Amazing Kids! Magazine

Elizabeth’s Surprises

By Bethany Lynne Doolittle, Age 9, New York


There is only one happiest family in the whole town, so I am about to tell you about that family. There once was a family and they were very happy people. In this family there were Mom, Father, Aunt Jane, Great Aunt Melissa, and four girls. The family had been very sad when their Father went out into the war but luckily the family kept themselves together. Mary was the oldest, Rose was the youngest, Salie was in the middle and finally, Elizabeth was the second to oldest and she wanted to become a writer.

Her Father believed in Elizabeth.  When she was a little girl every night her Father said to her, “You can do it!”  That is one reason why she tried and tried.  Because her Father was now in the army, every night Elizabeth said to herself, “you can do it Elizabeth, you really can.”  She thought, maybe some day I will be holding one of my real books, as she fell asleep.

Her sister Rose was munching and crunching on just made blueberry muffins.  Mother asked Rose how many she had eaten so far.

She said, “7 muffins!”

Mommy said, “Stop eating all the muffins, leave some for the family.”

“OK, OK”, said Rose, and she quickly ran to her room and grabbed Molly and Meg, her only dolls, and asked Mom if she could use her tea set.

“Of course you can”, she answered, “but if you break it you can never use again!”

“OK,” said Rose, so she ran to her room and sat on her bed and had her own elegant tea party.

Then Salie woke up and got dressed. Salie saw that nobody noticed her until Rose yelled back, “Good morning to you and do you want to have a tea party with me?”

“Of course, after I eat 1 more muffin,” said Salie. So Salie walked into the kitchen and got a muffin.  But her Mom told her to wait a minute, because they were hot.  So while Salie waited she woke up Mary. Elizabeth was too tired to wake up, because she had been writing all the night before.

Father had mailed them a letter, so everyone crowded around Mother to hear her read it but then little Rose noticed that Elizabeth was not there.  Her Mother started reading.  Then Rose interrupted, “Elizabeth isn’t here.”

Mother said, “Do not wake her up, she is exhausted from writing.”

Rose asked, “But then how will she hear the letter?”

“She can read it later,” Mom said.

All of a sudden Elizabeth walked downstairs, “We were waiting for you,” everyone said.

“Oh, sorry I am late…wait, what am I late for?” asked Elizabeth.

“Father sent us mail,” said Rose.

“Really?” said Elizabeth.

“Let’s read,” said Mom….

Dear Girls,

I miss you all very much, and I love you with all my heart.  I hope to see you all very, very soon.



PS – this is what I had to show my Sergeant, all your names and ages:

Salie 17, Mary 27, Rose 5, Mom 47, Elizabeth 18

After they read the letter Mother told them, “Today is Great Aunt Melissa’s birthday so you girls go get ready. The birthday party is a surprise. We will all go at 11 o’clock, and it is 9:35 right now. We all need to hurry and get ready.”  So they all darted into their rooms.  Everybody had their own room except Elizabeth and Salie.  Mary had a large room since she was the oldest.  Mother had a large room because when Father was home he shared the room with Mother.  Rose had a medium sized room.  When they were all ready they walked outside so they could walk to the party.

On the way there all the girls picked flowers except Mary because she had earned money and wanted to buy her flowers.  Mary’s flowers were beautiful.  They had roses and baby-breath hanging all around them. When they got there everybody was having fun. Girls were helping with setting up the tables. Boys were playing chess or cards. When people started sitting down at the table, women started bringing food in big pretty baskets and pots.  Then, everyone said a prayer. While everyone was talking, somebody brought out the cake.  They all sang Happy Birthday.  The girls all gave their flowers to their great Aunt Melissa, who thought they were lovely.

After opening the presents, everyone slowly left.  It was dark out, but they had lots of candles and coats for warmth.  At last they got to their nice, cozy home. Elizabeth told Rose that if she wanted her to, she could either sing her to sleep or read her one of her bedtime stories.  Rose thought it would be fun to read a book!  So they both went to Rose’s room.  Finally, Elizabeth got Rose to fall asleep.  But right when she left, Rose shot up.

“Wait!” Rose cried.

“Shhh,” said Elizabeth.

“OK Rose, come in my room, you can sleep with me and Salie” comforted Elizabeth. Elizabeth told Salie that Rose was going to sleep with them.

Salie asked, “Rose, do you want me to make you a bed on the floor?”

“Well, I think I would rather sleep on a bed, don’t you think I could sleep on a bed?” asked Rose.

“OK,” said Elizabeth, “I will sleep on the floor.”  After they got all their things settled, Elizabeth read them a bedtime story, which put them all to sleep, including Elizabeth.

Rose woke up first, and actually fell back asleep!  When the family woke up they were eager for breakfast because it was Saturday, Pancake Day!  It was very easy making the pancakes, but it was hard to get the maple syrup, because it was so expensive.  So, the family had learned how to make their own maple syrup.  First, they would hit a sharp tap into a Maple Tree, and then they would hang a bucket over it.  When it filled up they would put the maple sap into a big pot and boil it.  Finally, they added sugar and poured it into a big maple syrup container.  A couple of days later, Mary made a maple syrup leaf and glued it on to the container. It was very pretty after it was all done.

They made some pancakes and waffles and covered them with their own homemade syrup.  Everyone took a bite of breakfast at the same time, knowing that it would taste delicious.  They took a bite, and gasped!  It was the best syrup that they personally had ever tasted!

That afternoon, Mother brought up the subject of Elizabeth’s new college.  You see, Elizabeth wanted to go to a college. “I have to go ask Salie something,” said Elizabeth.

“No, please stay here Elizabeth,” said Mom.

“OK,” said Elizabeth.

“I have found a college for you to go to, and you have to be there in 2 days,” said Mom.

“2 days!” cried Elizabeth, “you can’t be serious!”

“Well, this is a boarding college, and they only had 1 room left and I saved it for you.  It will take you 1 day to go on the train and get there.  Today is your first day to pack up.  So you need to pack up right now, so that you’ll be ready,” Mom explained.

“But Mom, don’t you think this is kind of short notice?” cried Elizabeth.

“Well, would you rather go to college really fast, or not go to college at all?” replied Mom.

“OK, I’ll go start packing, but do you think I could finish my pancakes first?” Elizabeth said sarcastically.

“Oh of course silly, you have the rest of the day to do all that.  I know that this is all very sudden, but I think this will be a great experience for you,” said Mom.

The next morning, Elizabeth realized that she was leaving!  She ran to everybody and said good-bye. She ran out the door to catch the train. Her mom surprised her with a new bike to get to the train station and to use at college.  Also, since Elizabeth left early in the morning, her Mom packed her a biscuit, some orange juice and a piece of warm bacon.

When she got on the train she had her bike put into the cargo area. When she arrived at her new college they brought her into her new dorm.  Immediately she began to put her clothes into drawers, open curtains, and airing out the room.  As she started to get settled, suddenly she had a great idea!  A book!  That’s what she would do, she would write a book about this period of her life.  She thought this was a great idea because of all the stunning events that had happened to her.  Who would believe it!

Over the next few weeks she worked on her book.  Finally, near the middle of the semester she finished her book.  So many exciting things had happened to her since college began, and she had written all about it.  One day, Elizabeth nervously went to the mail box and dropped her manuscript in the mail to the Random House Publishing Company.  She took a deep breath and said a prayer.

Five months later, Elizabeth was checking her mailbox in the dorm, and saw a letter from the Random House Publishing Company!  She stared at it for a long time, her eyes growing wide.  Elizabeth thought, “Should I open this, or not?”  She decided to open it.  Carefully, she took her thumb under the envelope flap and slowly opened the letter, and began to read.  It said:


Dear Elizabeth,

We have read your story many times through, and have finally decided…you are going to become an author!  Thank you for choosing Random House Publishing Company to publish your book.

You should expect a letter from our publishing staff in the near future to inform you on our process for publishing your book.


Bill Howard
Vice President
Random House Publishing Company

From that day forth, Elizabeth realized that was her talent, to express herself through writing, for children and adults to enjoy all over the world. Elizabeth was sure that this would always be the happiest day of her life.  But is wasn’t.

Two months later, while she sat studying in her dorm room, there was a knock on her door.  Elizabeth walked over and opened it.  All she saw was a book, not any book, but her book, with title and name.  Then, stepping out to fill the door, was her Father!  They jumped into each others arms.  That, was the happiest day of her life!