Great Summer Story Ideas

These intriguing "first sentences" made us scream for more.


More than 650 intriguing ideas came into Better Homes and Gardens® magazine in response to the "Great Summer Story" writing challenge. This was an opportunity for aspiring authors ages 12 and under to send us the opening line of their original stories.

A few of the best entries were published in the magazine's August 2003 issue. Here are some others. All are worthy efforts; they are not ordered here by any rank.

Bob the Turtle walked out of his little basket, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "I'm sick of this place." -- Danny Mallia, 11, New York

The dark sky hung over the earth like a huge star-covered blanket as she hurried through the black and endless night, a wriggling blue bundle cradled in her arms. -- Adelina Grosshans. 11, Colorado

Man, was I squished -- stuck between two smelly, sweaty brothers, the beginning of my summer vacation. -- Allysa Chidester, 10, Washington

The T-Rex stayed in the movie theater because it smelled like popcorn. -- DJ, 10, California

I was playing outside when a fox came. -- Andrew Child, 6, Massachusetts

Once upon a time Robo Plunger was flying over New Port Richey when he saw the Poop Monster ruining a picnic. -- Cody DiIorio, Florida

One day a girl went to the zoo and saw a lot of animals having a party right in the middle of the zoo. -- Michele Stewart, 7, Washington

There once was a land so magical and so far away, there was absolutely no way to get there. Or so they thought. -- Shannon Gorsky, 11, Illinois.

A lonely box sitting on the grass at a rummage sale at the beginning of a baking hot summer was like a whisper of secrets filling my ear. -- Sophie Rouhandeh,12, New York

August 3rd started like any other lazy summer Thursday afternoon, until my four-year-old sister screamed, "Mommy, Mommy, come quick. The cat just exploded!" -- Mollie Dixon, 9, Kentucky

I was happy about these last few summer months as I thought over what had happened: I had truly become someone important from just a short 8th grader with brown crazy curls, and I had saved a few people's way of life! -- Meghna Nandi, 11, Massachusetts

Have you ever had a summer where you have been covered in banana slugs, launched down rapids, climbed Mount Rushmore, and found out a huge, very important, and dangerous secret about your family¿all in one massive six weeks? -- Kendra Jaqua, 6th grade, California

The boy looked up at the anchor-arm robot and said, "I want to challenge you and see if you can fight for good, not evil. Then you will earn the friendship of a boy!" -- Jacob Gabriel Denby, 7, Texas

None of this would have happened if Tommy's swim trunks hadn't fallen off in the ocean. -- Kelsey Wegner, 11, Minnesota

My dog is amazing in the summer because that¿s when he speaks Spanish! -- Brittany Lenhart, 4th grade, Maryland

Soft purple-colored scales rubbed against my tanned skin and I knew my new Mermaid captors would be very different from my real parents, the ones who loved me. -- Meredith Rahman, Massachusetts

My house of the future would be a mansion that is 100 acres long and 250 feet high. It would have 10 stories with 10 rooms on each story. In the backyard there would be a pool with 5 sides, 6 diving boards, and a hot tub. -- Jillian, 10, Illinois

One day in the morning the sun shone so bright my eyes felt as if they were going to heat up like drops of fireballs. -- Jessica Appleton, Massachusetts

I was soaring through the air with the wind going through my hair . . . hanging on by only a cord!!! -- Margaret M. Mack, California

My best summer ever started with my parasailing adventure, when the string broke. -- Megan Meihofer, Pennsylvania

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