This story was written by 5th grader Malea. Below is our brief conversation about her story and why she wrote it. 

Courage Instead of Fears

Ally lives in a big, aged house in Hillsburg, California. She lives with only her mom because her dad passed away when she was two. She spends all of her time in her room, thinking about what her life would have been like with her dad there. Ally’s room looks very depressed just like she does. Her wall paint is gray and her dresser is blue with one picture of her dad. She doesn’t have many other decorations in her sad room. This is the story where Ally becomes happy even with her dad gone.

Ally pulled up to the Hillsburg Middle School parking lot. She was afraid because she was just starting middle school, but she remembered what her dad always used to say “count your courage instead of your fears”, so Ally listened to him.

Ally’s first class was math with Mr. Confer. When Ally came in the first thing she saw was Brittiny Halvert.

Brittiny Halvert was really mean to Ally in Elementary School. Brittiny would always bully her by calling her names, pushing her around, and threatening her. The thing Brittiny did that she thought was the funniest, was, when Ally went to her desk, Brittiny would trip her and her books would go everywhere. Now they sit in the same row so she couldn’t do that, but she can still do everything else she did before. Brittiny did all this because Ally always looked so gloomy. Brittiny thought it would be funny to bully her, but she didn’t know Ally’s dad had passed away. Ally wouldn’t tell Brittiny because she was afraid of what she would do to her. Inside she felt hurt.

“Hey Ally,”Brittiny exclaimed in a mean voice, “how was your summer?”


“I don’t really care, don’t talk to me you got it?”


“I said don’t talk to me.”

“Ok I’ll just go sit down then.” Ally mumbled.

“Are you ready to start class?” asked Mr. Confer.” Today we have a fun lesson planned.”

“ We are going to be working on multiplying fractions.”

“ But we learned that last year” exclaimed the students,” it’s too easy.”

“ Well then you can tell me all about it.” replied Mr. Confer.

“ Math is an hour and thirty minutes long but it feels like two hours,” sighed Ally,” I still have reading and science before lunch.”

Ally’s next class was reading with Mrs.Martin. Mrs. Martin was really nice that day, and didn’t make the class do work for reading. Instead they sat in a circle to get to know each other.

“I’ll go first.” exclaimed Mrs. Martin, “We’ll say our name, how many people are in our family, and our favorite sport or hobby.”

“My name is Mrs.Martin, I have three other people in my family, my husband Mr.Martin, my daughter Kim, and my son Derek, and my favorite sport is tennis.”

Ally went next. “I’m Ally. I have one other person in my family, my mom, and my favorite hobby is doing crafts.”

Then the rest of the class took a turn and soon reading class was over.

After reading, Ally had science and then lunch. The rest of the day went by fast.

When Ally got to her house, her mom wasn’t there like she usually is, so Ally went up to her room and did her homework.

When Ally got into her room she saw the picture of her dad, before he died, and had a flashback. In the flashback Ally was trying to run, but tripped and fell. She was crying and told her dad,” I’ll never be able to run like you.”

“Well not if you think like that, always count your courage instead of your fears.”

Then I felt better. We hugged, but that was the last time.

“Ally.” exclaimed mom.

“What, huh.”Ally called

“I have a surprise for you, come see.”

“OK.” Ally replied.

When Ally went down her mom was holding a puppy.

“Oh my gosh, what is this for?”

“I know you’re having a hard time with your dad gone, so I thought this would cheer you up.” replied Ally’s mom.

“Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!” Ally cried.

“What kind is it?” Ally asked.

“It’s a teddy bear and it’s a girl. What do you want to name her?”

“Bella,” Ally exclaimed.

“Can you play with her for a while?”

“Can I, I would love to!”

So Ally played with Bella for a while and then finished her homework.

“Ally can you take Bella for a walk?” yelled mom.

“Sure!” Ally yelled back.

Ally was so happy that she got Bella, she didn’t even notice her dad wasn’t with her.

The next day when Ally went to school, she ran into Brittiny in the hallway. Brittiny asked Ally, ”How was your boring night last night?”

“Good.” Ally replied

“Didn’t I tell you yesterday-”

Then Ally’s mom walked in to give Ally her folder she forgot at home and she heard everything Brittiny said.

“You told Ally yesterday that what.” asked Ally’s mom

“Nothing,” mumbled Brittiny, then she walked away.

“How long has this been going on?” asked Ally’s mom

“Only about three or four years.” Ally replied

“Ally she has to stop this, she can’t just boss you around like that. You should have told me she was being mean to you. I’m going to the principal right now, to tell her that Brittiny is bullying you.”

“No mom, please she will just be meaner to me, I’ll handle it today.

“Ok, do it ASAP, I don’t want my baby being bullied.

“Ok mom I will, trust me.”

When Ally went back in the classroom for math, Brittiny snarled, “so you need your mom to save you.”

“No she just came in.”

Ally was just about to tell Brittiny that she shouldn’t bully her because she’s had a rough life. Ally was afraid Brittiny would be even meaner to her so she didn’t.

The rest of the school day went by slow because Ally wanted to get home and see Bella. Eventually the school day was over.

Ally’s mom picked her up from school and asked her if she stood up to Brittiny.

“Uh, uh no” Ally mumbled

“Honey you have to do that because you don’t deserve to be bullied.”

“But I was afraid she would be even meaner to me.”

“But she can’t be meaner than she already is, but if she is we will tell the principal, Ok?”

“You know what, you’re right I will definitely do it tomorrow, no matter what .”

“Good girl.” exclaimed mom.

When they got home they called “ Bella, Bella.” She didn’t come so Ally thought she was sleeping in her kennel, but she wasn’t. They looked all around and couldn’t find her.

“She must’ve gotten out!” Ally cried

“But she’s too little to know how to get around in this town!”

So they looked and looked for Bella and finally found her. She was in a grassy field, on the other side of town, with another dog. They looked at the other dog’s collar and it said, “Rover.”

“Bella, you scared us we thought you were gone for good, why are you with this other dog?”

Then they took Bella home and she fell right asleep and didn’t wake up till morning. She usually didn’t sleep this long so she must’ve been really really tired.

After a while Ally said goodnight to her mom and Bella and went to sleep.

In the morning Ally got up and got ready for school. It was Friday so no school tomorrow.

When Ally got into the car her mom said, “You have to stand up to Brittiny today no matter what, like your dad always used to say, count your courage instead of your fears.” Then Ally knew that her dad would want her to do this so she did.

When Ally got to school Brittiny was standing in the hall to greet her like usual.

“Hey why are you sad all the time, not that I care.”

“You know why I’m always sad and you shouldn’t bully me?”


“Because I’ve had a rough life, my dad died when I was two, do you really think that’s something to bully me over?”

“Oh, uh, I’m so sorry I had no idea. Please forgive me for all the things I’ve done to upset you. Do you want to be friends?” Brittiny asked.

“I forgive you and yes I would love to be friends.” Ally exclaimed.

“Ok I promise to never be mean to you again.” Brittiny told me.

That school day went by fast because Ally Knew she had made a new friend and that Brittiny wouldn’t be mean to her anymore.

When Ally got home, Bella was not acting like usual. She hadn’t eaten any of her food and was laying around all day so they took her to the vet. The veterinarian said that there was nothing wrong with her so they took Bella home and she plopped on the couch. Two months passed and Bella was acting weirder than ever. She was being so weird that she went into a closet for no reason.

After a while Ally opened the closet and there were four puppies along with Bella and Rover. They had no idea how Rover got in but they couldn’t worry about that now, they had four puppies to care for.

Ally and her mom made a conclusion that Bella was the mom and Rover was the dad of the four puppies and that explained why Bella was acting so weird.

Ally’s mom let her keep two of the four puppies. Ally kept the two littlest and had to sell the other two. Ally named the two puppies she got to keep Dreamy and Brad after her dad.

They also found out that Rover was a stray so they kept him too.

Ally became happy even with her dad gone because she remembered to always count her courage instead of her fears.