This story is by Eliana Israeli, who was part of Write Summer camp for young writers. You can find all the stories by Write Summer writers here. If you’re a young write age 7 to 14 and would like to participate in Write Summer camp, you can find out all the details here.

Chapter One: Phone Call


Ring! Ring! Ring! The phone! In a startle Joe snatched his cell phone from his desk. Wait, it was just the alarm clock, on a saturday? That’s weird. Brring! Brring! Brring! This was definitely coming from the phone. After hearing that ring, beads of sweat formed on Joe’s forehead.

“Hello? Is this…” 

“No it’s me” Oh it was Maple, great just when Joe was waiting for an important call.

“I have to go,” Joe said, trying his best to sound convincing.

“No you don’t. Why would you pick up the phone if you knew you couldn’t talk long. I’m getting too smart for you Joe,” Maple shot back.

“Goodbye!” Joe yelled as he hung up on Maple. Gosh, Maple might be my best friend but man she can be annoying! Joe thought.


I better go down stairs, Joe thought. Wait no Joe couldn’t go down stairs; he had to feed Blue, his cat. Blue was a very dog like cat. She liked to go on walks, and she played outside in the back yard with Joe. Once he fed Blue he went down stairs, away from his messy room. The air thickened with an overwhelming smell of waffles and syrup, Joe could almost taste it. His mom was a fitness instructor at an all female gym called Female Fitness. Which Joe thought was a boring name. His dad was a fisherman. Joe Rose and his family lived on a dock where his dad did his fishing. His sister Eliza was an 8th grader, she babysat. Joe was a sophomore in high school, he started working at his local Starbucks during the summer. Joe lived in Snow Wood Heights, Massachusetts. He went to North Banks High School with his best friend Maple Rightmen. Eliza went to North Banks Middle School. 


“You’re up early. I made waffles. Eliza please go get your brother a plate,” Joe’s mom said as Joe walked down the steps.

“Here you go,” Eliza said as she handed Joe a plate. 

“Thanks. Mom, when are they going to call me?” Joe asked.

“Be patient. They will call eventually. Eat your breakfast,” Joe’s mom said. “Oh your dad wanted you to help him on the boat. Eliza can you please help me load some weights into my car?” Joe’s mom said. “Okay,” Joe and Eliza said at the same time. Then they looked at eachother, laughed,  finished their breakfast, and went to help their parents. 


Joe walked to the dock and saw his dad looking at fishing hooks.

“Hi Joe. I just got some new hooks. Can you help me test em out?” Joe’s dad asked excitedly.  “Sure dad. Are we dock fishing or boat fishing?” Joe asked. 

“Dock fishing. I don’t want to have to clean the boat again,” Joe’s dad said. Then Joe and his dad got their fishing rods from Joe’s dad’s fishing shop. Then they set up. They put worms on the new hooks and casted their lines far into the water. In seconds something grabbed onto Joe’s dad’s hook. “I got something!” Joe’s dad said.

“Already?” Joe asked, puzzled. Once Joe’s dad realed the fish in they found out that it was a striped bass. 

“Awesome!” Joe said excitedly. 

“Wow this is a nice one. We better release it now. This new hook is great!” Joe’s dad said.

“Yeah!” Joe said. Then Joe heard his mom call from inside of his house:

“Joe?! Your phone is ringing!”

“Got to go dad. See you soon,” Joe said and hurried through the door.

“Don’t worry. Good luck!” His dad called from the dock.


Don’t worry?! This phone call was one the most important phone calls in Joe’s entire life. Joe ran up the stairs and went into his room. Hands shaking, Joe picked up the phone. He was a nervous wreck. Phew! He managed to pull himself together.

“Hello? Is this Joe Rose? I’m the engineering teacher at North Banks High School, you can call me Mr. Sweeps,” Mr. Sweeps said.

“Yes this is Joe,” Joe said, still nervous. 

“I’m glad. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you have a shot at getting into the program. The bad news is that you will have to take a long test to see if you are actually going to be in the program. Are you up for it?” Mr. Sweeps asked.

“Yes, of course!” Joe said.

“Great! See you in a week for the big test. Study!” Mr. Sweeps said. Then he hung up. 


It was pretty rude of him to hang up. 

“How did it go?” Joe’s mom said as he walked into the kitchen.

“Good, I have to start studying for a big test. He also hung up on me which was pretty weird. The guy told me to call him Mr. Sweeps,

Joe replied. “You can study during your break at your barista job. I know you don’t exactly like your boss but you have to spend as much time studying as possible. Understood honey?” 

“Yes mom,” Joe said.


Joe texted Maple about everything. She responded: Cool. I’m super happy for you. I have some good news too! Remember Roy Blackbox? I just got back from our first date! Sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner, my phone died. Roy Blackbox?! No it couldn’t be. Maple knows better. He was terrible. Everything about him made Joe gag. He didn’t want to upset Maple so he responded: Wow, Roy Blackbox. Who would have thought. I’m so happy for you Maple. Then, seconds later Maple responded: Guess what? Roy told me that he just got a barista job at the Snowwood Heights Starbucks. Here’s something crazy, you both work the same shifts! Weird huh!? No! It was bad enough that Roy was dating Maple but this was even worse! Poor Joe. 


“Roy Blackbox, how do I even describe him Blue? He punched me in 8th Grade. Maple was sick that day. I told the teacher. Roy made fun of me for that too. He isn’t very nice, and is very immature. What does Maple see in him? I remember I had a crush on his girlfriend Sailor. He found out. That’s why he punched me. Blue, I love you, you’re a great listener, 100 times better than Maple that’s for sure! Don’t tell her I said that,” Joe said to blue. She replied with a kind, and tired purr of empathy.

“You’re right Blue it’s time for bed. Goodnight. Sweet dreams, Blue,” Joe said. Blue gave a goodnight purr and they both drifted off to sleep.