Young Readers League 2016 Writing Contest

Category 1 (Age 8-11)

1st place

The Peculiar Man

by Hannah Sagheb
11 years old (Grade 6)
Immaculate Heart School


Once there was a man,

And he could do whatever he can.

His parents died when he was four,

He doesn’t remember it,

But he doesn’t care anymore.

One day, he learned that he could move things with his eyes,

Everything he saw would rise.

He didn’t know this until he was ten,

So he kept doing it, and then,

He was seventeen,

Then he saw on his T.V. screen,

‘Come and join our circus!

We have a great purpose!

We need someone peculiar, is that someone you?’

He got so interested,

He didn’t even know that existed!

He quickly asked to join,

The phone said,

‘Sure! Let’s flip a coin!

Heads you will win, tails you won’t’

It was silent,

Then he said,

‘You will be my client.’

He was so happy.

He couldn’t feel his body.

The Audition

It was in San Jose,

He was so happy, that he thought it was his birthday!

When he got there, he told him what he could do,

Then he said,

‘Can you do it now, can you?’

He got a cup,

And made it fly up.

The man was so surprised,

He looked paralyzed.

‘Meet me on Thursday, here.’

They both disappeared.


‘Hey, my number one performer!’

‘Hey! What is your name?’

‘I’m Mr. Perry, but you can call me RingMaster. I started this circus by showing people my talent. Ring tricks! I have been doing it for 30 years. People were interested in what I was doing and started doing their own acts. Now you will be one. Are you joining for sure? If you are, just sign here and… BOOM! You are performing in front of over a thousand citizens!’

‘Performing?’ the man said, with his entire body shaking like he won a Grammy Award.

Then he stepped back,

Not knowing that there was a big chord.

He blew it,

He made the entire place split,

He knew that by now, he should quit.

The next day, he was miserable,

His life wasn’t fixable.

Then the phone rang,

And someone sang,

‘You’re coming back!

Go ahead and pack!

Come back to the circus!

We have a great purpose!’

Contest info:

Tell us something about a new character joining a magical circus. What is their special ability? How did they come to join the circus?

Special thanks to our judges:  Allison Hill (Vromans), Nick Smith (Pasadena Library), Shauna Redmond (Pasadena Library), Tiffany Duenas (Pasadena Library), Jean Penn (Pasadena Library)

Sponsored by the Friends of the Pasadena Public Library

To view more stories from the contest, view the list: