Writing by Don, age 11

The Swirl Up
By Don

If oil were monsters,
Then radiation would be Bigfoot,
If monkeys were kids,
Then lions would be clowns.
If cars were cartoons,
Then go karts would be movies.
If yogurt were markers,
Then ice cream would be crayons.
If tennis balls were brains,
Then golf clubs would be ears.
If snakes were cupcakes,
Then tigers would be popsicles.
And I would eat them
and they would
like frozen fury.

My American Name

My American name is Don Duy. “Don” means “great chief.” My dad named me that for no reason but it was a great name for me. I like my name because it was the name of a king of Viet Nam. My mom told me that.

My Vietnamese Name

My Vietnamese name is also Don Duy. It means “responsible dragon.” My dad named me this too. He chose this name because I’m like a warm hearted animal or creature who helps citizens or villagers. That would be a good day dream if that had really happened. My parents don’t get along so I don’t see my dad that much even though he named me. I miss my dad and sometimes I feel like one person alone.

Bullies Vs. Black T-shirt Kids by Don, age 11

Chapter 1
Fight, Fight, Fight!

“Come on,” said Boxhead. “Show me what you got, wimpy.”

“I’m ready for my rematch,” said Gamer.

Boxhead ran to knock down a row of kids in black t-shirts then he saw a banana peel. He tried to stop but his legs just kept on going and he slipped on the peel, his feet twisted and he bumped his head on the ground. He got sent to the nurse then he headed to the principal’s office, tattling on the banana peel. He saw one more kid in a black t-shirt through a window in the hallway. Before another one of the bullies could punch the last survivor, the bell rang. Ding-ding, ding-ding.

“Aww,” said a boy who was in no one’s group. The kids called him…. well they just called him, The Man. He always exercised and beat up people all day, just like the bullies do, but sometimes he took a break by playing video games. Sometimes The Man would act normal then change his attitude. He might be acting crazy like a monkey, just like the kids in the black t-shirts did. Other times he would enter eating contests. Once he ate 900 corn dogs. He didn’t vomit. He only burped. So it was hard for him to choose which group he’d be in. He just had a table all by himself because the girls needed to be with other girls and the boys had to sit with other boys and everyone sat with their own clique. The Man didn’t have any buddy. But one day his life would change forever.

“So, The Man,” said Boxhead, “Who do you choose to be with?”

Chapter 2
I Don’t Know

Hmmmmmmmmmm, The Man thought, “I don’t know.”

“What!” said both the bullies and the black t-shirt kids. “You don’t know which one to join?!”

“Wait,” said The Man. “I think that there will be a winner in this war.”

“Dun-Dun-Dommmmm,” said a guy.

“Who agrees to fight in a war, right here, right now?” said The Man.

“We call team bullies,” said the bullies with some tough players.

“We call team Black t-shirts,” said the kids in the black t-shirts. They always threw gum and paper towels all over the bathroom.

“Great,” said The Man. “We all have teams.”

“But The Man didn’t pick a team yet,” said a kid. Now there was a bunch of commotion.

“Ha, that’s because I’m not a team player, you … well never mind, anyway, I’m the umpire of this war,” said The Man. “Anyway, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah and so on, this war is a water war, so let’s just begin!”

Chapter 3
Let the War Begin!

Both teams set up their bases and then The Man told everyone about the rules.

“Rule one,” he said. “We have a line here and if anyone crosses it, they’re out. Rule two: If you have any cheats in your backpack right now to trick people, throw them away now! Rule three: If anyone splashes water on me, they’re ou—“

“Will you get on with it!” yelled all the bullies.

“Yeah,” said the black t-shirt kids. “We have been standing here empty-handed for hours!”

“Ok, ok, enough!” said The Man. “Ok, when I say ‘go,’ you can begin. Go!”

Chapter 4

Well, about half of the boys didn’t listen really carefully about the rules. They cheated by throwing balloons that made people turn into blocks of ice. The balloons were full of ice water if they were using Freezing Balloons, and Following Balloons were made using special remote control technology that had something to do with satellites, microchips, and electricity. How you work the Following Balloon is to first connect a long wire (when you have the time to rest) to the satellites, but it will make the person who owns the satellite get their favorite show to a fizzle. Next, disconnect the wire and place it on the remote control until all electricity data is complete. Then, this is a tricky one, try to stick the microchip inside the balloon while you blow air inside the balloon. When the chip is on, try to connect the remote control to the chip and get ready for excitement.

Both of the teams, Team Black T-shirt and Team Bullies, were afraid of the war and wanted to have The Man in their groups. So they had to use cheats to win the war quickly. One of the bullies was hit with cold, freezing water and got out. There were six people left from the Black T-shirt kids and five people from the Bullies. Then they had a lunch break to eat lunch for an hour. Some crossed the line and other made The Man wet. His mother came out of a bath store with extra supplies for home and headed to Firebird Elementary School. But before she opened the gate, she saw The Man all wet. So she raced through the gate and took The Man home to go take a bath about ten times. You see that’s why it’s important to have your ears turned on. The boy from the Black T-shirt team who threw the balloon at The Man was out! They should have listened to the rules! The next round will be Round two. This was the juiciest war ever!

Chapter 5

“Take that,” said Boxhead, who threw a balloon on one of the Black T-shirt kids.

“You’re out,” said The Man.

“Bummer,” said Boxhead. Then two balloons splashed two bullies.

“Out,” said The Man, “Oh and double bummers!”

“Wah,” cried the two bullies.

“Time out,” said The Man. Everyone, except for the two bullies who got hit in the head and cried liked big fat goo-goo gaga babies, went to eat a delicious, healthy, crunchy snack. When they finished eating, the Black T-shirt Kids had two kids still alive. The Bullies had only one person—that was Boxhead. Hooray- I mean, poor not guilty, independent, weak, useless, non-cheapskate, horrible, too many adjectives to describe this noun called bullies. But this wasn’t over yet.

Chapter 6

The Man was now completely nervous. Now listen carefully, I won’t repeat it again. “First, I’ll won’t call myself The Man anymore,” The Man said. “I could call myself, umm… … maybe I’ll call myself …” sigh. “Mr. Chilly Boy. Second, I would go through a sewer to get out of this strange state. Last, I will write a note. It will say, Sorry but I’ve abandoned you for the rest of your life, Ciao.

Chapter 7

“Hey, who is Mr. Chilly Boy?” said Boxhead, puzzled about the name change.

“Must be The Man,” said Gamer. “Who would… hey, he abandoned us!”

“Nooooo!” yelled Boxhead.

“Would you like some water?” said an unknown girl.

“Yesssss!” yelled Gamer. “It’s because I’m really thirstyyyy!”

“Let’s get that traitorrrrrr!” said all of the boys.

Chapter 8
Questions & Answers

1.How will Mr. Chilly Boy escape?
2.When will this madness end?
3.Who was that girl?
4.Why am I asking you all these questions? I’ve never even met you before.

1. Mr. Chilly Boy will need to get some people to help him escape from the angry mob of boys.
2. The madness will continue or end soon.
3a. The unknown girl is one of Mr. Chilly Boy’s siblings.
3b. She’ll be in my next story.
4. I won’t answer the last question because I don’t want to be mean to the god or the angels anyway.

About the Author

Hello, my name is Don and I’m eleven and I live in an apartment in San Francisco with my mom. And this is my fifth published book. My other books are The Iceman, The Boy Who Brought Back Winter, Bus Stop Fight, and My Mom. What I like to do is to play my DS a lot. I’m really good at math and basketball. I want to be good at baseball someday. I want to be a math teacher when I grow up. If I were an animal, I would be a tiger because I was born in the year of the tiger. My first, middle, and last name start with the letter D so some people call me triple D. My biggest fear is hiking and bugs (don’t use the bug to scare me). I wonder if the next earthquake is coming soon.

My Mom By Don, Age 10

My mom’s name is Thuy Le. She was born in Vietnam on January 3, 1970. She lived in Saigon, Danang, Hue and Hanoi. During the war, she went underground with her family. Her father dug a hole for them to hide in. He dug it with his bare hands. It was dark and there were slimy worms and bugs there, and poisonous spiders that don’t make webs. Her family was scared and nervous.

When my mom was a kid, she used a bicycle for transportation when. She played a lot of different games like jump rope and dominoes. She has five siblings. Her favorite food was noodle soup, rice and veggies. She went to school.

She came to San Francisco on June 9, 1996. She got married and her husband really wanted to move here. San Francisco felt like a second home to her and she wanted to go back to Vietnam. She missed all her friends and family and restaurants with pho. Her favorite part of her first day here was watching cars go over the Golden gate bridge. The bridge was the thing that surprised her most about San Francisco too because it is so big and the word golden was interesting to her.

My mom likes to cook food for me. Cooking is her hobby because it tastes so good and it makes her family happy!

My mom is a manicurist. She likes getting paid from her boss, but the bad thing about her job is when clients cancel appointments. She was nervous on her first day of work. The day felt so long and she couldn’t wait to get home.

If she could have any superpower, she would choose super flexibility. Why? Because she would be able to help people fast.

About the Author

My name is Don. I’m ten years old. This is my fourth published story. I am also the author of The Iceman, The Boy Who Brought Back Winter, Bus Stop Fight and many poems. The hardest thing about this project was asking my mom questions and writing her answers down in my journal. All the translating was hard. The most interesting thing I learned is how my mom’s dad dug a hole with his bare hands for his family to hide in. I also learned my mom wanted to have fun in her new country but she also misses her family in her old country. My mom taught me that crying will not make me brave or make me get any friends.

The Iceman By Don, age 9

Joe and his brothers Nick and Chip were in boat to Iceland. When they landed, they put the boat in a safe place. A sign said DANGER: ICEMAN, but they didn’t care. While they slept, they heard a sound.

“What was that?” said Joe.

“I don’t know,” said Chip.

Joe checked the boat and he saw the Iceman and he escaped. Now only one Nick and Chip were left. They heard another sound. Then someone shook the ice outside. It was the Iceman. He was twenty feet tall. He was stinky from eating scarecrows and he was covered in ice.

Nick and Chip ran into a dead end. They had some bombs left over from the war against the Germans and some other weapons too. They tried to kill the Iceman but he was too quick. He came up in back of them. He picked them up and Chip escaped, but he grabbed Nick and gobbled his heart out and ate his brain. Nick’s leftovers looked like a hotdog in a bun with ketchup. When he got chewed up it sounded like crunching potato chips. The Iceman ate Chip last and Chip transformed into the Iceman after he got eaten because his heart was the same size as the Iceman’s. Chip turned white and he grew white fur everywhere on his body and he was mad.

About the Author

My name is Don. I have a Playstation 2. I am nine years old. I live with my mom in San Francisco. I have been to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Vietnam. The Iceman is my first published book.