Show & Tell

Centerville Elementary School fourth-grader Rachel Allen drew this illustration to accompany her personal story titled, “Worst Picture Day in the Whole World.”


Rachel Allen loves to write stories. The stories she enjoys writing the most are set during her favorite times in history — the pioneering era in the late 19th century and the Great Depression.

“I like writing about historic times. … That is very interesting to me,” Rachel said, adding that she usually writes in the evenings or the weekends — when she has “the most time to collect her thoughts.”

This winter, this fourth-grader from Centerville wrote about a historic day in her own life — a day she thought others could relate to. She titled this story, “Worst Picture Day in the Whole World,” and documents what she said was one of the very worst days she can remember.

“I wanted to include something that would be common to people. So it would be bad but not a fairy tale kind of bad,” Rachel said. She added that it took her a week-and-a-half to write this story, which was written as part of a school assignment.

Rachel, 10, seems to have a natural knack for writing, and it just might be in her blood.

“I like writing. It’s kind of fun, and a lot of people in my family are writers,” she said. “My grandpa and grandma have both published one book at least. They tell me a lot that I write good and keep encouraging me.”

When she grows up, Rachel says she wants to be a teacher as well as an actress. In addition to writing in her spare time, she enjoys art and created the illustration pictured here to accompany her story.

–Bethany E. Starin

“Worst Picture Day in the Whole World”

By Rachel Allen

Beep, Beep, Beep! 

“Late again!” I moaned. I had only a few minutes to … get ready for picture day! Quickly I got dressed and rain into the bathroom. There was absolutely no hairspray in the bathroom! Then to make matters worse, as I gulped down my favorite cranberry juice I spilled it on my white blouse! 

“I’d rather hang glide to Rio.” I moaned to my best friend, who was looking rather nice.

Just as things were slowing down at school, Mr. Owen said, “All reading packets should be turned in to Lexi!”

“Oh no!” I cried. I had not finished my packet by a long shot! At music my hair clip fell out on the carpet, and I got rug burn on my arms, just for looking! Finally lunch came. I had dropped something on the floor so I went to pick it up and, Wham! My thermos full of spaghetti fell right on my hair!

“I’m seriously thinking of hang gliding to Rio,” I said to no one in particular. After another stressful 30 minutes, I was walking down the narrow walkway, to one side was the grass, and to the other side was mud … and, “Oh no!” I thought. Mr. Owen was walking a bit too close to me and Woosh! I fell face first in the mud.

“That’s it!” I screamed. I rushed into the bathroom while the class continued into the building. I put water on my fingers and ran them through my hair, but a piece stood straight up! My friend walked into the bathroom and said: “Time for pictures.”

“Can I have a few more minutes?” I asked.

“Are you crazy? Everyone’s coming out of the portables!” Reluctantly, I followed her to the picture line.  

 Finally the line came! Pictures! I was sitting there when a stinkbug landed in my hair! The camera man got a good shot of me frantically waving my hands over my head!

“I’m hang gliding to Rio!” I said.

Later Mom talked to me about my day. After I told her about my day, she said: “One, everyone has those days, and two, there are no bathrooms on hang gliders. Even in Rio.”

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1 comment for “Show & Tell

  1. Ginny Grimes Allen
    May 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    What a great story… of course, we can all relate… maybe white grape juice and plain spaghetti on picture day next year! A really enjoyable read!!

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