Writing Gallery

This is what we are all about! We are so very happy to share with you some of the best student writing from workshops, field trips, and tutoring sessions at 826 centers across the country. We also accept submissions by any students age 6-18. All writing can be emailed to submissions [at] 826national.org for consideration. Read on and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Sarah is a junior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC. Her essay first appeared in 826DC’s, The Weight of the Day Surrounds My Body as part of their 2013 Young Authors’ Book Project publication.

This novel is about an extraordinary 5-year-old boy who feels isolated at school. He gets a dog, makes an older friend, and finally becomes comfortable in life. In this scene, Felix returns to kindergarten and meets a young girl, Adette.

My second week at school solidified everything I had been worrying about over the weekend. I arrived exactly on time, as usual, and marched through the doors into my classroom. The room had the same heavy feeling that was disguised as cheery and light. It was trying extremely hard to be friendly. Posters on the wall talked about friendship, tying shoelaces, the tooth fairy and all the colors in a rain­bow. Stars that spelled out each of our names also decorated the walls. It was all so fake to me.

Timmy was sitting on the carpet next to a little girl in an orange dress. I didn’t know her name, but she had big blue eyes and wispy brown hair. She seemed familiar. Her hair was cascading into her face. She was brushing and blowing it out of her eyes with determination, her pudgy fingers clumsily tucking floating pieces behind her ears. It was obvious to me that at this point, her ponytail could not be salvaged. More of her curls were bouncing around her face than were tucked into the little purple band. She didn’t seem to notice, or at least she didn’t seem to care.

She and Timmy were reading a book together. I decided that the best place I could be was next to them. They seemed harmless enough and I loved books. I debated the issue in my head. Maybe I could connect with them over this book. First impressions couldn’t be that important.

They were reading an alphabet book. Alphabet books made me angry for some reason. They were fine to read once, but not necessary to read over and over again. The alphabet had stuck in my brain after one book and natural repetition. I sucked up my unexplainable tendencies and sat next to Timmy. He rubbed his nose on the cuff of his little green sweater and looked straight at me. “Aren’t you the weird kid? I don’t wanna read my book with you.”

I was short of words, for the millionth time in my life. I looked back into his eyes until he became uncomfortable and looked away. She looked down at his shoes for a second and then snuck a glance back at me. The little girl seemed intrigued all of a sudden, her eyes brightened and she spun towards Timmy. “Why do you think he’s weird?” she asked Timmy politely. He shrugged and growled a muffled moan.

“He doesn't talk any and he acts so smart and he’s bigger than us.” The little girl thought for a second. She sat with her eyes rolled just a little towards her eyebrows and her mouth puckered. I couldn’t help but stare at her.


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