“The Journal” — story by Lauren Sales

Young Readers League 2017 Writing Contest

1st place

Category 1 (ages 8-11)


The Journal

by Lauren Sales
Age 11 (Grade 7)
Blair Middle School

This is the story of an ordinary girl with a not so ordinary story. My name is Jenna Adler and I live in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to Google, New Orleans is called the most “haunted city in America.” I never really thought of it like that. New Orleans has had many tragedies such as the Yellow Fever Epidemic during 1817-1905. There was also The LaLaurie Mansion where a lady named Delphine enslaved African American people and she tortured and murdered them. My home wasn’t creepy at all, but my parents decided it was time to move from our small house to a penthouse in the French Quarter. It was during the move I realized something very disturbing about my family.

I once had a sister named Daphne. Her name was beautiful and perfect and these are the things I remember about her. She died when I was very young. So, the night we moved into our new home, I felt like I wasn’t alone at all. I told my parents I felt very spooked and they said that I will be okay and told me to rest. The next morning, I woke up early and noticed a panel of uneven wood in the floor. I pull the wood up and saw a journal that said “Daphne” on it. “How strange,” I thought, because that was my sister’s name. I opened the journal and the first page was written to me! I slammed the journal closed and ran into my parents’ room and showed them what I found. My mom started crying and my dad said, “Jenna, there is something you should know.” It was then that I learned the shocking truth about my family. We are actually ghosts and Daphne murdered us. The journal was the story of what happened.


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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