The Case of Carmen

    Once on a chilly winter morning in January, when Ivy was walking home after school, she found an ugly cat lying near the trash can. On the collar was a mysterious note.

Dear Ivy, 

This cat was tearing your garbage apart while you were at school today. Thought she might be your cat. Also, good luck on your test tomorrow.


    ‘’That is strange,’’ Ivy thought. How did Carmen know all of that information. Carmen was a different kind of thief who regularly stole  from other thieves only to return the stolen goods to their owners. Ivy kept looking at the note. ‘’Who was Carmen?’’ she thought. Suddenly, she heard something behind her. She saw a dazzling flash of red and scarlet bolt through an alley. Ivy dashed after the figure. The figure stopped, shot a line at a building, and pulled itself on top of the building. Before the stranger left, it tipped its hat to Ivy. Then, Ivy clearly saw that the stranger was a girl. She was not much older than Ivy, so Ivy guessed she was thirteen because Ivy was turning ten the following day. Abruptly, she felt something land on her shoulder. She grabbed it and noticed it was a  birthday card signed by Carmen San Francisco. “Carmen!’’ she whispered. She looked at the top of the building where Carmen had disappeared. She saw a box .Quickly, Ivy climbed to the top of the building. Then, she grabbed the box and jumped back down. She opened up the box.  Inside of it was the only thing every kid dreamed of…a grand 65 notebook. The notebook contained an iPad, sketch pages, writing pages, and much more . However, one question wasn’t answered. “Who was Carmen?’’ Ivy thought. Little did she know of Carmen. Ivy only knew she was a thief.  What she didn’t know was she was also her second cousin, who had come over for her birthday, which was tomorrow. Suddenly, Ivy saw Carmen hiding behind a tree, but as quickly as she had appeared, she disappeared as quickly too. Then, Ivy heard someone call her name. It was her mom. The little girl had forgotten about going home. At Ivy’s house, Carmen greeted her. Later, Ivy got to learn everything about her cousin Carmen.   


Elementary students were asked to write a story in about 250 words that involved a birthday card, a tree, a stranger, a cat, and a hat.

They were also required to decorate the story by using 5 strong adjectives, 5 strong verbs, 5 mystery/thriller/suspense words or phrases, and 2 figurative languages.



Avni Singh – 5th grade

Avni is a motivated and enthusiastic girl. She is a little bundle of talent—her use of descriptive language, vocabulary, and thinking ability is par excellence. She is working above her current grade level within her writing skills.