Gabriella Haddad College
We bookworms each have our own roadmap,
so we choose different paths of discovery. Mine is always the
same. I walk into the Andover Bookstore, breathe in the dusty
sweet smell of books on the shelves, and make a beeline for the
fiction section. I walk past the A's, B's, and C's, knowing my
target lies within the J's. James, James, where are you James?
Who am I kidding? I know exactly where the James section is, but
to seem less James-obsessed I'll play the role of wandering patron.
And then I see it. Having finished The Turn of the Screw
(Four times, I might add) I couldn't wait to pick up Daisy
The title of bookworm can mean different
things to different people. Some assume bookworms are introverts
who live alone, convinced they don't need friends, as long as
they have their books. Others perceive them as pretentious people
who casually drop references to the works of Tolstoy and Shakespeare.
Neither stereotype fits me. I have a large circle of friends (who
never cease to make fun of my bookworminess), a happy-go-lucky
attitude, an extroverted, gregarious personality, and a busy life.
But every Saturday I give myself time for me. I sneak away into
the Andover Bookstore.
I'll read anywhere. It can be in the
backseat during a long family road trip, on fluffy green grass
during the spring or summer, curled up in my bed with a cup of
hot chocolate on winter nights; I'm not picky. But there's no
place like the Andover Bookstore. Much like the rabbit-hole in
Alice in Wonderland, the Andover Bookstore is a portal
that takes me from my quotidian life into different worlds. I've
seen a murder committed in Henry James' Turn of the Screw,
I've heard unfamiliar dialects and learned about racism in the
works of Mark Twain, and I've seen Jane Eyre come to respect herself
and mature. I can sit at the window seat reading for hours, while
whispering strangers walk by. Time passes slowly. At the Andover
Bookstore there's no rush, only books and always free lukewarm
coffee and stale animal crackers.
Zoe Xi Third Grade
I wont be inside much longer
to hear the sound of people on CNN talk
and the sound of computer keys clicking
I will also not hear the sound of paper rustling
and the fireplaces fire burning
I will not hear the sound of chairs moving
or the microwave beeping when the coffee is done
I wont hear the steamers whooshing when it makes buns
or the blender whirring when it makes strawberry smoothies
But I will hear the red robin chirping
and a gray Hondas tires splashing in a puddle
I will hear the neighbors poodle barking
and a lawnmower chopping grass
I will hear a womans sandals clicking on cement
and a freight train loudly whistling
I will hear leaves rustling in the wind
and men shouting in a soccer game
Id say to my friends, I havent
seen you since school
And Id say, What do you want to do?
Zoe Xi 4th Grade
Once, during mating season in June,
a female blue jay named Skylar, came searching for a perfect husband
who was big and strong like Skylars father. Skylar had imagined
her husband handsome, with a beautiful black ring around his neck
and a sharp beak. But none of the males were like that this year.
They were all small and weak. There was Casper, who was afraid
of his own dad. Casper lived in an old, not-used squirrel hole.
He spent his day pretending to be a woodpecker. There was also
Dexter who loved playing with the basketball down at the Feathertons
house. His favorite food was slugs and he loved smushing them
up with the basketball. The last choice was the twins, Drip and
Drop. Neither of them liked sharing. In fact, they spent most
of the day arguing about who would get the juiciest worms for
dinner. Drip usually got them, because he was older than Drop
by 7 minutes.
Skylar sighed as she looked around.
No one was suitable if she wanted to have strong babies. There
were also more female blue jays than males this year, so that
was a problem. There were eleven females and four males! Drip
was chasing two female blue jays. One of them appeared disgusted
and the other was happy to have found a male who liked her. All
the other males were also chasing blue jays and trying to impress
them by fluffing up their feathers and bobbing their head up and
down. Skylar stayed hidden in the branches of a tree. She thought
she might just stay single all her life.
Then Skylar noticed the clouds were
getting grayer and grayer. She also heard some thunder. But Skylar
was so annoyed there werent any good husbands that she didnt
fly for shelter. All of a sudden, lightening struck the tree she
was perched on. Skylar fell to the ground. Luckily she wasnt
injured. More lightening and thunder boomed in the sky and Skylar
began to try to find her nest, but the rain and wind was too powerful.
The Great Competition
Bird Research Story
Austin Wu Fifth Grade
It was a warm, sunny day and the city of Feathertown was bustling
with activity. The streets were crowded with people hurrying to
work. Cars cruised down the I89 while birds flitted in and out
of the trees, occasionally landing on a nearby branch. If you
took exit 6 and kept going forward, you would find Middle Road.
There, perched on a tree was Mockingbird the Magnificent. He circled
around his tree, did a double flip in mid-air and began to sing.
Witew-witew-witew, chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp, peer-peer-peer,
His mate, Peggy, poked her head out of her nest. Thats
beautiful, honey, but remember thats D sharp, not F flat.
I know, I know, Mockingbird said. I was just
warming up. He took a deep breath and sang again. Witew-witew-witew,
Better, said Peggy. But you might want to be
a bit more soft on the last note. Also you might want to
I GET IT!!!!!!! shouted Mockingbird.
Okay. Okay. Im just saying, said Peggy.
Mockingbird had been singing for three hours and was thoroughly
exhausted. I think Ill go to bed, Peggy, he
Sweet dreams, said Peggy.
As Mockingbird got read for bed, he thought about the time hed
won his very first singing contest. He had held up the golden
trophy in front of everyone, and the memory was sensational. Since
then, he had won many more contests, and he had the trophies to
prove it. This year, he was trying even harder because if he won,
he would be the first bird ever to win for the 7th time in a row.
However, Mockingbird was fairly certain that he would win, just
as he had over the past six years. And this year wont be
an exception, he thought as he gazed out at the starry night sky.
He ruffled his gray-brown feathers, tucked his head under his
wing, and fell asleep to the chirping of the crickets.
An Interpretation of Edward Hoppers
by Amanda Gimbel (Grade 7)
Gas, a painting by Edward
Hopper tells a subtle, but powerful story about the dangers of
technology. In todays world, mechanical advances seem to
be gradually eclipsing the people who created them. Even small
towns are un-navigable without cars to carry us from A to B and
business would be pointless if it werent for computers to
record our transactions. The painting shows an early but frighteningly
accurate portrayal of this need people have for their inventions
and how we may not really be served by them.
In Gas, a man stands beside
the gas pumps but our eye is not drawn to him. We see the pumps
themselves before the attendant beside them. Three huge figures,
they loom above him, commanding our attention. They stand almost
humanoid in appearance, robot-like with perfectly round illuminated
heads sitting atop tall, rectangular bodies, completely clothed
in bright red paint except for their lighted but blank faces.
The eerie feeling of their humanity is intensified by the fact
that they appear to have gender; the center pumps figure
is more feminine and wears a different yellow top.
The pumps are a stark contrast to the
man beside them. His garb is unremarkable, a suit of washed out
blue and gray and his appearance lacks any sparkle. He slowly
tends the machines, a tired and ordinary worker. His lackluster
fatigue causes him to hunch as he continues he task, casting a
shadow over his face that shields his eyes and expression from
At first this everyday scene is easy
to overlook, but Hopper uses every detail to imply a meaningful
conclusion. The contrast between the two, man and machine, hints
at a deeper tale. The gleaming faces of the pumps look forward
with sharp intent into their own bright futures, mocking the mans
dark and downcast visage. Their stance, completely erect, with
every sharp line straightened, gives his posture a feeling of
unfocused exhaustion and their bright red robes shame his poor
outfit. While the pumps are three-strong, there is only one attendant
and he lacks their powerful presence. Hopper warns us that our
inventions will, in time, outdate and outnumber us and we may
grow to serve them.
The environment that surrounds the
station also adds to the dark mood of the painting. A tension
between the forest, the abandoned road and the gas station gives
new magnitude to the message. The road separates the forest and
the station. No cars or people pass by, hinting that there may
be no need for the pumps and adding to the isolation of the man.
The unfriendly impending gloom of the dense forest, dwarfs mans
mechanical abode, perhaps showing that above-all, Nature will
reign and the earth will prevail over all out bright lights.
The Legend of Clyde McAdoo
By Larry Flynn (8th Grade)
The ground covered in snow
In a place not mine
The bitterness of the air
The enormous towering pine.
I only think bout what Im doin
Not bout what Ive done.
My tan timberland boots
Feel like they weigh a ton.
I creep behind the tree
Feel its rough hewn bark
Peek out from behind it and
See a land so stark.
Right in the middle of snow,
I see a bearded man
His eyes precise and staring
With a Colt .45 in his hand
He lifts the barrel slowly
Like hes got nothin better to do
But to wander round the woods
With a wad of tobacco to chew.
Hes so cold and heartless
Like this here snowy place
As he takes the gun and points it
So that death is in my face.
Okay you scoundrel and you fool,
You have nowhere to hide
So how bout you come out.
By the Law you must abide.
The words he uttered chilled my spine.
Yet I knew that I could win
If I went for my good ol Winchester
To commit another sin.
Author, Peggy Rambach, runs creative writing workshops in community education settings for the Healing Arts in health care, correctional facilities, ESL programs and immigrant support centers as well as offering assistance with lesson plans in professional development presentations for middle and high school teachers. She teaches memoir writing in medical schools as part of the curriculum in Narrative Medicine and Medical Humanities. Ms. Rambach is conveniently located for teachers, students and participants from throughout New England including the Vermont (VT) cities of Bennington, Burlington and Montpelier, the Maine (ME) cities of Portland, Gardener, Kennebunkport and York, the New Hampshire (NH) cities of Portsmouth, Concord, Manchester, Dover, Nashua and Rochester, the Massachusetts (MA) cities of Boston, Newburyport, Amherst, North Hampton, Salem, Beverly, Lawrence, Lowell, Haverhill, Gloucester, Plymouth, New Bedford, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Rockport, Hyannis, and Falmouth, the Rhode Island (RI) cities of Providence and Newport and the Connecticut (CT) cities of New Haven and Hartford.