The Free City

Written and illustrated by Penelope


Sky, the blue panda and her friends Ruby, Rick, Nick, Kiwi, Lisa were swimming in the pool of her mansion when there was an earthquake in the middle of Everyone City. It left a big hole. 

Sky’s mansion was close to the big hole that the earthquake made, and the mansion and other people fell into the big hole. There, they were teleported and woke up in another city where they explored. 

“This is weird,” Kiwi said, and then found lots of stores, shops and malls. 

Meanwhile Zippy was at Sky’s house and said, “Hmm where is everyone and where is Sky’s house? This is very strange.”   

Everyone looked inside the shops and saw there was no price tag on the items.

“Why is there no price tag? Maybe everything is free,” Lisa said jokingly.

Sky laughed. There was no cashier in the shops and stores when they noticed that everything was free!

“Wow, everything is free!” everyone said. 

Then two months later everyone was teleported back to Everyone City. 

“That was the best two months of my life” said Rick and Nick. Then Sky built another mansion.  She and her friends go back to swimming in her pool every sunny afternoon.

“This is relaxing,” said Ruby. “I wish Zippy was here.”

 THE END

What To Read Based On Your Favourite TV SHOW!

What should you read based on your current TV fave? Let’s find out! 

Just like Netflix’s Stranger Things or All of Us are Dead, something strange is afoot when ghost-seeing Jake realizes he’s caught in a game of survival. Try Ryan Douglass’ The Taking of Jake Livingston.

Heartstopper and To All the Boys got us in our feels, and trans teen Felix will too as he navigates romance and the greatest love story of all–loving himself. Will it happen in Kacen Callender’s Felix Ever After?

While the heroes of Uncanny Counter and Lovecraft Country face terrifying monsters for family, exiled princess Shiori finds her brothers turned into animals–and must save them and her kingdom in Elizabeth Kim’s Six Crimson Cranes.

Where Bridgerton and Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung gave sweet historical romances, Sophia wants to change her own story–and oh, overthrow the monarchy–in Cinderella is Dead.

Like Avatar‘s Aang and Encanto‘s Mirabel, Maya discovers there’s something special about her: she’s half-god, and must protect the veil between worlds before it’s too late. Leap into Rena Barron’s Maya and the Rising Dark

What To Read Based On Your Favourite ICE CREAM!

In this instalment of What To Read Based On…, pair your fave summer flavour with these stellar reads!

In this classic tale of family, Lily strikes a deal with a magic tiger to save her grandmother⎯only, she doesn’t realize deals with tigers (much less magical ones) are never as they seem. It’s Tae Keller’s When You Trap a Tiger!

Nothing is what 12-year-old Lalani expects when her mother falls ill, and now she must take on the epic tests of on the way to the legendary Mount Isa to save her in Erin Entrada Kelly’s Lalani of the Distant Sea!

It doesn’t get cooler than 12-year-old Faryn’s quest to discover if she’s destined to command the Jade Emperor’s army of demon-fighting dragons, only in Katie Zhao’s The Dragon Warrior!

Everything collides at once when Sal learns he has the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything he wants, including his dead mother⎯only, he’s putting the entire universe at risk. Hold on tight to Carlos Hernandez’s Sal and Gabi Break the Universe!

9-year-old Jax’s adventure will warm your heart as he aids a curmudgeonly witch on a quest to deliver three baby dragons to a magical world, only in Zetta Elliott’s Dragons in a Bag!

What To Read Based On Your Favourite ANIME!

After Demon Slayer, leap into another tale of family and demon-fighting when sixteen-year-old Bree stumbles upon a magic secret society in Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn!

Like Naruto, a mysterious power lurks inside sixteen-year-old Deka, who journeys to the capital amidst a magic war to find out who she really is in Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones!

Like Ash, seventh grader Nizhoni is doing her best ⎯ to save her dad from ancient monsters, she must pass a series of trials in Rebecca Roanhorse’s Race to the Sun!

Just like Midoriya teamed up with All Might, thirteen-year-old Sikander teams up with the hero Gilgamesh to save New York in Sarwat Chadda’s City of the Plague God!

After Haikyuu!!, try the world of basketball with twelve-year-old Josh and his twin brother Jordan in Kwame Alexander’s lyrical The Crossover!

School

Written and illustrated by Amal


Michael is in grade 9. Ava is in grade 2. Emma and Emily are in grade 6. Ruby is in grade 8. Rose is in kindergarten. Sophia is in grade 5. Chris is in grade 4. Oliver is in grade 1. Liam is in grade 7. Lucas is in grade 3. James is in grade 3 because he got held back when he got D’s and F’s on his report card. William  is in preschool. Isabella is in grade  10. Mia is in grade 11.

Everyone goes to school. It is the first day! Everyone gets ready and is feeling happy. Emily and Emma race each other to school with all their speed. They get to school in a second and are one hour earlier than everyone else. Everyone else gets to school on time. 

When they are in class the grade 6‘s are not allowed to use their phones – only 7th graders and 8th graders can use phones. At noon, everyone goes to lunch and most people eat the same thing: pasta! Some people have lasagna, or pizza, or tuna. 

After lunch, it is class time. The grade 6 people have math and grade 7’s and 8’s have science (they do lots of experiments). Then everyone goes home. Emma and Emily go back home with their teleporting powers. Everyone else goes home in Mia’s car. 

Today is the day when their parents come home! Emma, Emily, Mia, Isabella, Ruby, Rose, Ava, Michael, James, Liam, Lucas, Oliver, Chris, and Sophia and William all go downstairs to see their mom and dad. 

Everyone shouted, “I missed you!” 

Mom and Dad were proud of Mia who took care of everyone in the house. Emma and Emily went outside for a walk. Then they realized that they’d forgotten about Mia’s birthday tomorrow. Isabella went to get a cake. Mia loves ice cream and oreo cake. The Mom and Dad did the decorations.

James gave all of Mia’s friends invitations. Lucas kept Mia from going inside the house. Mia saw that a window was open. She climbed a tree and snuck into the house. She ended up in Emma’s and Emily’s room. Everything was floating and it scared her!

Mia screamed, “AHHHHH!”

Emma and Emily ran into the room and asked “What’s wrong?” 

Mia asked, “Why are these objects floating?” 

Emma and Emily tell her that they have powers, then they tell her not to go in the living room until tomorrow. 

“Okay,” said Mia.

The next day Mia woke up. She was turning 17 years old.

Ava said, “Mia’s coming! Hide!” 

Everyone hid. Mia went downstairs to have breakfast. She saw that someone made her breakfast. 

“Thank you,” said Mia.

Then they all popped out and yelled, “Happy birthday Mia!”

Mia turned around and said thanks with a smiling  face 😊

Isabella said, “We did this for you”. 

Mia said, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”

A glowing light went to Mia, Michael, Liam, and Isabella. 

Emily and Emma both said at the same time, “You are getting powers!” 

“What?” Mom and Dad asked. 

“Uuummmm. Nothing,” said Emily.

“Come on, tell us the truth!” 

“Okay,” said Emily, “look, Mom and Dad. Don’t freak out, okay?” 

“Alright. We won’t freak out, we promise,”  said their Mom, “really!”

Emma told them about their powers and said, “Sorry for lying,”

“It’s okay,” said their Mom, “we have also been hiding something. We have powers too! You got powers because of us.”

“Oh,” said Emma and Emily. 

Then Mia got a wand and could talk to animals. Now Mia had the same powers as Emma and Emily. Sometimes Emily and Emma would become ninjas, or good spies.

What To Read Based On Your Favourite Summer Activity!

Summer is finally here! We’ve got you covered for shuffling your bookshelf for some sunnier reads based on your favourite summer activities. Check them out!

SWIMMING: For a cool read, dive into a story of growing up with young botanist Natalie in Tae Keller’s The Science of Breakable Things

ICE CREAM: For a flavourful read, try this story of Dylan, his crush Jaden, and an evil hamster mascot in Birdie Milano’s Boy Meets Hamster!

VOLLEYBALL: For fast-paced fun, join 12-year-old punk-rocker Malú in Celia C. Pérez’s The First Rule of Punk!

PICNICS: For a peaceful read, follow Alex and his dog on a cross-country road trip in Jack Cheng’s See You In The Cosmos!

EXPLORING: For the adventurers, join Zoe as she explores a plant wonderland in Brenda Woods’ Zoe Wonderland!

Siren’s Mythical Dream

Written by Arielle


Once upon a time there was a girl named Siren who lived in Antarctica. One night while she was sleeping in her bed she dreamt about spending Christmas with all her friends, but in real life she didn’t have any friends.

The next day Siren went to school and realized how quiet it was. She didn’t like that very much. The next day after school she told the whole village that she was going to move away to the North Pole. Her neighbors were a bit sad, but happy for Siren to start a new life somewhere else in the world. That same day she booked a flight to the North Pole for Tuesday, December 10th, 3032. Siren went back to school and told her whole class that she was going to move away to the North Pole.


December 10th finally came. Siren went to the airport, went through security, and hopped on her plane to go to the North pole. It was a long flight of 25 hours. After that long flight she finally arrived.

When she got to the North Pole she found a house to settle down in. Apparently that house was an Ice palace! Siren was so happy. A few days later she found a school to go to. She still didn’t have any friends until two girls named Lara and Livy went up to her and asked if they could be her friends. Of course Siren said yes.


Weeks and weeks later Christmas arrived. This was what Siren had been dreaming about. There was only one thing left to do: GO TO A WINTER FANTASY LAND WITH HER FRIENDS! Siren had so much fun with the girls – it was the best day she ever had.

Carina Nasturzio: Facilitator Star, Fast Swimmer, Events Management Extraordinaire!

Carina is a former two-time Story Planet placement student who started back in 2017. Since then, she has officially joined the team as a facilitator, earned a Social Service Work diploma from Sheridan College, and a Bachelor of Social Work from Toronto Metropolitan University. She is a hobbyist artist, writer, and podcaster, and loves taking care of her many plants. Outside of Story Planet she teaches swimming to children in her town and plans to complete a Masters of Social Work in the near future.

Marel Alemany: Facilitator and Cantante

Marel Alemany is a singer-songwriter and film director from the Dominican Republic. He is the son of educator Pura Sanchez and creativity has been at the root of his formation and passion since he was born. A singer from an early age, in 2003 he released his debut single, “Palabras en el Aire” and started making music professionally. He has released two albums (“De Papel” in 2006 and “Carne” in 2009) and several singles, including (“Tu Guerra y la M a,” 2017, and “Navegar ” 2019). He has also composed numerous advertising jingles and two songs for the children’s books, “Super Niños” and “Tun Tun,” both written by storyteller Anya Damiron. Alongside his career as a musician, he’s worked for more than 15 years as a film director of commercials, short films, and music videos. He majored in Advertising at Seville University and later studied filmmaking before returning to his hometown of Santo Domingo in 2002. He is in the process of completing the post-graduate Children’s Media Program at Centennial College in Toronto.

Marel is a true master of many trades, whose talents in music, production, and leadership supported us in the success of our workshops and programs. We are incredibly grateful and proud to have Marel on our crew, and we can’t wait to share more about him with you!


1. A lot of what you do with us at Story Planet is guiding young folks in their creative writing journey. What or who inspires you in your creative journey?

Creativity is intrinsic to me. When I get any free time, I start day dreaming or start thinking of how to improve the world or my life and my family’s. I think they are a huge inspiration for me. My kids and my wife. They’ve inspired songs, and stories and they motivate me to look at the world with an open and critical mind.

2. We’re approaching your one year anniversary with us! Can you tell us about some of your favourite moments at Story Planet?

I enjoy everytime I read a story from a Young Authors and it blows my mind. This kids are capable of so much at such a young age, that is always a humbling experience. One of the things I enjoy the most is helping the kids create songs for the podcast or now with the songmaker program. I like when they realize they can get their ideas across with music and rhyme.

3. Aside from facilitating and being our go-to media man, you’ve also produced our first podcast and developed our SongMaker program. Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies you would like to share?!

I’ve being a singer-songwriter since I was 10, and this is very public, so not sure about if is a hidden talent. I’m also a die hard soccer fan.

 What keeps you motivated?

My family. Being a good person, doing something that helps me shape a better future.

4. In our workshops, we’re often transported to fantastical places with the kids – outer space, futuristic cities, medieval kingdoms. What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?

A fishing pole, a hunting knife and a satelite phone so I can ask someone to pick me up after I’m done exploring.

5. You’re a creative, multitalented maven! Can you tell us about what made you want to pursue a career in the creative industries? 

My mother was an educator with a passion for theatre, and I always had a musical inclination. When I was 5 I was signing in front of an audience. I remember expending hours and hours playing by myself, making up fantasy worlds, future versions of my life. Books, movies and music where my favourite friends when I was little. Even playing sports. I used to play basketball by myself, imagining I beat Michael Jordan one on one. I don’t think I could do anything, but create. I’m just happy there are industries for that. 

6. What’s next for yourself?

I’m new to Canada, and I hope I can make a life here. I wish I’m able to keep creating content (music, tv shows, stories) to inspire others, especially kids, to be kinder, creative, engage with their communities. So, I’m going to keep writing and hope that I can sustain my family by doing what I love. 

7. If you had a superpower, what would it be? And why?

I would love to be able to teleport in space and time. I just love to travel and learn about different cultures and places.

8. If you were a were-hamster (werewolf + hamster), what would you do?

Probably find other’s like me and move to the wilderness.

9. How would you describe Story Planet in one or two words?

Inspiring and necessary.

10. What is your favourite colour?

Blue.

11. If you could choose one age to be for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

30 is a sweet spot of youth, independence, energy, experience, but what would be sweet is to be 70 in the body of a 20 year old.

12. What is your favourite children’s book?

The little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 13. What’s a song that you like a lot?

If I have to choose, I’d say Beautiful Boy by John Lennon.

14. What is your favourite place in the world? What’s a place you’d like to visit next?

Playa Bonita, Samaná in the north of the Dominican Republic. I want to go to Japan, Italy and Mexico next.

The Adventure of the Unknown Species

Written by Adiba


Once there was an unknown species named Elijah. His head looks like a giraffe, his body looks like a shark and he has wings like an eagle. He also has teeth like megalodon and he has a big long tongue. He also has ears like elephants and he has legs like humans. Elijah is floating in a lava pool and cries for help. He could see some of his surroundings and he saw a dragon who is a friend of his, named Ben. Ben tried to help but got caught in the lava pool as well. 

After a while, Elijah and Ben were able to swim to a staircase, leading up to a small cave. They went up the stairs and they saw some fish laying on the ground and they ate them. The fish tasted very good. Suddenly Elijah started coughing, he coughed up a golden key that was inside one of the fish. Then the two friends saw a trap door and they opened it, there was a staircase leading down to a golden door. 

They opened the golden door, with the golden key, and then they went down to a new cave, where they found a piece of paper that said, “Go left, and then go right, and then continue straight.” They followed the directions to a door that said THE EXIT FROM THE LAVA POOL. They went out of the exit and there’s another trapdoor leading up. They tried to find another key and then they saw a safe with a keypad. They found a piece of paper with a clue to the password, and that allowed them to open the safe. In the safe was a code written in red which says, “12345,” then they saw another trapdoor, they entered the code on the trap door lock and opened it, then they found their way back on the earth, with happiness. That night they had a huge party with their friends.