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 Magic Medicine

Melanie Arrington, Age 9
Detroit Edison Public School Academy
Detroit After-School Tutoring

One day I woke up in my castle and I feltill and my throat was hurting and I was coughing. But my medicine was gone so I went to my doctor. The crazy thing was that my doctor told me to talk to this crab and the crab was blue and it had a deep voice and he said, “Go to this magic island. Be aware of a magic snake and it will be red with a small voice,” and I went and the snake told me that it is dangerous down there, so I still went and guess what it was? Not dangerous. It was fun looking for the medicine and guess what? I found it!!!

Artwork by Natalie Marion, nataliemarion.com

How to Sing Not Beyoncé Good or Not Like a Troll Bad (For People Who Can Sing Naturally

Adanya Lewis-El
Age 12
Moving Pencils Writing Club
James and Grace Lee Boggs School

Tip #1: Don’t try to sing better than you already do. You’ll just sound like you’re trying too hard and people won’t like your voice.

Tip #2: Do daily voice exercises. Say a couple la-la-las or stretch your mouth open wide a couple of times to get yourself ready to sing.

Tip #3: Avoid songs that are just not your style. If you listen to a time of music a lot, then you’ll be better at singing in that style! If you try to sing something you don’t listen to, you’ll sound like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Tip #4: Find your style. When I say “find your style,” I don’t mean try to sing exactly like a style/person. Listen to a couple of songs. Example, search “R&B” on YouTube and listen to a couple. Then, if you don’t like that style, maybe search Rock, or Pop, or even rap. When you finally get your style, practice singing in that style.

Tip #5: Practice means perfect. If you are either in the car or at home bored, always practice. If you want to perfect a line in a song or even a WHOLE song, sing it over and over, until you get it the way you want it to sound.

Tip #6: Have fun! If you are trying to sing to impress friends or something like that, give up. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? It’s not a skill you need to graduate. Have fun with it!

P.S. Get compliments from more than five people to see if you are a natural singer. This list is only for natural born singers.

Artwork by Natalie Marion, nataliemarion.com

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, nataliemarion.com

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, nataliemarion.com

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, nataliemarion.com

This is My Mission

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

EXT. – MALL – DAY

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.

MARIA
(passionately)
I love you.

COCONUT
(nonchalantly)
Okay, thanks.

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

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

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

CUT TO:

EXT. – PARKING LOT – DAY

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.   

CUT TO:

INT. – MALL – DAY

MARIA and COCONUT are walking in the mall.

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

COCONUT
(angrily)
Then why can’t you tell him?

MARIA
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.

COCONUT
(anxiously)
Let’s get promise rings and promise to always be truthful with each other.

COCONUT and MARIA walk to the jewelry store.

CUT TO:

INT. – JEWELRY STORE – DAY

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.

KURO bumps into BILLY JOANNE.

BILLY JOANNE
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.

KURO
What are you doing here? This is my mission.

BILLY JOANNE
This is my mission! To spy on Maria!

KURO
Who is Maria? I’m here for Coconut.

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

END ACT I

INT. – JEWELRY STORE

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.

COCONUT
Maria, how many karats do you want?

MARIA
(confused)
I don’t see any carrots.

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

Maria and the robber go to the back.

MARIA
(screams)

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.

BILLY JOANNE
Watch this. I learned it in a foreign country.

SLOW MOTION

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

END SLOW MOTION

KURO
What was that?

BILLY JOANNE
It’s a tracking device.

EXT. – MALL – DAY

The robber puts MARIA in a Ferrari.

MARIA
(banging on the door)
Coconut, help me.

FADE TO BLACK

END ACT II

INT. – MALL – DAY

COCONUT
(crying)
I need help!

BILLY JOANNE and KURO look at each other and nod.

BILLY JOANNE
We can help.

COCONUT
How?

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

COCONUT
(surprised)
You have a tracking device?

KURO
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.

CUT TO:

EXT. – FACTORY IN A FOREST – DAY

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.

KURO
This is the place.

COCONUT
(scared and hesitant)
This place seems familiar.

BILLY JOANNE
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.

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

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

COCONUT
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.

CUT TO:

INT. – FACTORY IN A FOREST – DAY

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.

BILLY JOANNE
(to DIAMOND)
Who are you?

DIAMOND
(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.

MARIA
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!

KURO
(astonished)
Are we twins?

END OF ACT III

EXT. – ABANDONED BUILDING, CA – DAY

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

DIAMOND
This isn’t finished.

COCONUT
Who are you and what do you want from us?

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

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

DIAMOND
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.

COCONUT
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.

COCONUT
(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.

PASTOR
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!

END OF EPISODE

Artwork by Natalie Marion, nataliemarion.com

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, nataliemarion.com

Snug

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
Harsh
Uncomfortable.

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, nataliemarion.com

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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, nataliemarion.com

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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, nataliemarion.com

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