“The Ghosts in the Cemetery” — story by Sienna Ng

Young Readers League 2017 Writing Contest

3rd place

Category 1 (ages 8-11)


The Ghosts in the Cemetery

by Sienna Ng
Age 10 (Grade 5)
Field Elementary School

Lily is a girl who has no mother. Neither does she have sisters or brothers. It’s just Lily and her father. Her father is a lawyer.

Lily visits the cemetery and stops by her late mother’s grave. She stares and thinks for hours, then leaves for home every day.

One night when Lily’s father told her he’ll be away, Lily is woken suddenly and is staying awake.

She wasn’t in the middle of a nightmare. She thinks it’s very strange. But when Lily feels this way, she visits her mother’s grave.

Tonight will be no different. Lily dresses and grabs a light. She isn’t scared; she’ll try to prevail. But she then doesn’t feel she has might.

She ventures into the cemetery weaving in and out through the trees. She trips on roots and tumbles on the ground. The grass felt cold when she went down.

Lily feels unsure of herself as the clock strikes twelve. When this happens Lily thinks about returning home.

Lily is about to start her way when the ground beneath her rumbles. Lily grabs onto a tree and shouts as rocks tumble.

Lily gasps as a spirit jumps out of a grave. Lily, frightened and scared, crawls out and asks the ghost who he is.

But before the spirit can answer, Lily gives a shout of surprise.

“Hey!” she says, “You’re Mayor Alvin! Our first mayor to win an Olympic prize!”

At first, the mayor is startled but he relaxes into a smile. “Hello,” he says. “Who are you?”

“I’m Lily,” she replies.

Lily watched, amazed, as the ghosts became alive.

“We get out every midnight,” says the mayor. “You’re the first to see us rise.”

Lily runs away, finding her mother walking. Lily says, “Hi. I’m Lily Walker. Your daughter. The one you left behind.”


Contest info: In 300 words or less, tell a ghost story.

Special thanks to our judges:  Allison Hill (Vromans); Shauna Redmond, Jean Penn, Leela Perea, Robin Reidy and Rosa Cesaretti (Pasadena Public Library).

Copyedited by Faith Malicdem, Teen Blog Assistant


To view more stories from the contest, view the list:  http://pasadena-library.net/kids/2017/ghost-story-contest-winners/

Jane Gov

Jane is a Youth Services Librarian at Pasadena Central Library. She purchases YA books for the library system and maintains the teen booklist, online resources, and webpages. She oversees Teen & YA programs including Summer Reading, Advisory Board, Zine, book reviewers, Teen Mental Health Initiative, and volunteers. She also coordinates the library's Innovation Lab, STEAM Kits project, and Young Readers League. She also conducts a few kids events and storytimes. Jane is a contributor to VOYA Magazine and a YALSA Board member.  A majority of her free time is spent with her two corgis Tyrion and Gimli. She tweets as @missjanegov.

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