Young Readers League 2018 Writing Contest

3rd place

Category 1 (ages 8-11)


Becca Andelin

Age 11 (Grade 6), Eliot Arts Magnet

“Facing the World”


Marco finds inspiration to face the world.


Marco sat in his den, next to a blazing fire. It was snowing outside, frosting the windows and rattling the shutters. It had been snowing for hours, trapping Marco inside his small cottage. But he knew that when the sun came out, he would not step outside. He knew the dangers of the woods he lived in, and didn’t dare to leave his home. Long ago, he had lived with his wife, a lady named Amelia. She seeked adventure, and one night, told Marco she would go to the new town to meet settlers there.

She never returned.

Since then, Marco stayed in his house, ever afraid of danger. Always remaining inside, even on the nicest days.

Which, to think about it, today certainly was. The sun glimmered outside, and the snow melted in its heat. Marco sighed, and headed to his kitchen to make a snack. As he passed the window, he peeked outside. There, lying in a pile of wet snow, was a little blue jay. A chick that had fallen from its nest. Reluctantly, Marco opened the door and stepped out into the crisp air for the first time in years. He cupped the little bird in his hands and raised it towards its home. The bird took a leap, and flew high into the sky. Marco watched it go, and thought. If the bird could leave its home, surely so could he? As he looked around, the woods didn’t seem so dark. Buds bloomed on the trees and grass peeked up through the melting snow. Without even thinking, Marco walked into his house, packed some food, water, and his dagger. He was tired of living alone. He would go to the village, and live there. Marco stared out into the woods.

It was time to face the world.

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