Some say that seeing things through the eyes of a child can give you some long-lost perspective on the world. Looking at the award-winning entries from the Bookworm of Edwards' 5th annual Children's Writing Contest -- which is open to Eagle County students from 3rd grade to 12th grade -- it's a sentiment that resonates. Winning entries (announced on April 12) range from poems, to moving narratives about nature and immigration. We've assembled excerpts (full stories can be found in the Bookworm's annual anthology of contest submissions, Ungoverned Children, available for purchase from the Edwards bookstore) so you can see how talented our county's students are, and, selfishly, so someday when these kids go on to become Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, we can say we published them here first. Enjoy!
The Lost Boy
By Grant Iverson
3rd Grade, Vail Mountain School
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Joey. He was taking a hike with his mom and dad; it was a beautiful summer day in Wyoming. The sky was a robin egg blue with white wisps of cotton candy clouds and a vibrant orange sun glowing brightly. There were a lot of aspen trees with their beautiful chalky white bark and their dark green leaves.
Sloths to the Rescue!
By Reese Davis
4th Grade, June Creek Elementary School
Oh no not again! I just set up my leaf curtains and now I have to move again! I thought we were safe this time. Ok, sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Sandy the sloth and I just had to move again because all of my favorite trees just got cut down. I heard the Park Ranger say that it was called deforestation, whatever that means. Guess what else I heard the Park Ranger say? She said they were going to put crops there instead of our beautiful rainforest. Oh my, I’m rambling on. I should introduce my family. I’ll start with my sister, her name is Areatha, my dad is Calvin and my mom is Lisa. This rainforest has been our home for like...forever! Oh boy, all this worry has made me tired. I think I’ll hang here in my favorite tree and doze a bit.
By Vivian May
5th Grade, Edwards Elementary School
My name is Diygua.
I live in India.
I am a girl of 13 years.
You cannot meet me.
I am locked in a dark room.
A sunny day lives outside.
You will never meet me.
The curtains hang over the windows.
I live in a one floor building on a lumpy cot.
I thought I was beautiful.
By Blu Fernandez
6th Grade, Homeschooled
Kiefer wondered when Katie would get home. He had been waiting all day to go outside and he knew that he couldn’t if he was alone. Katie was always out snowboarding, riding bikes and working; she didn’t have much time to let Keifer outside. Kiefer paced the wooden floors waiting and waiting until he finally heard footsteps. The front door opened and there she was. Kiefer got very excited and ran across the room to the front door, his feet clicking on the hard wooden floor. As he got to the door, he said hello to her, and then immediately jumped at the door, begging to go outside. Once she opened that door, Kiefer would be free to do whatever he wanted to do. Usually he would stay around the house, but today he had bigger plans. He planned to go much, much further than he usually went. She finally opened the door for him and he was free. He took in the nice, cool summer air and began on his journey.
By Cloe Cunningham
7th Grade, Vail Mountain School
I sat in the chair of the doctor’s office. I hated the doctor’s office, mainly because whenever I went there someone had broken a bone, or I was getting shots. Neither of those were the case this time. Fortunately, this time I was happy to be sitting in the small, empty waiting room. I was getting an arm cast taken off.
A Penny of Hope
By Frances Farrell
8th Grade, Eagle County Charter Academy
It seemed like hours since I had gotten off the boat, and I was finally at the entrance to the main building. A sign above me said something that, with the little bit of English I had picked up in the city, I could read. Great Hall. I had heard about the Great Hall. Everything here was beautiful, Ellis Island with the Statue of Liberty, beautiful views of the city, and now the Great Hall with high, domed ceilings, complex windows, and two American flags reminding me of what I am here for. My hand reached for my jacket pocket in which I had one penny. It was the only American thing I owned, and I kept it for good luck. I had found it when I was young in the streets of Italy, and the copper color was distinct from any coin I had ever seen before. It was old, too, 1809.
The Imperfect Art
By Madeline Shedd
11th Grade, Battle Mountain High School
“What part of doing it right the first time don’t you understand?” A stinging pain spreads across the back of my hand as my professor hits me with her ruler. “My patience is growing thin, you best learn to do as you’re told or you’ll never be bought.”
My professor pushes back a few strands of her graying hair and moves on to my classmate behind me. This is the second time this period I’ve been hit. She’s right. I really should know my calligraphy by now. Maybe if she had resorted to a different method of punishment, my hand wouldn’t be hurting, and maybe then my writing would be good enough. But that’s not going to happen, we’re always hit as punishment. Apparently, it’s the only way to get us to really learn our lessons.