TALL GIRL By Tran, Jessica C., Jessie, Wendy & Alex, ages 9-11

Tall Girl hops over kitten.
Kitten purrs.
Tall Girl twirls
around the playground.
Teacher screams,
“Watch out for the wall.”
Tall Girl gallops to the library.
The donkeys here kick 
books off shelves.
Tall Girl’s ear tears into 
four furry bits that hear:
1. Screaming
2. Stomping
3. Shuffling pages
4. Silence. Shh!
Tall Girl reads about how to
regrow sadness. She wants to be alone.

Inspired by Anne Waldman’s poem “Fast Speaking Woman.”

Watch Room 2 perform a Readers’ Theater adaptation of the poem here:

SEARCHING FOR HARUKO By Jessie & Liyi, both age 10

A wizard waved his wand and whispered gibberish. Joann ’s mother carried her, running up the stairs. She hid her baby under her bed, but it was too late. Their blood froze in their veins. Their lungs whitened and their brains melted. The wizard separated mother and daughter into different dimensions! Joann lived on earth and her mother lived in the magic world. 

“I’m sick of people telling me that I’m not old enough to find my mother,” Joann said. “We’re 14 years old! I want to find her!”

“I’m not sure about this because I have a feeling we might get lost,” Emily said.

“I’m going by myself then!”

“Ok then I’ll come with!” 

Emily and Joann ran into their closet and jumped through a shiny, black hole. It whirled like water down a drain. They slid into the portal, jumped out and ran to toward the castle in front of them.
“Remember when we were here to tutor Chika?” Emily said.
“Can we go to my mother’s house?” Joann said “She lives around here somewhere.”
Emily wandered to the castle wall. On the brick hung a poster that said, “This wizard is banned from this castle for doing his evilness.”                  
“I want to find my mom now,” Joann said. “I really miss her.” She handed Emily a jar of powder. Emily dusted it on herself. It sunk into her body, fading her skin and bone and muscle. Achooo!

They whistled. A swan swooped down from the air. They jumped on its back, and it flew gracefully and landed right next to the castle walls. Brownies bounced in the parapets. Their crimson eyes stared at the girls.
  “Stop right there!” the brownies said, frying the doorway with their laser eyes. 
The girls punched and kicked the brownies. Emily’s hair darkened, her curls tangling in the cold air. “Ahh my hair,” Emily said, brushing her split ends. A fat brownie lay on the ground in front of her, she pinched off a piece and gobbled it down.
The girls tiptoed to the back of the castle and put on the jetpacks they ordered from the Scholastic Book catalogue. Rings of smoke blasted from the packs. They flew into a yellow room where golden furniture shined. A glass desk walked to a corner and shattered.
“Wow!” Emily said. “This place is awesome. Whose room is this?” She opened a file folder on the floor. A picture of a man in  blue-striped glasses topped a stack of papers. The caption said Room 13J.
“He was on the poster,” Joann said. “That’s why he looks familiar. Let’s go to room 13J.”

Crack! Crack! Trails of blood led the girls to room 13J. They skipped to the door, stepping on gooey blood and glass.
“Oh no!” said Emily. “My shoes are getting dirty.”
“Who cares?” said Joann. “We’ll clean them later.”
“But the blood will ruin my shoes and it won’t come off!” 
Red stained the metal door in front of them. Creak!
“What was that?” asked Emily
“I don’t know, maybe it’s another ghost!”
They pushed through the door. Blood was splattered on a messy bed. Pieces of paper flew across the floor. The girls connected  two of the scraps and read the words on them. “Great Dragon’s Cave in Danger.”
Joann said, “I know where it is!”
“We’ve got to get there before he does!” said Emily.
The girls flew by jetpack to the cave. When they arrived, the rubies on the floor were disappearing. 
They returned to the castle and found a note that said, “Meet you in my room!” They ran to Room 13J. Piles of rubies stood around the wizard. “Ha, ha, ha! You will never stop me!”
“Oh yeah?” Joann flew into the air, snatched the wand from him and banged it on her knee. Red smoke drifted into the rubies. The wizard crumbled into ashes.

The girls left the castle and walked through the dirt outside. A woman in an apron stood in front of a fence. Joann walked up to her and said, “Can you tell me where Miss Mash is?”
“I am Miss Mash, Haruko Mash,” the woman said. “Why are you in my boss’s yard?”
Gummy worms squished across the coco dirt. Haruko scooped up a handful and threw them over the fence then planted some candy cane bushes around a gurgling chocolate fountain. A galaxy of candy hung by skyscraping stems. 
Joann, amazed, said, “You’re my mom! Come with me!”
“No,” Haruko said. “I want to stay here where I can see candy grow!”
“Come with me!”
“I’ll think about it.”
About the Authors
Hi! My name is Liyi. I am ten years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom. I’m good at hoola-hooping and math. I want to be good at art someday. I want to be a nurse when I grow up. I’m not shy anymore but I still hold on to that shy identity. If I were weather I would be snow because it is my favorite color. My favorite books are Popularity Papers. If I could have a super power I would pick mind-reading because I then would know what my friends are thinking. I speak Chinese at home. This is my third published book. I also wrote The Beautiful Lady and When I Was Little.

Hello! My name is Jessie and I’m ten years old. I live with my parents and I like to daydream and sit and watch others. I’m good swimming and math. I want to be good at science and drawing humans. I want to be a pharmacist someday. I’m different from other people because I chatter a lot but I finish my work. My favorite book is Camille Mcphee Fell Under the Bus. If I could have any power I would go back in time so I could fix my past mistakes. I speak Chinese and English at home. I have also published A Dangerous Day in King Tao’s Palace and Hair Help. Of course, this is my third published book.

Watch Room 2 actors perform a Readers’ Theater adaptation of this story here:

THE FOOT SMELLERS By Pradipti, age 9 & Jessica C., age 8

Fog floats through the air. Snowmen and women slither through the snow. Aunney Dumpbe Dobay opens the door. Fog drifts into the house. Auney looks a little mean but pretty. Whenever someone gets mad at her she always slaps herself in the face and leaves a red hand mark. In front of new boys Aunney acts graceful and smart. In class she helps the boys do math problems. Someone must like her. Someone who is mean like Aunney.       
“Are you making a blizzard in the house again?” asks Aunney’s twin sister, Tunney Dumbe Dobay. 
Aunney stomps and crosses her arms. “Hey, don’t you say that.”
Mommy!” says Tunney, stomping her feet.
“So I’m telling dad. Daddy!” cries Aunney.
“Mom. She brought in snow again!” Tunney yells, jumping around like a baby. Tunney raises her eyebrows.
Whenever any of the Dobay family walk or run they leave slimy green trails that are invisible to the living. Every night they get out of their tombs and leave gooey pathways right across the roof of Feastwill Elementary School!
Aunney squeezes Tunney’s neck until she leaves red fingerprints then she pushes Auney down onto the foursquare court and runs. Their parents shout from the bench. Their mom jumps up and slaps Tunney in the back. Their dad runs over and slaps Aunney in the back. 
“Stop it dad you’re making it worse! Ha!” screams Tunney.
“Shoot!” says their dad. “How am I making it worse?” 
The twins’ mom slaps both girls in the face! “Gugu shoot!”
“Oh sorry we slapped your body,” say Mr. and Mrs. Dobay.
Mrs.Dobays wobbles to the house and jumps onto the bed.
When Mr. Dobay gets home he kicks the bed and now it is rolling across the room.
“Help! Help!” cries the twins’ mom. 
“Why did you scold me?” asks the girls’ dad.
“No. No No. NO!” scolds Mrs. Dobay and then burps in his face!
He sticks his tongue out.
While Tunney is sleeping Aunney wakes up and gets a fake rattling snake! Its scales thumble next to Tunney’s nose. The snake makes the sound, SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
“Ah! Help me Aunney!” Tunney says.
“What happened, Devil? Ha?” shouts Aunney.
“A snake! A SNAKE!”
A sound rattles in the room.
“Don’t worry. The toy snake makes sounds sometimes.”
“No, it’s something else.”
Something shuffles in the snow Aunney tracked across the floor.
A bottle jumps into the girls’ bed.
“Ah!” shout the girls. “That’s so scary!”
Some words write themselves on the bottle. The words say: It’s us! Foot Smellers 1 and FS 2! Meet us at school!
“Well,” the girls say, “we don’t know you, Foot Smellers, so go away!”
Pom pom. The bottle shatters and the broken pieces of glass hop out of the room. Soon the girls are asleep. 
In the morning the Dobay family eats bowls of darkish colored, icy junk food and the girls go to school.  In the girls’ bathroom it smells like socks on feet and socks in shoes. The little black rat door underneath the sink cracks open and….KABOOM!! A bottle shatters and the Foot Smellers appear.
“Hello! Remember us? We’re the Foot Smellers!”
“Yeah!” the twins say. “But we will see you after school. We would met you at recess but we are going on a field trip to the beach because today is the last day of fourth grade.”
After school the sisters meet the Foot Smellers.
The one with white eyes says, “I am Bookee.”
The one with rotten teeth says, “I am Smukee. La La you fart too much, Tunney.”
Bookee says, “And Aunney, you burp too much.”
The Foot Smellers slither out of the bathroom and through the snow on the playground. They find their little bottle in the snow and jump in.
Words write themselves on the glass. Hi how are you? If you dare to open this bottle you have to be brave as a dragon! Howdy my dear! You have nothing to fear! My dear, now go! The Foot Smellers have nothing to eat! 
The twins hop and rollerskate through the telephone wires to their secret hiding place. Their family is having a party there. Soon the whole family starts crying. They sing, ”Salut comment allez vous? Si vous osez ouvrir cette bouteille, vous devez être méchante comme une sorcière! Ma chère Howdy nouveau. Vous avez nohting à craindre! Mon cher, allez maintenant! Les Smellers pieds n’ont rien à mauger!”
“Ha HA HA HA HA HA!” The bottle is back! It wiggles and jiggles. Glitter sprinkles out and into the girls’ noses. Jangle, tangle, and Kaboom! The girls return to death.
About the Authors
Hello! My name is Jessica. I am eight and a half years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom and dad. I am good at drawing. I love to read spooky stories and I like to knit. My family comes from China. I was born in Toisan but I haven’t been back since I was a baby. I would like to go there because my dad came back from China and brought back a pack of dried plums that cost 100 dollars! I didn’t know there could be such expensive fruit. My favorite Room 2 author is Pradipti because she is my best friend. My favorite book is When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne because it has lots of interesting poems. If I were weather I would be snow because I love white. The thing I was wondering is when did life on earth begin and how did the world start? When I grow up I want to be botanist and an astronomer and a sushi chef. I would like to be famous for art. I am different from other kids because I am small. The scariest thing in my life was when I thought there was a ghost behind me in the girls’ bathroom. If I could go back in time I would go to 2004 because I would like to see what I looked like when I was a baby because all of my baby pictures are in China. If I were a plant I would be a chrysanthemum because it is really soft and pretty. If I had a superpower I would like to control things with my mind so I could make objects float to me. I speak Taishanese and Cantonese at home. The happiest day of my life was when my cousins came back from Los Angeles. I am also the author of Things I left Behind. This is my second published book.
Bonjour, my yummy candies! I hope you enjoyed our story! This my last published book so please enjoy it! My name is Pradipti. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, brothers, sisters, and my dad! I am in the same class as Jessica Chen in 3rd grade, Room 10 with Ms.Karihara. Our CDC teachers in Room 2 are Robyn and Harold. I love to joke around. I am good at yelling. That is why I get in trouble a lot! I want to be good at ELA someday. I want to be a lawyer when I grow up. This is why I joke around. I get sad when people say, “You are a midget!” If I were weather I would be snow because I love snow. My favorite Room 2 author is JC because she is my best-best friend! My favorite book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because it has chocolates! I would like to be famous for my art someday! One thing I always ask my mom is, “Is it true we only have seven lives?” The happiest day of my life was when my new baby sister was born! I speak English, Tamang and Nepali at home. My family comes from Nepal and I was born there. If I could go back in time I would be a baby again so I wouldn’t have to worry too much. If I could go forward in time I would go to the end of the world. I would like to go all over the Earth. I love spooky books. If I were a plant I would be Rhododendron because it is pretty and it is Nepal’s national flower. If I were a machine I would be a weather machine because I want it to snow in San Francisco! If I had a power it would be the power of invisibility. I am also the author of Wishing Factory. This is my second published book and my last published book in Room 2!  

Watch Room 2 perform a Readers’ Theater adaptation of this story here: