Amazing Kids! Magazine

Black and White

By Sophia Nicole Lande, age 10, New York


The pouring rain pounded against the window as the ladder creaked on its hinges. BOOM! The thunder exploded nearby, knocking Nicole off her feet. CRASH! As the books plummeted towards the ground, she covered her face and groaned.

I’ll have to pick them up and shelve them all over again! Nicole thought to herself.

Nicole always had her nose in a book. Like Matilda, Nicole was reading from a very young age. Being an only child, she often found herself transforming into a character in one of the books she read. For instance, she just spent a lot of time at Hogwarts with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Although she was very sweet and kind, kids found her a bit odd at times.

“Nicole! Go help your mother in the kitchen. You keep reading any longer, and you’ll go cross-eyed!” her dad yelled from the living room, where he was watching American football on the TV. Mr. Winder (pronounced Wynder) always wanted a son, but instead, he got a girl. He loved his daughter, but because of him, things weren’t always easy for Nicole.

I guess this mess of books will have to wait, Nicole thought as she forced herself to walk into the kitchen, where the sound of running water and banging pans could be heard all around the house.

Later that night, Nicole sneaked back into the library to finish her book. As soon as she walked in, she rushed to her chair where her book was waiting. As she glanced at the mess of books on the floor and then at the empty bookshelves, she noticed a lone book on the highest one. At first, she just brushed it off, but for some reason she felt this nagging feeling inside.

Nicole rose from her chair and climbed up the ladder. As she reached for the book, she noticed something on its cover. “Colorful Universe!” it read.

“I wonder what that means?” she whispered softly to herself as she climbed back down the ladder and settled back down in her chair. Little did she know that what was buried deep between those pages would change her universe forever.

As she flipped through the pages, she felt empty inside. After staying up past midnight reading, she realized that there were a lot more planets in the universe than hers. There was also something called color. Apparently, it included different colors—not just black and white but also red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink. Everything was in color! From flowers to people, cars to houses! People actually seemed happier in their planets. After a sudden rush of sadness, she had to close the book. She felt upset about her black and white world; it felt so plain, drab, and colorless after the planets that she had read about.

Over the next few days, Nicole walked aimlessly around with a cloud of confusion following her every move. She couldn’t keep going any longer until she read Colorful Universe cover to cover. She raced back home and sneaked into the library.

You are always sneaking around! If your dad finds out, that’s it for you! she heard a sly little voice in her head say.

I’ve got to find out the rest of that book! she thought back at the little voice.

Humph, the little voice said back. She sat back in her chair and picked up Colorful Universe.

The rainbow-colored leaves danced in the sunlight as she walked on the paved, dark purple street. She saw a little girl who was wearing a cheerful, light yellow dress sprigged with tiny blue flowers.

She seems happy and cheerful, Nicole thought to herself. She felt a sudden urge to go up to and talk with the little girl, who was now jumping rope around a tall, green-leaved oak tree. As she continued forward, she noticed a man in a relaxing green suit reading a large book. He looked up and noticed her.

“Come,” he said, beckoning her forward. “Come sit with me; I want to have a talk with you, Nicole.” Nicole took a step backwards and felt an urge to run away from this strange man.

“How do you know my name?” she asked in a confused voice. “Who are you?”

“I am your father, Mr. Winder,” he told her.

“But why should I believe you? What’s your favorite color? Do you like cats? Do you play tennis? Do you like dogs? Do you have a pet? Who is your mother?” she questioned. Her father had taught her to ask these security questions in case there ever was an imposter in the house.

“Turquoise, no, yes, yes, no, Violet Annie Winder,” he said calmly though slightly annoyed.

“Okay, I believe you,” she said, finally sitting down next to him.

“Good, let’s begin,” he said, clasping his hands together like an excited child. “I have realized that I have been treating you badly.” Then came a sigh of relief; it was obviously hard for him to say that because of his pride.

With that, Nicole felt herself being transported back to her own world. As she was nearing the final pages of the book, she realized that only she could control her happiness. Nicole slowly looked up from her book, then gasped in wonderment. All around her things were in color! There before her very eyes was a window box with flowers bright and merry with color! She then felt a sudden burst of joy and an urge to run outside and tell the world she could see color! And that was just what she did.


  1. Jean-François /

    Great job, Sophia. Love how you used colour as a metaphor for the delight she missed, then found, in the world. You have a better sense of story than a lot of people I know who make a living writing!

  2. Diana /

    An inspiring, well written story. Totally enjoyed reading it.

  3. Darshan /

    I was so glad to read that Nicole found her happiness in her own world. And, the real lesson is that one can control one’s own happiness by thinking positively and believing in oneself and loving oneself. A great first effort by Sophia Lande indeed.

  4. Karma /

    What a beautiful story!

  5. Shaila /

    This was a great story.