"I listened to your words gummed them around in my mouth, evaluated their taste, and swallowed them. I digested them as we walked in silence, save for the thrash and crash of the water below and his hummingbird laughter."
— from the book
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This edition of the 826 Quarterly contains fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written by authors ages 6-18. The pieces are selected from all the 826 programs (drop-in tutoring, workshops, in-schools, projects, field trips) and at-large submissions. Pieces are chosen in a traditional literary journal style by an editorial board comprised of students and volunteer tutors.
In this issue, readers will find cats named after major retail chains, the uncomfortable side of good deeds, haunted middle schools, prosthetic animal parts, tales of leaves gone astray, letters to dead people, stories of immigration, and, of course, mermaids.
Like all writing coming out of 826 Valencia, this is by kids for kids, in a language that doesn't talk up or down to the readers, but straight across. Some of the pieces are straightforward, some unusually experimental. The writing is advanced and the themes explore issues that kids are actually interested in and that adults are sure to enjoy as well.
Oscar Villalon is a longtime 826 Valencia supporter and volunteer. He is the managing editor of the fantastic literary journal, ZYZZYVA and the former books editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. His writing has appeared in The Believer, VQR, and the Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Villalon is the undefeated champion of the 826 Valencia Thumb-wrestling Tournament and author of the thumb-wrestling manual, The Way of the Thumb.
Justin Carder has been working with 826 Valencia as a volunteer, and on the staff, for six years. He is the editor or the 826 Quarterly, and has served on editorial boards for many other 826 publications. He is a writer, designer and artist, and has exhibited work and performed all over the United States. Carder is the Pirate Store and Publishing director at 826 Valencia.
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