Fairmount 2013 Winners

THANK YOU to all the students from Fairmount Elementary School who entered the Friends of Noe Valley WORD WEEK writing contest. And CONGRATULATIONS to the selected prize winners!

Come celebrate with us and hear these student authors read their stories and accept their prizes on Sunday, March 17th from 3-5pm at the Noe Valley Library.

By Bella Paterson 

A mystery you are
You stretch so far!!!!
Your bodies are very round,
You were found underground,
Under your mound.

The Junipers
by Juniper Easa-Murphy

Nice Juniper was having something special at her school.  It was that she was going to make a real rainbow in the sky because she was going to use a ladder. There are three Junipers: Nice Juniper, Medium Juniper, Mean Juniper. Medium Juniper is the one you see. Mean Juniper is invisible. After school Nice Juniper she goes on a trip. After school Medium Juniper goes to a lot of different places. Mean Juniper even though she’s invisible she goes to school at the same time as Nice and Medium Juniper and Mean Juniper ends school at the same time as Nice and Medium Juniper. Mean Juniper after school she goes to Gymnastics even though she is invisible.  She is even the only person in her Gymnastics that’s invisible.

Emily’s Not-So-Secret Secret
(Book 2 of Emily’s Secret)
By Alyssa Jayne Rowe

“Goodbye,” screamed Emily as she rushed to the door to head to school. The slam of the door rattled their little house as she ran out.

Walking down the little road, down the two blocks to her school, she finally saw her best friend Katherine up ahead in the distance.  Not to mention her only friend.  Well, she liked the other kids and all, but they didn’t seem to like her. There were some she didn’t mind, but then there were others, like Ginger.  But today was odd. As she got closer to Katherine, people stared and whispered. One of the kids in the 8th grade yelled “alien” and everyone laughed.  As Emily approached, Katherine saw her and buried her head in her jacket.

“Odd,” Emily muttered to herself. Now close enough for Katherine to hear her, the first words she spoke were “what’s going on?”  Katherine lifted up her head from her jacket and blushed. Emily swore she saw a tear, but she blinked and it quickly turned into a reflection of the light.

“Hey,” whispered Katherine.

“Hi,” said Emily. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, why would you think something is wrong?” Katherine said very fast, then blushed and buried her head in her jacket again. When she again looked up, she turned around and hurried off.

“Wait,” Emily yelled. But it was too late. Katherine was already gone.

And the day only continued to get worse. In History class, the teacher picked on Emily to answer a question she had no idea what it meant.

“Well,” said Ms. Fig, “we’re waiting.” Ms. Fig taped her fingers on the chalkboard.

“Umm,” said Emily nervously. She did not like it when people stared at her. Sixty beady eyes stared at her, watching. Some were even laughing.

“What was the question again?” asked Emily. The whole class laughed until Ms. Fig yelled “silence!”  The class stopped. “If you had eyes, you would realize it is on the board,” said Ms. Fig.

“Oh,” Emily said glumly. She glanced up at the board. To some people, you would see the words:  Who started the War of 1812 and why?  But that’s not what Emily saw. She saw scrambled letters that looked like alphabet soup or like they had been blended in a blender.  Emily could feel her blood rush up to her face.

“Nine,” she said nervously. The whole class laughed like a pack of hyenas.

“Emily, parent-teacher conferences are coming up soon. You cannot be a clown in class, understood?” said Ms. Fig.

“Yes, Ms. Fig,” replied Emily.

Emily looked over at Katherine, who sat next to her. She could tell Katherine was trying her best not to make eye contact with her.

After class, Emily went to her locker and found the word “Alien” and the letter “9”spayed across it in red paint. But Emily had to ask Katherine what it said.

Just then, Emily felt a hand on her shoulder as warm and soft as her little cousins. When she turned around, she saw Ginger. You may ask who Ginger is. If Emily had to describe her, she would say:  she is an overdressed monkey, with too much makeup and the brain the size of a flea.

“Your little secret is not a secret anymore,” said Ginger, as she walked around Emily like a tiger searching for her dinner.

“What do you mean?” Emily asked.

“Don’t play dumb, Emily, or is that even your real name? Are there any more secrets you would like to tell us?” asked Ginger.

Suddenly it felt to Emily like a group of lions were huddled around two gazelles. What was going on, thought Emily. How did they all find out?

“Your little friend told us everything,” said Ginger with a sneer.

Emily looked over at Katherine. Her eyes were watering, but Emily could tell she was denying the fact.  An 8th grader begun cracking his knuckles. Is this how it’s going to be for my next years here at this school? thought Emily. Will I be known as the alien who sits in the front of the class, the one part of the classroom the other kids are always trying to avoid?

“Come on Elizabeth, tell us,” shouted Ginger.

“My name is Emily, and for your information I am not an alien!” the words quickly coming out of her mouth before she could even think.

Just then the hall went silent. Emily could hear the wind blow by, like it was rushing through the trees. It was a sign. She ran for it, down the hall, around the corner and into the girls’ bathroom. Quickly she ran into one of the bathroom stalls, shut and locked the door behind her before moving herself into the back corner.

Five minutes later, a familiar voice said “Emily, are you okay?”

She did not reply.

“I know you are in there,” the familiar voice said. “I’m sorry, can you ever forgive me?”

Emily opened the door of the stall to let her in. Katherine rushed in to hug her. “I’m so sorry, it’s true and it’s all my fault,” cried Katherine.

“It’s alright” said Emily still crying. “I know it’s hard to keep a secret.”

“Well, I’m just sorry that I didn’t tell you earlier,” said Katherine.

“It’s alright, what really matters is that we are still friends,” sniffled Emily. “Plus it takes a real friend not to tell me.”

“What do you mean?” asked Katherine

“I mean that is takes a true friend not to be able to tell their friend something that may hurt them,” explained Emily.

“Oh,” said Katherine, “I never thought of it that way.”

After Emily regained her strength to leave the bathroom, it was already lunchtime.  And Emily was happy about that. She had grown quite the appetite after all the events of the morning. She ate her sandwich so fast it vanished in the blink of an eye.

After lunch in Geometry class, Ginger and some of the other students were called out of class to go down to the principal’s office.  When they returned, they all approached Emily to say they were sorry. They also told her that the students who had spray painted her locker would be staying after school to clean it off. Emily smiled, and inside she felt a sigh of relief knowing that she would not have to return to school tomorrow to face those painted remarks on her locker.

To Emily’s surprise, the next morning in Ms. Fig’s class, Ms. Fig started the day by saying “Now class, I understand from what I have been told from the other teachers and the principal, was that there was a terrible incident yesterday. Some of you may not know what dyslexia is, so I think it is best if Emily could please tell all of us.”

At that moment, Emily could no longer feel her legs, but she could feel her heart pounding so hard against her chest.  Slowly Emily stood up and approached the front of the class.  “Um,” she began. “Dyslexia is not contagious.” She then paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. “Well, you see, dyslexia is like when a cord in your brain is broken or misplaced,” started Emily. “Think of it like a plug. When the cord is plugged in everything is working, but when it is not, like mine, everything does not work correctly. So it makes it hard for me to read and write. A lot of people have dyslexia and I am one of them. It is pretty difficult to live with. It comes with you like an accessory when you are born.” Emily swallowed deeply then continued. “I have to live with it for the rest of my life.” Emily then glanced down at her feet. “And you guys teasing me, well it’s not helping. How would you feel if it were you?”

Emily could see that Ginger’s face had quickly turned bright red. “The only people who understand are my mom and Katherine.” Emily could see that Katherine had begun to tear up again. “When Katherine found out, she stayed and helped me unlike my father who left my mom and me when I was only six.” Emily blinked a bit to hold back her tears. “But Katherine stayed by me, and I would like to thank her for always being there for me.”

The entire class started clapping. Emily quietly bowed and then rushed back to her seat next to Katherine.

“Thank you,” whispered Katherine.

“Why should you be thanking me?” asked Emily. “I should be the one thanking you.”

The two girls embraced, and Emily whispered into Katherine’s ear “You are the best friend I will ever have.”

“You too,” replied Katherine.

From that moment forward, Emily went to school with a smile on her face, knowing that everyone would now understand. Maybe not fully understand, but enough for Emily not to be afraid.

By Ava Toomey-Cordeiro


When I was small
I thought the
Earth would split
in two
from human wars.

I thought the
Earth would go
in flames
or break into a
million pieces…or something.

But then I noticed
how clean rain washes
blood away
from the battlefields,
and the wind plants
wildflowers there so
you would never guess
there had been
fear, and hatred, and sorrow

I noticed how
grass grows on
the old rusted
turning it into
a bump in the
dirt, covered with
green plants.

I learned that
the Earth can
change something
horrible into something
I learned the
Earth can close its
but I also learned
the Earth can’t
go on healing
itself forever.

The Shadow and Its Purpose
by Louise Michel

    IT WAS DARK IN PINECREEK. A Shadow moved silently through the dense wood. The Shadow clutched a knife.

A knife is usually held for a purpose. One simply doesn’t hold a knife for pleasure. (And if you did, let me inform that that is improper etiquette.) If one held a knife, it might be, and most probably be, for cutting. Cutting things such as parsley, ropes, wood, etc. But in unfortunate circumstances, one might also want to kill.

Neither of these things were true for that knife, for better or for worse. That knife was a key. And you will say, “Oh, you must be mistaken! A key cannot be a knife, and a knife a key!”

Such things are said in the woeful state of ignorance, ego, and lack of imagination and/or logic. But that unfortunate state of mind does not mean that it is not true.

And the fact that this was a key is true.

The Shadow crossed the river to Pinecreek through the trees overhead, and went on.

Like the knife, this Shadow also had a reason, a purpose. In fact, we all do, and some don’t know it. But the Shadow knew its obscure, unknown  purpose. It wanted to use the key, but why and how are the questions to ask. And using a key is what one does (unlike almost every other thing the Shadow does).

“What did it want? What did it do? What is it?” you will ask. And I wish I could tell you, but the answer is simple.

I, Writer, do not know. The Story must unfold.


Read the 2012 winning stories!

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