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Excerpts from award-winning stories by JFK Middle School students

Mairead Blatner, 14, of Northampton, won in the science fiction category for her short story “Pro Bono” about a mysterious attorney.

Her essay “Perfect” won in a special themed category on aging, illness and death at the statewide Scholastics that preceded the national judging.

That honor was awarded to five statewide Gold Key winners.

Luke Haas, 14, of Florence won silver in the humor writing category for “Stock of the Season,” a spoof about a failed store owner’s journey.

From “Perfect” by Mairead Blatner:

The sound of the closing door makes Grammy jump, saying urgently, ‘What was that?’

‘It’s okay, Grammy,’ I say soothingly. ‘It was just the door.’ I climb into the back seat so my mom can drive.

As we pull out of the nursing home’s driveway, Grammy takes a sharp inward breath. ‘Won’t they hit us?’ she says nervously as a car zooms past in the other direction.

‘No, they won’t hit us as long as they stay on their side of the line,’ my mom explains. ‘Don’t worry, honey, you’re safe.’

The way my mom says it, like she’s comforting a fretting child, makes me wonder why the little girl sitting in the passenger seat has gray hair and a wrinkled face.

From “Stock of the Season” by Luke Haas:

Hold up, I never really expanded on that story about me running over the mayor of Windham, did I? Let me be clear. I was never intending to do such a thing. He was opening up some highway apparently, and I could only see the back of him. My uncle told me that this highway was opening at 9 a.m. over the phone, and I mistook that for 8 a.m. So I drive over, arriving at 8:30, and see nothing but the highway, a just-snapped red ribbon, and an authoritative street cone. Remember, there are no people standing and watching because let’s be honest: it’s Windham. No one goes to public events in this town. I simply figured the highway was open, and I was the first one there. I barreled through, eager to visit New London (my friend moved there, and the highway was a direct route) and then the street cone that I ever so carelessly knocked into rolled over the hood of my Honda Civic, screaming like a human.


JFK Middle School students win national writing awards

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — You know you’re in the presence of a real writer when she talks to you about her craft in Latin. Asked about a short story for which she recently won a national Scholastic writing award, Mairead Blatner, an eighth-grader at JFK Middle School, explained that it begins “in medias res, when you start the story in the middle …

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