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One simple game. Just a silly computer game. Harmless. No, it actually isn’t. Ever since people have started to download the game, it’s gone all wrong. It’s because everyone’s missing.

The One-Dot Mushroom

Once upon a time there lived, a queen and a king. They had two children named
Alec and Molly. Alec was a newborn and Molly was 5 years old. One day, a witch came to their palace.

Marciella is 11 years old and in the sixth grade at Mastery Charter Thomas Elementary (MCTE) in Philadelphia. She likes to write stories, poems, do math, and art. This summer, she participated in a cool engineering program called Science Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK). She is also a student at Mighty Writers South. She has an awesome mentor named Sandee Mandel.

The Guinea Pig Races

In my elementary school, pets were a big thing. Class pets like rabbits or chickens were owned by a few lucky classrooms, and pets like goldfish and frogs were owned by the less fortunate. Our classroom ended up with guinea pigs.

At first, I was excited. Who could turn down furry, pig-like, hamsterish-mouse things? But then, I found out the truth:  guinea pigs were smelly, sniffly rats that waited until you decided to hold them to pee. Could this really be the classroom pet?

Lydia Cunitz is an eighth grader at the Friends Select School. She lives in Mt. Airy with her mom, dad, sister, and dog, Lucy. Her favorite writing style is poetry.


People say that the city never sleeps.  Granted, the streets seem to pulse with an incessant stream of life.  During the morning—the busiest part of the day—businessmen, students, and the occasional cluster of tourists flow down the sidewalk, converting the cement pavement into a one- way stream of bobbling heads.  It stems off of the adjacent river of cars, trucks and bikes in which even more people travel untiringly until they arrive at their destination:

Grace Shen is a high school sophomore in Cherry Hill. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and drawing. She plays piano outside of school and clarinet for her school's band and also partakes in other clubs such as student government, the school newspaper, and her school's Science Olympiad team.

Over the Course of a Mont

the reason i am here in the first place

Hailey Mullen is in ninth grade and enjoys listening to music, reading, writing, and playing RPG video games (such as Skyrim). She also likes fencing and resides in Lansdale, Pennsylvania with her mom, dad, and younger sister and brother. Her current favorite book is Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Married

Everybody knows the classic story of Cinderella.  I know it especially well, considering that I am her.  But here’s the thing: it didn’t happen exactly as they would have you believe.

Clara LaBrake is currently in eighth grade at AJHS in Abington and loves writing short stories and poetry. She is an eight grader at Abington Junior High School.You can support young writers like Clara with a contribution to PSJR today. Click here to read how.

Hope: A Story of True Friendship


In the mists of London, in the middle of the night, you can hear a dog bark.  That dog is Barney.  I am the only one that knows why he howls, and I have permission to tell you.

Mikaela Finlay is a fourth grader at Germantown Friends School. This story is not her first, but this is the first time Mikaela has had her work published. When not writing, she likes to spend her time crocheting and illustrating. When Mikaela read an excerpt from this story at the November 10 Philadelphia Stories, Junior release party at the Arden Theatre’s Hamilton Family Arts Center in Old City, she was cheered on by her parents, her grandparents, and her sister, Anya.

Dear Jeannette

I don’t think I will ever get over that day, May 1, 2006. It is the day I lost a piece of my heart, a piece of myself. Why did you have to die in that car accident? Why do these things have to happen? It’s not fair that I had to lose you that day. You were someone so special to me.

Taressa Belle Toto is in 7th grade at Visitation BVM School in Norristown, Pennsylvania. She plays volleyball, basketball, and softball. Taressa lives with her mom and dad, her sister Ava, and her dog Snickers.

Scary Scouting

On a dark, chilly, scary Halloween night, four little Tiger Scouts named Greg, George, Dragon, and Bob were camping in a graveyard. Normally, they were quite brave little scouts, but the spooky, eerie Halloween night was really creeping them out! It would have been fine if they’d chosen to trick or treat like all the other little kids, but these boys had decided to be brave and camp in a graveyard under a full moon.

Short story from the writing workshop for the Pack 48 Tiger Den, Medford Lakes, NJ.

Benjamin Potatohead

Behind the sloping hill, the one with sandy patches of grass and rabbit holes, yellow dandelions and light purple wildflowers, there was a village. The tiny village was a merry place with colors everywhere: on kites sailing through the sky, on little toys that bounced and made noise, on the doors of small houses built into the ground. A stream gurgled under a sturdy wooden bridge.

Ella Spencer is 12 years old. She says, “Writing has always been something that I loved, but I also enjoy drawing and reading. When I grow up, I would love to be a writer and have children of my own. I live in Merion, Pennsylvania with my parents, my brother, and my two pets: Willy (dog) and Violet (rabbit). I am excited to have joined this contest and be as creative as I can with it.” This story was one of the winners of the Pinocchio Writing contest co-sponsored by PS Jr. and the Arden Theatre.

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