A message from the Director
27 March 2017
3rd Place 2016 YAFF story by Sienna Frederic (5th Grade/CM2)
29 March 2017

1st Place 2016 YAFF story by Sami Merad (1st Grade/CP)

2016 YAFF 1st Place story by Sami Merad (1st grade/CP)

The American Library in Paris is proud to be the organizer of the Young Authors Fiction Festival (YAFF). The YAFF is a city-wide writing intiative that aims to strengthen community among English-speakers in the Paris area through the art and craft of storytelling. The YAFF is free of charge and open to all students ages 5-18 in the greater Paris area who write in English.

The deadline for submission for the 2017 YAFF is 1 April 2017 at 22h00. To submit a story for the 2017 YAFF, please fill out this online submission form, and then email your story as a document to yaff@americanlibraryinparis.org.

We hope that you enjoy reading this 2016 YAFF 1st Place story by Sami Merad, and that they inspire you to write your own!


Bottled House by Sami Merad
(1st Place for 1st Grade/CP)

The 1st grade class collected plastic bottles to bring them to the school. They took them from their homes, neighborhoods, streets, etc. They had a very important objective: to bring as many bottles as they can, clean them and keep their bottle’s cap. 

At school, they were putting them in a dark room, piling them until they have the necessary number of bottles. All the bottles were worried, scared, and sad about their future!

“Why are we here? Some of them were asking.”

“Why we cannot stay in the street or in the bins?”

“What will they do with us?”

They didn’t know that the 1st grade were working in a big project for the school. Once they got many bottles, the kids started to fill in the bottles with sand and plastic bags and close them with their cups.

“Oh my god! Some were bottles were saying…”

“What are they doing?”

“Why we need to become so heavy?”

“They have nothing else to play with?”

All the bottles were complaining while the kids were doing their work very seriously but at the same time they were very happy.

Once they finished with the hard work to fill up all the bottles, they started to tide them up by group.

“Ah no! Now these kids are treating us like prisoners! Why we need to be tied up without moving?” – said some of them.

“We have the whole night to think how to escape and disappear before they arrive to school tomorrow.” – added another one.

Many of the bottles started to cry and tried to get out without success. They were so well tied that it was impossible to move.

“Let’s give up! We cannot move.”

“How can we be tied up like this for the rest of our life?”

“I am missing the fresh air, what a sad life.” – protested some of them.

The big day finally arrived for the class. The project was completed. The kids were all so excited for what they have done and the idea they got.

“Why are they so happy?”

“Is it so fun to have plenty of bottles filled with plastic bags tied to each other?”

“Hey, you guys, this is not funny!” shouted some of them.

“Would you like the same for yourselves?”

“You are selfish!” shouted another one very angry!

The bottles were getting very sad and stressed about their future. On the other side the first graders were very happy. They worked so hard for many days and now they were finishing the project and were ready to share it with the school.

They started to pile groups of tied bottles one on top of the others to create the first eco-friendly house in the school.

“Now I am lost, what are they doing?”

“We are not building blocks!” shouted one very angry bottle.

“Are they crazy?”

But the kids were focused in building the house! They piled up the range of tied bottles until they created the walls of the little house. They left open two perfect squares in each side for the windows and a rectangle for the door. The most difficult task was the roof! But they made it working all together!

“Hey bottles are you sleeping? Why are you not talking anymore?”

“Hey I feel bad, but did you see what they do?”

“I am shocked but very excited at the same time.”

“I am touched! This is amazing!”

All the bottles started to cheers up about the idea to become a part of the house in the middle of the first grade class! Now they felt useful, getting the opportunity to share new experiences and be the example of many other houses build with plastic bottles in the future for the school or its neighborhood. They felt proud to be part of this project and happy with the kids that picked them to be the heroes of this little house.

There is a party in the first grade! They did an open house to show the big project. The other kids of the school and the first graders parents came to visit the new house, where they will put the toys and books of the class!

Everybody was impressed with the project! They were cheered by everyone and the bottles were also very happy!

Where will the next house be?

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