The BVI's best selection of bestsellers, new releases, kids books, games, stationery and puzzles


This is our fourth annual Nook Young Writers Awards! We changed the format this year to include a broader prompt -  WHAT IF -  which spread across all age groups and allowed multiple entries from the same person.  We hoped this would allow the creativity to flow even more and judging from this year’s incredible stories, I think it worked!

This year we have prizes for seven unique categories.  


The One Who Worries - Ana Belatti 

The One who Worries takes a dive into Charlie’s anxious brain.  Charlie ventures into ‘Thinkaland’ and explores magical lands and some incredible characters - including Samantha the Jaguar who travels riding on a cushion between two baby ponies called Jessica and Vanessa, Danger the Unicorn and Frannie the pool floaty. By revisiting these happy places in his mind, Charlie is able to overcome his worrying in the future. Also, a special mention to the amazing illustrations – I especially love this one on the cover!  


At Long Last - Doreen Olatunji 

At Long Last is a gritty, modern take on Romeo and Juliet.  The opening lines draw you into the story and you are dying to know what happens next.

He knew what he did. All he had to do was confess to free himself from the plaguing guilt.

“Just come clean..” he thought. “Why did I listen to that devil on my shoulder?!”

It was about time to pay the price. The day he had to go to court was arriving–and quickly.

The memory was trauma-inducing. Though unwanted, flashbacks appeared in his mind.

“I'm sorry,” a young woman with light brown hair in a red soft robe said. “But trust me, it isn't my fault! He seduced–”

“So then, tell me, who is it? Is it mine for not buying all the lavish and utterly useless things that you desire?” Romeo questioned. “You don't even use half of them!!”

“You just weren't providing the lifestyle I had in mind! Romeo, you work a blue-collar job! You are BROKE!” Juliette riposted.

At last, her actual colours emerged with great vibrancy.
“You are just a fu****** gold-digger! Go earn money yourself, bi***!!” Romeo yelled.

“I'll just go to Paris, he'll give me more than you'll EVER HAVE!” she screamed.

She then walked out of the apartment, slammed the door, and called her lover whilst eyeing Romeo with animosity through the framed window. The one she once cherished so much, had now become someone she detested the most. How odd that love and hate are so similar, like two sides of the same coin. Romeo, however, did something despicable on his own following this incident.

Since Juliette's birthday was approaching, he went to her house to surprise her. He let go of the many gifts he had painstakingly prepared.

He had gifts extracted from his hard-earned salary. There she lay on her bed, with another man he knewth not of. Both of them were quietly giggling, it was obvious that they were having a good time.

He dropped the abundant gifts that he had prepared so carefully.

“Juliette, dear. What is this?” he asked angrily. One could hear him attempting desperately to calm down by lowering his voice.

She let out a loud cry, realizing she had been exposed. Her sweetheart fled, disappearing as if he had never been there. And this marks the start of the story.

About a week passed without any one of them speaking to each other, but later she called him over the phone.

“Hello, Romeo,” she said rather timidly. “I deeply apologise for my horrible behaviour and scandalous acts.”

“What a way to start an apology. Why the formal language though?” “Aren't you going to break up with me?”
“No? Or do you want me to? I forgive you.”
“OH, ok. Thank you so so much..I love you.”

“You're welcome,” he said gleefully.

“Oh, and by the way, do you want to come to a restaurant with me? I'll pay. Think of it as a reunion gift.”

“Sure! As long as you're paying, I'm fine with it.” She responded, happily. “OK, bye.”

When he hung up, his naive smile turned into a cunning grin. The evil was presented in his eyes, and so was the devil.

He put on rubber gloves and moved to his bedside table. Subsequently, he opened the wooden drawer and gently placed a translucent orange container lled with white tablets onto the tabletop.

Romeo got a mortar and pestle and proceeded to crush them into fine little bits, picking them up and drizzling them down with his fingers to test the quality of it.

Afterward, he switched his night lamp off and hopped into his bed.
Malicious thoughts creeped into his once guilt-free head, and whispered in his ear, 
as if they controlled him.

Afterward, he switched his night lamp off and hopped into his bed.

Meanwhile, Juliette, on the phone, giggled flirtatiously as she twisted her wavy brown hair around her index finger.

“I knew he wanted me to come back.” she snidely remarked, “I'm too good for him! Unless he can dig down into his pockets to at least find some dimes for me to spend, then I'll actually think about him. For a while!”

“I'm way better though, aren't I?” he questioned.

“Yes, yes, of course! You're richer, smarter, and much much better, in general!” The lovebirds chattered the night away, but they did not know Romeo's plan.

Romeo later met Juliette at the location they had arranged, and they sat down to place their food orders. Once again, she displayed her snobbish demeanour and incessantly inquired about its arrival.

“UGH, is it delivered yet?!” she hued.
“Wait a while..” he sighed, adjusting his collar.

“Sorry for the inconvenience! Here's your steak for the lady with sparkling apple champagne.” the waitress chimed in a rush. “Dear sir, yours will arrive soon!”

Juliette, adorned with a pale blue asymmetrical dress with a cold shoulder, was quite loudly munching down her food.

“The only good thing about her is her looks.” he thought to himself, as he watched her chew like a gluttonous pig. “I don't understand why I felt for this b*tch.”

Suddenly, her phone chimed. It was none other than Paris phoning her that was causing the unceasing vibration. She quickly takes it up and looks away from him, muttering, "I'm sorry, I'll be back."

He slithered like a ferocious, vindictive snake searching for weak prey during her absence, poured the crushed formula into her drink, and gave it a gentle swirl. Then, he patiently awaited her return.

“I'm back,” Juliette said. The waitress already delivered her partner's dish, and he was savouring it very much. He watched her gulp down her champagne smoothly with a scheming face that was visible for a few seconds. After the meeting, they both went home and slept, one oblivious to the other's deeds.

Paris visited Juliette the following morning to commemorate her birthday. However, she was dead, with one arm hanging uselessly over her body. She died in her sleep, but not in a peaceful way.

“Huh?” he thought to himself as he shook her vigorously, “What happened? Wasn't she alive before?”

“But she was with her ex yesterday, so he..? His eyes widened in utter bewilderment. He had already come to a gloomy conclusion. He quickly grabbed his phone and dialled 911.

Meanwhile, the police at the scene heavily pressed the widower for answers.

“I know nothing! Ok?!” he shrieked. “It's probably that dumb ex of hers!”

“What's his number?” the policewoman queried.

He shoved Juliette's phone in her face and she took it from his hand. She nodded at her co-workers and said ok.

Later in the afternoon, Paris met with someone at a café.

“What do you want this time? I'm not a genie, so don't waste my time.” a man seemingly older than the other said, seated comfortably in the wooden chair.

“ I need another favour, Pierre.” he began. “Can you help me find information on someone called Romeo and anything else?”

Pierre nodded his head before drinking the pitch black coee on the table. His eyes were weary and had bags under them.

“Is that all now?” He said.

“Yes, brother.” The other man said as he got up from the chair and proceeded to pack his things. “Thanks.”

He relaxed while sitting in his automobile, wondering if his assessment of Romeo was accurate or not. How naïve he was to never have considered the idea that Juliette was lying to him.

At home, Romeo was biting his nails, deeply whether he had done the right thing or not. His conscience was like troubled waters.

A few days later, the court sent him a letter via his front door mailbox. It was then that he realised he was in serious jeopardy.

“You are not to leave the state,” the letter read. “until the first hearing has ended.”

All the colour had disappeared from the murderer's face. He let the note fall to the ground, and the wind carried it throughout the at.

A week later, the court was in session.

“Both the defendant and plaintiff rise.” The stern judge commanded with her booming voice dominating the room. Both parties recited a phrase before taking their seat once more. Though arduous and long, the hearing ended in the evening and all those who attended went home.

On the way home, Romeo stopped by a utility store to purchase a rope that was quite long.

“Is it tight?” he asked, his body looking like it would collapse to the ground at any minute.

“ Yes, yes!” the cashier raved. His mouth kept running, it drove Romeo mad.

Slamming the money on the table, he snapped while grabbing the rope , “JUST TAKE THE MONEY AND LET ME GO!”

He bolted out of the store, started the engine of the car and sped ahead.

Later that night, he drank heavily, leaving him intoxicated. He had a few beers later that evening and was wasted. He grabbed the rope and began chewing on it like a raccoon, drowsy. Then he said something incoherent and wrapped the rope around his neck. His face was covered in tears, as though he was frightened to carry out the murder. Some may call it cowardice, but this soul was plagued by guilt. So pitiful. He pulled it till he could no longer pull it loose.

A few minutes later, his corpse lay on the stone cold floor, with the same rope that took his life.

It's so easy to corrupt a heart of gold, as it is hard to purify it. Since they can't live with each other, they can't live without either.



What If - Lamainna Henry 

This was our only poem and we were blown away at how beautifully written and emotive this piece was.  We were lucky enough to have Lamainna read this herself for us during prize giving!

What if..

What if whisperers rode on midnights breeze,
Guiding all our souls through many unseen seas?
What if time unraveled at our command,
Granting unlimited possibilities to distant lands?

What if oceans hid worlds yet to be seen,
Where mermaids and krakens danced and dreams convene?
What if forests sang with ancient lore,
Where unicorns hop to the songs soul making wanderers want to explore?

What if the milky way birthed new constellations, In celestial dances of wild elation?
What if shadows mumbled in an ancient grove, Of realms not yet seen where dreams wove?
What if imagination knew no end, And our dreams became reality's kin?
In a realm where everything is unknown
Untold possibilities are our own.



The Deep Sea Dive - Maggie Nolan

This author is no stranger to winning prizes at the competition as she has done so  every year!  This year she gave us an incredibly detailed story  called The Deep Sea Dive about Ray, who lives in Hawaii and runs a coffee shop with her Dad.   Beautifully written and exciting from the first page, the reader can picture ever scene. Pack your bags Maggie Nolan – you’re off to Hollywood!



It swallowed the boat whole, in one big gulp! And she was pushed in by a gush of water being sucked into the mouth. She was surprised by the size of the inside of a squid’s mouth!

Hang on, let’s rewind about two years.


There we go that’s a bit better...


Ray lives in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and along with her dad they work at a coffee shop called The Kraken’s Den. Her Dad has owned this for the last 3 years, ever since her mum went missing. The café is right on the beach road, and they serve tourists and locals every day. The workers and crew from the nearby military submarine base always stopped by to see them to grab breakfast or lunch since the cafe is just down the road from the shipyard.

Ray woke up and got dressed, she put on her favorite, comfy black trainers, then grabbed her apron from the hanger. As she walked into the café’s kitchen her dad was already brewing coffee and making their specialty croissants filled with sumptuous local Hawaiian chocolate.

Dad said, “Good morning my love, how are you?” “I’m good thank you, how are you?”

He just smiled. Ray started making sandwiches, but quickly ran out of supplies and while she waited for the next shipment, she baked some shortbread cookies that were in a shape of a dolphin. An hour later, the package arrived at the door, and she noticed there were two packages. She took them inside and opened the big one first. She quickly took out the order which consisted of bread buns, tins of tuna, fish, veggies, fruits, coffee beans and marshmallows. It was time to get ready for the lunchtime rush and she finished off her work. After lunch, she looked at the other box and found a stamp on it. Ray realized the package was from the USS Underwater Submarine Search. This was the company her dad hired to help find her mom.

Ray opened the box and took out pictures of their close-knit family, her, her mom and her dad goofily posing for the camera on their vacation to the British Virgin Islands. As a flood of memories exploded in her brain, she remembered the day like it was yesterday. She pulled out a small bag with a blue turtle on it. As she looked through the photos her dad came into the room and looked back and forth between her and the box of photos. He picked them up and walked towards his room with tears in his eyes.

Ray went into her room and opened the bag. In it she found her mum’s necklace with a gold sting ray that they had recovered from the wreckage. She put it around her neck and swore never to take it off.


There was a knock on the front door and when Ray opened it, she saw Captain Rob from one of the submarines.

“Hi Ray, may I speak to you for a minute?” “Sure,” she answered.
They sat down at the large wooden table.

He asked “Would you like to come help the engineer since you’ve previously worked on a sub for five years? We have been working on an issue and would love your input as we take her out for the first maiden voyage.”

Ray immediately answered and sharply said “No!”

She got up from her chair and walked to the sink with her hand over her mouth.

“Just think about it,” she heard him say as he left the café.

She washed the last of the dishes from the afternoon rush and then cleaned the tables before heading home to bed. As she lay there thinking about what Rob said she knew she really wanted to do it. But after what happened to her mom, she really didn’t know.

After a restless nights’ sleep, Ray went downstairs and talked to her dad about it. He told her he was fine with whatever she wanted to do. This lifted a huge weight off Ray, and she decided to take this opportunity. She walked over to the dock to Rob and told him she wanted to do it. He walked her over to the hanger and showed her the project.

Ray loved submarines, and she knew them like the back of her hand. She had designed and built her own submarine in an old, abandoned hanger far from town.


February 20th the following year was extraordinary. There was a massive lightning storm and several earthquakes. The news stations on the internet reported that lightning had struck the ocean and now there is a massive hole in the ocean. No-one knows how deep it goes.

Ray talked to her dad about exploring it.

“No. It’s very dangerous and I don’t want what happened to your mom to happen to you! And you don’t have a submarine to explore it.”

Ray had never told her dad about the submarine she built and named Dolphin 2, and she knew she was not going to listen to him. Adventurers had been in their family for hundreds of years! Her dad used to be an adventurer and it was time for her to join the clan.

She walked down to the marketplace and picked up loads of food for her trip including tins of soup, tuna and fruits as well as bottled water. She spent the morning storing them on The Dolphin 2. She packed her bags with clothes, Scuba gear and tools/ stuff to build things. She was going on an adventure!



Ray found Rob at his desk in the office and told him she was going to take the day off. She had already scheduled the day off at the café. As she walked down the road to see if there was anything else she would need, she heard a loud, high-pitched whine. She looked around to see where it was coming from, and it sounded as though it was under her. She looked down at the sewerage grate and saw A DROWNING PUPPY!! Ray managed to lift the old, filthy, and heavy grate slightly, just enough for her to climb down the stairs and reached for the puppy. But with all the water gushing around it was pushing the puppy away. She jumped down into the cold dark water and started swimming towards the puppy. She didn’t stop to think about what else might be in the water as she grabbed her and held her head out of the water. They were pushed along the drain system with the force of the water.

It finally pushed them out into the ocean, and she swam ashore with the puppy in one arm. When she made it to the white sandy beach, they were both wet, cold, hungry and tired.

When Ray arrived home, she hid the puppy inside her wet jacket as her dad didn’t like pets being in the apartment above the café. She went to her bedroom, jumped in the shower and scrubbed herself and the puppy squeaky clean. Once she was dressed and had dried off the puppy, Ray put her in a box lined with old t shirts she would wear when gardening and hid her in the closet. She went downstairs to see what her dad was cooking, and it was hot dogs for dinner. She grabbed two of them and told her dad she was very tired and needed to go over some work for Rob. She retrieved the puppy from the box and fed her one of the hot dogs. As she watched her greedily eat, she noticed the dog had beautiful light blue eyes. She was a beautiful Australian Shepard breed; her fur was white with grayish blue, brown and some little black spots.

Ray took her back to the beach and taught her to swim. Wherever Ray swam, she swam, no matter how far it was.

Ray had also bought her a collar, leash, some treats, a couple of bowls and a lovely large bed. She decided to call her Ocean and her dad finally warmed up to Ocean and enjoyed watching her play.


Dolphin 2 had four levels. The bottom level had a moon pool that opened into the ocean so Ray could launch equipment such as her underwater miniature sub and a workshop for her to make things. The second level had the kitchen, living room and a playroom for Ocean. On the third level there was a room for her supplies and her bedroom. Lastly, the fourth story was a small little watch tower/lookout.

Ray told her friends about what she was doing so they could cover for her. Along with Aerin, her best friend’s help, they attached the trailer to her dad’s truck and drove it down the ramp and into the ocean. They tied it off, unhitched it from the trailer and Aerin gave her a big hug and drove the car back to the Café. Ray and Ocean walked inside the submarine and closed the door behind them. She went to the control panel and started the engines. They slowly started to move out of the harbor. As Ray navigated around the harbor, she found herself watching the fishermen cleaning their morning catch and people by the dock and the pier. She fondly looked back at her dad’s café and said a quiet goodbye and hoped she would make it back safely.

As Ray motored up the coastline, she passed a lot of beaches and enjoyed watching the tourists, some lounging on the beach, and others playing soccer. She was feeling nostalgic as well as being filled with a nervous anticipation. She saw a pod of whales pass by.

It started getting deeper as she left behind the coastline of Hawaii and headed into the Pacific Ocean. Her pup, Ocean, was a bit scared as she didn't like the feeling of being on a boat.

As nighttime closed in around them, Ocean became used to it. Before heading deep underneath the ocean, Ray enjoyed watching the orange, pinks and reds of the sunset. One last sighting of a pod of over 25 dolphins swimming with them as they glided through the water. The water was lit up with bioluminescence from the phytoplankton that turned the ocean and the dolphins into a glittering and glowing white/blue hue. It was stunning. Ray walked into her bedroom for a short snooze before going back up top on her first ‘night watch’ and Ocean joined her.


Ray woke up, fed Ocean and made some pancakes for herself. Her new interrupted sleep pattern had left her with a huge appetite. She went downstairs, grabbed a wrench and finished putting the underwater rover together so they could leave the sub and explore any small caves. As she was concentrating on this project, the submarine abruptly stopped, and Ray realized they had made it to the deep hole. She patted herself on the back as her coordinates were accurate. As she started to descend towards the opening, Ocean was quite unbalanced with the submarine diving downwards.

They had made it to the hole. She could see how all the reefs stopped at the opening of this ginormous hole. As she went deeper, it got darker and wider. Ray was wide eyed with disbelief as she looked out of the porthole. She saw Anglerfish swimming around, attracting other fish with their light so they could eat dinner. Then for some reason, the deeper she went, it got lighter and lighter. The submarine came to a sudden holt again and she was not sure what was happening, but for some reason which she could not explain, she was not moving. Ray went to the control panel, and she tried to steer forward, but it would not move. She looked outside the port hole and saw a massive eyeball. It started moving farther away and  she realized it was a colossal squid. It was then that she realized it had grabbed hold of the submarine and was trying to eat it!

It swallowed the boat whole, in one big gulp! And she was pushed in by a gush of water being sucked into the mouth. She was surprised by the size of the inside of a squid’s mouth!

Ray turned the sub around and looked out of a hatch. She stared out the window for a while and timed it to see how long she would have to get out. It was roughly a 20 second sequence. Ray opened the moon pool and managed to scoop up a sample of the water inside of the squid. As she prepared for her departure as the mouth opened, she started the countdown. She inched closer and closer to the mouth to get out. 5,4,3,2,1....

With the same amount of speed, she maneuvered the submarine safely out of the squid’s mouth, battling against the incoming current. As she continued to navigate through the black hole, the squid ferociously swam away, the wake of his tentacles pushed her further down into the hole.


After several hours of descending down the hole, she made it to the bottom. Once there, Ocean and Ray looked out the port hole to see what was going on and they heard a noise! It sounded like a whale and was coming from behind them. As it came into view, she saw it had unbelievable markings and looked as though it had been tattooed. It was a whale with two calves. Ray took some photos of them and they disappeared into a glowing cave. She followed their song into the cave.

The cave was filled with bioluminescence which looked like the Rockefeller Centre at Christmas time. As they ventured into the cave, it opened into this big pocket of blue teal water with a small island. Ray carefully steered the submarine toward the island and surfaced it once she was quite close. She jumped onto the beach with Ocean at her side. She started to look around and found shells of blue, pink and all the colors you can imagine on the beach that glowed in the darker areas of the cave. The shells were scattered under water and above. Ray looked around the Island with Ocean and was surprised to see what happened when Ocean took a pee. Where she peed, the sand reacted and turned purple! As Ray watched this happen, she accidentally stood on some type of metal. With the help of Ocean excitedly helping, they quickly dug it up from the sand and she saw there was writing on it.

It read ‘The Turtle’ and she stepped back in disbelief.
The submarine that went missing with mum was called ‘The

Turtle!’ in the same writing. And then she heard something. “Hello?”


Ray hid behind a tree and said, “Who's there?”

There was no answer. She looked around the tree and saw a woman with golden hair like hers tied up in a high ponytail. Ray noticed the woman’s clothes were dirty, and the shoelaces on her once white sneakers were untied. She wore a red headband with white dots, and it was tied just off to the side. The woman didn't seem to notice Ocean who was digging a hole on the beach as she intently stared at me. As the island was so small you could stand and turn around a full 360 degrees, and you would see the whole island. Ray looked again and stepped out from behind the tree.

“MOM?” Ray shouted, stunned by what she saw.

Ray started running towards her and as her head touched her mum’s chest she gave her the biggest hug ever. Her mum wrapped her arms around her like an octopus and they stayed there for a while, both crying while Ray listened to the magical sound of her mum’s heartbeat. Her mum broke free from her embrace and held on to her shoulders.

Through her tears her mum asked, “What are you doing here?” “How did you find me?”

They attached the necklaces, with Ray’s being a stingray and her mums was the background with a stingray cut out. They sat in the sand and Ocean came over to join them and laid her head on Ray’s lap. Ray introduced Ocean to her mum and began to tell her the whole story.

“Wow” said her mum when Ray finished the story.

I laughed in amazement that she was really sitting next to me. “How did you get here?” Ray asked.

“It’s a long story. It all happened when we were looking for the lost manatee pod”. “I found a secret tunnel underneath some rubble.”

“Do you remember when I said “oh wow look at that manatee?” That's when I spotted it, a glowing cave. I didn't want to say anything as I knew your father was going to say no. He would have asked the Coast Guard to do it. I really wanted to go explore how it could possibly glow. So, I kissed you good night and then took the submarine. That night, if you remember, there was a big hurricane, and I went into the cave for shelter. But then there was a 5.7 earthquake that shook the cave and the earth, so the rocks fell and covered the entrance. I couldn't get out so I decided to follow the cave to see if it would

lead to a way out. Sure enough, it didn't and my submarine almost imploded. As I left the submarine with my scuba gear on, I was guided by Sprits mom, and I got out. The submarine imploded shortly afterward, and she led me to this island.”

“This is amazing,” said Ray.

“I stayed on this island with all these magnificent animals and had to live here until I could figure out how I could leave. The scuba tank was empty and without it, I was stuck.”

“Why do the creatures here look different, glow in the dark or have odd markings?” Ray asked.

“The reason they glow is because of all the bioluminescent bacteria, fish and jellies in here. They eat it and it makes them glow!” There’re even glow worms that you can see which light up the cave walls.”

“And the reason they've markings is because they've got superpowers.” Her mum continued.

“Wow?” said Ray in disbelief.

“I know it sounds a little strange,” said her mum, “but you need to believe me. See the little whale over there with the blue markings of gushing water on its side? That's Sprits. He can spray water so high and can make it hit any target.”

“And the one with red markings on it?” asked Ray.

“That's Fiona. She can heat up any water to make it hot and can control volcanoes.”

“How cool!” Ray replied.

“The reason they look different is because this is a whole new world. Look! There's a pod of Sharktuna, which are beautiful. Go check them out.”

“Ok.” Said Ray.

Ray put on her swimsuit and walked to the edge of the water. She grabbed a sample and put it into some test tubes, then put those safely in a bag. Ocean jumped in after Ray and swam at the surface waiting for her to come up. When she went down to the rocks, she took samples of shining shells and glowing seaweed. She found some old fish scales which she put in a test tube and took samples of the different colored sand. Ray found it overwhelming, trying to take in all the beautiful new hybrid species. There were seahorserays, salmonsquid, dolphinturtle, swordhorse, parroturtle and Squirtle.

Ocean had made friends with a dolphin named Finn who liked to surf and play ball. Finn also enjoyed teasing Ocean with a ball.

Ray finally got out of the water and walked over to her mom who was sitting beside a campfire cooking some pearnanas. She handed some to Ray to try. It was a strange sensation in her mouth, but she really enjoyed it.

Ray was tired but visually stimulated at this new world and couldn’t get over how bright it was in the cave.

“Time for bed,” said mum.

“But it is so bright! How do you sleep like this?” Ray answered.

“Well, now we have the submarine to sleep in, so it won’t be a problem.”

They had a good night’s sleep on the submarine. After breakfast they spent the morning deciding how to get out of there. Her mum told her they needed to follow the marine life so they could find their way under the cave to leave. Her mum had been unable to leave when her submarine imploded as it was too deep to swim out of the black hole.

When they both got in the submarine, along with Ocean, Ray turned on the engine tried to move, but the submarine wouldn’t move. She tried again and again but it would not budge.

“Well, we are stuck hard in the sand.” Ray said.

Her mum said, “Let’s try putting it in reverse, then forward, then reverse to see if it can get free from the sand bank.”

Ray tried exactly as her mum explained it and the submarine shook and moaned loudly until they were free from the sand. The whales pushed them out to deeper water and led the way out of the cave.

They looked at the whales one more time and both Ray and her mom said, “Thank you!” and they left homeward bound.

The whales swam beside the submarine, all the way to the surface and accompanied them until they were close to Hawaii.

They sang their song which sounded like “Goodbye, see you soon!”

Ray and her mum both looked at each other, embraced excitedly and laughed at their good fortune. Feeling very blessed, they headed home.

The End



The Magical Boy - Marley Kneipp

The Magical Boy, we meet Gavi, who is upset and runs away after a humiliating experience with his football team.  He finds himself in a magical world called Maradoon and meets some mythical characters along  theway, including a phoenix, a troll, and a goblin, and even has to battle with a fierce dragon!  This story shows how a young boy can overcome his fears and become the hero! 

The Magical boy

Once upon a time on a planet called Earth there was a very special person named Gavi Walker. Gavi was born in England and lives in Miami, Florida, USA. He is ten years old and loves playing football [soccer]. His dream is to play for the England national team.

Our story begins one Sunday
morning. *RING* *RING*!!!! It was Gavi’s alarm clock.
“Aaaaaah.” Gavi yawned.
“Gavi!!! You are late for football practice!!” His mom called.
“Aaah!!!!” Gavi screamed. “Why didn't you wake me up earlier?!!”
“Because you insisted that you could wake yourself up and that you didn’t need me to help you.” His mom said. “GO!! GO!! GO!!” she said, as she pushed him out of the door.

A couple hours later Gavi was done with football practice and he was in a really SOUR mood. One of his teammates had just embarrassed him so badly that the whole team laughed at him and thought he was a joke. He ran into the woods sobbing and thinking “I am a joke. I should quit football forever.”
As he was running through the forest he tripped over a root and fell onto the ground and when he 
got up he realized that the tree in front of him was glowing a brilliant variety of colors.

He decided that maybe the source of the glow was coming from the higher parts so he climbed up the tree and after what felt like an eternity, he got to the top. When he moved the branches that were blocking his view, Gavi was mesmerised, not because he found the source, but because the view was absolutely stunning. “Holy smokes!! This view is amazing.” Gavi said, stunned. After a long time Gavi climbed down the tree but when he finally found his way out of the forest. Miami was no longer there. Little did he know that he was in the magical world named Maradoon, where the sky was a lovely hard blue softened by wisps of clouds, and the hills were as green as a lime, and the water that filled up the lake was the purest shade of blue. “Where am I?” Gavi thought.

He walked and walked and walked until he couldn't walk any more. Just as he was about to give up he realized that he could not go any farther any way because the land stopped and there was a big gap between the side he was on and the place he was trying to get to. Just as Gavi had lost hope,he came across an odd creature with yellow eyes, tanned skin, pointy ears, and a black and white jumpsuit. The creature was also only about three feet tall. “Hello. Do you know where I could find some shelter before nightfall arrives?” Gavi asked.

“Yeah, sure!! The capital is right around Voodoo Town.” The elf said simply.
“Thanks, but where is Voodoo Town?” Gavi asked. “A mile or two from the end of the bridge” the elf replied.

“ There is no bridge though” Gavi said while wondering if the elf had gone mad.
“Are you sure about that?” The elf asked. “Ye....s.” Gavi wasn’t able to finish his sentence because he was too busy staring at the magical bridge that had appeared out of nowhere. “Thank you so much. Gavi said.

“Good luck on your journey!” The elf shouted as Gavi walked off to get onto the bridge.
A few minutes later he had gotten to the end of the bridge. “Okay now all I have to do is walk one to two miles and then I am in Voodoo Town! ..........Wait a second, the elf never told me what direction to go! NOOOOO!”
As Gavi sat with his head in his hands he heard a sound: “CAW!! CAW!! CAW!!” Gavi looked around but could not make out where the sound was coming from.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” Gavi asked curiously. “CAW!! CAW!! CAW!!” The mysterious animal replied.
Just as he was about to head back home, the creature came out. Gavi gawked,because the animal that had been making those noises was actually a Phoenix. A Phoenix is a legendary and 
mythical bird. The Phoenix's special trait is that whenever it dies it is reborn from its own ashes. Gavi was confused because the animal had a sad look on its face. “What happened? Are you okay?” Gavi asked the Phoenix.

“Caw.....” The Phoenix answered. Then finally it hit Gavi! “Phoenix’s always travel in flocks. So that must mean that you were separated from your flock.” “Caw. Caw......” The Phoenix said.

“Oh! Your flock was killed and you're the last one alive?”
“Caw.” The Phoenix said while nodding.
“For real!?! WOW!! I can actually understand what you’re saying!!” Gavi said suprised.

“How about you come with me?” Gavi suggested. “CAW!” The Phoenix said as he lifted Gavi up into the sky and they flew off into the sunset.
A couple of days later they arrived at the capital. Gavi was amazed. The capital, which was apparently called Grapalo, was the most beautiful place Gavi had ever laid his eyes on. Every building was built in the most beautiful way, and the colors were magnificent.

He went into the city looking for a place to sleep and at last he had found one, thanks to the Phoenix. So the Phoenix and Gavi slept in a small, old, deserted barn. They didn't get to sleep for long though, because loads of goblins, trolls, witches and worst of all there must have been something BIG, because the ground was shaking like there was an earthquake. As the creatures poured in, a giant shadow loomed over them. At first Gavi couldn’t see it properly, but then he saw it. Gavi was horrified.It was a Dragon. A dragon is a mythical creature that can breathe fire and is covered in scales.The creatures attacked Grapalo. Immediatly, Gavi tried to pull a brick out of the wall to use as a weapon,but instead it opened up to a secret room filled with weapons. “Jackpot!” Gavi said while pumping his fist. Gavi told Phoenix to go and rescue the townspeople, while Gavi picked up a sword and went out to fight. He took on his first opponent which was a goblin, with only three swift slashes of his sword, the goblin was no more. After defeating a few more creatures, he accidently ran into a big troll. The troll knocked Gavi’s sword out of his hand and then called his fellow trolls over. Right when it looked hopeless Gavi remembered something his mom once told him: “There is always hope if you are willing to work for it.” So with that in mind he jumped up and shouted: “Watch out, here I come!” Gavi jumped up and then used Magic. No one knew how. But he did. “Firaso!” Gavi shouted as fire shot from his hands into the group of trolls.

“Wow! That was awesome!” Gavi exclaimed. “Icrozos” Gavi said, while the spell was connecting with all the mythical animals to ask for their help. By the time the animals got there Gavi had already defeated a third of the beast’s army. With the

animals at their aid, they easily defeated the rest of the beasts. “Rargh!” The dragon roared. “You forgot about me didn’t you!” The dragon laughed menacingly. “Now, I shall destroy you all!!” “NO!” Gavi shouted. ‘If you want them you'll have to get through me first!” “I have no problem with that.” the dragon said while getting ready to pounce. “Let the fight begin.”The dragon pounced at Gavi, but Gavi was ready. As the dragon pounced on him Gavi dodged it in the nick of time.The dragon blew

fire right at Gavi and as it was about to destroy him, Gavi used “Lakkia!” and the spell froze the fire inches before it hit his face. The dragon was caught completely by surprise. Gavi used the little time he had to battle the dragon and hopefully finish him, once and for all. “Sacio!” Gavi shouted. The spell made the dragon start floating up into the air. When Gavi had full control of the spell he tried to attack the dragon while the dragon was in the air, but the dragon flew out of the way. “Oops. You missed me.” The dragon teased. “How!?!” Gavi shouted. The dragon and Gavi then both rushed at each other. They battled intensely, exchanging blows, and finally when both of them were on the verge of collapsing, Gavi used the last of his energy to conjure one last spell. “Alayha!” The spell called upon all of the plants and roots to wrap around the dragon and tangle him up so that he could not move. The dragon struggled but all that did was zap the last bit of energy that he had left. With the dragon all tied up and completely unable to move and more importantly, open his mouth, Gavi used the last part of his spell to lower the beast into a nearby ravine, where he would be unable to cause any further harm to the lovely people of Maradoon. Gavi then fell fast asleep. The next day Gavi was called to the townsquare. Gavi walked to the town square, when he got there he was surprised to see that everyone in the city was there. He sat down and waited. Finally the King started talking “We want to thank a young man named Gavi for showing his courage and bravery during this awful attack” “WOOHOO!!!! '' The crowd cheered. Surprised and confused, Gavi walked up to the stage and said “Thank you so much, but I have a question. “How did you know my name?” It doesn't matter, but thanks to your heroics we are all alive. That is why I am presenting you with one wish.” “Oh, thank you, thank you!! My wish is that i would like to go home!” Gavi said. “Wish granted!” The king said as Gavi disappeared. When Gavi opened his eyes he was back in his house.”Home sweet home.” Gavi said. So, who knows when another incredible adventure may be just around the corner for our brand new hero.



What If I Met A Wonder Woman - Giuliana Faulkner

In her story What if I met a wonder woman we follow two brothers who meet a blue haired woman called Nelly, from the planet Brookhaven, on their way to school. Nelly has lost her special powers and the brothers help her on her mission of finding specific items which will restore her power before she leaves.  Great imagination and very well written - well done to 10 year old Guiliana!

‘What if I met a wonder woman?’

It was a regular school day and my big brother and I walked to school at All Star Academy. While walking, we saw a strange but beautiful, blue haired girl on the side of the road. Chris said, “She looks like she is lost, but we will be late if we stop and ask her if she needs any help.” However, Chris being the person that he is, stopped to let her know we would return after school to help her as we were late.

When we arrived at school, my teacher told me to “go to the Principal's office and you will be punished because you were late again.” This happened as we were already warned for being late for school repeatedly. When Chris arrived at the Principal’s office he said “Chris Carpenter, why were you late?”

Chris responded by saying, “Sir, I know you won’t believe me but we saw a blue haired girl and thought that she seemed lost. I stopped and talked to her as quickly as I could, to let her know we would be back to help her later, knowing I would be double late and would have to stay back and miss my track practice”. After Chris explained his reason to Sir Barnes, the Principal,for being late, he clapped and said “Wow, nice try Chris, but you can’t fool me with your crazy excuses.”

When Chris finally got to leave the Principal's office, school was already dismissed and he knew he would have gotten in trouble because he left me behind, but he was just in an adventurous mood. He wasn't upset that he was punished but all he could think of was going back to the place where he saw the blue haired girl that morning.page1image15979600

He pranced quickly from school to the meeting place but she wasn't there! He anxiously waited for what seemed like an hour and then she appeared!

Chris introduced himself to the blue haired girl and asked where she was from.

She said,”Hi I’m Nelly. I'm from The planet of Brookhaven but I came to Bloxburg to find four things: the Bloxburg car,the famous shipwreck boat, the Mr.Beast Feastable chocolate bar and my friend who got lost in Bloxburg a year ago.

“Wow!’’ “Do you need help to find those things and to get back to Brookhaven?” she replied,’’yes please.”

“My name is Chris Carpenter, by the way” ”Did you see a boy about 6.5 feet tall walk pass, Nelly?”

She said, “ yes, he's at the store.”I ran to the shop to let my brother, Alexander, know that I was fine but would be home late as I was helping out a lost new friend.

When Alex got home, his parents asked for Chris, and he informed them that he was out helping a new friend.

I rushed back to meet up with Nelly. Nelly said, there are some things you don't know about me you’re going to learn right now.

Nelly said, “Number one, I’m a prankster who isn’t from Bloxburg. Just remember my home is The Planet of Brookhaven. I need to locate the famous shipwreck boat and find my friend who got lost here in Bloxburg. I need to find her as I’m Wonder Woman but recently I lost my powers .”

“Wow Nelly you're very talented” I said, “I just knew my day would be filled with adventure since I saw you this morning!” “Do you want to go on a magical adventure, Chris?”Nelly asked. I said yes and I skipped school for the rest of the day.

Our first mission was trying to regain Nelly’s super powers. “How do you get them back, Nelly?”, I asked.

First we have to go a black sand beach named Rainbow Beach and get the famous shipwreck

boat,secondly go to the car dealer and get a Bloxburg car,third get a Mr.Beast Feastable chocolate bar and fourth but last find my friend Elizabeth because she has the necklace to get back my powers.

“Let’s go on our adventure now!'' Nelly and I said at the same time. The beach is one mile away so let's start walking before my parents suspect something.When we were so close to reaching we saw a Bloxburg car and we jumped in and drove it slowly to the beach.’’One out of four!” Nelly said.

When we were about to get out of the car Chris saw his Principal and immediately hid so he didn’t see him and Nelly.

After, Chris and Nelly ran on the beach and saw the shipwreck and tried to pull it out of the water without avail. They used the car and pulled it up and then they both lifted the shipwreck into the trunk of the car. While lifting the shipwreck into the car, they found a Mr.Beast Feastable chocolate bar.Three out of four completed!!!

Chris then realised it was already 6:00pm so he had to go home immediately and said “Nelly this was fun today can we find your friend tomorrow after school because I have test tomorrow.’’

“Sure”, Nelly responded. “See you tomorrow Nelly!” I said walking away from the car. When I reached home, I went to shower and then study for my Mathematics test. When the test results came out, “it was an easy A+’’my teacher said.’’ “Guess what Chris, you passed with 100%, an A+ on your test,”my teacher said. “You can go home since no teacher is here today”. Yay! I immediately thought that I could go to help find Nelly’s friend with her now! I ran back to Nelly and said, “Oh Nelly, nice we can go find your friend now”. “I already found her!”, she exclaimed. We were both so happy!

“How will you get your powers back, Nelly?”, Chris asked. “I will mix them all together and I will put on the necklace and then my powers will come back! Close your eyes”, Nelly shouted.”Thank you for everything Chris

Carpenter. I'm going back to Brookhaven. See you in the next 100 years!”
I have always wondered how life would have been if I ever met a wonder woman? Well, I did and it will be a day I will never forget as this taught me to be nice and kind to any and everyone I come in contact with. I can’t wait to meet Nelly again!


What If My Drawings Came To Life  - Jemima Peliwan

The story’s hero is called Kate who because of her quiet nature and keeping herself to herself, her classmates and even herself, describe her as ‘outright weird'.  Having a tough time at school and not feeling heard, she retreats into her drawings and is surprised when one of her favourite doodles of a young girl comes to life...  Again, so well written and so well described, you get sucked into this story from the beginning!

What If my drawings came to life?

I’ve always seen myself as outright weird. Sometimes one small thing can change your entire world. That's what happened to me. One day my world was normal and I was being ignored, the next, it was completely upside down.

My name is Katelyn (kate) Addams also known as Kit Kat, I am 13 years old and I am known as ‘The Weird Kid’ at school. I don’t mind it, but sometimes it gets to me. Like last week. I was minding my own business, doodling in my sketchbook, and I heard a voice pierce my bubble of perfect silence.

“Hey look, the Weird Kids doing her voodoo art, so sad she can’t go do her weird stu with her mommy.”

By then, I was used to it and it was a regular thing for people to call me out for drawing. In our school we just had a round of budget cuts, and the art centre and teacher had just been fired and closed. After that comment I just lost it.

“Ok look, you can tease me, but I put my foot down at my mom. We all know that she was only fired because of how little money the school has. If you’re so rich, why can’t your dad fund the school’s art and music departments as well as your precious sport lesson?” I yelled. As soon as I did so I realised what I’d done. I sat back down, knowing my consequences.

I glanced over at Mr. Bates and he gave me a sad smile.

Let me step back a bit, the kid I was yelling at was Turner Harvey. He was the high school bully in every book. He was the stereotypical bully, big, jockey, and quite frankly, stupid. You guessed it, he’s the principal's son. He has made it his life's mission to make fun of my art. When I say

life's mission, I mean it. He has been bullying me since kindergarten when I did my first art show and tell. I never did it again.

The teacher, Mr. Bates, was mom’s best friend. They have been working together since the end of college. He was sad to see her go, no doubt, but it wasn’t as hard on him as it was me.

My dad died when I was 2, so my mom and I grew up very close. When she started working at my school as the art teacher, I would go and spend my lunch and free time with her in the art department. Then she got fired and everything changed.

Back to the current day.
I was just sitting, doing my art, when something strange happened... Very strange

Let me explain, I was just drawing a little doodle of a person. She was tall and slim, with rose gold tinted hair pulled up into a cute, messy bun. She had blue eyes, dimples, and a light dusting of freckles. She was wearing a tight, blue, spaghetti strap crop top with a pastel purple skirt, and a cream colour purse. In short, she was a picturesque teenager. The type of person everyone wants to be, or be friends with. She was my best creation yet. Other than the one I’d made with my mom.

That is my favourite.

I made a wish when I finished colouring her in. I wished that she would just come to life and be my best friend, that she would stand up for me and I would do the same for her and that we could draw together. I know, I know it's stupid, wishing your drawing would come to life.

I looked down at her and I swear she winked at me

I rubbed my eyes and stared at her. She was back to an unmoving statue. She held a mix of expressions, pretty and youthful, yet serious and solitude.

This time she looked up at me and waved.
I let loose a screech that a swiss yodeller would be proud of.

Everyone in the room stared at me. I glanced at Mr. Bates. He looked at me questioningly. I marched over to his desk and placed the sketch down.

“Look.” I said quietly, well aware that everyone in the room was snickering at me. “I don’t see anything, Katy,” He replied quietly.

I grunted and stalked over to my beanbag in the corner of the room. I sighed and continued drawing my little doodles on the cover of my sketch book. I flipped back to the page of the girl I drew and she was standing in her original position. I decided I was done so I walked over to Mr. Bates and told him I was ready to go and face my punishment for screaming.

As we ambled along the musty corridor he spoke, “Look, I’m sorry about your mom, I really am, but this is no way to act, Katy.”

He sounded as if he wanted to say more but as we neared the Principles oce he quieted.

The Oce is an ornately decorated room with certificates and pictures of friends and family hung around. There he sat, the principal himself.

“Ms. Addams,” he spoke softly, voice dripping with malice, “How lovely, as always, to have you visit me.”

“Morning Mr. Magnus,” I said gloomily.

“Mr. Bates, you may leave.” Mr. Magnus said sharply, that mild change of demeanour gave me a few seconds to brace myself for what was coming.

I knew immediately what would happen, for this happened on a regular basis. maybe , once or twice a week, I’d say.

I sat down in the chair opposite him, preparing for the worst

“Kathrine,” he said silkily, “We do know that yelling and screaming in class is no way to behave, don’t we”

“Yes Mr Magnus”

“Then you should also know that pointing is also rude, correct?” He smiled sweetly

“Yes mr Magnus” I chorused yet again.

“Good, we’re finally on the same page” before I could get another word in, he yelled,”detention for 2 weeks.”

I started to object but it was pointless, he had made up his mind.
“You may leave Kathrine.” his voice returning to his usual deep clear drone.

“It’s Katlyn, sir.”

Without another word I turned on my heel and left. I never knew how he did it, but every single time I slipped up he always knew. Always. That was a mystery for another day. If I had one.

I got back and dropped down onto my beanbag once more. I was just settling down into Charlotte's web, (an all time favourite, I had decided not to open my sketchbook again,) when a loud, slightly obnoxious knock came from the classroom door. Without waiting for an answer the visitor let themselves in.

I screamed.

There in the doorway was a squat man with half moon spectacles, a large potbelly, and a ring of grey hair. It wasn’t the man that made me scream, it was the person behind the man.
It was her, really her.

The girl I just drew.

I couldn’t believe it. Then she walked over to me and spoke,
“We are going to be besties. I just know it.” her voice was a little too sweet and sickly for my liking.

It gave me chills, the mix of sickly sweet and cold as ice. It made me shiver whenever she walked past.

“I have enrolled my daughter in this school. She is hereby now one of you. A regular schoolgirl” The short man said pompously.

He promptly decided to leave.
“I didn’t get your name,” I tried to control the shock and the fear in my voice. “Emily.” she said, the sweetness now gone and replaced with disinterest.

She ambled over to the utensils drawer trying to look nonchalant. I was the only one still staring at her.

“Kate, can I talk to you PRIVATELY?” The suocating sweetness back in her voice.

I realised I never told her my name, after considering it I followed her into the hall and she immediately pinned me to the wall and raised a pair of scissors to my neck and said, “Stay out of my way or you and your family will get it.” her voice was quiet and dangerous, “Oh, and don’t tell anyone about this. Do you understand?” she used the scissors to trace a circle around my neck only drawing blood at the front.

“Yes” I muttered aching to get back to my book.

“Good, now here's what you’re going to do...” she whispered a plan into my ear, smiled a little extra sweetly, and walked back inside with the bloody scissors tucked into her skirt under her shirt.

I went home, dreading tomorrow, little did I know there might not be a tomorrow...

I woke up during the night to a small shuing sound in my room. I had told my mom about the Psycho known as ‘Emily’. I opened my eyes dreading what I would see. I only saw my cat, Mr. Snues sning around some plastic bags. I went back to sleep. I woke up again with the weird sensation that someone was watching me. I glanced around the room and saw it.

I was too terrified to make a sound. There in front of me was Emily. She smiled a creepy smile and advanced towards my bed in a cat-like manner, slowly prowling the perimeter.
I let out a whimper.

“Aww, does Kit Kat want her mommy?” she mocked, “well you will never see her again, and there is nobody around to hear you scream.” she glanced at the bags on the floor and only now I

realised what was in them. I could see the crusty blood on the edges of the bag and let out a mued shriek.

She then decided that it was time to end this.
“From the second you drew me, I knew all the expectations that I had to uphold. It was maddening. Then when you wished I was real I knew. I would never live up to your perfect fantasy of a friend. It was then when I decided, if I couldn’t be perfect then I would be as imperfect as possible. What is more imperfect than a Psycho killer?” she laughed maniacally. “As soon as I killed Mrs. Catton, next door, I could feel that this is the thing I was created to do.”

“Please, Emily! We can work this out, I will be your friend. Please don't do this!” I Begged her. “It’s too late now Katy, it was nice knowing ya! Oh wait, no it wasn’t” she growled

She raised the knife it hovered above my neck.

I sat up bleary eyed. I stared around at my sun-lit room. My mom sat on the edge of my bed looking worried.

“Are you alright Kit Kat. When I came to wake you up you were tossing and turning and mumbling something about Emily.” she asked, sounding scared.

“Ya mom, I’m fine” I muttered.

“Maybe you shouldn't go to school today. We could stay home and watch movies and eat your leftover birthday cake?” she suggested.

“Sounds like a plan!” I replied eagerly.
“Alright, you get ready while I make the popcorn,” without another word, she left.

I hurriedly flipped through my notebook and found the page I was looking for. There she was staring back at me and I knew.
This wasn’t over.

The Unknown Author.

So that’s it for another year! Congratulations to our winners! Thank you to our judges, our sponsors, the parents but most importantly the incredible young writers out there – keep up the good work.