THE MAP ROOM By Andy, Age 11

The Map Room
Book One of the Fire and Aqua Series

Soldiers collide and swords clang. Arrows whistle across the field. Captain Liu dodges them and tears through the forest. He makes it to Top Security Plant. He spots a guard, pulls a bottle of sleeping potion from his pack and sprays it at him. The guard drops to the ground and Captain Liu snatches his entry card and swipes it through the slot on the wall. The door opens and he sprints inside, triggering the laser defense system. Beams of red light shoot out of the walls, floor and ceiling. No way to get past, he thinks. He digs in his backpack for his book about how to disable laser systems. It says the only way to shut them down is to find a camouflaged button and hit it. He takes out his camouflage goggles and sticks them onto his eyes. He looks around until he spots a circle on the wall about the size of a fist. There’s no way to get to it without triggering the lasers. He removes a saw from his backpack and cuts out a hand-size chunk of brick. He throws it towards the button. The button clicks and the laser turns off.

Captain Liu runs down a hallway and calls for reinforcements on his walkie-talkie. The reinforcements show up bruised and cut up, but standing. Captain Liu spots a door labeled Map Room. He looks at his troops. “In here,” he says, turning the knob. It’s locked. “We need to ram this door open. Rip out that beam.” He points at the ceiling and the troops remove tools from their packs and hack away at the ceiling. Captain Liu and the reinforcements loosen the beam and lug it over their shoulders. They ram the door open and lasers shoot out of nowhere.

Captain Liu grabs a book called How To Make Laser Armor from his backpack and flips to the materials page. He tells the reinforcements to find the stuff listed. They scatter all over the building, collecting metal, helmets, thick cloth, indestructible leather, a pair of boots, and coal. They bring everything to Captain Liu and he assembles the things according to the instruction manual. First he grabs the metal and hammers it into a suit of armor. The reinforcements dig a hole in the floor and put coal in it. Sergeant Hull places a fire torch on the coal and Captain Liu lays the armor over the embers. The coal melts holes through the armor. Captain Liu works the rest of the metal into a helmet. He hot-glues the thick cloth into the inside for comfort. He equips Sergeant Hull with the armor and he proceeds to the map room. Captain Liu watches from the doorway. As Sergeant Hull walks through it, lasers reflect off the armor. Sergeant Hull walks in a circle through the room to make sure his armor is laser-proof then heads back out.

“The armor works,” Sergeant Hull says.

“Now,” Captain Liu says, “go inside and grab the map then come back out and hand it to me.”

Sergeant Hull strides through the door and darts across the room. He grabs the map from its pedestal. The door begins to close. He sprints back out of the room before it snaps shut and hands over the map. Captain Liu looks at it, rolls it back up. “All of you follow me,” Captain Liu says, running down the hallway. The entrance to the building slams shut. There’s no doorknob. They go back for the ram, drag it down the hallway, hoist it over their shoulders and run toward the door. The ram collides with the door and shatters. There is a combination lock attached to the door. Captain Liu types in some codes. None of them works. Sergeant Hull types one in. The door slides open. Captain Liu places a time bomb in the middle of the building and they run out.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Andy. I am eleven years old and I am about to turn into a sixth grader. I live on Polk Street in San Francisco with my dad, sister, baby sister, and my grandma. I am about to move to Chinatown. I am good at being a goalie in soccer, playing Hero Smash and running. When I grow up, I want to be a videogame designer because I like to play video games and I want to make a game that everybody would like. If I were a Greek God I would be Hermes because he is the God of thieves and the God of messengers. My favorite books are the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series because they tell you about the Greek Gods and there is a lot of fighting in them. If I could have a super power it would be super speed so I could explore the world easily. I am also the author of My Broken Wrist, Quan’s Head, and many poems.

QUAN’S HEAD By Andy, age 10

Quan sits at the edge of the basketball court while kids play basketball in front of him. They’re rough with the ball. Traffic screeches past the playground and roars through the Broadway tunnel. Quan worries about his head. He doesn’t have a real human head. He has a basketball for a head. Kids whisper and point at him. They might pull it off, he thinks. He wants to try to make friends with those kids so he won’t feel lonely anymore. He walks over to them and asks them if he could be their friend.

“Yes,” one of the kids says. “Do you want to play basketball with us?”

Quan says, “Yes.”

They play basketball. They all pant and sit down to drink water. A boy named Jim tries to grab Quan’s basketball head but misses. Quan thinks he is trying to get the ball from his hand but he realizes that he is trying to get his head. He drops the ball and runs away from the kids. He sits at the bus stop to wait for the #1 on Clay St. Birds fly close to his head and dogs bark at it. He looks at a wilted plant. At home he plays games on his computer. In one of the games cube people keep on busting into his house and taking his stuff. He makes a plan about how to get them to stop trying to take his head off. He stays up all night thinking.

The next morning he runs back to the basketball court and plays basketball with the same kids. He puts on a mask to prevent the kids from pulling his head off. The mask also protects him from dogs and birds. Jim is there again and he tries to take Quan’s head off again but he grabs the mask instead. Quan runs back to his house.

He cuts two seatbelts out of his car with scissors and gets two pieces of metal, drills holes in them, and screws in pegs. He attaches his new device to his mask and straps himself in. He rides the bus to the basketball court to play basketball again. Jim is there. He tries to take off Quan’s new and stronger mask.

He doesn’t succeed, but he rips the mask strap. Quan runs out of the court and goes back to his house. He goes to the garage to build more protection for the mask. Then he goes back to the park.

“Why is your head like that?” Jim says.

Quan notices a lump in Jim’s chest. “Why is your chest like that?”

Jim covers his chest with his hand.

“Huh?” Quan says. “What’s wrong with you?”


“What‘s wrong with you?”

“I have a baseball instead of a heart.” Jim starts to cry.

Quan takes off his mask.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Andy and I am ten years old. I live on Polk Street. I live with my mom, dad, grandma, and sister and this is my second published book. I like to play computer, basketball, ping-pong, and pay with my friends. I am good at videogames, knitting, drawing, and math. I want to be better at making friends. When I grow up I want to be an engineer because they get to fix electronics. Something I wonder is where did trees come from? Where did the first seed come from? If I were a planet I would be Jupiter because it has the most moons and one of them named Io has the most volcanoes. I wish that there were no more bullies.

My Names by Andy, age 9

My American name is Andy. My name means warrior. My mom named me that because it is short and easy to remember. My Chinese name is Liu De Hua. It means “moral china, Chinese.” My mom chose my Chinese name because it is the name of a famous singer in Hong Kong. I think my Chinese name does not fit me because I am the opposite of moral. I mess things up and get in trouble a lot. I like my American name because it means warrior and warriors go to war and I like war because it has violence and enemies.