We are now open for submissions to our latest series: "Friendship".
From the sweaty camaraderie of a soccer match to the firelit community of a group campsite, our experiences with friends make us who we are. We're nourished by friendships in untold ways; our innate need to understand and support each other made all the more acute by the isolating nature of the past year. Great friendships take on a personality of their own, often sparked by little more than a cool lunchbox or a tussle on the monkey-bars: developing into afternoons of sharing inside jokes, crazier and crazier games, and eventually a kind of fierce solidarity of identity. Stretching beyond classroom numbers or cultural divide, friendship fortifies us as a matter of choice, creating personal identity as much as it reaches beyond it.
We want your real stories about friendship; epic tales about friendship forged through bloody conquest; artwork that dwells on a shared meal or simple conversation.
Send your work to YouthReview@emeraldparents.org by Friday, October 15th. Remember to include your name, grade and school, and an (optional) headshot with your piece!
In Which Luna Convinces Her Mom
Luna had her mind all on the poster she read yesterday. She didn’t hear one word that her teacher had said. She either had not paid attention, or learned anything new.
After class, Luna wandered over to the same poster that hung right down the street of her classroom.
She glanced away, but looked back. Luna made her choice. Though it might be impossible, Luna would try to persuade her mom to let her go to the secret island.
She walked closer to her home. Once she arrived, she became more confident she could do it.
“I have something to say,” Luna said when she closed the door.
“Huh?” Ada asked, a little startled.
“We’re listening, Luna,” said Mrs. Luni.
“Alright. Well, I saw this sign on the streets. Basically, a few people can go together to investigate a mysterious island, and well . . .”
“You are telling me that you want to go?” Mrs. Luni interrupted, gasping.
“I guess so . . . Ada can also go with me.” Luna said.
“No, there is no possible way. Luna, you are only eleven. Why don’t you ask someone else to help you investigate?” said Mrs. Luni.
“Please? We really want to help!” Luna and Ada both stared at their mom.
“Hmm . . . I guess you both can go this time.”
Ada and Luna scampered upstairs to prepare their things.
“I can't wait!” Luna said to Ada while they were packing.
“You got me into this,” Ada said. “Even though I'm starting to worry I’m also bursting with excitement.” Ada had just packed her last thing.
In our "Homeland" series of art and writing, our contributors distill the act of returning to their family's home country into moments of cultural pride, learning, and awe.
One surprising highlight of being in Shanghai, for contributor Teresa Jiang? Breakfast. Read more through her essay The Real Warriors.
For Brendon Wang, going home to Xi'an was a roller-coaster ride involving bad candy, one fateful friendship, and fireworks. Read more through his essay "Homeland".
Born in Kirkland, contributor Derek Wang views our national parks as one great expression of his homeland's beauty. Read more through his essay "My Homeland".
Finally, contributor Grace Li captures the iconic giant panda through her resplendent artwork, Chengdu Panda.
Our gratitude to our contributors and the Emerald Parents board for making this series of the Emerald Youth Review possible.
No school — yay! Mom told us to wake up, and then get ready for a sumptuous breakfast. Wow, sumptuous? We'll be eating fancy food and be in a humongous restaurant? I’m super duper excited!
“We're going to go now!” Mom hollered as I scurried out of bed.
After a while of walking, we finally arrived at the restaurant which was located right across the street in our neighborhood. I was fully thrilled until…
“How’s this special? It looks so old, but so many people are outside waiting to order their breakfast! Mom, what is happening?” I asked, confused.
“It’s a little but popular breakfast restaurant...”
I sighed with hundreds of questions. Was this really called a restaurant? I’m not sure…
The smell was floating into my nose, but the ambience wasn’t as good as I thought. It looked wrecked, broken, and little. When I touched the seat, my hands were covered with dust. Meanwhile, all I could hear was people chattering.
Shortly, a woman with plain clothes came towards us warm-heartedly with a smile, bringing us four kinds of food. She seemed to be really tired but dedicatedly cleaned the table and put the dishes in front of us.
“Thanks for your patience, Here is your order, the ‘Four Warriors’. They are the most famous Shanghai breakfast!"
I looked at the plates closely and curiously found one that held a pocket of warm air and is fragrant with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. There were some fried dough sticks that were very light. Another one was silky soy milk mixed with lots of different kinds of sauce. The last one was a ball of rice with some secret ingredients inside.
Although I was born in the USA, my mom and dad were born and raised in China. It follows that my hometown is in China. I used to go there every year until I started school. The last time that I went to China was in 2016.
When I went to Xi'an in China, I would always eat a lot of yummy foods. The last time I went back to China, I ate barbeque. I asked for no spice, but in the end, I still got a little bit. That was the first time I had ever eaten chili, and I was very proud of myself. Whenever I ate a meat piece, I would drink a lot of water, then eat another piece.
I also remember getting a toy from a movie which was about a police car. I really wanted the toy, but they didn’t sell it in the USA. The toy was only sold in China. When I went to China later that year, I got the toy. When I got to my grandparents’ house, I rushed to the toy.
Where my grandparents live in China, there was another kid with the same name as me. I played with him. Once, we were lighting fireworks. I also remember playing with fake guns. We were pretending to be the police.
I went to a wedding of my grandparents’ friend. I ate a piece of candy with something I was allergic to. After I ate it, I thought I was going to throw up. I never ate any candy from China after that day.
I was born in Kirkland, Washington. Therefore, my homeland is the United States of America.
When I think of my homeland, I think first of its natural beauty. There are many national parks in the USA. There are many cute animals in the national parks. We went to two national parks recently: Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park.
At Mt. Rainier, we hiked up the mountains. I saw a few chipmunks. Feeding wildlife is against the law, but some people fed the chipmunks. My mom took videos, and I watched the chipmunks. My dad and my brother hiked further than me and my mom on the trail.
At the Olympic National Park, we went to the Hoh Rainforest and Hurricane Ridge.
At the Hoh Rainforest, we hiked in two trails: the Spruce Natural Trail and the Hall Of Mosses trail. We took a break after starting to walk the Hall Of Mosses trail. We saw ducks swimming in a pond. One by one, they went on a log. Then, they went back into the pond! They are like a troop who follows orders. The ducks were funny copying what everybody else did!
At Hurricane Ridge, we hiked only one trail. We walked back to the parking lot to take photos. We also saw a deer. We took photos and a video. It was eating some small plants. After taking many photos, we took a close-up view of the deer. Its ear was hurt!
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is widely spread in my homeland of the USA. Because of COVID-19, we rarely go to national parks these days. I hope the restrictions of COVID-19 can end so we can explore more national parks and see more animals without worrying about getting COVID-19.