Monday, August 12, 2013

Student Work To Share with You!

The following short story opening by an 11-year-old student/author, and the story-in-progress that resulted (28 pages at my last count!), evolved from a writing prompt that required Ronin and the other boys in his small group class to alter the first line of a popular YA book and launch their own story. I gave them the choice of a story by Robert Cormier, featuring a retrospective, first-person narrative style, and a story by Michael Grant, featuring a cinematic, first-person narrative style. Ronin chose to alter the first line of Michael Grant's GONE (a captivating first book in an equally exciting series, by the way). If you like what you've read by Ronin, let me know in the comments and I'll ask Ronin whether he'd like to share more of this compelling tale.

By R.B., age 11

One minute my Maverick SmartJET was flying on a windy day, and the next minute it was dropping. Dropping like a stone. The change was so sudden and silent that I did not have the slightest clue about what happened. My engines just stopped. I had stalled.

There was only one thing to do. I quickly radioed the airfield and Coast Guard, due to the fact I was flying over the ocean. I was close to the beach, yet not close enough to swim there once I crashed into the ocean, assuming I wasn’t crushed to death when I hit the water. I had to keep calm.

I had equipped my plane with a button to switch from landing gear made for runways to pontoons made for landing on water. I made sure that the pontoons had deployed, but as soon as I put my head out of the cabin, the air rushing by pulled my skin taut against my skull. I instantly withdrew my head, taking deep breaths. This would be one heck of a crash. I scrambled into the cabin, taking the controls. All I could think of doing was correcting the rudder to prevent an unstable crash. I had only 100 feet to go… 90…80…70…60…50…40…30…20…10…5…and just like that, water engulfed the private plane, sending chills through my skin… and everything went black.

When I woke up, I was in what seemed to be the back seat of a helicopter belonging to the coast guard. My head ached, and my teeth were chattering.

“You did a good job,” the pilot said when he saw I was awake. “Thanks to the pontoons, the plane bobbed to the surface. It’s currently being brought to the shore by boat. Right now, we’re flying to the airfield. How are you feeling?”

“I’m all right, I guess,” I replied uncertainly.

As if on cue, the airfield came into sight. I was perfectly safe, but one question bothered me: why had my engine stopped?

To be continued...

I will also be posting work by some of my other students in the coming weeks. Please know that I will happily share your kind words with them if you post them here!