At 1:59 p.m., almost two o’clock, the rides were full of people. No seat was empty for the ride where you lay down and you go up…down…up…down, and it keeps on going. I felt like I was going to fall off the ride because it extends far…up…down. The ride kept going, and then it was done. I felt dizzy from the bumps and hard turns.

Later that day, my friends and I made plans to go to the Eiffel Tower rides and visit some haunted houses that night. When it was nighttime, we went to the haunted houses then went on a ride called The Grizzly. It was scary because the ride is as big as Mount Everest, and it’s made out of wood. At night you can’t possibly know what might happen.

When we got on the ride, I was nervous because I had never been on a big roller coaster before. When it moved all the way to the top, I became so nervous that I had trouble saying words. I closed my eyes, and it began to go down. When I opened my eyes, I saw the stars up there.

The problem was it was too scary for me. I never go on roller coasters. When I saw light, I knew that was the end of the ride, and I was relieved. We did the whole ride again, and I felt like my seat belt was loose. I tried to flag the attendant, but he didn’t believe me.

We went up the mountain again and, as we went up, I tried to fix my seat belt. But then we began to go down. I thought that I was going to fall, but then I was hanging upside down with my feet tied to the floor. My face hit branches, and I got a ton of marks and scars. I was relieved when the ride ended.

After that we went to the Eiffel Tower, which was five hundred feet tall. I said, “I just got hurt, and now we’re going five hundred feet up in the air.” I fainted.

When I woke up, we went up in the elevator and, when we got to the top, I saw all the rides down below. Then, I felt something under my feet. I felt that the Eiffel Tower was wobbling. I said rapidly, “Okay, you have your perfect view from five hundred feet tall. Now let’s go home.”

My friend Brandon said, “Let me just take one more picture.”

He took a picture of the Hypersonic XL. Then, he and I got in the elevator. When the elevator stopped at the bottom, I checked what time it was. It was 10:51 p.m., almost time to go home. We walked to the bus, but then we saw that the bus was not there. We had gotten lost.

I started screaming, “Nooooooo!” We called the bus driver, but he didn’t answer because there was no signal.

We figured out that we were walking in circles around a ride named Drop Tower. We saw a group from our bus, and they showed us the way. When I saw the bus, I was relieved because I wanted to leave. When we got the bus, we left.

It’s always me versus bad luck.

who are boys. I have more friends who are girls. That’s why I think that a woman should be president.

— Angel M., Grade 5, My Heart Went Beating Fast

A girl goes against her parents’ wishes and signs up for cooking school. An FBI agent tries to win back her partner who has gone rogue. A plot to overthrow the president kicks off– but after a stop at a McDonald’s in the jungle first.

In these stories, fifth graders at Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary have created vivid pieces of realistic fiction that weave together elements of real life experience and imagination. The results are stories of Dostoyevskian uncanniness, heartwarming friendships, O’Henry-style plot twists, and tragedy that range from the melancholy and heavy-hearted to the laugh out loud hilarious. This dynamic collection also features illustrations by Santiago Casares, winner of the 2006 Children’s Book Story FILIJ Award. Designed by Oliver Munday. 

Get My heart when beating fast

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