Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not the Only One

Carissa Hernandez

Carissa Hernandez was born on April 30,1995 in the city of Orange, California. She is the eldest of two girls. In her early pre-teen years she discovered that she enjoyed writing because it was a way to express herself. She is currently a freshman at Segerstrom High School and Key Club member in Santa Ana, California. Other than writing she enjoys acting, talking and having a good time with friends. Her dreams consist of attending New York or Yale University with goals to become a published author and the best actress in the world.

Pre-reading Questions:
  1. Do you remember your first day of middle school? What did you feel?
    How did your life change?
    How will it change when you go to high school or even college?
  2. Can you imagine what your parents felt your first day of school?
    Why do you think they get emotional? What do you think your little brother or sister were thinking?________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Mom’s gonna start crying, watch.” Alexia chuckled into my ear. “Five dollars she doesn’t do it while I’m in the car,” I whispered back. “No deal,” she muttered.

We were sitting in the back of my mom’s 2003 Honda Accord. My dad was driving, my mom sat in the passenger seat and my little sister and I sat in the backseats. As they turned onto Graham Street my mom gave me a good luck kiss. Being the “grown up” I was, I wiped it off with my sleeve. With that single move, tears filled her eyes.

I sighed, “Huhhhh.” Why did she have to cry, why couldn’t she be normal and not care that I was going to my first day of school. I mean come on it was middle school it’s not like I was changing states to go to college. "She needs to calm down," I thought.

As we pulled up across the street of the side of the school I looked out and saw dozens of kids getting out of their cars.

“Are you fine crossing the street instead of being dropped out in front,” my mom questioned. “Yeah,” I whispered back. I stepped out of the car, the sole of my new black vans hitting the damaged concrete.

I stuck my head through my mom’s window, “Bye you guys,” I said with a cracked voice. “Bye Carissa, have a good day.” They said in unison as though they had rehearsed it for days. As my mom rolled up her window, I saw a trail of tears slide down her face.

I walked to the corner of the street, waiting for the crossing guard. My breath began to get heavier as the seconds passed by. More kids surrounding me. Cars swept pass me seeming as though they were going faster than the fifteen miles per hour speed limit. Finally the crossing guard signals for me to walk, I stepped into the street and began a new chapter in my life.

As I walked down the school steps, I looked behind me and saw more cars than earlier. Each one shared a relevant part of my experience. A parent or two in the car with the younger children in the back, each mother of a sixth grader with tears swelling up in their eyes. Trying not to cry in front of their younger ones so that their feelings could be hidden behind a mask. I'm not sure why they were crying, but I guess they thought they were making it easier for their younger children or maybe they were just trying to be strong for us, like I was being for my mom.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Barrio Writers New Logo y Mas!

Latest News from Barrio Writers!
We have a new logo! Our great sponsors have helped us exist and continue sharing our writing.

As of today, you can pre-order our book at Calacas on 4th in Santa Ana or email us at!

Follow us on Facebook: Barrio Writers and twitter: BarrioWriters

Our official website ( will be launched this Sunday, Oct. 4th while we participate at the OC Children's Book Festival! But if you can't view it, please be patient, it will be up soon enough! We hope to meet you at the book festival!

On Sunday, you will also be able to pre-order our books and donate to our program at the booths or through our new website. Please help us share our writing and empower teens throughout the nation! Next summer we have scheduled to establish new chapters in Hawthorne, CA and Austin, TX!

Pre-order the 1st Edition of Barrio Writers Today!
Calacas, Inc.
324 W. 4th St. #B
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Tel. 714.662.2002

Meet Barrio Writers at the OC Chidlren's Book Festival this Sunday!
Please visit the Department of Education & Author's Den Booths!