Current Issue

Stories from Ethel M. Burke School Workshop

Last fall, students at the Ethel M. Burke School in Bellmawr, NJ, spent the day brainstorming and writing creative stories for PS, Jr. Here are writing samples from some participants. “KABOOM! CRASH!” A spaceship crashed into my best friend’s backyard.  “Hi, my name is Alexis,” the alien said to my best friend, Stephany.  She told [...]


Boom! The electrical discharge in the air is quite interesting.  Dark, pale clouds hover and threaten any object in its way by giving it a shock of death. The blinding white light is faster than the speed of wind. Crack! The earsplitting noise is as loud as an ambulance in New York City. Lights are [...]

The Homeless Man

He walked alone, amidst the snow.  His grimy bare feet dragged behind, tinged with the sorrow of a deep blue. It was more than just despair now; it was hatred of what had become of his life. It could have been different. The future could have flourished, beckoning to him with open arms. His life [...]

Dichotomous Carnival Kids

Most think there are two kinds of people in this world; those who cover up the simplicity of human necessities such as affection, and love, and the need to have more than what is granted to them, and those who do not. But you cannot fit the entire spectrum of human life forms into two simple categories. There [...]

The Discovery

“No you’re a big fat liar!” yelled Lily. “Yeah, ok. You’re so believable” responded her brother Josh. “Josh go upstairs and Lily come to me now!” yelled Lily’s mom. Josh stomped upstairs and Lily stomped to her parents’ room. She sat on the bed and prepared herself for a big, long lecture. Instead what she [...]

With a Click

The lights were on backstage. They were a strange blue light, but not hard to see by. I worked my way around all of the chairs and music stands, microphones and instrument cases. The curtains were slightly parted in the middle; Joanne was onstage. She was my sister, older than me by a little more [...]


I hate these months. They’re endless, and robed in a fierce white sheath that brings misery and pain to people like us. Most especially, they make it hard to sleep on the side of the road. I can see my breath in a puff of something along the lines of white smoke as I hustle [...]

The Plane Failure

There was a boy named Nortin who was going on a trip to England. Nortin boarded the plane and then–whoosh—the plane flew up into the clouds. Nortin was very nervous about what could happen. Would the plane crash? Fall out of the sky? Anything could happen. Nortin was so scared, he fainted. When he awoke, [...]

2013 Poetry WITS Youth Poetry Contest Winners

1-3 GRADE WINNER Addy Deloffre
, Maple Glen Elementary Tornado Here comes the tornado on quick and speedy legs. It is fast and never stops. It is sneaky and ready to catch its prey. It is running and spinning and never stops and then it goes away. 1-3 GRADE RUNNER UP Zachary Porter, 
Plymouth Elementary The [...]

Advocate group poem

Philly Girls Read are all 5th graders at Independence Charter School. Teacher Corey Michener started Philly Girls Read as a curriculum, guide, and way of life that teaches girls how to read actively and create their own advocacy campaigns for the causes they care about. This is an exercise in essential values and core beliefs. We frequently [...]

2013 Elizabeth Graeme Award in Poetry

WINNER: Erin Farrell
, CB East High School Coarse Heels They say it’s impossible to get lost in North America now Since they’ve commercialized and vandalized with infrastructure and order and rigidity and organization The natural world – taming everything they decided was wild and proclaiming it savage and     uncivilized and wrong because it wasn’t [...]

The Simmering Underneath

Millions of Islamic women Held beneath the surface of possibilities Waiting Waiting For the deafening tomb Of shattered silence To break I am one of them Those women Held away from freedom From a life of the maximum Whispers, murmurs and mumbles Float through the air Taunting me Accusing me Of something I have not [...]

The Crow

Small outcasts, on this small evening, in this summer city. Rooftops grant the crows, outcast crows a home. The crow, usual times, they crow, but outcasts back up each other. They’re not outcasts, at least not to each other. They’re brothers, sisters, and friends. The Greatest of friends. The outcast children, and their parents, and [...]

The Right to Be Heard

Discrimination and prejudice are running wild, as rampant and untamed as a little child Like a ferocious beat it will not be stopped unless a decision is made by someone on top Top, top, top like the president– to whom evil and bad should probably be evident I hope that this is relevant: Gay, straight, [...]


They are afraid. Afraid of my eyes, afraid of my talons. They think I snap, I paralyze, I ravage. They think I kill. They are afraid. Afraid of my invincibility, afraid of my strength. They think I am a villain. They are afraid. Afraid of my scales, afraid of my fire. They think I am [...]

The Shoes

The shoes – a light blue size too big, untouched with paper filled belly. The shoes sit tied by the bed. Just in case he needs to run away. Because dragon’s fire does not Burn hotter than “No” The knight will come, but here in the night, creatures crawl. The giant, who gave much more [...]


Two easels lay apart, Abstracted of different mediums. One from shimmering hope, Other knowing only heavy demur. In practice, The two bonded over mixings Of colorful palettes, Revealing hopes and dreams, Triumphs and downfalls, Water both half-full and half-empty. What former conceived, Latter believed. They became mural In endless second, And in next few decades. [...]

Colors of a Nation

Missing blue Why blue Color of the sky, color of defense Parties Different parties Conflicting ideas, same freedoms, equal freedoms Justice Equal justice Real people, understanding people Blood shed Red blood Independence with acceptance All religion Free religion Welcomed here to thrive here Democracy Powers splayed A Nation’s positions on its conditions When dreaming Know [...]

My Tree

My tree, my tree, I love my tree. It feels like it is a part of me. I look at it when I wait for the bus, even if I’m in a rush. I watched the leaves dive and fall, until there were no leaves at all Then the branches, covered in snow.  Now, tiny [...]

Ode to a Grape

You smell of sweet dreams. You taste like a soft, gentle song. Up close you resemble a soft purple ball. You dream of soft squishy pillows. Your friends call you the Purplestar. You are the grape.     Lily Aparin-Buck age 9, is in 4th Grade at the Plymouth Meeting Friends School.

Ode to a Kiwi

Kiwi, sour but so sweet. Rough on the outside, smooth on the inside. Up close you resemble a sparkling emerald. Far away, a hard, brown, rock.   Genevieve Bevenour, age 10, is in 4th Grade at the Plymouth Meeting Friends School.

A World Without Color

What would the world be like without the vivid colors of a summer sunset? What would the world be like without the lush green grass that brushes your ankles on a walk in the rolling meadow? What would the world be like without that big, blue blanket above our head full of puffy, white cotton [...]

The Crayon Box

The sun shines bright Like a red robin’s feathers. The grass grows green Like a wet emerald turtle. The flowers dance up Like a pink ballerina. The bark swirls around Like a dark silhouette. The tree buds bloom Like many speckled stars. New smells waft Like a bright paisley pattern. The equinox arrives Like a [...]

Sand Color Shell

Oh shell, You are the crown of a king Feeling proud On the king’s head Your spikes are pointy Like grabby starfish hands Like the color of sand You look like a sandstorm Swirling In action You have a little opening That is curled Like a fruit roll up Your swirly top is a mountain [...]

Rebekah Kline

Victoria Appel

Vanessa Roser

Katie Gaynor

Kathryn Prouse

Grant Pavol