Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nine-year-old Student Channeling Ray Bradbury?

          I gave one of my favorite photo prompts--a boy sitting in a wheelchair as he blows bubbles--to 9-year-old A.C. with these instructions: "Write a story about this boy, showing his point-of-view, as he blows bubbles and watches them fly away. Show how he feels, sitting in his wheelchair, as the bubbles freely float away." Here is the story. My comments will follow.

The Bubble Solution
By A. C., age 9

         A little boy sat hopelessly in his wheelchair and blew a bubble. As he dipped the wand into the solution and blew the bubbles, he wished he could fly away like the bubbles. He wished he could land on a grass field like he used to when he could walk. Then his eyes followed the bubble he blew. It glided across the streets. Finally it landed. It landed on a little boy in a wheelchair—just like him.
         “Jose!” the other little boy exclaimed jovially. Jose wondered how the boy knew his name. The boy rolled his wheels over to Jose and smiled.
         “I’m the future version of you,” he said, as he stood up.
         Jose widened his eyes like a tulip opening its petals. He blinked. He tried to speak, but no sound came out. At last he finally pulled himself together and asked, “You can walk?”
         The future version nodded his head and said, “All it took was some belief in myself and practice.”
         “Is that the key?”
         The future Jose nodded again. Then, suddenly he vanished. The present Jose thought about that for a moment and started getting up. He carefully balanced himself and started limping. He had done it! “Thank you, Jose,” he said to himself. “Maybe sometimes the solution is to just believe in yourself.”

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          When A.C. showed me the finished story, I exclaimed, "Wow! How did you think of this?! It's like a sci-fi story. Like something a young Ray Bradbury would write!" To her puzzled look, I replied with an explanation about who Ray Bradbury was.
          She smiled at my comparison to a "brilliant author who used science fiction to teach big life lessons." Then she explained that "lately I've been into Star Trek a lot, so I guess I was thinking about the boy seeing another version of himself, and…well, I just thought it would be a good idea."
          "So you wrote a science fiction kind of story, like a parallel universe, right? And then it becomes his imagination…"
          Nodding vigorously, she added, "And, his imagination helps him walk again because he learns to believe in himself."
          The power of mind over body, she meant. Right? The power of the mind--yes, indeed!