Ella Taylor

Description: A curious fifth-grader who could probably accomplish much more than she thinks


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Learning to Swim

It was early in the afternoon and Ella Taylor was terribly bored. Through her bedroom window, across the street, and over three lawns, she could see the pool in Jenny's backyard, crowded with most of her friends. She watched them practice their dives and handstands, cheering each other on. They took a short break to play with the dog on the grass, and they snacked on potato chips and peanut butter birthday cake. Then, abandoning their half-finished plates on picnic tables and lounge chairs, they jumped back into the pool.

Ella had begged Jenny to have a peanut-free cake, but to no success. "It's my birthday," Jenny had explained, "so I decide what the cake is. You'll just have to sit this one out. There are other parties with other cakes, so what's the problem?"

"Yeah, I guess," Ella had replied. Anyway, she was a little afraid of swimming, so maybe it was better that she had to stay home.

The palm of her hand began to slip down the window, and she noticed that her face was damp with sweat as well. That's the downside of living upstairs. The house's heat rose directly into her bedroom. She glanced one more time toward Jenny's party before taking off, two stairs at a time, all the way down to the basement.

Mr. Taylor was in his workshop,... Read More

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