe, go horseback riding, build sand castles, do archery, make crafts and swim. My favorite part was the dance. I liked the hip hop dancing. We also watched the movie “Night at the Museum”. I liked the part when the monkey stole the keys to the museum. Lunch was awesome!! I had a taco from Pappasito’s, and it was so good. I loved the fireworks that were all different colors. I also saw magic! We got to enjoy nature where we touched all kinds of animals, even two turtles, two snakes, and lizards!

Nelly, age 8

Sugarman If I were a superhero, I would be Sugarman. Who is Sugarman, you ask? Well, he is the kind of guy who always wants to bring a smile to your face, even if you have been a little naughty. He is like a summer Santa. He walks the streets handing out gumballs and licorice and chocolate. He does not wear a magical cape, just tennis shoes and a Houston Astros baseball cap. If you meet him, say “hi” for me. He is my hero

Jamal, age 12 David, age 6


What I Like about the Mall The mall has lots of different activities that you can do. For instance, I like to hang out with my friends and shop.

One reason that I like the mall is that they have great stores and sometimes those stores have good sales. Whenever I want to go to the mall, I just call up my friends. Afterwards we may walk over to the movies. One of my favorite places at the mall is the store Vanity. I go there every time, and every time there is a sale. I do not think I have ever gone to the mall without going into Vanity to get something. Those are a few of the reasons why I like the mall.

Alyssa, age 13

So Lonely When I turned 18 and graduated, my dad felt I was grown up enough to leave the nest. I had nowhere to go but the streets. I was pregnant and did not even know. I hurt inside and felt pain everywhere.

I turned to my best friend, who I call Robin. I am his Batman.

Young with Children I've been through lots of ups and downs with the father of my children. We've been together for about five years, on and off. The toughest thing about us is that we got together so young. There have been lots of childish games between us, and it has allowed for lots of mistakes. But, through everything I still love him. We have two kids, one who's two and one who's only three months. Right now our biggest challenge as a couple is that we have allowed others into our lives, which makes things messy and hurts lots of feelings. I stay strong by thinking about how I want my girls' future to be and what kind of guy I want them to find. I want my girls to learn to be independent and strong, just like I have been. I have always had a mindset that I will be able to do it on my own. Even at a young age, I would pay my own way, keeping track of the bills, and planning ahead. At the age of 16, I was pregnant, which meant I had to grow up early. When I was in high school, I had to arrange for childcare and pay for it. So, I know what it means to be a strong mother, to take care of not just myself but others. I know I'm still young – 20 – but I have goals that I plan on

He helped me through everything, put a roof over my head and motivated me to get through the pain. I wanted to give up on everything but he convinced me to go to the hospital. At the first one, I got turned away because I do not have insurance. He took me to another one, and I found out I was pregnant but it was an ectopic pregnancy. My first child and I could not keep it. All I remember is lying in the hospital bed crying my eyes out. It was cold, so cold. I did not want this baby to die, but it was the baby or my life. I sat and wondered how it would be if I could have the baby, but it would only be in my dreams. Around the same time Robin lost his son J.R. I was going to be the god mom, so he will always have a place in my heart. RIP, J.R.

Sarrina, age 18

achieving. I think that my advice to others who may end up or are in my situation as a young parent would be to keep goals

It definitely changes the easiness of life alone, but it is rewarding and it is possible to achieve any dream despite the challenges and unexpected turns in life.

and be strong.

Amanda, age 20


I Think I Am Batman I like Batman. I like the way Batman is because he helps people and saves the town from bad people. I think I am a lot like

I like to help people and save them whenever I can. I like to make people Batman.

feel safe and secure whenever I can or whenever people are around me. Sometimes, I wish I were Batman so I could save the world.

LaShunique, age 18

My Year in August PART I I’m not really involved with anything. I decided to get involved in what my church called a “Youth Week”. My youth teacher called it a new beginning, a new year for us. The Youth Week lasted from August 6-12. On Monday, we cleaned the sanctuary for the Tuesday Bible Study which the youth choir performed at. On Wednesday, we were off and on Thursday we had seminars. On Friday, we had a concert and lock-in which was very enlightening. On Saturday, we rounded up the competition and played basketball until it rained. Finally, on Sunday the youth held a church service in the big sanctuary. I actually enjoyed myself and plan on getting more involved next year. PART II I am about to be a junior at William B. Travis H.S. in Richmond, Texas. I used to not be very involved in school, but this year I am going to be part of the TLC, the “Travis Link Crew”. My counselor thought of the idea and I decided to try it out. Last year, I had some problems at school. I didn’t really care. But this year, I helped out the incoming freshman – talking to them, showing them around, making them feel more comfortable. I think this will make a difference for me next year because being involved will give me something to do besides going home and sleeping or watching TV.

I think the organization is going to really grow and be helpful at the school. Jerry, age 16

A gift of Poetry POEMS


A Poem Laugh at the moon Climb a good mountain with full hands Begging the universe to Veto negativity Launching our satellites

With kindness and simple love Carmen, age 17

This World

I dive into the ocean and laugh with fish. I dance with the stars because it makes me happy. When the volcano shouts, I listen. When the river sighs, I sit down in the sand. The world is beautiful, beautiful.

Takirah, age 7

Springtime The rain drips into a puddle And I start to leap into the air. After it stops, all the flowers Sprout. It’s springtime. I tug The weeds while the squirrels March to find acorns.

The world

Prays. Rhea, age 8

Morning and Night The stars spin at night and kiss the planets while plants get ready for bed. The flowers open in the morning and dogs bark at the grass.

I believe in peace as the stars travel through the sky and come back again at night. Ebony, age 11


Nature The water in the creek crashes over the rocks. It flows rapidly carrying branches and small fish. I am standing on the banks throwing rocks into the current. It rumbles like a motor. It is soothing to hear the rippling splashes.

Ahh, the beauty of nature, peaceful, calming, and a place I hope will be around for a long time to come. Max, age 10

Earth Day Poem The branches of the trees dance in the wind while the flowers laugh and the animals sing.

I blossom like a daisy while hugging the ground. The world zooms past me.

Cassie, age 10

Bang!

I am a rocket swooping through the dark gleaming clouds in the sky watching the glistening stars float in mid air.

Breana

My Dream Wish High, high in the sky flying above the clouds I am in the place where gravity does not exist. I can see the stars and the planets too as I pass by in my rocket ship. There is no place as wonderful as this...

How I wish I could live in space. Meghan


Night When I look up at the sky I see the moon and stars.

I whisper, “Sleep well.� Feyi, age 5

Who I Am I am a planet revolving around the sun and rotating in my own axis. Oh, you can not imagine how proud and thankful I feel of being who I am.

Oh, how beautiful is the creation of space. Oh, how perfect it is.

The creation of me and all the other objects seem to be created by someone that made us with his own hands. You can not imagine how stupendous the view from space is. Wow.

Yesenia, age 12

Earth

I am a rocket ship blasting off from earth and entering space. As I look around I notice it is such a beautiful place.

There is no place like earth, such a wonderful place. Tiffany, age 14

Paint Me!

Even though I do not have a mirror, I can go as fast as lightning. I am red and always wet. I want my owner to paint me with glitter so that I sparkle like the stars. My owner prefers money instead of honey, but I fly to discover new planets.

Mercy, age 11


Beautiful Colors Pink, green, blue, hot pink! I grab a crayon and draw birds, deer, dogs! Sometimes I go fast. Sometimes I go slow. I give my pictures to my family and friends or I keep them for myself.

The colors are bright like the stars and the rainbow. Leslie, age 9

I Want I want to find a snake. Hisssss. I would keep it in my yard. It would slither on its tummy

and eat grass. Steven, age 5

Day by Day

Best Friends

I am a turtle that moves slowly from place to place analyzing my surroundings and seeing what is new today. In my sight I see objects and obstacles in my way that I must overcome to get through my day. When someone comes my way and tries to mess up my day, I get afraid and I tuck my head, legs, and tail under my rock-hard shell that protects me from the outside world. When I am scared and afraid, I am a turtle enjoying life

I couldn’t ask for a greater Friend Best friends, Sides of two You are you I will not desert you You have been there for me Best friends It seems to me.

and taking it slow, day-by-day.

Lucky to have you In my life

Brittany, age 16

Tiffany, age 14


Polar Bears Running in the snow Eating fish Playing with penguins Dancing with whales Swimming under water

If

Polar bears are my friends!

If I were a polar bear, I Would hide under my mom Because her fur is so warm. I would look at the blue Water and jump right in!

I would catch fish, ten of them. And after that, I would go to Sleep on my mom’s tummy.

Zoe, age 5

My Favorite Horses My favorite horses are jumpers because they do not mess up. They can fly over the bars and not knock them over. I like watching Flash from the movie. Once he stopped so quick that the boy riding him fell off into a pond! My pony's name is Rocky and he has got an attitude! Sometimes I can tell what he is thinking. He almost bucked me off.

Once I ran up a hill with him, and I felt so free. Horses make me happy, so someday I will train them and give lessons to other kids.

Alyssa, age 8


Animals Best Friend I run, I jump, I am your best friend I do tricks to make you smile, I lick your tears when you are sad I am your best friend You bathe me, you feed me, and I love you for this You buy me toys and you let me run free in the park and I love you for this

We sleep together, play together, and I protect you for this We chill together, love each other, and I cherish you for this I never tell you what I want but you make my dreams come true. I am glad to be called YOUR DOG.

Michael

I have this special connection to animals. I love to be near them. They never put pressure on me.

They love and accept me for who I am. I have a dog named Tinker Bell, a Chihuahua that's black with eyes that look just like mine. She likes to sleep with me and jump on me. Even though she drives me crazy I still love her with all my heart. Once I had an iguana named Greeny and another one named 100 Dollar Bill because he was green too. They love to run, and I slept with both of them. I liked to let people touch them, but they both died. Animals make me feel happy and special.

Angelica, age 11


Los Colores de mi vida Rosa, me hace ser feliz Azul, me gusta cuando estoy feliz Verde, me gusta la vida

Amarillo es alegria Morado me hace calmada Rojo me hace enojar Negro es dolor Los colores muy bonitas me hacen feliz Los colores muy oscuros me hacen triste.

Love Pink makes my heart dance Stars make me happy Singing makes me feel like Hannah Montana

Hearts fill me with air Love is special!

Angelica, age 11

Charlysia, age 6

Love Poem

The Dancer

I love the blue of the sky It makes me want to flip and skip

I love the red of my heart It makes me want to jump and pump I love silver and gold because they make me feel rich!

Jordon, age 11

When I dance I feel happy like I am on a cloud smooth and flowing

like a ballerina in my pointe shoes or fast, doing splits in the air, rising up, or tapping, hearing the beat inside my body, feeling calm like a ballerina flying into the clouds.

Tia, age 11


Birds Above They have the beauty They have the clouds

They rule the sky They have a duality of voice Some sweet, some rough They are God’s gift and they make you feel as peaceful as a sunrise

Ali, age 14

Happiness Happiness is walking Through a grassy Place with the Bright sun making A lot of light and My heart is purple

Because I am excited About being healthy Soon, and also yellow For my happiness

Sofia, age 11

Nickenya's Birthday Today is my birthday.

I love birthdays because it is my special day! On Friday I get to eat Hannah Montana cake and open my toys. I feel older and smarter today. I think the best age to be is six, and that is what I am!

Nickenya, age 6

My Name Joyful Eager

Friendly Funny Rare Energetic Young

Jeffrey, age 13


When It Is Hot I like when it is hot because I can go outside and ride my pink camouflage four-wheeler. I zoom over the grass like I am in a race. I play basketball with myself, throwing the ball up into the hoop. If I miss, I just try again. Sometimes when it is hot, I just sit inside on the couch and relax. I ask my mom to bring me a Dr. Pepper and then I settle down to watch Hannah Montana. If someone bothers me

while I am watching my show, I tell them, “It's ME time!� I like summer in Texas even though the mosquitoes are horrible and the heat makes me sweat!

Madison, age 8

I LOVE Music I love music It makes me feel good inside I like music It makes me want to sing and play I like guitars! I like tambourines! I like drums!

I want to be a rock star! Leo, age 5 and Miyel, age 12


Why I Hate Homework Homework makes me sick to my stomach It makes my head ache and my eyes feel tired Homework is like being buried alive or drowning in nouns, division, and rocks and minerals. When I have to do homework, I wish I were playing video games or even getting chemo. Homework is something I will grow out of some day. I can't wait!

Ben, age 9

Anna Banana

Azul Mi color favorito es azul

Es como el cielo brillando Cuando lo veo me recuerda a mi hermana Menor que es un angel Que del ceilo me esta guiando

Litzy, age 4 and Angie, age 14

A Poem about Yellow The hot sun A mansion Lemonade

A flame of fire A shirt Touching a bird Shooting a basketball My bones

My favorite color is turquoise. I like my kitty cat and her name is Sandy. Penny, Pepper, Rocky, and Muffin are my dogs. I like to jump high on the trampoline and I hate subtraction.

Squishy stuff is cool. Anna, age 6

Jason, age 8


A Whole New Way

Words of Wisdom This inspiration pulled from your life

I start my day by seeing a whole new way

Justice and grace in all things

Small steps take me where I am

Even those who are evil.

Look at a different way!

Kevin, age 10 I am here to help the growing green world Get rid of the junk, heal the damage There are ten ways to play and work I still believe the future is inside An eye on life, liberty, blessed with Happiness, enlightened It is time to tell the truth, tie you down Relieve your growing pains, watch No wonder I did it

Jennifer, age 11

A New Picture When life is hard, I cough away negativity When everything goes wrong, I shout for happiness to return

When I am struggling, I whisper to my sister for help

I Am By Your Side

When the world falls apart, I sweep together the pieces and make a new picture

When you look outside and your day is gray, break free from it! Shout and pray! Do not let sickness bring you down. Lift your eyes and listen to that heavenly voice,

My Life

“I am by your side because I love you.�

I am struggling with rejection I want your affection I need your connection Do not give me your objection

Marleth, age 19

Jessica, age 13

My life is not perfection

I am looking for direction

Daisy, age 15


Tears Eyes are the gateway to the soul Tears are the music that plays They catch you off guard and spill over Eyelids that are too slow to stop them They taste bittersweet on the tongue And burn with emotions Anger Happiness Disappointment Heartbreak

Tears are a free-for-all when words Fall short and can not explain They sing your passion When your throat closes up They dance your happiness When your feet will not move They tell your sad sad story When your mind goes blank Tears are a love loved And a love lost And they make all the world hurt so bad When a love is lost Eyes see the soul Tears see the truth.

Destiny, age 16

A gift of Poetry 12 POEMS I N S P I R E D B Y W A LT W H I T M A N


The City I Live In I am here, I help I come and I depart I stretch From the top

I make holy whatever I touch Courtney, age 16

Untitled How could I answer?

What does eternity indicate? Trillions of winters and summers It is time to explain myself I exist as I am That is enough

Brooke, age 16

I Am the Poet The night drives deeper into my soul Anything I have I bestow I am the poet of the body and the poet of the soul You will find what I tell you All truths wait in all things I give not back an inch The threads that connect the stars

Divine am I inside and out Virginia, age 11

Come My Children I see in them and myself the same Both in and out of the game Wondering at it

I call to the earth and sea The young and the old When you rise in the morning Speeding through heaven and the stars All the argument of the earth All the living cities of the globe I sweated through fog I am there again You should have been with us that day

Julissa, age 13

My Creation The world be aware The creation fills me Being, hoping

Storming, enjoying, planning, loving You have given me love What I am I know I am solid and with supreme power I heard what was said of the universe The beginning and the end Wider and wider they spread, expanding, always Expanding

Judicole, age 16


What I Am I am in love with lack of money I do not talk of the beginning or the end I am curious about what will come next I witness and wait all the men ever born

Once Again Open your eyes All goes onward and outward Begin hoping that my soul in the endless Puzzle of puzzles will reach higher In this labor of love

And a broken heart will Tumble and the song of me Will mend ourselves

I cry for the sickness and loss I look into the calm and cool of the daybreak This is Me

Sarah, age 14

Untold Mysteries

Daisy, age 18

Seems to Me I do not know friendly bees It seems to me

all the red fruit I find

The center of the vast and ruined city The minute-hand of the clock moves slowly I myself become the wounded person Lost my wits in beards of old men

it may be dazzling and tremendous as the sun

The light of the torches coming home

Lucky to be Born

Late at night the wonderful beauty dies What I know is stripped away A million unknown souls and mysteries remain untold

Amy, age 15

Anna, age 6

I lose my breath through winding paths through the salt-lick and orange glade coming alive and well I feel lucky to be born the journey work of the stars

the creation is love Brianna, age 13


Breath

I breathe the smoke of my own breath I am in love with my mouth

Brian, age 10

The Creation Is Love Beautiful are the faces around me I understand the large hearts of heroes It may be the play of shine and shade The earth good and the stars good Each part and tag of me is a miracle

The dazzle of the light We sail the arctic sea, it is plenty light enough I am the mate and companion of all people

Sherry, age 15

STORIES


The Golden Flower The Runaway Dog I saw a dog wagging his tail and running away from home. I decided to try to catch him. The first thing I tried to do was give him a big, juicy bone. It worked. He ate it, but I did not have time to get a leash on him.

There was a garden that had a lot of flowers. A lot of people liked the flowers in the garden. A girl came along and touched a flower. She picked the flower and brought it to the castle.

The flower she picked was a gold flower, and it had a lot of power. No one else has ever seen the flower. The king and queen liked it so much that they trusted that girl very much and wanted her to become part of the royal family. She became a princess and lived happily ever after.

He ran away into the street. I was not worried, but I did want to catch him, so I ran after him. That made the dog run faster too. I chased him up a hill but when I got to the top he had disappeared. I looked for him. I found him hiding behind a tree at a house. I sneaked up on him and threw a leash over his head. Then I ran back down the hill with him and took him where he belonged. The owner was so happy. She hugged her dog and gave me $5.

Gracelynn, age 8

Briana, age 7

The Silly Dinosaurs A long time ago there were dinosaurs. They were silly. They did things like stick their tongues out and curl their tails up. One day a silly dinosaur name Dinoey was hanging upside down and he fell. He was dizzy! All the other dinosaurs thought it was funny, so they did it too. All of them were so dizzy that their heads were spinning.

They lived dizzily ever after. Alejandro, age 5


The Puppy Who Finally Found a Home One day there was a garage sale, and there were six puppies for sale. One of them was white, one was black, one was brown, one was brown and white, one was black and white, and one was black and brown. All of them were sold by 5 p.m., except for one little puppy who never got picked. He wanted a home so the garage owner said, “Go find a home,” and he let him go. The puppy looked all around town, and finally, he saw a man and his wife, with two kids, and a mama dog. The puppy ran up to play with the mama dog, and the family saw the puppy and decided to adopt him.

Hawk Family Once upon a time there was a boy that got bit by a hawk. The next morning when the boy woke up he saw wings growing from his back, and he said, The next morning he began working on his name, his costume, and his weapons. His mom’s name was Lisa and she was a Hawk Woman and his dad’s name was Wayne and he was a Hawk Man. Hawk Boy’s name was Blake and his sisters’ names were Tori and Maddie and Miranda, or Hawk Girl #1, Hawk Girl #2, and Hawk Girl #3. Hawk Girl #3 had a hurt foot so she had to keep off it until the doctor said it was okay to walk again. Hawk Family, I love you all!!!

“I can be

a superhero now.”

Blake

They took him home and named him Weasel because he loved to chase his tail.

It was the perfect family for him.

Leslie, age 9

Happily Ever After Once there was a girl named Cinderella. She loved a guy named Prince Charming. They got married, and

they lived in a pumpkin until they could find a new house. The End. Zoe, age 5

A Puppy Fairy Tale One day there was a puppy named Princess. She was tiny enough to fit in a purse, brown as chocolate and smooth as a baby's body. She was calm, and her favorite thing was to cuddle with the girl who owned her. Everything was going fine until the puppy decided to run away. She thought it would be fun, but it turned out to be horrible. First, she got really dirty from a mud pile. Then, she got hungry and had to look for food in the garbage. Finally, a man tried to kidnap her. Luckily, the girl saw her puppy, and she started to run after her. The man dropped her, and the girl grabbed her puppy and gave her a hug. They went home and gave the puppy a bath.

Then they cuddled on the couch and fell asleep. Tori, age 11


Fish Boy Once there was a boy named James. He lived in Malaysia. When he was nine months old, he started to talk. A few years later he learned how to swim in the pool outside his house. People began to call him Fish Boy because he loved the water so much and he could swim very well.

His first word was “Water!”

One day he swam so far that he lost track of his home. He was out in the middle of the ocean. He felt scared and sad, but he kept swimming toward a distant shore. Suddenly, a tuna boat appeared and saved him. The sailors took him back to the coast where he met a serious fish hunter. He asked the fish hunter to teach him how to hunt fish, precisely, sharks. So the fish hunter began to teach him, and one year later he graduated. On the day he graduated, James swam back with a map to his home. The waters were deep and stormy, but he was an excellent swimmer and hunter. On the way he ran into a shark. The boy put his education to great use. He put a spear into the shark’s mouth so that he could not bite. He did not want to hurt him. He just wanted to swim safely. Eventually, James made it home, and his parents were so relieved. They lived happily ever after, and Fish Boy taught everyone in the village what he had learned.

Shreyas, age 8

is published by The Periwinkle Foundation, Writers in the Schools (WITS), and the many talented young writers at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center. The Periwinkle Foundation develops and provides programs that positively change the lives of children, young adults, and families who are challenged by cancer and other life threatening illnesses and are cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital. For more information,visit the following websites: www.periwinklefoundation.org www.writersintheschools.org www.texaschildrenshospital.org


Thanks to Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation Kiwanis Foundation of Houston The Search Foundation Clarence Westbury Foundation


Splendid Review - Fall 2009