Make sure to include narrative elements such as sensory details, dialogue, figurative language, and descriptions as they are appropriate.
S A M P L E
by Kim Johnson
Literature Project #4
The War that Saved my Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
My New Beginning
Today is the day that I am going to be changed. I am hoping that I will feel normal after this new beginning. Right now I feel so dependent on others. I can see my future of running, hopping, and skipping around like other young girls. I am headed to the hospital to have surgery on my left foot. My name is Ada. I have been waiting a long time for this day -- 21 years to be exact! I know you can't really taste goodness, but I have a taste in my mouth that's like a soft caramel. Caramels are so good and also my favorite. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I can also feel the love of my "new" mother. This is so exciting to me that my heart is pounding inside my chest. It's going to make my life so much better and more fulfilling than it currently is and it's all because of Susan, the woman I now call "mom". Susan is the most kind-hearted person I know. She smells like a flower garden when she hugs me. Her hugs are like how you would grab a steering wheel - with both hands!
It all started when I was born. Most children are born with two normal feet, but not me. I was born with a clubfoot. In case you don't know what that is, I will tell you. It is a deformity where my left foot is turned inward. Now it doesn't look too weird, but it does cause a lot of problems walking. It is not painful but I am unable to walk. When I was 9 years old, I was sent to live with Susan. Susan has taught me to walk with crutches. Ever since then, I have been using crutches to walk. Those crutches are a terrible thing for your armpits. It's almost as bad as putting a cactus under your arm!
Even though my foot is not normal, I am normal in all other respects. I have taught myself to read and I even taught myself to ride a horse. I love riding horses. I can feel the wind blowing my hair as I ride. But I wonder what it would be like to run. I have never ran. Some people say they get a stitch in their side when they run. I've never experienced that. I wonder if it really feels like getting stitches or if it feels like where they stick a needle in you? Running seems like such a simple task, but it has never been something that I could do. I know that I will have physical therapy after this surgery, but I am looking forward to the day where I can run. I can picture physical therapy and it's like taking a wad of paper and straightening it up so it's good again. So like the paper wad, my foot will be straight and I'll be normal. I will be able to run.
I also keep thinking about my real mom. Why did she not take me to get my foot fixed when I was born? Most doctors say that clubfoot will improve with treatment. My real mother would not let me go outside of our apartment. She never gave me crutches like Susan did. I remember looking out the apartment window and seeing the sun setting behind low, gray-blue storm clouds, and the roads glistening underneath headlights. But actually walking those glistening streets was only a dream. So when I was 9 years old, I decided to run away. That sounds funny, doesn't it? Run away. Actually I crawled away and found a woman named Susan. Susan helped me and she has been a wonderful mother figure for me. She even found a doctor to help me.
The doctor is now in my room. The doctor is handsome. He looks like someone you'd see on TV with a beautiful young woman next to him. The hospital room is very white and clean. I'm getting very sleepy. Susan is hugging me tight. It's another one of those big squeezes. I can also smell the flower garden again. "Ada, I love you. I'll be right here. Praying and waiting," whispered Susan. Susan looks over to Dr. Johnson and softly says, "Dr. Johnson, please take good care of Ada. She's my little girl and always will be." Today is the day. It's my new beginning. My left foot will soon be normal. I will soon be able to run. I plan on running like the wind.
Here's the RUBRIC to show you how your writing will be graded. It is worth 50 points total.
Narrative Writing Prompts - Grade 8
- One day you left the front door open at your house and a skunk wandered in.
- You are on an airplane. The captain announces there is trouble with an engine.
- Think of a time when you were really embarrassed.
- Imagine you are 18 years old and you can drive. You have a car or a truck and it can take you anywhere you want to go for one day. Where will you go?
- You are a student and you are being bullied at school.
- One morning you woke up and discovered that you can sing and dance.
- You accidentally broke a vase that contained your grandmother’s ashes.
- Today was a no good very bad awful day. What happened?
- One day in the library in the middle of a lesson, Mrs. Johnson suddenly passes out.
- Love is something that can make you happy or sad. Write about someone that involves those feelings (happiness or sadness). You choose.
- Imagine one morning there is a knock at your front door. You open it and to your surprise you find ___ standing there.
- You are an only child with only your mom and dad. And you are lonely.
- The teacher has left her purse on her desk and all of a sudden it starts wiggling and moving.
- You are a hero. What did you do to become a hero?
- Something terrible caused you to fall down the stairs and break your leg. What happened?
- You are granted one wish today. What happened?
- Your nose is highly developed. You can smell everything so vividly. One day you are in class and you smell something.
- Your parents will not allow you to have a pet -- but for one day you can have one pet.
- Imagine you can go anywhere you want for the summer (June and July).
- A little old lady gave you some magical glitter and told you to sprinkle it on your hair and something special happened.
- You’ve been attending KMS since 6th grade. Every day in 6th grade and 7th grade you’ve passed a door that’s always closed and locked -- but not today. It’s wide open and you step inside.
- You can be anyone you want to be for one day.
- Imagine your dad bought you an ATV.
- Imagine you won the lottery ($100,000) and you are in college.
- Imagine a time machine and it can take you to the past.
- You wake up and you now are 21 years old with a family (wife or husband, 2 children ages 2 years old and 3 months).
- There is a new world and there is no TV, no internet, or cell phones.
- Imagine you can travel to the future. You are 25 years old. Where are you and what are you doing?
- As you got off the school bus one morning, you stepped in a puddle.
- One day your dog answered you back! He told you that he didn’t like being left all alone at home while you are at school all day.
- One morning you woke up with wings. Tell me about your day.
- Your shoes have a story to tell. Tell it.
- Write to tell of a day when you were the teacher. What did you do?
- One day your teacher announced that your class was going on a field trip and you can have your class go anywhere.
- You have the opportunity to travel back in time. Where would you go? How old would you be?