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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: My Brother's Helper
By Jeanette Oestermyer


Bobby’s little brother was always copying everything that Bobby said. Bobby was only nine years old and his little brother, Jim, was five. Their Mom seemed to feel that this was a good way for Jim to learn to talk. Bobby was not always sure it was a good idea and he often encouraged Jim to learn all such things in school. He once called Jim a Mocking bird and made him cry.

One day, Bobby decided to talk to his Mom about how Jim mimicked every word he said and how he felt about it. “How would you like to have Jim copy every word you said?” Bobby asked.

“If I could help Jim get a head start before he goes to school, I would be happy to have him copy all of my words. Having Jim copy all of your words when you and he are together be expected now that he is almost ready to begin first grade.”

“Yea, I guess so” Bobby chimed in with a real smile. “I was just thinking that Jim will find his own words when he starts learning to read better and talk with other beginners in his class. I can remember how I just began to talk and listen to the teacher as she assigned lessons each day. Then she soon had us writing our names and addresses, which is most important for all of us to know. “

The day finally came when Jim was old enough to go to school. Bobby was most excited about this and began to teach Jim a lot of words he had to learn in first grade. Jim had quite a vocabulary, and Bobby figured he would do real well. Also, Jim knew all the words of some of the songs that he sang in Sunday school and some from the adult praise and worship when he sat with his Mom and Dad.

Bobby felt quite proud when he saw Jim’s first grade card. Jim had done so well, and Bobby did not want to remind him that he had helped him.

“You are not going to have trouble with writing and talking and you have made me feel so proud of you, Jim,” Bobby told him.

“Thanks, Bobby,” Jim said. “It was very nice of you to help me learn how to have a conversation with some other kids. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“I noticed you did come up with a big word; there are not many first graders calling a talk a conversation. Keep up the good work,” Bobby said, ”and don’t boast about how I helped you with using more words. Let us keep this as our secret that only you I and God knows.

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This article has been read 306 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Emily Ritter02/02/13
I like the commentary on childhood conversations, especially the end when they are keeping their secret between themselves and God. If you choose to revise this, try to provide visuals for the reader to draw him or her into the story. Let the reader see what the little boy's face looks like, or the floor in the classroom. Thanks for sharing.
C D Swanson 02/02/13
The story was clever and moving with the bond the brothers had. Nicely done.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/03/13
This is a cute story. I like how you had the child resolve the conflict.

You need to work a bit more on showing instead of telling. For example instead of telling that the little brother copies the big brother, show us. Something like this might work: Bobby went from room to room and right on his heels his little brother followed. Bobby yelled, "Stop it!" Then the little brother would yell, "Stop it." Also the ages seemed a little old for me as most 5 year olds can speak fluently and don't need their brothers to teach them that.

However, like we learned in the end, brothers can be quite helpful in a number of things. I think you did a nice job of covering the topic. I also could see this as a cute child story. There's an important message for both kids and adultsin the story. Keep writing.