By Lauren McGrath

The world is like a library, a huge, sprawling archive of every word ever written, and we are the books that line its endless shelves. Everyone has their own personal differences, and no two people can ever be exactly alike.


By Emma Olinger

Who’s experienced the bone-crushing feeling of being bullied? The tear-pulling fear of being abused again and again? The heart-piercing sadness when a loved one is lost?


By Madelyn Kingsley

There is a person behind all of the makeup. A person behind the designer jeans.


By Ben DeBasio

I may appear confident, But I often am still searching for answers. I am almost thirteen and I am constantly trying to figure out who I am.


By Greta Gustafson

Most importantly, I don’t want to just be another face in a yearbook. I want to be someone who people will remember for just being me.


By Brook Pippin

Probation is very difficult for me. I feel like it’s weighing me down,So much more every day. I believe some kids learn. I think I am one of those kids.But some don’t learn. Some families can’t afford probation, It’s not their fault their kids make mistakes; They need a break.


By Danielle Greer

Ever since I was little I’ve been close to my family, yet as I grew older I started to lose sight of how important they are. I started disrespecting my parents and never spending any time at home. I thought my friends were more important and more fun.


By Patrick Barry

I’ll be the Jack Kerouac for my generation, ‘Cause’ I think it’s time for some beatnick innovation...


By Katie Brockmann

A life, a life. Can be amusing. Fun and free, to do what you want. Enjoy it.


By Julia Marquez

In real life things don’t have outlines.


By Terranie Murphy

Children know that adults lack the answer to most questions.


By Omery Mutalange

The woman I most admire in my life is Ruth, the wife of Killion in the bible.

Coconut Kid

By Neha Sridhar

Giggling, Aditi grabs my hand and twirls me along as her ghagra’s elaborate mirror embroidery catches in colorful lighting.

To Mom: Inspired by Ocean Vuong’s Poem “A Letter to My Mother That She Will Never Read”

By Katie Stanos

But you need it, you said. I thought you wanted to be beautiful. I slammed my hands on the wheel of your Land Rover and pulled over to the side of the road near the big houses with green lawns and trampolines, Norfolk Way.

The Heaven We’ve Been Slouching Toward Is Not the Heaven

By Haley Renee Born

I feel that if I move from this spot I will die. But I take a step forward and don’t.

Forgive me father for I have sinned.

Never Gone: an essay on grieving

By Utsa Ramaswami

A lonely tear gently drifted its way down my cheek. I wasn’t sure if it was because my rabbit, Hopper, had just died, or because my brother, standing next to me, was also crying.

Out of Breath: an essay on travel

By Iris Dew

I stared at the adorable stuffed plush donkeys on the shelf. “Do you think I should get one for Tommy?” my aunt asked me, thinking about adding another plushy to her dog’s collection. We were in line for the cable cars in Santorini.

featured young adult writer: Rachel Franklin

By Rachel Franklin

What inspires you?

Bodies Revealed: A Non-Linear Essay

By Candice Ladd

“I am going on a diet,” she announced.
“But McKenzie, you're only six! Besides, you’re beautiful!” I shot back.
“But,” she insisted, “I need to lose weight.
“No, you do not. I’m your nanny, I know these things. Now eat your lunch.”

featured young adult artist: Michelle Willard

By Michelle Willard

Describe yourself in one word.


How did you get involved with the library?

I had a friend with connections.

What inspires you?

The Knowledge of the Holocaust

By Cachal Neuburger

I’m Jewish, and my grandparents were in the Holocaust and it would be really different if they weren’t. My grandmother has a really amazing story as do many other Jews and non-Jews.

Always a Bride, Never a Bridesmaid

By Brooke Shippee

I can handle Boogeymen. Pitched black darkness? Yeah, it doesn’t send a shiver down my spine. And spiders don’t scare me in the least. My childhood was never plagued with the ordinary fears that come with wiggly teeth and staying up past nine and times tables.

The Final Performance

By Katie Cox

Groping onto the handrail, I climbed the cold, metallic stairs, my leather shoes brushing against it. Filled with anxiety, I scurried along the concrete floor to the other dancers. The world around me was black; the blue velvet curtains created a cloak of darkness, like the night.

One Night in Kentucky

By Emma Malin

Outside there’s a blizzard. We’re on the highway but we’re not moving. There are cars all around us. Five hours, each churns by minute after minute. Nothing to do but stay in the car and watch the snow blow by and try to fall asleep.


By Hannah McCann

Reading should never just be
considered an option.
A life without reading, not
understanding words, only
spots on a page, with the power
to change worlds, but they’re
dead without a voice, no meaning
till they’re read.

Autobiographic Incident

By Anonymous

It was a mild day in the middle of the summer, not the type that glued your shirt to your back, but the type where the soft spoken wind whistled easy, breezy tunes if you weren’t too busy to listen. Me, being a kid, I was never busy.


By Skyler Pippin

I hate putting my family through pain
If I could wrong my rights I would be sane
Until that point I hang my head in shame

I wish not but blame myself

For what I did I know not
They know I do have faith
Even though I’m in this deep dark place


By Julia Marquez

In real life things don’t have outlines.


By Lauren Engelken

All I’ve ever wanted is independence from everyone and to live my own life. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never had that before living with a large family and controlling parents but it’s something I always long for.

featured young adult writer: Jaden Gragg

By Jaden Gragg

Jaden Gragg is 14 years old. Her writing submissions received the highest marks from our team of young adults. The poise and focus displayed in her writing is simply suburb. Jaden has three poems and one prose poem published in this issue.