I was playing basketball and I didn’t get picked because the people I was playing with thought I was booty. But I had to show them how good I was. They made me salty because of that. Then after I didn’t get picked, so the next game I went to the outhouse cause we were on the rez and there were no bathrooms in the gym. But as I was halfway walking, some got-dang ALIENS came outta nowhere and abducted me.
When I was up in their ship, they said they saw me not get picked in basketball and they said they were gonna give me super crossover powers. So when I got back to earth I was trash-talking everybody and I crossed them with my super crossover powers. I shot the ball and I made that ball. And then I went to a tournament that was run by the NBA. The winner would get a contract with the Timberwolves.
But when I was walking home the night before the tournament, I had to walk through a dark area and I just looked up and saw them aliens again and they abducted me again.
They said, “We can’t let you keep the powers because you’ll become the best ever.”
So I was like, “WTH.”
And then they dropped me out of the ship and then I went home.
I couldn’t sleep all night just wanting to show all them aliens how good I could be without the powers. So that day I went to the tournament really confident. I had to show everybody how good I was.
It was a five-man tournament so I had to find people to be on my team. I got all of the homies. I got Stephan, Trey, Robert and my brother Joseph. We won the whole tournament and me and all the homies got NBA contracts with the Timberwolves. I had a great career. And then I became the best ever to play basketball. The GOAT. I started from the bottom now I’m here. Came up from the proj. Used to be booty, now I’m good.
by Cristeta Boarini, 826 MSP
In this lesson, students explore the genres of historical and speculative fiction before they reimagine a time they felt powerless…
by Sabrin, Grade 9, 826 MSP
In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, 9th grader Sabrin discusses how she feels both happy and sad, and thanks nurses nationwide for bringing her peace through their work.
by Shayne Williams
Discover what one student experiences when they tuck their phone away for a whole day.
by Aniah, 826 MSP
A student is lifted up by the dance of her ancestors.
by Caroline, 826 Valencia
A student explores U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel in protest during the national anthem.
by Fahima Dahir, 826 MSP
A poem about the strength and limitations of language and shared culture.
by Calvin, 826michigan
A laugh-out-loud personal narrative about a crush. Has your heart ever beat so fast it might get a speeding ticket and a $500 fine?
by Sian Laing
When Instagram becomes an unsightly battlefield.
by Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra, 826DC
Living in the digital world can create unwanted attachments, as one student laments.
by Charles, 826 MSP
A student reflects on his life, stemming from the life of his father.
by Navayah, 826 MSP
Through redefining a label, a student reclaims a piece of their identity.
by Christopher, Bryan, & Jahir, 826CHI
In an exchange of letters, three students across one city share stories about where they came from and the places that matter most.
by David & Daniel, 826CHI
In this heartfelt exchange of letters, two students bond over food, videos games, and some scary adventures.
by William, 826LA
A teen discovers the power of books to transport him to another world, and shares his excitement about becoming a published author.
by Anjum, 826CHI
A shout-out poem to some things missed (Hyderabad) and celebrated (Mom).
by Elizabeth W, 826 Valencia
Even though we may look different, we remain united with one another.
by Kalyn Jackson, 826 New Orleans
Through this short story, Kalyn explores ideas of home and change in an altered world.
by Jason, 826michigan
Making bottle flipping look like child's play, this piece outlines rules for the new, competitive Fantasy Sport "Pencils".
by Steysi Hailee, 826LA
A student reflects on a small moment and single sacrifice that transformed her outlook on giving.
by Soraya, 826NYC
This student’s powerful piece reveals the essence of racial injustice.
by Jazlyn Moses, 826 National
One student explores their online persona and the lasting importance of conscientious social media practices.
by Jazmine & Vanessa, 826CHI
Over a series of letters, two compassionate and resilient students develop a deep friendship sealed in writing.
by Henry, Matthew, & Santiago, 826CHI
A compilation of letters written by three students across one city filled with thoughts on books, sports, music, family, and musings on Valentine’s Day.
by Pretty S, 826 Valencia
Glimpse into the mind of a student who considers artistic influences in her life.
by Kyla Edwards, 826 New Orleans
This creative short story explores a snapshot of what a future New Orleans might look like amid climate change.
by Byanna & Kayla, 826CHI
Two students across one city bond by writing letters to each other about the people they love most.
by Reuben & Giselle, 826CHI
Two students write to each other about where they came from, what they love, and a few mishaps along the way in an exchange of letters.
by Pia, 826NYC
A student reimagines food justice: Fruit Woman must convince Junk Food Man and Cheesecake Boy to eat their fruits and vegetables.
by Mercury, 826CHI
A student explores the representation of LGBTQIA+ minorities and youth in US pop culture.
by Sammie, Grade 9, 826 MSP
In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a freshman at South High School in Minneapolis thanks care workers for supporting our local and national communities during this global pandemic.
by Johnny Vasquez, 826 MSP
A family interview reveals a mother's painful past and shines a light on her persistence.
by Ryker, 826michigan
Liner notes that showcase the meaning and musicality of the Jimmy Ruffin song “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.”
by Kevin G, 826 Valencia
This narrative calls us to see the world through the perspectives of others.
by Jonas K., 826 National
A student explores the paradox of how technology is used amongst teenagers.
by Samuel Wang, Grade 10, 826NYC
A poem about the complexity of love exchanged during the holidays.
by Gilbert, 826LA
One teen writes a letter to his 14-year-old self, citing his past fears but looking towards his present, a brighter future.