TALL GIRL By Tran, Jessica C., Jessie, Wendy & Alex, ages 9-11
Inspired by Anne Waldman’s poem “Fast Speaking Woman.”
Watch Room 2 perform a Readers’ Theater adaptation of the poem here:
NOTHING By Wendy, age 11
MY FAMILY WHO TAKES CARE OF ME BUT ALSO MAKES ME CRAZY By Wendy, age 9
Gon-Gon, My Grandpa Who Tied Me Up and Cooked Like a Tornado and Died
One afternoon when I was four I was home alone with my grandpa. I heard loud music. I wanted to find out where it was coming from. I left my apartment and went downstairs. I got stuck in the little space where the mailboxes are, between the gate to the building and the door to go upstairs to the apartments. My brother Andy was at school. My parents were at work. The building manager found me. He brought me upstairs. He said, “Where is your apartment?” I led him there. My grandpa said, “There you are.” I told him what happened. He tied me with a rough, bumpy rope and twisted a knot on my dad’s door. He tied my hands and stomach. I cried. My grandpa went out to pick up Andy. I cried and cried until they came home. Then Andy untied me. I felt free now. The day went by, but I didn’t tell my parents. It’s complicated why. I didn’t want him to be punished and he got cancer anyway. I also loved my grandpa’s cooking! When he cooked he would whirl through the kitchen, rattling pots, clattering plates, shaking soy sauce, chopping Chinese sausages, cracking eggs, and steaming rice. The food smelled good but it was more interesting to watch Gon-gon work. My grandpa died January 11, 2010. I miss him even though he tied me up that one time because I loved his cooking so much.
Judy, My Sister Who Walks
My baby sister, Judy, was born on September 19, 2010. She is one now. She crawls through the jungle of our apartment, roaring. She slides on hands and knees across the table like an ice-skater. Judy is learning to walk and here’s how: she squats down. She lifts her hands and wobbles toward me. She falls. I take her hand, pull her up and she walks. Now she walks everywhere. Whenever I give Judy something to eat, I run away and she follows me because she thinks that I have more.
Andy, My Brother Who Broke his Wrist
My earliest memory about Andy is when he broke his wrist when he was eight. He jumped up and down on the bench at school. He fell and broke his wrist. An herbalist wrapped a cloth around his arm. The cloth smelled like garlic and onion. It felt like a bumpy road. The herbs didn’t work so he went to the hospital and got a cast. Andy probably felt weird with a broken wrist but I felt excited because it was the first time I saw a cast! Andy is a graduate of Room 2 and he wrote a book about his experience called My Broken Wrist.
My Mom and Dad Who Got Divorced
My parents got divorced. They used to silent fight sometimes. They argued so much that they got divorced. It was scary when they fought. One day my mom and my family (except my dad) moved to a new apartment in Chinatown. I wondered what was going on, but I didn’t say a thing. I left things alone. I like that I moved and I don’t like it too. I like that my mom and dad don’t have to fight anymore, but I don’t like that my dad is alone. He says, “I miss you and why don’t you come home?” I feel sad for him. I think there is a silent wall between my parents.
The Lady From Beijing Who is Demanding
A lady came from Beijing to live in my dad’s apartment. I don’t even know her name. The first time we met, her pretty dress swirled, defying gravity. In the car, she doesn’t like to wear a seatbelt. In the house, she doesn’t like messes. She doesn’t like to take off her shoes. She is demanding! She makes me get out her slippers from the shelf. I saw a picture of my dad and the lady holding hands and staring at each other. He was wearing a tuxedo and the lady was wearing a wedding gown. I think they got married and didn’t tell me.
Here are three things I wonder about her:
1. Is she a model in China?
2. How old is she?
3. Is she my dad’s wife?
She looks mean, but pretty. I am scared. I’m not even going to ask my dad if they are really married. My plan is to keep wondering and running away from my fears.
About the Author
Hi! My name is Wendy and I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco, sometimes in Chinatown with my mom and grandma, and my brother and sister, and sometimes on Polk Street with my dad. I speak Chinese at home. My family came from China, somewhere I have never gone. I would like to go there one day. I like to draw and I am good at running. When I grow up I want to be an astronomer. If I were to have one superpower I would choose the power of transformation because if I were falling I could turn into a bird. If I were to go back in time I would choose to go to the year 0 because I want to see Jesus Christ being born. I am also the author of Stung and Election Day
MORE PIGEONS! By Alex & Wendy, both age 9
On July 12 two pigeon nestlings hatched in the corner of the playground under a bench. They are from the rock dove family. Their scientific name is Columba livia. Today the nestlings are four days old. Their eyes are open and their down is starting to turn grey and they have started cooing. They cuddle together, looking cute.
Pigeon Eggs & Egg Care
The mother pigeon laid the eggs in a sloppy nest made of sticks and trash on the ground. Jose and Brandon found them while they were playing hide and seek.
Here’s what we learned about pigeon families: The father finds food at night while the mother sits on the eggs, then in the morning the father sits on the eggs while the mother looks for food. Pigeon eggs incubate for seventeen to nineteen days. After the eggs hatch, sometimes the parent sits on the nestlings and sometimes the babies are alone.
Crop milk is food for baby pigeons. It comes from both the mother and father pigeon. There is a special chamber in pigeon throats. This is where the crop milk comes from.
During the fledgling period the nestlings stay in the nest. The fledgling period is thirty days. At the end of the thirty days, the nestlings leave the nest.
Here is a video of the nestlings. It’s from the day they hatched.
ELECTION DAY By Wendy, age 9
“Oh no!” said Blossom. “The pancakes are burnt!” Flour was everywhere, eggshells cracked, and milk spilled all over the floor. Then she accidentally ran into the stove. Her hand swung into the flame. “Ouch!”
Her mom came into the kitchen. “I’m going to vote,” she said. “This mess better be cleaned up by the time I get back!” Blossom’s mom ran outside to catch the 19-Polk.
Blossom sighed as she walked past the mess in the kitchen. She went into the living room and turned on the TV. A news reporter said, “There is a monster attacking City Hall. It is red and eats people. The monster is now eating—Ahhhh!” Munch, munch. Blossom switched to another channel. She saw the monster stomping around the steps. The monster was as tall as city hall. Scales and spikes covered its skin. It grabbed people with its four long arms, shoved them into its mouth. Another TV reporter talked about how the monster wanted to be mayor because he loved loud noises like the Blue Angles. Blossom’s mom loved loud noises too! Blossom looked at the crowd of people on TV. Blossom’s mom and her friends were there, chanting! Vote for the monster! Loud noises, loud noises, Vote for the monster! Librarians were running out of the library across the street. It looked like they were saying, Shhh! Shhh, but nobody could hear them. Then the monster began to eat everyone up, whether they liked loud noises or not.
Oh my gosh! thought Blossom. My mother is there. I have got to save her. But how will I? Blossom smelled smoke. She turned around and looked into the kitchen. Flames danced from the stove to the curtains to the wall. “There’s a fire,” she yelled. Blossom called 911. There was no answer. She called again. “Still no answer, one last time.” Beep.
“You have called the police.”
“Hi, my name is Blossom and the house is on fire.”
“Ok, ok don’t yell,” the operator said.
“Fine,” Blossom said.
“Ok, we’re coming.”
Honk, honk. Blossom heard sirens and ran outside.
Splash, splash, splash, splash. The firemen knocked a hole through the wall and sprayed the hose into the kitchen. There was still a little bit of fire. Swoosh. The wind went through the new hole. Swoosh. The fire was getting bigger and bigger. They kept on spraying the hose.
The firemen said, “We need more water. There’s a fire hydrant across the street.”
Another fireman went across the street. He hooked up the hose and handed it to Blossom. “You have to finish this yourself,” he said. “We just got a call form City Hall. There’s a big disturbance and we need to get there quick.”
Blossom grabbed the hose and sprayed it into the kitchen. The flames disappeared and she ran inside. The kitchen was burnt and smelled smoky. The floor, counters and even the walls were all wet. “No time to clean this now,” Blossom said, hopping on her scooter. She scooted all the way to City Hall. Her brother Stephan was already there with some rope. He threw an end to Blossom, and she threw it around the creature.
Swing and swing.
“Got you,” said Stephan, pulling the creature across the steps.
“The more it eats, the more it grows,” said Blossom. “Keep pulling! Ok. Now squeeze that monster to death. Ok squeeze harder!”
Boom! The monster exploded. Jell-O flew through the monster’s eye sockets and landed in the park across the street. All the people the monster had eaten popped out of holes in his stomach. Blossom saw her mom on the steps covered in slime.
“Mom,” Blossom said. “Are you ok?” She ran to her and gave her a hug.
“I’m ok,” Blossom’s mom said. “Let’s go home.”
At home, the kitchen was still a disaster. “Sorry mom,” Blossom said. “It’s not cleaned up.”
“It’s ok,” Blossom’s mom said. “Let’s get dim sum.”
About the Author
Hi! My name is Wendy and I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, grandma, my brother, Andy and my little baby sister, Judy. I like to draw and I am good at running. When I grow up I want to be an artist. If I were weather, I would be snow because it never snows in San Francisco and I want it to snow here! My biggest wish is for my baby sister to learn a lot when she grows up and have a happy life. I am also the author of Stung.
LOVE THIS STORY? DOWNLOAD THE BOOK HERE, COMPLETE WILL ALL ILLUSTRATIONS!
I Whisper by Wendy, age 7
STUNG by Wendy, age 7
Lili was born with flowers instead of hands, and the only thing she wanted was to live in the sky. Her hands were petals that opened and closed so she could hold things. Thorns grew all over her wrists. When she dreamed, she dreamed about living in the sky.
One day her dream came true. She went to the sky in her dad’s spaceship. He was an astronaut and he kept a small spaceship in their garage. When she got to the sky she met a star. The star’s name was Fluffy and her last name was Star and she liked Lili’s flower-hands because they smelled like roses and reminded her of an old friend who gave roses once.
Fluffy lived in a sky city. It had big buildings and houses, shops and restaurants. Lili was excited because there were so many things to see. Lili thought that it was fun in the sky. Lili and Fluffy played ball and jump-rope. Fluffy said, “You could sleep in my house.”
Fluffy took Lili to her room in the sky and showed Lili her stuff. “This room is for you Lili,” Fluffy said.
Lili liked her room. Fluffy showed her the living room, kitchen and back yard.
Lili said, “Nice.” She saw a TV, lamp, flowers in a pot, toys and pet bees that lived in a plastic cage. Fluffy took the bees out of the cage and played with them. Lili was scared to touch the bees because they were attracted to the pollen on her flower-hands and she worried they might sting her.
“I want to go home,” Lili said.
Lili built a flying car to travel home. She used her thorns as tools to screw together all the parts. Lili said bye to Fluffy and Fluffy said bye to Lili. Then Lili went back home and went to sleep in her own bed.
About the Author
My name is Wendy. I’m seven years old. I live on Polk Street in San Francisco with my mom, dad, brother and grandma. I like to read. I am good at reading and writing. I want to be good at drawing. When I grow up I want to be an artist. I am different from other kids because I talk quietly but my grandma says I talk loud. If I were a star I would be the sun because it heats the earth. I wish my brother would get along better with me. This is my first published story.