Writing Gallery


I Forgot To Make You Breakfast

The following are selections from our recently released After-School Tutoring chapbook, I Forgot To Make You Breakfast.

Scared at the Museum
by Ivanova
Grade 1

Once I was scared
of the dinosaurs at the museum
and my sister was scared too
but my dad was not.
But before that I was not
scared when I went on a
field trip.

And then I saw bears
and mummies, it was quiet
but they were dead. And then
we saw some birds, some
were brown and some blue.
They were stuffed.

I saw ducks and they were
brown and light brown and black.
I saw dead worms
and eagles and deer too.
I even touched eagle feet
and saw disgusting dead fish bones.

But next time I won’t be scared.

The Day Michael Jackson Turned My Life Around
by Ella
Grade 6

One BAD, BAD day (a school day, like every BAD day), I fell out of my wooden nail-y bed and couldn’t find my blue t-shirt. My mum, like always, screamed, “Get down the stairs right now!” and down I went. I walked to school like usual and stepped in green dog poo.

I was starving because my mum kicked me out the door before I could eat. At school, I ate the worst food ever, which was rotten bananas and spaghetti cereal with worm sauce.

Into class I went. The seventy-year-old teacher, who dresses like she’s seventeen and smells like armpits, said, “Today, class, we are going to have a helper!”
I was like, Oh, no!

Out from nowhere, Michael Jackson did a moonwalk into our classroom. I was so happy. He was singing the song “Smooth Criminal” all day and I never got tired of it. He gave me his sparkling shoes (because my shoes had dog poo on them), and with the sparkling shoes he taught me how to do the moonwalk. Then all the kids got mad because I had sparkly shoes and they did not have any, so they killed Michael Jackson by taking all his fanciest clothes and throwing them out the window. He was so heartbroken that he died.

If you think that MJ died from what you heard on the news, it is not true, this is how it really happened. I still have the sparkly shoes, and now I do the moonwalk to school everyday. But everyday, I clean parts of his clothes that the kids threw out the window and believe that he will come back.

The End

Spectacular Jennifer
by Jennifer
Grade 5

If I were a superhero my name would be Spectacular Jennifer. What turned me into a superhero was that, one day, I was in art class, and it was free time so I was looking out the window. There was a glitter in the right corner. It wasn’t just any glitter, it was a colored one—a color that I can’t even explain. I was so interested so I touched it with my finger (I love art class). I felt goose bumps.

I ran to my house and…I found out I could make something ugly into something beautiful or something mean into something nice. When I came home I saw a rat and it was ugly and mean. But I wasn’t scared and I pet it and it turned into a horse. Then I saw a pencil with bite marks and with a mustache. I picked it up and it came to life with beautiful long hair and a dress. The pencil grew to two inches, with bite marks. I also could turn gold glitter to gold (BIG gold). I was rich after two weeks.

With all of my gold I bought a real gold fish made out of cheese. Also I bought a ticket to go on a vacation to the space ship that they have in space with Wall-E in it.

Everyone knows Spectacular Jennifer. My catch phrase is the sound of sparks and I say, “Spa-spa-spectacular!”

My enemy is a villain named Cat Girl. Cat Girl used to be a football player and she used to be a soccer ball. Cat Girl hated this, but one day Cat Girl drank a poison drink and she turned into a cat although she was still a girl.

Cat Girl just gives me the chills and we fight because she hates glitter. Our fight never ends. Cat Girl looks like a hairball with more hair and one piece of white hair. She wears black high heels (that’s why she can’t run fast). Cat Girl also wears a black jump suit with black monkeys on it. She has black ears and a long, black tail. Cat Girl’s catch phrase is “Meow.”

The Adventures of Drunie, The Flying Space Ninja Toilet

Once upon a time... in the very far off and super Milky Way Galaxy, there lived a space ninja. He wasn’t just any space ninja, though. He was actually a flying magic space ninja toilet! His name was Drunie.

He had dark blue and green polka dots. His favorite thing to drink was Dunkin Donuts coffee, with just a little bit of cream and sugar. He liked eating Milky Way candy bars that floated around in space in the Milky Way. Drunie lived in two places. He had a giant chair that floated randomly in space, and a condo in China because he liked to eat Chinese food.

Every day Drunie would wake up, have his coffee, eat a Milky Way candy bar, and brush his turquoise mohawk. He liked to go jump on asteroids. When he would get really excited water would splash out of him.

One day, Drunie decided to go find a friend, because floating around in space, though very fun, was also very lonely. The first place he went was his condo in China. He thought, “Maybe I can find a friend here.” He wandered out into the street and saw lots of people, and kind of got overwhelmed. So, he popped into the Sink Store, and standing there, looking ever so lonely just like him, was this awesome sink. His name was Bob. He was red with purple polka dots. He was also covered in rust.

Drunie said to Bob, “You look lonely, I’m lonely too. Would you be my friend?”

“Only if you help me find a light bulb for my friend TL, the lamp,” Bob said.

“Of course I will help you find a light bulb!” Drunie said.

They left the sink store and traveled to the sun, because that’s where all of the best light bulbs came from.

They got into their space ship and waited in three hours of traffic.

But when they finally got to the sun, there were ninjas guarding the light bulb store! These weren’t just any space ninjas, though. They were chicken alien space ninjas! And they all had different patterns of stripes on their chicken alien space ninja wings. They all had the same name. It was Donut. Except the leader’s name was Frank.

Bob and Drunie walked up to the space ninja chicken aliens, and asked, “Can we PLEASE have a light bulb?”

All the Donuts replied together, “NO!!! You cannot have a light bulb!”

“Why?” asked Bob and Drunie. “We just want one.”

Frank answered, “Why do you need a light bulb? You’re a toilet and a sink!”

Dr. Macintosh - The Awkward Horse Dentist and His Crazy Adventures

Dr. Macintosh was a horse dentist, who ate too many egg shells. He was an awkward horse dentist, that is why he ate too many egg shells. Dr. Macintosh wore a pink lab coat with a picture of himself eating egg shells. The coat smelled like egg shells. Dr. Macintosh also wore a purple cowboy hat and high purple cowboy boots. Every day Dr. Macintosh woke up and ate a fresh barrel-load of egg shells. His wife, Mrs. Macintosh, had to wake up at 6:30 every morning to crack all of his egg shells.  Mrs. Macintosh had puffy, crazy white hair and for Halloween she always went as Frankenstein’s bride.

One day Dr. Macintosh went out for his daily visit to all of the horses in Las Vegas.

“Have fun with the horses!” yelled Mrs. Macintosh.

The first horse Dr. Macintosh went to visit was named Rex. He had a thousand teeth. Dr. Macintosh had a crazy idea, he told Rex to go eat a lot of Tootsie Rolls and his teeth would fall out. Rex the horse did not like this idea so he ran into a wall and knocked all of his teeth out.

“Now you’ve done it,” said Dr. Macintosh, “you have no teeth.”

“Rrrbrbbbrbbbrr,” mumbled Rex, because now he had no teeth.

“Now we have to go to Hong Kong,” said Dr. Macintosh, “to the only place that makes horse dentures, Horse Mart.”

Dr. Macintosh and Rex went back to the house to get Mrs. Macintosh, the invisible airplane and the monkey, Goulo, who was the pilot. Goulo wore a monkey pilot suit with diamonds that spelled out his name all over. They all got on the invisible airplane and arrived in Hong Kong two hours later. Then they had to take a train forty miles to Burglar Street, where Horse Mart was located.

When they got to Horse Mart they discovered that there were no more horse dentures. 

826 does Pitchfork (Part II)

This summer, a handful of students (ages 10-12) who are also budding rock and roll journalists made their way to the Pitchfork Music Festival in order to interview some of the biggest names in the indie music world. We'll be updating the Writing Gallery over the coming weeks with interviews they conducted with Best Coast, Surfer Blood, Beach House, Sleigh Bells, El-P and Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon.

This week, we bring you PART II of an interview with Charles from Broken Social Scene.

826CHI: How do you find your inspiration. Like when you write a song, do you find inspiration before? Or does it just come to you? How do you find it?

BSS: Inspiration is sneaky. Sometimes, um, sometimes it comes before. Sometimes it comes during, while you’re writing the song, and sometimes it comes—and then you listen to it, and then it tells you something about yourself. You didn’t really see it before. You were just making music, and then when you listened to the music afterwards, you see something about yourself. And so it’s like the inspiration comes either before, during, or after. Inspiration is something you can’t put your finger on, and if you try formulas, then often you lose. You just have to be open to inspiration all the time. I like that question.

826CHI: Um, have you ever played a venue in Chicago? Or is this your first time?

BSS: Oh, I’ve played lots of venues in Chicago. The Metro. The Empty Bottle. Where else? Um, what’s that one? I can’t remember. I play in Chicago many times. I think the first time I played in Chicago was in 1996, which is when you were born? How old are you?

826CHI: 1998.

BSS: So I’ve been coming to Chicago for a long time.

826CHI: When you tour Chicago, have you ever eaten at Pizzeria Uno?

BSS: Pizzeria Uno? I’ve eaten pizza here, but I can’t remember all the names. Maybe I did, maybe when I had delicious, famous Chicago-style pizza, that was pizzeria Uno?

826CHI: That could be it. It might be Connies. Or Giordanos.

BSS: Okay. I don’t know.

826CHI: How did you get interested in making music?

BSS: How did I get interested in making music? I think I started by being interested in listening to music. I listened to a lot of music when I was young, when I was a kid. And I, uh, and then. uh, somebody gave me a guitar and taught me a couple chords, taught me a couple songs I liked, and it was fun. And I just kept going with it. And I kept learning more and more songs that I liked. And then I found writing with other people really fun, too. It’s kinda like making friends but instead of talking you’re playing notes to each other.

826CHI: Do you have a favorite city, state, or country to visit while on tour?

BSS: Um, Chicago is one of my favorite cities.
826CHI: And why?

BSS: We recorded our last album in Chicago and spent a lot of time here. And, uh, there is a lot of good bands from Chicago. There are a lot of good people in Chicago. There’s a lot of good neighborhoods in Chicago. I think Chicago is a good city. A lot of cities in America are turning into nothing but suburbs, you know? Like suburbs become the city and there’s nothing downtown? Chicago has a healthy downtown, and I like that about a city.

826CHI: Um, when is your newest album coming out?

BSS: Our album came out in May! Where you been? Well, we have, um, let’s see, we have a bunch of leftover songs. We made the record, the record is fourteen songs, but while we were recording it we actually recorded close to forty songs. So we’re probably going to arrange some of those other songs.

826CHI: Okay, what’s your favorite song out of those forty songs?

BSS: That’s like asking what your favorite child is. They’re all great in their own way. I think if I could pick one, I would say there’s a song called “Sentimental Exes.”

826CHI: How long did it take for you to make one of your albums. Any one.

BSS: The one we just did took a year. We started in May last year and it came out in May this year. So we were working on it every day, of course. We would work on it for two weeks, take a break for two weeks, work on it two weeks. So it took a year, beginning to end.

826CHI: What’s the biggest thing your band’s had to sacrifice because of going on tour and things like that? Being so famous…what’s the biggest thing?

BSS: Um, for me? Personally, it’s time with my family. I have two little kids who are four and six years old. And I love to spend time with my kids. So it’s hard for me to leave my family to go on tour. But on the other hand, when I’m home, I get to spend a lot of time with them ‘cause I don’t have a day job. So it’s a little bit of give and take. But I think the biggest sacrifice is…um…
Patrick: One minute warning. Ask your last questions.

BSS: Uh oh. Pick your favorite.

826CHI: Alright. What is your favorite cartoon character?

BSS: My favorite cartoon character is…this is a good one. Itchy. Like Itchy and Scratchy? From “The Simpsons?”

826CHI: Oh yeah! That’s a good one. How have you been enjoying yourself at Pitchfork?

BSS: Immensely.

826CHI: What do you like better? Canadian—

BSS: Let’s get political here.

826CHI: Okay. What made you want to write a song about the G-20 Summit?

BSS: Wow. Thank you. The G-20 Summit was in our hometown, in Toronto, and we were away for it. And while we were away the G-20 happened, and we didn’t recognize our city. We were watching it on TV, we were watching it on YouTube, and we were watching all this footage, and it was just like something horrible was happening. The police were acting very badly, in my opinion.

826CHI: Could you explain—sorry to interrupt you—but could you explain what the G-20 Summit is?

BSS: It’s all the world—20 somewhat arbitrary leaders get together and basically talk about economics in the world and try to come up with strategies and plans but, um.

826CHI: But you say the police were acting badly, but don’t you think the protestors were too? They were smashing windows and burning things. Don’t you think they were bold...

BSS: Yes, but the thing is, when the protestors were smashing the windows, the police weren’t doing anything. And when protestors weren’t doing anything, the police were arresting them.

826CHI: Oh, man.

BSS: So the police weren’t doing their job when they should’ve, and then they were arresting people and abusing them when they shouldn’t. And the other thing is, most the protestors, although they were vandalizing, they were smashing windows. They weren’t being violent. There’s a difference between vandalism and violence. Nobody was getting hurt. They were doing economic damage. But the police were beating people up; the police were hurting people. The protestors were hurting stuff. There’s a big difference for me.

826CHI: Okay.

BSS: Thank you! I have time for one more.
Patrick: You have time for one more?

BSS: I don’t know what I’m doing next. I’m enjoying this. Go ahead, is this a yes or no question?

826CHI: Yes. Well, kind of. Do you like Canadian bacon or American-style bacon better?

BSS: (laughs) That’s great, that’s great, save the best for last. In Canada, Canadian bacon is called pemale bacon. It’s not called Canadian bacon. Pemale bacon. And I prefer regular bacon.

826CHI: Yeah, there we go! Thank you so much!

BSS: Thank you so much! That was my favorite interview of the day. Nice work!

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where to find us
And the Rest Is Noise

Interviews & Reflections From The Students Of 826CHI’s 2017 Pitchfork Music Writing Intensive

by the 826CHI Teen Press Corps

Read it here >>

On Our Way Home

by Sofiya C., grade 8


by Sam W, grade 9