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A Series Feature on Kidz Corner for International Family Magazine

Welcome to the B.ulldog A.cademy of B.ooks and L.etters or the B.A.B.L. Room at McCracken Middle School in Bluffton, South Carolina

Please do not mistake the B.A.B.L. Room to mean we babble.  We never just chatter or talk foolishly. Here in the B.A.B.L. Room we speak intentionally and from the heart.  We are emerging writers and here are our words.  Listen closely please. Shhh……

Emerging writers for November:

Carly Allen - "Who Am I?"

Brandi Hammond – "Catalina "
Deon Miller – " My Terrifying Night"
Alex Cochran – " Pitching Coins"

A note from the B.A.B.L. room writing and reading teacher, Cat Wayland, editor and founder of International Family Magazine:

It is an honor to watch young writers emerge.  In class we do warm-up writing, gather oral stories from relatives to hand down, write college essays "Who Am I?" memoir pieces, resumes, employer cover letters, narratives, descriptive writing, expository work and so much more.  It is especially rewarding when a student thinks they have nothing important to say, and then brilliant, sparkling, gems fall upon the page.  That is my favorite moment with my students.  That is the moment when a writer is born. Please enjoy their work as much as I do.  Remember their names, you might just hear of them again one day on the New York Times Bestseller List."

Who Am I?
By Carly Allen

So I'm known as Carly, but my full name is Carly Paige Allen. What a name right? I was born in Putnam County, Indiana on November 16, 1995. I grew up on a farm way out in the country.

On my farm the various animals were horses, sheep, cows, chicken, and rabbits. I had many more animals than that but too many to list. But my absolute favorite was my horse, "Faith" ( a boy actually) that I loved to ride bareback.

I lived in Indiana until June, 2009. After that, I moved to Bluffton, South Carolina. We had many reasons for moving here, one of them being that my whole family lives here. We were also tired of freezing cold weather. Personally, I wanted to try something new, make new friends, and live in a more city-like area with colleges around. So far, it's great!

I have many likes and dislikes. I love bright neon colors! I really want to do my whole room in neon colors! I love going out on our boat. It's a 24 ft.Crownline. When we go out on our boat I usually wakeboard, knee board, ski, slolum (that's with one ski) and tubing. I love the outdoors.

My religion is Christian. In my old school I was in many sports like track, cross country, swimming, basketball, cheerleading and wrestling. I love hanging out with my friends. My best friend here in this new town is Savannah Spaulding. Savannah and I are like twins. We eat the same foods. There's a lot more on that subject but that's for another story.

One time at the Bluff Fest, when I moved here, I met these girls named Phyllis, Shanna, and Rochelle. They were the first people I met when I moved here. After the Bluff Fest, I spent the night with them. It was a blast. I don't go anywhere without my cell phone, my Ipod and my camera.

I have a big family. My parents are still together, so that's a good thing. My mom's sister, my aunt, lives right next door to us. My aunt's name is Kelly and my uncle's name is Chuck. Their two kids are Dillon and Brooke. It's pretty great living right next door to family. I love it in South Carolina, and I'm glad to call it home.

By Brandi Hammonds

On this one night, I walked outside and all I saw was darkness sprinkled with light. The stars filled the sky with their beautiful glow set upon the river. There on the riverbank sat a little girl. I asked her "What is your name?" The little girl responded with a fragile and broken voice, "Catalina". She was a runaway child. She had nowhere to go, her clothes were covered in dirt, her hair was a tent of black, and it reminded me of coal. As she sat upon the river, I noticed something; she had bruises and welt marks on her neck, her arms and even her legs. I smiled trying to act polite, and shaking my head I asked her in the nicest way "Do you live with your mom and your dad?" She replied "I don’t live with them anymore, because they beat me every night." While she was saying these horrifying things I just stood and looked at her. She hadn’t even looked up or acknowledged who I was or that I was speaking to her, it was if she was telling the world her story, finally.

I said to her "Would you like to come with me?" She stood up and finally looked at me with her face that was cut, marked, and bruised. She said that she lived in the little blue house on the corner of my street. I asked her if she was the little girl on the flyers that was said to be missing. She replied, "Yea I ran away from home 3 days ago and since I’ve been gone I’m happier than I was living with those people." Catalina came to my house and spent the night. She thought I was nice because I cared for her. My mom said it was fine for her to stay with us so she did. By the time school started the public had ended the search for her, so we all signed up for school. Catalina and I were in the same first period, which was English Language Arts. Our first assignment was to write about something interesting that happened in your lifetime. I wrote about a little girl that sat upon a riverbank with bruises and how she grew up to be phenomenal women.

My Terrifying Night
by Deon Miller

It was a dark night, and my family and I were watching Friday the 13th and eating popcorn. My mom, sister, cousin, and my grandma were altogether around the television. At first, we were watching the movie having a good time, laughing and screaming. But then all a sudden, we heard knocking at the back door and everyone was scared to go answer it. I thought it would be my uncle because he lives right behind us so I answered the door.

When I answered it, no one was there so I closed the door. Everyone asked who was at the door, and I said, "No one, it was just the air." They said, "Air doesn’t knock!" But I kept reassuring them, "Don’t’ worry about it." But then, the knocking happened again. This time the knocking was coming from the front door. Again, my family sent me in to do the BRAVE thing and answer it. This time, I played it smart, I didn’t just open the door, I looked through the window of the front door. Just as I was at the front door, the back door started opening and we could hear noise that we were sure sounded like a man coming through the door. We weren’t waiting this time to see who it was – we all just went running! I jumped in the closet. It turned out to be my uncle of course, but what a scare!

Pitching coins
Interpreted by: Alex Cochran

My great grandfather was in the navy during World War II. War stories are mostly sad, but not this one. My great grandfather was at sea for about two years when he came into port in the Philippians for supplies and R&R. When they pulled into the port, there were women in the water to show their appreciation. In return, the sailors would pitch coins into the water for the women to dive after them. As usual, somebody on the lower level would release the sewage septic tank from the long journey gone. In the midst of the coin tossing the clear water turned into a dark cloud chasing after the women. The women screamed, but the sailors couldn’t help but laugh. Compared to war, this was a comic relief. That was my great grandfather’s war story.

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