Student Writing Gallery!

This year, we are publishing a featured piece of student writing every month on the 26th. Each piece will be accompanied by an original illustration.

The Box That Carried Her Home

MeAsia Hendon, Age 16
Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine
Detroit, Michigan

We had to save her. Our brand new family friend, a brown-and-black puppy with a purple tongue, was stuck underneath the wooden doghouse in my mother’s friend’s backyard. We figured that she got stuck trying to play with her brothers. My sister and I lifted the doghouse but she wouldn’t come out. She was shaking and crying because she was afraid of all the staring eyes. So little that she could fit in a bowl and so cute that she could make the front cover of any magazine, I instantly fell in love. The only girl, who was also the very last of the litter (German Shepherd and Chow mix), was ours. The only problem was that she wasn’t coming out from underneath the doghouse.

I must admit that I was frustrated with the fact that we had to save her. I began to think, Why do we need this puppy? Why can’t we just drop the doghouse and pick up another one? I didn’t even ask for the dog, and I didn’t know that it would be this difficult to get one. I knew in reality that those were cruel and selfish thoughts, so I quickly got rid of them. My older sister, EnDia, then said, “I’ll be right back.”

“Hurry up,” I yelled, because now I was the only one holding up the house. I didn’t understand what she was doing or why she said she would be right back. I felt my arms getting weak because the weight of the doghouse was heavy. I could feel the wood biting into my fingers and the grass underneath my slippery shoes as I was holding it up. I knew I had to hold it up though, in order for us to save her. I cared so much about this little creature that I suffered from pain in my arms and legs.

EnDia came back from the car with a medium-sized, gray, cardboard shoebox in her hand, me still lifting the doghouse and her trying to get our puppy from under it.

“Come here, it’s OK. We got you,” EnDia said. I lifted my head down, only to see her face in a confused state. She turned to look at me sideways, as if she were looking at the stars. “It’s OK, you don’t have to be scared,” I exclaimed. My mom started whistling and my little sister started clapping her hands.

This time, after all the baby talking, hand clapping, and whistling, she started to move. I guess my sister made her feel safe and that’s what made her come out. We all made an aww face as her little legs tried to climb out of the giant hole underneath the doghouse and into the shoebox. She was struggling, but it was so cute that we sat to watch her climb for a minute. EnDia then grabbed her and placed her in the box. The box, despite the fact that it could be dark and scary, made her feel safe because she knew we were there, even though she was just stuck in a dark and scary place: underneath the doghouse. I was very happy that we got her out of that situation.

After we saved her, we thanked my mother’s friend, got into our car, and went home. We played with her and her box all night, which made her feel comfortable. We named her Diamond after our previous dog who had died five years before that. She made all of us happy because we worked so hard to save her and that’s what made our friendship with Diamond so special.

After that experience, it made me feel like I was her mother, wanting to protect and hold her close all of the time. I got the chance to prove that to her over the years, as someone who knows how to love. She is now five years of age and seems very happy about the way we raised her as a pet and also as a family member. Even though the box is gone, my feelings toward her never changed. Moments like that are what make me appreciate friendship because I work so hard to keep those type of relationships by proving that I care.


Artwork by Natalie Marion,

The Blue Sweater

Gabriel Etheridge, Age 6
Drop-in Writing for Wee-bots at the Detroit Public Library

One day, a lion was shopping at the mall and saw a blue sweater. Lion said, “I want that blue sweater.”

The cat said, “The sweater is $8.55.” The lion cried. He was sad. He only had $5.25, and it was $8.55. He sadly walked home.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,

Ode to Dr. Blotch

Dr. Blotch’s Family Writing Laboratory at Estabrook Elementary, March 2017
Ja’Qub Anthony, age 9

In the morning you eat a bowl of bad manager souls.
You look like an evil girl goblin
and I feel your hair of boogers.
You smell like pears.
I love your laughs of choking goblins
when you turn kids into robots.
I hear children’s screams.
I remember a kid that got turned into a robot
and I’m glad that I didn’t get turned into a robot.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,

This is My Mission

Ms. Brown’s eighth-grade class at Estabrook Elementary in Ypsilanti


MARIA and COCONUT are walking into the mall. MARIA is carrying COCONUT and holding his hand. It’s a beautiful day in sunny California. What a great time to be a teen at the mall!

MARIA (a person) is wearing a pink-and-white polka dot dress. COCONUT (an actual coconut) is wearing shorts.

I love you.

Okay, thanks.

I really do — even though I can’t tell my dad.

Why can’t you tell him? Are you hiding something from me?

A bird flies overhead as a woman steps out of her car.



In the mall parking lot we see a slim, tall white woman (about age 23) step out of a Ferrari. She is wearing Sketchers. She enters the mall. She walks past a cardinal who flaps its wings and flies up.

We see a close-up of the woman (BILLY JOANNE) looking at the cardinal suspiciously.   



MARIA and COCONUT are walking in the mall.

(hesitates nervously)
I’m not hiding anything from you.

Then why can’t you tell him?

My dad is allergic to coconuts, so he thinks they are unholy.

COCONUT sees the cardinal land behind a fountain in the mall. When the cardinal lands it becomes a girl. KURO is Native American, about fifteen years old. The camera shows COCONUT watching the cardinal land and a girl pop up.

Let’s get promise rings and promise to always be truthful with each other.

COCONUT and MARIA walk to the jewelry store.



They notice the woman (BILLY JOANNE) in the store with an Eiffel Tower pin. The woman seems to be watching them. KURO walks into the store. KURO has a cardinal pin. They are both wearing black.


Watch where you’re going!

They notice each other’s pins and nod at each other knowingly.

MARIA and COCONUT are looking at rings and they pick out one with a weird jewel.

BILLY JOANNE takes her arm and rushes KURO to the corner.

What are you doing here? This is my mission.

This is my mission! To spy on Maria!

Who is Maria? I’m here for Coconut.

We’re both here on a job and we need to work together. Now pipe down and act normal!



MARIA and COCONUT are inside the jewelry store. The jewelry store is crisp and clean, and the carpets are cream with displays trimmed in mahogany. The displays show fancy rings and necklaces.  

BILLY JOANNE is outside the store looking at the window.

KURO is already inside.

DIAMOND is dressed as an old lady with a hunchback and is pretending to be a jeweler.

COCONUT and MARIA are looking at rings.

Maria, how many karats do you want?

I don’t see any carrots.

(disguised as a jeweler)
Let’s go to the back to find your ring size.

Maria and the robber go to the back.


COCONUT passes out.

BILLY JOANNE and KURO run to the back. The back door is open and they can see the robber running away carrying MARIA.

Watch this. I learned it in a foreign country.


BILLY JOANNE uses an app to shoot a tracking device at the robber.


What was that?

It’s a tracking device.


The robber puts MARIA in a Ferrari.

(banging on the door)
Coconut, help me.




I need help!

BILLY JOANNE and KURO look at each other and nod.

We can help.


During the robbery I managed to put a tracking device on Maria.

You have a tracking device?

Long story. We can talk about it after we get Maria.

KURO takes out a device that looks like a compass but it opens and reveals to have a GPS tracker inside.



KURO, COCONUT, and BILLY JOANNE are outside of a building that looks like an old chocolate factory. There is a logo on the building that says Almond Joy.

This is the place.

(scared and hesitant)
This place seems familiar.

Before we go in, let me check for danger.

BILLY JOANNE takes out spy glasses that look like normal sunglasses. She can see heat signatures in the building showing two people. One person is tied to a chair and the other is standing next to her.

The coast is clear. There’s only two people.

The three of them approach the building and the door is locked.

I got this.

COCONUT’s legs extend and he is able to use his tiny, sharp feet to pick the lock. They all go inside.



DIAMOND is shocked to see them and she trips over her feet. We can see that she is wearing two right-footed boots. KURO and BILLY JOANNE grab DIAMOND. COCONUT unties MARIA and gives KURO and BILLY JOANNE the rope to secure DIAMOND.

Who are you?

(to KURO)
Wait, who are you?

KURO takes off DIAMOND’s mask and she is in complete shock to see that DIAMOND looks exactly like her. KURO starts stuttering.

Hey, it looks like you two have the same locket.

KURO opens her locket and DIAMOND’s locket, and inside there is an identical picture of two people – their parents!

Are we twins?



BILLY JOANNE throws COCONUT at DIAMOND’s head and some of her jewels fall to the floor, including the ring.

This isn’t finished.

Who are you and what do you want from us?

Just because we are sisters doesn’t mean I’m going to let her go!

If you don’t let Maria go, we’re calling the police! Your identity is already revealed.

What are the cops gonna do about it?

COCONUT starts to cry and his coconut hair falls out. He begs on his little coconut legs.

Please let her go! I love her so much! I don’t know what I would do without her! She’s my first love and my other half.

DIAMOND looks hesitant but begins to unlock MARIA’s hands and feet.

(picks up the promise ring)
Maria, I can’t wait ’til we get out of this messy situation and stay together forever.

Someone clears their throat. Everyone turns around and gasps. The pastor has been listening the whole time. Dramatic music plays. PASTOR enters.

I am so appalled by your behavior, Maria. I told you that you were not allowed to have anyone as a boyfriend. You disobeyed my command. And you are in love with a coconut! With little legs! You think you’re grown but you are not, Maria!


Artwork by Natalie Marion,

Twenty Years from Now

Carson Hawkins, Age 6

Twenty years from now I will be twenty-six. I will be a robot. I’m going to be fighting robbers and evil. I will live in the Detroit Robot Factory. I will live with Ennis, my best friend robot.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Cameron Plesco, Age 16

I grew up learning simple things.
We all went to school,
All of us learned it was 1-2-3.
There were 26 letters in the alphabet,
Not 911.

In my time we learned what to do
When there was smoke on the other side of the door.
What to do when we find a gun.
Find a safe place.
Find an adult you know.

How do we find an adult we trust
When we are being beaten
By their belts?
Spoiled by their hands?
How do we find a safe place
When our safe place isn’t safe?
When we don’t have one?

I grew up learning that
Cat rhymed with rat
Hats were worn,
And Bat and bat were not the same thing.

But I also grew up learning that
I was not good enough.
That my voice didn’t matter.

That it did not matter
That I knew 1-2-3
I knew there were 26 letters
Not 911.

It did not matter that I knew
Tug and pug rhymed,
Mugs held my hot chocolate,
And snug was something you
Got from a sweater.

But someone out there
Doesn’t even get snug.
They get cold

They get a festering wound
Not on their flesh but
Written in angry verses
On their heart.

Verse after hateful verse,
Stanza after wretched stanza.
These someones cannot
Bandaid their hearts.

I grew up learning that
If you don’t have anything nice to say
Then do not speak at all.
But what if our words are now actions?

See, this is not just a playground war.
Punches being thrown.
They are childhood memories
Being taken.

And to the someones saying, “I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!”
No, you don’t.
To the someones whispering, “I understand.”
Do not be scared.

Stand up and rip the belts from their hands,
Burn your not safe places.
Do not take 1-2-3
Do not take rhymes
Do not take 26 letters
Take 911.

And use it.
Do not let the world ruin you.

Dear someones,
Respect your parents
If they respect you.

Dear someones,
Do not let them tear you down.

You are NOT nobodies.
You are NOT shadows and NOT darkness.
You are NOT dogs and NOT hoodrats.
You are somebodies.
You are someones!

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Sam, Who Played Football

Samere Brown, Age 8

It all began when Sam played football. The football field, it had a field goal, numbers, and a line. Sam was round; he had strawberry jelly inside him. He was not good at football. They stepped on him. The pink jelly came out. The coach threw pink jam and Sam licked the jelly. The jelly came out, and the coach threw more strawberry jelly at him. When he got up, he tripped over the jelly, and he got stuck in the jelly. They tried to throw the football and it went through his hole. They’re friends, but they don’t know he is a donut.

He went in the break room and took all his stuff off—-his football jersey, his fake legs, his shoulder pads, and his eyes and hair. Then he rolled down and got stuck in a closet. He sat there in a closet. They won the game because Sam left. He ate himself, and came back as a plastic donut. He rolled out, and they found out he is a donut.

After the game, they went in the break room—-Sam was crying candy and watching Inside Out. A car came in and hit him, and turned him into part elephant, dolphin, and cotton candy. His team felt excited, because he was part elephant, dolphin, and cotton candy. He then ate his own cry because it’s candy.

He got to stay on the team. After he ate his cry, he threw the football into the endzone. Then when they won, he read a book that turned him into cotton candy, and he got stuck as cotton candy. He got eaten, and came back as a person. He ain’t no good football player as a person.

He was at the shoe store, then he got stuck in the shoe because he was a tiny, tiny person. Then he turned into shoes! Then he got out of shoe form, and then he started a new life. The end.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Dear William Carlos Williams

Fern Murray, Age 8

How dare you!
You owe me some new plums!
I was gonna eat those
with my fruity-looty Froot Loops!
And watch funny cat videos!
Also, you owe me a new ice box!
You slammed it too hard and made a dent!
I’m so mad.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Broccoli Time Machine: A Business Proposal

Kaiden Ellis, Age 10

The BTM (Broccoli Time Machine) provides free time machine experiences that run on broccoli, and it also produces its own broccoli. Now, we can go back in time to solve our Earth’s history mysteries. Or for school you can take field trips into history to experience it. You can either spectate or be in history and change it. So because of that, you have to be a good person in order to get one. I say, “Get one!” because they are free! All in all, this invention will help mankind! Thank you for hearing my idea!


Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Each month, we feature EIGHT new pieces of student writing on the TWENTY-SIXTH of the month. (Get it?) This month, we are are featuring writing from our Creative Writing Workshops program.

826michigan Creative Writing Workshops Programs

Meredith Fischer, 8
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
Beyond Goosebumps: A New Take on the Scary Story

Long ago . . . an old, weak lady loved the water. In fact, whenever people saw her, her pruny body was in the water. People were starting to get mysterious, and many rumors were said. She heard the rumors and disliked them. She was so upset, she decided to swim to another country. Halfway through her journey, she became tired. There would be almost two days until there would be a good place to rest. So she closed her eyes and sank . . . She woke up after one hundred years. Weak, she swam to another country, and when she got there, her secret was told . . . How did this happen? Wasn’t loving the water a good thing? What was next for the lady? The last time anyone ever saw the lady was when she knew her secret was told. The next day, everyone was searching for her. She wasn’t found.

Naomi Maxwell, 10
Letter to Kiwi
Ann Arbor Open
A Writable Feast—Flavorful Food Writing

Dear Kiki-Wi,

When I taste you, you bubble up in my mouth. You shine green . . . like algae. You’re tough and fuzzy and I believe you can fly. You smell like water on the green part and dirt on the brown part. You are mushy and moist in my mouth like dew on a clover but with a little bit of sugar. After I eat you, I feel tingly on my tongue. I shouldn’t have eaten your skin. I looooooove you, but you are not as good as your friend doughnut. Bye!

I love you mostly,

Amaya Melendez, 12
Letter to Kiwi
Clauge Middle
A Writable Feast—Flavorful Food Writing

Dear Kiwi,

Remember the first time that we met, when my mom bought you in the grocery store? After that you were right in the center of the bowl. You were the best looking—no bumps—and you were the ripest kiwi. When I picked you up, you felt soft, and when I started cutting you, it felt so soft and juicy. You were as green and ripe as a tree that had been rained on for hours. I bit into you, and at first you had this really good sour sort of taste like Sour Patch Kids. Then after that it was this really pure burst of sweetness that was as sweet as a soft ripened peach. Your taste was just like my favorite candy, Sour Patch Kids: sour, then sweet. The reason why I like you is because you are like candy, but healthy! My favorite reason why I like you so much is because you are a mix of sweet and sour, and that is a taste that people could devour. Your brother was tasty too, and now you are both sliding down my throat and going into my stomach. I am so glad that I met you and ate you.


Zander Richardson, 6, Burns Park Elementary
Wesley Roberts, 7, Eberwhite Elementary
Scare Scream and Spikey Man
Monster Meet

Scare Scream: [stomps down into the stadium and has an evil grin]

Spikey Man: Do you want to play football?

Scare Scream: [deep voice] I don’t have hands. If I play I will destroy the ball.

Spikey Man: Do you want to read some books? Like, cowboy books?

Scare Scream: Maybe, but what is a cowboy?

Spikey Man: They are from the desert and the Old West with old-fashioned hats and small masks and sometimes with small guns.

Scare Scream: Oh, so you mean blasters.

Spikey Man: No! Not that new. They are the oldest guns.

Scare Scream: Wait, did I land on Earth in my pod?

Spikey Man: Let’s end this conversation now, okay? We can read cowboy books, please!!!

Scare Scream: Fine. I am ten thousand light-years behind on this planet.

Spikey Man: How ‘bout I show you around?

Scare Scream: Okay.

Maia Sears, 11
Pit bulls
Fortis Academy
To Whom It May Concern: Letters to the Public

Dear People of Michigan, I’m not really just talking about Michiganders! I’m talking about the people that talk bad about pit bulls. I have my own dog that is a pit bull, and his name is Peanut Butter. My family and I adopted Peanut Butter at a dog shelter in Huron Valley. My family and I love him so much! Unfortunately, we don’t take him on walks very often. We are afraid that people will feel threatened or scared by him! So we try not to let him see too many strangers out in public. We are not taking any chances!! You are the ones who are afraid from him! My pit bull is probably more scared of you than you will ever be of him!! Peanut Butter was so scared when we first saw him. At first we saw him in a huge cage in the shelter. We wanted to meet him, so we got put in a room with him, and Peanut Butter was so scared of us. I know that I would never do anything to an animal to harm it in any way, shape, or form. Anyway, Peanut Butter was trying to get used to us, but I guess his body refused. I know that because he was shaking like a horse trying to get flies off of it! He was acting like he was having a seizure! I was actually concerned! Although, I think me and Peanut Butter REALLY CLICKED!! If you just give them a chance, they won’t be very scary. Saying that pit bulls are bad is just an offensive stereotype. It isn’t very nice to say. It’s not like the dogs will understand you, but just to not hurt people’s feelings about their love of pit bulls, I suggest that you don’t say that. Especially in public!! Love dogs FOREVER!! I always like to say to my dog: “HUGS AND LICKS FOREVER!!”

Winnie Jalet, 11
A Bigger Word for Nervous That I Didn’t Even Know
Tappan Middle School
Magical Moments and Memories

I was nervous as I got up to the block. Thoughts raced through my head like tiny race cars on a track called “my brain.” I was at the pool in Carmel, Indianapolis. This pool was special. It was the pool where they held Olympic trials. I had almost a year to practice for this meet and a week’s worth of tapering. I had worked for this. I had earned this. I stepped up to the block, my body shaking like a massage chair that you see at the mall. I was nervous, wait, more than nervous. A bigger word for nervous that I didn’t even know. I reassured myself, it was only a fifty breaststroke. “I’ve swam a million of these,” I said to myself. The pool was where I worked my magic. I was a magician in a Kneeskin. “Take your marks,” said the meet official. I stood on the block as still as a tree branch. I positioned myself on the block. “GO!” I launched myself off the block and was ready for whatever would come.

Calvin Sears, 14
The Saga Continues
Washtenaw International High School
Magical Moments and Memories

Okay, so I like this girl. Her name is [redacted]. So I’m all like, “Dang [redacted] so fine, but she probably won’t notice me” every day of my life, just being an awkward pimply teenager as usual. I swear, if I wasn’t thinking about [redacted] twenty-four seven, I was probably thinking about food, but still. So anyway, I’m at this hair salon, which is called *Censored* Cuts. So, I’m at *Censored* Cuts texting my good pally <<404>> about the [redacted] situation, and who “ships” us or whatever. I’m sitting in a leather chair gushing sweat like Niagra Falls, heart beating so fast it might get a speeding ticket and a $500 fine, and I’m just debating with myself about whether or not I should confess my feels to [redacted]. Luckily <<404>> and [redacted] were at school still with a few of my other friends, so it wouldn’t be so awkward. Probably. I was clammier than a seafood place, white-knuckles clenching my phone, and finally pouring my feelings out at my keyboard like a glass of water, hoping that texting [redacted] would make me feel better. BOY WAS I WRONG! Not like I got rejected or anything, more like everybody, myself included, was flipping OUT. Suddenly, I was being swamped with texts and calls from <<404>> and his brother—error—even WHILE I WAS ON THE TOILET. So, I’m sitting on the toilet and <<404>> is all like being mysterious and not responding, and every now and then she’ll be all, “her phone died broseph” or send a word of encouragement while—error—is just textin’ and callin’ like crazy about everything and WOW OH MY GOD WAS I TERRIFIED. And when I did finally get an answer back from [redacted], she was just as awkward as me, all vague and all. But, finally I did run into her, and her two friends jumped on me like guard dogs and scoped me out like a freakin’ telescope fan club. It was terrifying to be sure. Anyway, I’m out of time, but this was all about a week ago so THE SAGA CONTINUES.

Henry Ortiz, 11
Breaking and Entering
Maltby Intermediate
Magical Moments and Memories

“Hey Mom, can I go up to Cullen’s house?”
“Sure,” said Mom.
“Thanks, Mom!” I dashed out of the house quick as lightning and ran up the hill as fast as a bullet. I felt like I was in a race. When I got to Cullen’s house, I immediately rang the doorbell. I couldn’t wait to see Cullen’s smiling face. Then, when nobody answered, I rang the doorbell again. I finally got something, except it wasn’t Cullen, it was a barking Molly. That’s when I realized Cullen and his family weren’t there. So, I walked around the house and I went in through the side door. I was going through the garage, and went to the door, and pushed with all my might. I grunted, and Molly trotted up to me. I could smell Molly’s toxic breath, and I went past her. I looked around, and then I had an idea. I went to the den to get a piece of paper with Molly following. I wrote: “Dear Cullen, hi. How are you? Where are you? Maybe you can stop by my house later. From, Henry.” I put the note on the kitchen counter and ran back down the hill to my house. I opened the door and Mom said, “Oh, hi Henry. Where were you? I thought you and Cullen were playing.”
“Uh . . . ” I stammered. “They weren’t home.”
“So what were you doing this whole time?” my Mom asked.
“Uh . . . I went in their house.”
“YOU WHAT!?!?!?!?!?” Mom yelled.
“I went into their house and left a note for Cullen.”
Mom sighed and started to explain why I shouldn’t enter people’s houses when they’re not home. Mom went to get her phone to apologize. Cullen’s family found my note when they got home and they all thought it was funny. My note now hangs up on their fridge. Now I know not to break into people’s houses. I won’t be breaking and entering into anyone’s house again.

Liberty Street Robot
Supply & Repair
115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463
Detroit Robot Factory
1351 Winder
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 818-0255