Writings & Artwork
Waverly Elementary School
My Uncle Died
Illustrated & written by John
Featherstone (Grade 4)
I remember when my uncle died from cancer. This
happened when I was 7. I saw my uncle's dead body. He died on January 11,
1999. My uncle died in my basement and my Dad found my uncle's body. His
name was Matt. We played football and we always had a good time together.
When we went to his funeral I felt sad and mad. My
family was upset. After the funeral we went home to change our clothes. I
saw my uncle's picture on the shelf with our family pictures. I could
still smell the flowers from the graveyard..
Finally, I learned not to smoke because my uncle died
from cancer. When I grow up I will not smoke.
* * * *
The Rain Forest
Illustrated & written by Nathan Pitts
The rainforest is a place where animals live. A
rainforest is also a place where animals--like jaguars, katydids, macaws,
and parrots--live. A rainforest is a big forest.
Some interesting facts I learned was that a jaguar is
the biggest cat in the Amazon rainforest. Another fact that I learned was
that a howler monkey has a special bone in its throat that acts like a
trumpet when they call out.
I also learned that fungi are important in rainforest
because they help kill dead leaves. Eagles are the most powerful birds in
rainforest. I would read more books to find more facts about the
rainforest. Nathan Pitts
* * * *
A Letter to the Assistant Principal
By Akasia Lawson
December 20, 2001
Dear Mrs. Terry,
My name is Alassia Lawson. I
am in Mr. Martin's fourth grade class. I think that you should ask the
School Board of Education to add more equipment to the playground. Read my
reasons carefully and i am that I will convince you.
First, you should add more
equipment because there is not enough stuff for fourth and fifth graders
to play on at the same time. Children might fight over a particular spot
to get in and it might be so crowded that some might fall and hurt
themselves. If you don't want children getting hurt, add more and safer
equipment to the playground.
Another reason that you should
add more equipment is that monkey bars are boring and dangerous. I
witnessed a boy at my summer camp fall off the monkey bars and break his
arm. He went to the hospital . . . If you don't want parents complaining,
get safer equipment.
A final reason that you should
add more equipment is that children will try to get their work done. They
will also try to get it right because the teachers might let them go and
play on the new equipment. This new equipment might even raise Waverly's
scores. I'm not picky so whatever you choose is fine. If you add more
equipment, it will make me, you, and the whole class happy.
* * * *
By Lance Randolph
I remember last summer when I was playing for the
Northwood Baseball Team. It was one of my most embarrassing moments, but
in the end it was fun
When I was playing baseball, it was a wet sunny day. It
had just rained. The game was almost over. The score was tied. My coach
said to me, "Lance all you have do is hit one home run, then we win.
Lance did you get that?" I said, "Ha, oh, yeah right, I got
I was up to bat. All I had to do is hit a home run. The
pitcher threw the ball at me. The ball hit me on my leg. I didn't walk to
first base. I swung again and hit the ball into the far end of right
So I ran to first and second base, but since I had no
belt on, when I was on the way to third base, my pants fell down. I fell
down and my face fell into some mud. When I looked up and around,
everybody was laughing. I got up and pulled my pants up and ran, ran, ran.
But when I got to the chalk line between third and home
plate, two fat boys came out of nowhere like fat blobs of doom. I couldn't
get past them, so instead I slid under them. The y looked like fat sumo
wrestlers when they bashed into each other's stomachs. Then they fell on
their backs and I slid into home plate. What a game! Lance Randolph
* * * *
I Remember When
By Rhia McKissic
I remember when I had my first doctor's appointment.
First, the doctor called my name. He led my mother and me into a room. The
room was filled with all kinds of medicine. He told me sit down on an
unusual bed. The doctors asked me all sorts of questions. He asked me my
favorite subject in school and my favorite colors. When he finished, he
asked me to take off all of my clothes except my T-shirt and underwear. He
made me stand on a scale. Then he said I was 2 feet tall.
Next, he put a stick in the back of my mouth. Then he
put a light in my ears and tried to guess my favorite food. He said
pancakes. I said yes, you are right. When I saw the needle I cried. He
told me to close my eyes and count to ten. He stuck me and gave me a rug
rat Band-Aid and a blue lollipop.
I went to my house and felt real good. I came back the
next time and got a scoobydoo Band-Aid and a red lollipop. Rhia McKissic
* * * *
Memories of Santa Claus
By Tina Ortiz
I remember when I believed in Santa
Claus. It was such a happy feeling to receive presents every year. Every
night on Christmas Eve my mother and I would bake cookies. Baking cookies
is fun, especially when the cookies are for Santa. In the morning I would
find the cookies gone and the room was filled with presents that Santa had
left. I remember when I didn't have any dough for cookies and Santa still
brought me things. I also remember my first bike. It had pink and white
lace draggling from the handlebars. And it was astonishing pink! I really
did like Santa.
Then one Christmas Eve morning we were
going to church. After a couple of minutes we were there. After one song
our pastor settled down and started preaching. The church was quite
colorful that day. There were red and green stripes and beautiful
Christmas flowers all over the church. Our pastor started to preach about
Santa Claus: she said he wasn't real.
At first, I did not believe her. She had
made me completely mad. I had proof of Santa Claus being real, he left me
a dozen presents every year.
"Foolish girl," she said.
"At your age, you should know that the only people that put those
presents under the tree are your parents." I knew than that hse was
telling the truth. The preacher interrupted that moment of silence.
"So who will you believe? Me or
your childish, foolish Santa?" At that moment I was hurt, silent,
motionless, but as I walked towards my bench, i wondered how she could be
a preacher and she hurts people feelings? I was back to feeling sad at
that point. I felt like a fool for believing in him.
When I got home, I had to get rid of
everything in my room that had to do with him. Things such as posters,
videos, and my Christmas list, especially my Christmas, list. Because if
there wasn't a Santa, what was the meaning of a Christmas list.
As I got older, I got into the habit of
calling Santa Mr. C." I don't think he deserves a full name like
Santa Claus because he is not real.
Now I know the truth and I'm better off
with it/ When I grow up and have children, I will let them bake their
cookies, and let them believe what they want, and let them have their fun
and games, but only while they are young. As they get older, they will
know the truth and do as I did when I when I was a child. Tina Ortiz
* * * *
from Brittany Pitts (Grade 4)
May 22, 2002
Dear President Bush:
I was reading the Wednesday, May 7, Baltimore Sun newspaper. I
happened to read in the section of planning that you are planning to
drill in Alaska. Why would you want to do something like that? Alaska
has s large number of exotic animals living there. Here are my best
reasons why you should not drill in Alaska. Please read this, it might
change your mind.
First of all, if you drill in Alaska and put chemicals in the ground,
they might explode. If that happens there could be avalanches. For
example, on the Discovery Channel, I saw that avalanches can possibly
occur because of loud noises. I say avalanches can occur when the sounds
of the drilling machines start. There is a lot of snow in Alaska, so
that means there could be a lot of avalanches. Avalanches can kill and
also injure people badly.
Next, you could decrease the number of animals living there. The
lives of bears, wolves, and birds, just to name a few, will be ruined
and gone. I know that you are drilling to see how much oil there is, but
you are harming the wildlife, such as bears, wolves and birds. Likewise,
moles live underground, and if you drill there they'll be affected.
Alaska does not need ill and infected animals.
Another reason why you should not drill in Alaska is you'll deplete
the natural resources and deprive the number of animals in there
habitats. People know that we can't make trees, grass, and dirt. We know
oil doesn't have a very pleasant scent. Oil also pollutes our air.
Similarly, oil would be everywhere. For instance, smoke from the flames
at the World Trade Center polluted all of New York. If smoke pollutes
the air so could oil.
Here is my final reason why you should not drill in Alaska. There
could be an oil spill in the ocean. In the booklet Kids Discovery
Facts About the Water, oil is found under the ocean. Oil can make
people sick. If oil can make people sick, it can also do the same to
animals. When some of the oil spills in the ocean, sea creatures could
die. That will make Alaska's oceans go rotten because of the smell. For
example, if the underwater plants go rotten and the fish eat them, that
will kill them. I don't want this to happen.
Now that you know avalanches can occur because of loud noises, and
can deplete the number of animals living there, kill all natural
resources and could cause an oil spill, I hope you will stop your plans.
I would really appreciate it.
* * * *
* * * *
Waverly Writing Fair
On Monday, June 10, 2002, Waverly Elementary School
sponsored a school-wide writing fair. Students in grade pre-kindergarten
through fifth grade participated in the fair. Writing was a major focus
at the school during the 2001-2002 school year.
In addition to participating in writing
activities which involved responding to writing prompts, students were
encouraged to be very creative in free write activities.
All students have daybooks or writing journals in which they were
expected to record their seed ideas for writing topics.. the entire
Waverly Family including administrators, teachers, staff, and students
wrote in journals and had the "Writing Bug."
Several professors, principals, librarians, and or authors were
invited to the fair to judge the writings of the students. each homeroom
class submitted three samples to be judged. three winners and one
honorable mention were awarded. All Waverly students received pencils
and other treats for participating in the Writing Fair.
Student writing was literally all over the building. Student work
could be found in the classrooms, in hall displays, in the library and
hanging from ceilings. All students and parents were enchanted by the
musical production of RATS. Students were able to display their
artistic talents and show the community that they were indeed awesome
* * * *
ChickenBones: A Journal sends out a tremendous thank-you to
Assistant Principal Yvonne Terry for assisting us in pulling together
this collection of student writings. The Journal would also like to
thank the parents and their young authors for allowing their work to be
submitted for publication. We hope this is not the first and only
submission we receive from our youngest writers. Rudolph
* * * *
Mural crated by Youthful Artists at Eutaw Marshburn
* * *
Sister Grief: Defined and Conquered in
"Sister Grief: Defined and Conquered in
Jesus" is an engaging book that
confronts the universal experience of
living with death and dying. The author
personifies the personal loss of loved
ones as "Sister Grief." The book, partly
autobiographical, provides a holistic
plan for conquering grief through faith,
through a special relationship with
Jesus. This plan is designed to help
navigate one through the grieving
process. The book includes personal
stories, poetry, testimonials, letters,
practical suggestions, and strategies
based on a love for the divinity in
one's life. Although the circumstances
that cause grief may be sad, this book
is filled with love, encouragement, and
hope that lead one towards spiritual
health and wholeness.
* * *
* * * *
The Last Holiday: A Memoir
By Gil Scott Heron
Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered.
* * *
The Ditchdigger’s Daughters
Yvonne Thornton’s memoir
The Ditchdigger’s Daughters has
captured the hearts of readers everywhere
since it was first published in 1995.
Translated into 19 languages, featured on
Oprah, and made into a TV movie, this
heart-warming and inspiring story chronicles
Yvonne Thornton’s family; at its center is
her beloved, unschooled but wise father
Donald Thornton, who demanded that all five
of his daughters not only excel in school,
but go on to become doctors. Four of them
did; the other found her calling in law and
became a lawyer instead.—Dafina
Thornton's frank, relaxed manner makes it
accessible to general readers as well as
students of women's or African American
memoir. Worth considering also for those
looking for inspirational reads.—Library
* * * * *
Salvage the Bones
A Novel by Jesmyn Ward
On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.
conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—
* * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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update 1 June 2012