“Tropics of Antarctica” by Ella Fidler, age 13


Vivid place descriptions can help convey the narrator’s emotions. How do you think Emma is feeling in this scene?

Dust particles danced in the late afternoon sun, shining through the window, inches above the stained carpet but never quite settling. Emma watched it swirl as Mr. Brown’s voice continuid like a droning soundtrack to a dust ballet. A large brown shoe stepped into the patch of light, sending the specks into a panicked flurry. Emma’s head snapped up. Mr. Brown continued to talk, glaring through his glasses, his caterpillar eyebrows slanting inwards like a cartoon, at something behind her. Emma turned to see Jake, the ‘cool’ kid, talking to another boy who Emma didn’t know the name of. She still didn’t know everyone’s name. It was hard moving schools, especially when you were in the wrong year.
“12-year-olds,” Emma thought, glaring at each student in turn, as if it were their fault. She imagined her green eyes sending out laser beams, turning every kid to grey ash.

From “Textscapades”, published in 2012.

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