Ricky’s Big Adventure (Part One)

By Kendra LaLonde

The first day of school was hard, but adjusting to his new surroundings was worse. School was a place where he could escape the hardships that plagued him in his home; it was also the place where it was constantly pointed out to him that he couldn’t read.

I’m only ‘leven, he thought, why are they always gettin’ on my case ‘bout readin’? Ricky Meyer threw the basketball at the hoop suspended above his family’s garage. It fell short, however, bouncing away and rolling into a ravine.


A large, off-color sign—looking to be yellow, originally—with big bold letters painted on its flat surface warned people away from the ravine.

But Ricky hadn’t learned to read as well as others his age. His parents had tried to help him, and he’d been passed from first grade on to fourth grade. Most teachers said that dealing with his inability to read had become too much for them. They permitted him to move forward because he knew the basics.

Knowing how to read is stupid. Ricky huffed out a breath, pushing through the overgrowth around the bright warning sign and starting down the hill. He intended to find that ball before dark fell.

Check back next week to read Part 2 of the winning story for the “Reading Rocks” contest.


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