Create Your Own Secret Library

A group of people in Syria who love books are worried that the war’s bombs and fires will destroy the books in their ruined homes. They wrap them in blankets just as they would victims of the war ranging around them. They bring them into the basement of a building and set up a library. This new underground book collection surrounded by sandbags functions, as one user puts it, as an ”oasis of normality in this sea of destruction.” A 14 year-old boy named Amjad appoints himself as chief librarian and writes down the names of people who borrow books and returns to his seat to continue reading. He tells his friends, ”You don’t have TV now anyway, so why not come here and educate yourself? It’s fun.”

Write about Amjad and the people who come visit the library. Write about how they overcome their fears, the books they read, what they learn, what their lives are all about. Write about their courage and their hunger to learn from books. Imagine yourself being a member of this wonderful community.

This is a true story: You can read more about Amjad and his community in a new book, ”Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege,” by Mike Thomson at:

Write your own inspiring story about what this community did to save their books.

What’s Your Best Ghost Story?

You know it’s that time of year you love when you’re planning what kind of costume to wear at Halloween, what kind of treats you’re hoping for so that you don’t do mischievious deeds. You’re looking forward to the time when you’ll gather with your friends and begin to weave together a ghost or scary story with ghoulish details that will set you on edge. Here are a few openers to help you imagine your own story:

.There was a loud knock on the door this rainy,dark night and when you opened the door you saw…

.At night, shuddering in his bed, the boy heard some creaks on the stairs that led to his room; suddenly the door opened and a bloody hand reached out…

.”I’ve come to take your life” was the message on the girl’s cell phone, causing her to drop the device. What had she done to deserve such a message?

.Their mother and father sat them down on the soft and the children heard the words, ”We never told you this before, but years ago…”

Have fun; be scary or silly. Just enjoy the act of creating something special from your imagination. Trust in your ability.

Use These Five Words to Write A Story

Great writing idea from 100 Word Challenge, a writing prompts site at

We have 5 words for you this week. They all have to be included in your writing but can be in any order. They are:

Bicycle Desperate Yellow Warned Greedily

Can you create a 100-word story or paragraph using all the words and making them as interesting as possible to wow your friends? Please try. You can do this exercise, too, with any other words of your own choosing that interest you. Go to it and have fun!

Do You Have A Secret Hiding Place?

Make believe you had a secret hiding place to call your very own. It is where you can shut yourself from the demands of the world, where you can have your private thoughts and be the ”real” you. What would this secret haven be like? What would you do there? Write? Think? Pray? Just sit? How could such a place change you? Do you already have such a secret place, and if so, what is it like. Please describe.

‘We Need to Talk’

“Mom, we need to talk,” she said. “It’s something serious.”

These are the opening words of a conversation and it’s your job now to continue the dialogue and figure out what the daughter and mother are saying to each other. Relax and let your imagination take over. Maybe this is a conversation that you, too, would like to have with your mother or father. Give it a try!

To the Rescue, To Find Safety

A blind man is trapped at home where the flood waters caused by a hurricane are beginning to sweep into the house. He places his crippled son on his shoulders and slowly leaves his home to find safety. What is going on his head? What are the words he tell himself to keep going? Will he be able to save his son and himself? Tell his story!