A Little Bit of Magic

We adore this epistolary story full of book love!

By Trista Wilson

“Little Free Library, Madison” © Ali Eminov https://www.flickr.com/

WELCOME
to the Little Free Library at 22 Lilac St.
Please feel free to leave a book or take one.
We have provided this notebook for you to leave
your thoughts on books or to chat with your neighbors.
Happy Reading!

 

“open to possibilities” © Chris Blakeley https://www.flickr.com/


 
 
 

Oct. 25
Dear Owners of this Little Free Library,

I am 87 years old and it takes me 30 minutes to walk half a block to get here. And what do I find? John Sanford, Nora Roberts and A Guide to Knitting from 1955. Where are the classics? Great Expectations? The Great Gatsby? To Kill a Mockingbird? There is nothing here for anyone with half a brain to read.

Sincerely,
Grant
 
 
 

Oct. 26
Dear Grant,

My parents put up this library for people to be able to share their books. If you’re not satisfied with the selection, maybe you should donate some of your so-called classics. And I don’t think a book has to be from the Dark Ages to be a classic.

Sincerely,
Opal
 
 
 

Nov. 1
Dear Opal,

Of course they don’t have to be from the Dark Ages, but classics do need to survive the test of time. Quality literature has longevity.

Sincerely,
Grant
 
 
 

Nov. 3
Dear Grant,

I noticed today that someone left Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. You should read it. New books can totally be quality literature.

Sincerely,
Opal
 
 
 

Nov. 4
Dear Opal,

I am not reading Harry Potter.

Sincerely,
Grant
 
 
 

Nov. 7
Dear Grant,

If you will lower your standards to read Harry Potter, I will expand my half a brain to read one of your classics.

Sincerely,
Opal
 
 
 

Nov. 8
Dear Opal,

I did not say YOU have half a brain. And it’s a deal. I left The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway for you.

Sincerely,
Grant
 
 
 

Nov. 17
Dear Opal,

I have to admit that Hogwarts is impressive and Voldemort is a worthy villain. But I am too old to believe in magic.

Grant
 
 
 

Nov. 18
Grant,

Everyone needs a little bit of magic.

Opal
 
 
 

Nov. 20
Grant,

I finished The Old Man and the Sea. I don’t get it! This stubborn old man almost dies because he is obsessed with catching a giant fish! And then after he finally catches the fish, it gets eaten by sharks! A whole book about catching a fish?

Opal
 
 
 

Nov. 21
Opal,

You may call it stubborn but I call it stalwart. Your generation doesn’t understand having a goal and sticking to it no matter what. You just want wands and potions and easy answers. The Old Man and the Sea is about purpose, commitment, love and respect.

Grant
 
 
 

Dec. 8
Grant,

My generation does get commitment, purpose and friendship. It just might look different than yours. I finished The Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. It is totally about purpose, commitment, love and respect. There are no easy answers in this book. I’m leaving it for you to read.

Opal
 
 
 

Dec. 15
Opal,

I have never read a book in verse and didn’t think I would like it, but that was something. I can’t stop thinking about Will and wondering what his choice will be. In a way it reminded me of war. You were right. No easy answers.

I have left one of my consummate favorites for you. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. I hope you like it.

Grant
 
 
 

Dec. 17
Grant,

I’m so sorry to say this, but I did not like The Velveteen Rabbit. It was too sad! The boy loved his stuffed bunny so much and then it was taken away. And was the bunny actually turned into a real rabbit or is that a metaphor for death? (We are learning about metaphor in school).

Opal
 
 
 

Dec. 18
Opal,

I think he became real because he was truly loved. I would gladly give anything I have to have that love again. Being the one left behind is the hardest of all.

Grant
 
 
 

Dec. 19
Grant,

Since you liked The Long Way Down, I left you another verse novel, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.

Opal
P.S. Are you talking about your wife?
 
 
 

Dec. 22
Opal,

I can’t believe you have me reading verse, but I actually found myself saying parts of The Crossover out loud. You can feel the rhythm—like music. Like Jazz. Did you know I once played in a Jazz band?

The next book I’m leaving for you is an amazing story, Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Grant
P.S. My wife, Rose, died ten years ago, and I miss her every second. She would get such a kick out of me reading poetry.
 
 
 

Dec. 23
Grant,

That’s so cool that you played in a jazz band. What instrument? I play the flute. I can’t believe you left me another rabbit book after The Velveteen Rabbit broke my heart! AND it’s like 5 million pages. What’s with all the animal books anyway?

Opal
P.S. I’m really sorry about your wife. My parents want me to invite you over for Christmas Eve dinner.
 
 
 

© Elisabeth D’Orcy https://www.flickr.com/

Dec. 24

I played the saxophone. Just give the book a try. And I guess I mostly prefer animals to people.

Grant
P.S. I know you are inviting me because you think I am lonely. I miss my wife but I’m not lonely. I have a cat.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dec. 30
Grant,

I hope you had a good Christmas. You should have come for Christmas Eve dinner though. It’s okay if you’re a little bit lonely. We just moved here a year ago, and I’m still lonely a lot.

Opal
P.S. I got The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for Christmas. It was amazing.
 
 
 

Jan 1
Opal,

Happy New Year. Okay, maybe I get a tiny bit lonely. Don’t tell my cat.

Grant
P.S. Did you finish Watership Down? I just started The Hate U Give.
 
 
 

Jan. 3
Grant,

Happy New Year to you too. I finished Watership Down and I actually liked it! You sort of forget the characters are rabbits. I loved Bigwig. He’s brave and always says what he thinks.

I think everyone should read The Hate U Give. I wish the kids at my school would read it for sure before they start spouting off stupid opinions. In the book Starr is so angry and frustrated about things she can’t explain to her friends at school and I can totally relate. I’m one of like four black kids in my school and I never say how I really feel. I wish I could be like Bigwig.

Opal
 
 
 

Jan. 5
Opal,

I am delighted that you liked Watership Down. It’s about so much; trusting and counting on each other through tough times. When I got back from the Korean War, my wife was the only person I trusted, and since she’s been gone—well I just forgot how to be with people.

I get the sense that you are more like Bigwig than you think. By the way, my cat’s name is Bigwig. I think you would like him.

Grant
 
 
 

Jan. 7
Grant,

Can you believe we actually liked the same books? And thanks for telling me I’m like Bigwig.

Opal
 
 
 

Jan. 10
Grant,

Any more book suggestions?

Opal
 
 
 

Jan. 16

Haven’t heard from you in awhile. Everything okay? I can’t believe I don’t even know where you live.

Opal
 
 
 

Jan. 17
Hi Opal,

I’m Grant’s neighbor. I just wanted to let you know he’s had a fall and can’t get around very well. His house is the blue one on the corner, 41 Lilac.

Maria
 
 
 

NOTICE
We are having a little free library relocation party!
This little free library is moving to its new home at 41 Lilac St. on Jan. 20th.
Everyone is invited to join us at a 2 pm for our first front yard book club!
Bring a chair and a snack to share
The first book we will be discussing is Watership Down.
We will meet on the second Saturday of each month.
Next month our book will be The Hate U Give.
Opal aka Bigwig

“I love these little libraries” © Kaarina Dillabough https://www.flickr.com/

 


For twenty years, Trista has loved being a special education teacher, but is now excited to have the opportunity to pursue her writing full-time. She writes middle grade novels as well as short stories. As a teacher, Trista’s goal was to help students find books that sparked a love of reading, and now hopes her writing will find a place in the hearts of children and adults alike. She received an honorable mention in the 2017 Katherine Paterson Contest for Young Adult and Children’s Writing through Hunger Mountain-VCFA Journal of the Arts. She’s recently relocated to Wichita, KS with her not-so-youngest son, a grumpy hedgehog, and fluffy companions Mia and Sammy.

Subscribe / Share

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Julie Herman says:

    I completely fell in love with both Opal and Grant — and the story. Well done!!

  2. Elizabeth Everett says:

    What a wonderful story. You have a light and clever hand, letting the relationship unfold at its own pace. I love the books Grant is suggesting are truly the books an older man would love and remember, but still resonate with a young girl of color. Well done.

  3. Susan Burdorf says:

    I absolutely loved this! Thank you for sharing

Leave a Reply




What Is YARN?

It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.

YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

We also believe in feedback, which is why we encourage readers to post comments on pieces that inspire thought, emotion, laughter...or whatever.

So. What's your YARN?

Publication Archive