Underdog

He launches my swing into the air so I can feel the freedom and the height and the potential He holds me up, in the air and in his eyes Delivering as much strength as he can muster Until I get “too big” for the swingset, and we have to shift indoors   He records all those early moments through…

Hometown

I know the speed limit of every road, but I don’t recognize the new development where the farm used to be. Will I ever come back? And if I do come back, will I forever know the speed limits, or will someday I forget? And if I do forget the speed limits, will I someday…

Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

What it is: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is a young adult novel about twins and talented artists Jude and Noah. The two start off extremely close, but challenges in adolescence (including family, spirituality, romance, betrayal, and death) cause tension as they compete with each other. Meanwhile, they must discover their artistic selves and navigate…

18 Things I Learned at 18

Today is my 19th birthday. Every year I feel like I’ve been that age FOREVER and it’s weird to finally become another year older, since I constantly feel older than my birthdate indicates. But here I am. 19. It’s been a hard year. Let’s just say it was a lot easier to come up with…

Review: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

What it is: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini follows the story of Craig Gilner, a 15-year-old boy with depression. He goes to a highly competitive high school and finds himself struggling with schoolwork, friend conflicts, and an inability to sleep and eat. Suicidal, he checks himself into the psychiatric ward of the…

Review: Lost At Sea

What it is: Lost At Sea is a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame) about a girl named Raleigh who goes on an unintentional post-graduation road trip and ends up discovering deep connections with three new friends and with herself. What I liked about it: Basically everything. I’m a sucker for a good road trip…

Review: We Need New Names

What it is: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo is a story about Darling, a young Zimbabwean girl who has the opportunity to leave behind her poor, corrupt country to try to make a new life in the USA. It’s a tale of growing up, but Darling also has to acclimate to a new culture while…

I Remember #3

I remember the photo I should’ve taken–two teenage girls in plaid skirts chatting and leaning on a police barricade as if it was no big deal. I remember the bizarrely empty 2am bus. I remember not expecting forgiveness. I remember not being forgiven. I remember sitting with her on the back patio, hating every single sound she spoke and…

Application Essay

Dear Sabina, age 10, I know you’re frustrated right now—you fight with your friends weekly, you would give anything to quit swim team, and school is so easy and boring that you fake sick to stay home and read. You just want to be in the real world; you crave change and understanding. In the…

On Turning Ten

I read this poem in my freshman Honors English class in high school, and it’s one of my favorite poems of all time. In honor of World Poetry Day, I’m posting it here. Enjoy! “On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins The whole idea of it makes me feel like I’m coming down with something, something…