LA MIRADA, CALIFORINA- Teachers at La Granada Elementary, a local public school, said they experienced a mystifying event yesterday as the parents of a seven-year old student failed to show up for the school’s Annual Book Festival, missing an opportunity to listen to their daughter read an original story titled “The Broken-Hearted Girl.”
Each year at the end of April teachers between first and fifth grades choose exemplarily examples of fiction writing and then laminate and bind the stories to create original novels.
As part of the Annual Book Festival a child from each grade is specially selected to read their stories out loud at an assembly as the entire school listens. Parents are always invited and were reminded repeatedly in the school bulletin and received letters pinned to the jackets of their children.
The seven-year is a second grade student and has attended the school since kindergarten. According to the other students in her class, she often told her teacher that she would grow up to write stories about true love and magic. Her friends also described how she created make-believe plays following the adventures of an orphaned brother and sister whose mother spoke to them from the clouds.
Teachers at La Granada report that this young student is not very talented in much, aside from language and reading. In the past, when they mentioned this to her parents, they became furious and demanded the teachers force her to learn more math. One teacher conveyed that her parents were worried about her employment options, certain she wouldn’t amount to anything if she kept up writing stories.
The school has a history of perfect attendance by all parents, as this event highlights the achievements of elementary school literary arts. The principal related that she could not remember another time when both parents were absent from such a high-profile event at the school. According to her, the students work diligently to create their original works and decorate the auditorium with paper cut outs of their favorite books ranging from “Ramona the Pest” to “Stuart Little.”
One teacher commented, “This young girl is very brave but I could see her big brown eyes scan the audience every couple of seconds almost trying to will her parent’s arrival. I felt terrible as she stood alone and read her story about a girl with a broken heart, who found love in a land ruled by kids that lived on candy.”
Later in the day, the young girl took a picture holding her heart-shaped book, made of pink construction paper with broken jagged line through the center. In it she is standing alone, in patched jeans and frizzy hair, except for the very tall principal who has placed her hand on the child’s bony shoulder. Both of them are smiling in the picture, but in the opinion of this author the child’s eyes seem to have a questioningly, distant look, her thoughts lost deep within the pools of her moist brown eyes.
According to unnamed witnesses at the scene, the young novelist was escorted to the front office after the assembly was over. The school secretary admitted she gave the child a piece of hard candy as she waited for someone to pick her up.
Her mother arrived 15 minutes after the school had closed for the day. It is reported that the secretary walked with the seven-year old to the car and told her mother about her daughter’s special achievement.
At this time the school has not learned why their young student didn’t receive any support on such an important day. Her parents could not be reached for comment. But teachers at the school mentioned they hoped the young girl would continue writing. It is widely reported that making up stories is the one time this particular seven-year old breaks into an idyllic smile.