From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul


Angela Abbott is a fifth-grade teacher known for her innovative teaching strategies and ability to inspire both teachers and students. She holds a master’s degree in education from Pennsylvania State University, was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year, and speaks professionally for Abbott Learning ( Angela can be contacted at [email protected]

Lara Anderson received her bachelor of arts, with honors, in English and writing from California State University, San Bernardino, in 1992. There she published and edited the Pacific Review journal and received the Sandra Fredrickson Award for poetry. She published a photography and poetry book, An Echo for a Cliff. She now teaches high school in Los Angeles and publishes short stories for elementary-school textbooks. She plans to publish children’s stories, novels, and screenplays. Please contact her at [email protected]

Katherine Battersby is an occupational therapist who works as a counselor with children in Brisbane, Australia. She is returning to the university this year to study design, in order to further her goal to one day both write and illustrate books for young people. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Robert Berardi was born in 1968 in New York and educated at University of the Arts, Philadelphia. He writes and draws No Rodeo, a comic strip about a preteen girl named Desiree. No Rodeo can be seen on Contact Robert at [email protected]

Jessica Bolandrina is a senior in high school (Class of 2007) and plays the piano and banduria. She participated in the Asian American Writer’s Workshop’s 2006 “Where I’m Calling From” program in New York City.

Kathleen Bracher is a born Hoosier and lives in Boonville, Indiana. She lived for fourteen years in Germany, helping in mission work. She enjoys reading, horseback riding, and writing short stories for people of all ages.

Robin Smith Bridges resides with her family in Amherst, New York. A police detective and Buffalo State College graduate, she passionately enjoys writing for children. “Friends of the Heart” is a story of Christian spirit as experienced by her daughter, Ariana. Robin is currently writing a picture book. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Richard Brookton is a retired schoolteacher from Australia. He and his wife, Natalie, have two married children. As a boy, he lived in Silverwater, a suburb of Sydney. His teaching career started in one-teacher schools in the Australian bush, and he later taught high school and science college classes. Barbershop singing (lead and tenor) is now one of his passions.

Stephanie Ray Brown of Henderson, Kentucky, is proud to be Terry’s wife, Savannah and Cameron’s mom, Rita’s daughter, and the ESS reading and writing teacher at Niagara Elementary School. She dedicates her story to her mother, who always made holidays special even though, as a single mother, she was on a shoestring budget. Stephanie challenges her Niagara students and staff, who are some of her biggest writing cheerleaders, to write their own Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. Remember, everyone has a story to be told, and you are the only person who can tell it! She can be reached at [email protected]

John P. Buentello is an elementary schoolteacher in San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of fiction and nonfiction for children. He also writes science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries. John is pursuing his Ph.D. in literature and is at work on his second novel. He can be reached at [email protected]

Renie Burghardt, born in Hungary, is a freelance writer. She has been published in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Guideposts books, Cup of Comfort, Rocking Chair Reader, and others. She lives in the country and loves nature, animals, and spending time with her family and friends. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Arlene Y. Burke received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in education in the sixties and seventies. She has taught elementary through high school.

In 1987, she began a second career with IBM, and retired in December 2005. She plans to write inspirational children’s books, adult fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Karen Cogan received her bachelor of arts degree in education from the University of Houston. She currently teaches kindergarten at a neighborhood school. She also enjoys writing inspirational stories and articles. She is a published author of adult fiction books and children’s books. You can view her website at

Amy Cornell is twelve years old, and her favorite sixth-grade classes are English and art. Amy enjoys writing stories, poetry, and lyrics, playing the piano, and producing home music videos. When Amy becomes an adult, she would like to pursue a career in teaching or photography.

Cookie Curci was born and raised in San Jose, California (Silicon Valley). This fruitful area of California was home to her immigrant grandparents, from whom she inherited a bounty of generational traditions, life lessons, and family anecdotes. Many of Cookie’s stories reflect these family memories. She has also written several articles for the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as for senior newspapers, websites, and books.

Eleven-year-old Emylee Cuthbertson has shown a genuine compassion for animals since she was a toddler. Her special way with animals has gained responses that elude others. As a bird-watcher and nature lover, Emylee hones her appreciation for our environments for all living creatures. At her home, she enjoys the camaraderie of two dogs, a cat, and a small herd of comical pet chickens.

Rahul de Livera is twelve years old and a student in Australia. He is a Sri Lankan by birth, and migrated to Australia in 2006. He started writing at the age of six, and his stories were published in the Shanker Children’s Art Number. He was very close to his grandma, who passed away four months after his arrival in Australia.

Mary Lou DeCaprio was previously published in Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2 and has recently published a picture book titled The Lost Feather. She enjoys substitute teaching, volunteering, and watching old movies with her husband and four children. She can be reached at

Christopher Geren was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was raised by two amazing parents and a stepfather and has recently moved to Los Angeles to develop a career in the creative arts.

Sandy Green lives with her husband and children in Virginia. Her work has been published in Highlights for Children, Fandangle, Dragonfly Spirit, and KidVisions. Andy was ten when he played for the Blues. Now, at thirteen, he’s played with the All Stars and started this season with the Green team.

Dontay Hall is an eighth-grade student who enjoys reading the Bible and playing basketball and video games. He has been published in several kids’ magazines, including Nick Jr. and Kate Harper’s Greeting Cards. His nana, Evelyn Hall, has written a series of children’s books about him. You can order one of her books at

Talia Haven lives in Michigan with her husband and is currently working on her first picture-book manuscript. This is her first story for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Jonny Hawkins is a full-time freelance cartoonist from Sherwood, Michigan. Thousands of his cartoons appear in magazines, books, and online. His calendars, Medical Cartoon-A-Day and Fishing Cartoon-A-Day can be found online and in bookstores along with his books.

Renee Hixson survives on a small college campus where her husband is vice president. As a mom of teens and several Korean home-stay students, and as a night janitor, Renee observes much of life’s dramas.

Writing is her only defense against insanity. Please e-mail this hopelessly flawed but optimistic writer at [email protected]

Carly Hurwitz is seventeen years old and a junior in high school. She enjoys writing short stories and film reviews in her spare time. She hopes to major in early childhood education.

Ann Ingalls is the mother of three grown children, a teacher, and professed “word nerd.” She and her husband, Winston, love to travel far and wide, ride bikes, eat barbecue, listen to jazz, and spoil their cats, Harry and Lucy. When she grows up, she hopes to be a grandmother.

Kristie Jones currently works as the children’s librarian at Cairns Libraries in Queensland, Australia. Since being shortlisted for the Queensland Young Writers Award, she has written and published a number of short stories particularly for children.

Kendal Kornacki loves her family and her dog. She enjoys running, working hard in school, and getting together with her friends.

Virginia L. Kroll has had forty-seven children’s books published since 1992 and over 1,700 items in magazines. She is married and lives in Hamberg, New York, with her family, which includes three daughters, three sons, a granddaughter, and thirty-six pets.

Lana Krumwiede’s stories and poems have appeared in many children’s magazines, such as Babybug, Spider, The Friend, Appleseeds, and Fun for Kidz. She earned a master’s degree from Washington State University in 1999. The story of “Swimming on a Goat” happened to her sister-in-law, who grew up in Czechoslovakia. The story of “Making Friends with a Puppet” happened to her when she was in third grade.

Mary Laufer is a freelance writer who lives in Forest Grove, Oregon. She began writing in fourth grade and never gave up the dream of seeing her stories in print. Her other works appear in Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul, Cicada, and Her Story: What I Learned in My Bathtub.

Machille Legoullon is the mother of four boys, who range in age from seven to twenty-three. Her passion is children’s writing, and she currently writes for a local parenting magazine, Community Kids. She has written several picture-book manuscripts and is working on her first novel for young adults.

Annie Loveless was eleven when she wrote the poem “My Hope for the World.” Now, she is sixteen years old and a junior in high school. Annie takes honors classes and plans to go to college to study forensics. She enjoys riding dirt bikes and singing.

Dania Denise Mallette, twenty-three, is a San Francisco State University graduate with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in journalism. Dania enjoys drawing, reading, and writing. She is currently working on getting her first television news-reporting job, but plans to continue her writing projects. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Bryan Martinez, age fifteen, enjoys hanging out with friends and family from church. Bryan’s favorite classes are physical education and French 2. He would like to become a lawyer. Bryan enjoyed writing his story and would like to write more in the future.

Mallory McGinty enjoys playing basketball and softball, taking dance lessons, and spending time with her friends. She lives with her mom, dad, little brother, guinea pig, and two special cats, Sox and Sierra, who were both adopted from the Humane Society.

Sarah McIver has a passion for written words and understands how powerful they can be. She has directed her efforts toward copywriting for the fundraising sector to encourage more donations toward worthy causes. Sarah is a loving wife and proud mother who lives in Gibraltar, Europe. Please contact her at [email protected]

Theresa (Terri) Meehan shares memories of her childhood in “Being True to Myself.” The story takes place in Warren, Ohio, in 1965 when the author was eight years old. She resides in England with her husband. Theresa likes writing inspirational stories. Many have been published, including poetry for an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book.

Jacqueline (Jacki) J. Michels is a mother of five, the wife of one, and a friend to many. She is a columnist and the author of several yet-to-be-published children’s stories. Please contact her at [email protected]

Fonda Bell Miller taught primary-age children for eighteen years. She is now a poet and writer living with her daughter and husband in Alexandria, Virginia. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Esme Sky Mills has always hoped to find a secret treasure map hidden in an old diary, but has stopped looking in other people’s diaries.

She lives on Pender Island, British Columbia, with her two amazing boys. She is hard at work on a teen novel and can be reached at [email protected]

Christine Mix is a children’s illustrator. “Standing Up” is one of her childhood memories written in her adult years. She is currently forty-four years old. Her illustrations have appeared in Write Out of the Oven, by Josephine Waltz. For more information, visit Christine’s website at or contact her at [email protected]

Felicia Moore was born in Riverside, California. She now resides in Detroit, Michigan. She is a housewife who has always enjoyed writing songs and poems. “Granny’s Hands” was inspired by the death of her granny, Fannie Ruth Moore.

Tiffany O’Neill was raised in California’s Central Valley and now makes her home in New Jersey, where she is a full-time wife and mother. She is currently working on her first novel for young adults.

Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Mark Parisi’s “Off the Mark” comic panel has been syndicated since 1987 and is distributed by United Media. Mark’s humor also graces greeting cards, T-shirts, calendars, magazines, newsletters, and books.

Please visit his website at Lynn, his wife and business partner, and their daughter, Jen, contribute with inspiration (as do three cats).

Melanie Pastor is a first-grade teacher in Encino, California. She has a B.A. in sociology and a master’s in education. She wrote the story “Wishing on a Lucky Star” as a teenager for a school assignment about “something good that came out of something bad.” Melanie just published her first picture book titled, Wished for One More Day. During the summer she teaches swimming lessons. She loves Rollerblading, swimming, skiing, and traveling. Please e-mail her at melanie [email protected]

Lloret Pelayo is currently a senior in high school, and plans to major in psychology and criminology. Lloret was born in Chicago, where her story takes place. She enjoys writing short stories and poems.

Sherm Perkins was a teacher, coordinator, and director in an at-risk school in Cincinnati, Ohio, before retiring in the spring of 2006 to devote more time to his wife, Connie, his two sons, Nate and Kevin, and his first love, writing. Please e-mail him at [email protected]

Karissa Porter is fourteen years old and goes to middle school. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and playing outdoors. She started writing when she was six years old and is hopeful that she will continue writing for the rest of her life.

Jamuna Rangachari writes on varied subjects, with a focus on children’s fiction and spirituality. Two of her books have been published, and she contributes regularly to various publications. She currently lives in Delhi, India, with her husband and two children. You may visit her at or e-mail her at jamuna. [email protected]

Ronnie Ray Reese has been published in several magazines. His audience is religious, secular, children, juniors, teens, and adults. You can reach him at [email protected]

Nicole Rinaldi is thirteen years old and in the eighth grade. She loves music and her friends. Her hobbies are writing poems, swimming, and photography. Her favorite type of poem to write is about love. She loves riding her bike around her neighborhood. She’s a busy girl.

Angela Rooker is currently a sophomore in high school. She likes to read. After high school she plans to become an anthropologist.

Michelle Rossi received her bachelor of science, with honors, in elementary education from Oakland University in Michigan. She teaches a curriculum she has designed herself called All About Me to many different communities. Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends and writing. Please visit her websites at and

Joi Sampsell, a former preschool and art teacher from Ohio, now resides in Floral City, Florida. She enjoys painting, the art of book making, and writing children’s stories. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the proud mother of four sons and six grandchildren, the inspirations for her stories.

Andrew Sang is a high school student and is on the boys gymnastics team. He tries as hard as he can and continues to get better at gymnastics and at life. He also enjoys drawing, dancing, and break dancing.

Becca Sherman is currently enrolled at Wake Forest University, and plans to study political science and economics. She loves basketball and volleyball, and is a waitress at the local Outback restaurant. Feel free to contact her via e-mail at [email protected]

Christine M. Smith is the mother of three, grandmother of thirteen, and foster mother to many others. She has been married to her husband, James, for thirty-eight years, and loves reading and writing, church activities, and spending time with her family. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Darian Smith is in the seventh grade and is a first-time author.

Although she plans to continue writing, she also has a passion for art and basketball, and enjoys going to her church youth group. She loves her family and friends (including Jenna, who is still her best friend) and appreciates their support.

Joseph “Silly” Sottile, author of Picture Poetry on Parade, loves writing children’s poems and stories. He’s a frequent classroom visitor and writing instructor. His poetry website for kids ( provides inspiration and poetry “recipes,” while featuring a monthly contest. Please e-mail him at [email protected]

Ruth B. Spiro lives in Illinois with her husband and two daughters, who provide endless inspiration for her writing. Her articles and essays have appeared in Child, Woman’s World, and Family Fun. She is also the author of a children’s book, The Bubble Gum Artist. She can be reached at

Charlotte Uteg has written in her free time since kindergarten and also enjoys reading fiction. She likes drawing and Japanese culture, hanging out with her friends role playing, and soccer. She is the leader of a large group of friends and enjoys planning parties and holidays. She will graduate from high school this year and move on to college.

Sirena Van Schaik is an early childhood educator who graduated with honors from Mohawk College in 2001. She enjoys reading, writing, scrapbooking, and just spending time with her husband, two children, and two Labrador retrievers. Sirena is currently finishing her first novel and has plans for many more.

Karen Lynn Williams is in graduate writing programs at Chatham College and Seton Hill University. She has published ten books for children, including the award-winning Galimoto. She has four children and has lived in Maiwai and Haiti, where a number of her books are set. She enjoys traveling, cross country skiing, hiking, quilting, and writing. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Victoria D. Williams is a thirteen-year-old eighth-grader. Victoria loves reading, writing, and playing video games. Her great love of animals, especially her dog, Hunter, promotes her desire to one day become a veterinarian.

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