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Fifteen Words or Less
It was in the just-after-the-holiday-break part of fourth grade when Mr. Kelly, our English teacher, told us to write our philosophy of life in fifteen words or less. I thought for a minute and then wrote, "Some things in life are all right and some things are not all right." After that, I sat curling and uncurling the edge of my paper and wondering what I should have done with the extra word.
When everyone was finished, Mr. K. folded his arms, harrumphed a bit, the way he always does, and said, "Now elaborate on what you’ve written.
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COLBY RODOWSKY is the author of many distinguished books for children and young adults, such as That Fernhill Summer, which The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books praised as a “character-driven novel about the complicated connections of family.” She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Children's Crown Collection, NCSA