Having to wait until you're 12 to seek pirate treasure, marrying the handsome prince, dealing with monsters and running away -- you could write books about that.
The 128 first-graders at St. John's Lane Elementary School in Ellicott City did write books about pirates, princes, space flight and similar themes that capture the imaginations of 6- and 7-year-olds. At an authors' tea Thursday, the students read their works to an appreciative audience of parents and grandparents.
In "The Golden Treasure," Scott Karas, 6, described an 8-year-old named Peter who said to his mother, "There is tons of pirate treasure [and] nobody has found it yet."
His mother agreed, but added, "You have to wait until you are 12." Scott explained later that the mother simply didn't think an 8-year-old was old enough for a pirate quest, and was afraid that Peter might get scared.
Four years later, she consented and the hero set out. He found the treasure and persuaded the dragon who guarded it to pay him a share for sharing guard duty.
Scott dedicated his book "to my Mom, because she helped me think of ideas."
Kristen Ferguson, 6, starred in her own book as the princess who is fed a poisoned apple, falls asleep and is carried home by her father, then awakens when a prince wants to marry her.
Kristen added a maid to the story "who does everything for Kristen." She said she has to do a lot of work at home watching her two younger brothers, so a maid seemed like a good idea. The book took a long time to write, she said, "two days or something like that."
In "At the Beach," 6-year-old Danielle Staton's central character learns to overcome fears of inadequacy. Her heroine, the only member of the family who doesn't know how to swim, walks away while the others are swimming and hides.
"When my family was going to the hotel room they were sure someone was missing. But who was? Me. I was missing because I didn't know how to swim," she wrote.
Danielle's heroine hides for several days, but finally learns to swim and returns to her family.
"So if you want to do good things, be yourself," the author concluded.
In "The Best Band in the World," Jason Wines, 7, described two musicians who leave their garage practice area for a ride in a spaceship, with the glitch that the ship never returned to Earth.
When the two finally make their way back to Earth, "We were going to sing about space, but we didn't because we didn't want to go up there again," Jason wrote. Jason dedicated his book, which he described as "the best story I ever made," to his mother because she reads well.
Nicole West, 6, wrote of a naughty person who became better after "his mother decided to send him to obedience school."
Shanna Sibiski, 7, described a Tyrannosaurus Rex who had no friends because he was mean to all the other dinosaurs, but became friendly with a fellow tyrannosaur.
Jeremy Reardon, 7, told of hapless rock stars who lost their audience when their guitar broke, but regained their fans after getting a new guitar and convincing one fan to listen and spread the word.
The authors' tea is an annual event at St. John's Lane. First-graders write stories during the year, then choose one to be typed and placed between fabric-covered bindings to be read to their parents, said teacher Roxanne Zidwick. She said the staff corrects the youngsters' spelling, but the stories remain "in their words."