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Ella S. - Age 12
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My family was Jewish. In the year 1945, with Nazis swarming the streets, it was a dangerous time for Jews. My parents were part of the Danish Resistance, and my grandfather lived in Sweden and was an astronomer. I, too, was interested in astronomy. Every spring my family would travel to his tiny cottage on the beach of Sweden. When I was little, I flipped through the books Grandpa had about astronomy, fascinated by what they taught me. Now that I was fourteen, I had read all the books and wanted to look through the telescope. I had taken a few of his books home to our apartment in Copenhagen.
I plopped onto our sofa, reading one of my books. My mother rushed into the room.
“Anita, hurry, pack your bags.” I looked up. My mother left. Leaving? Why?
“Wait,” I called, “Where are we going?”
“You are going to Grandpa’s house.”
“But it’s our New Year tomorrow!”
“I know! Pack!”
I stood up, walked to my room, pulled out a small suitcase, and stuffed my nightgown, books, and clothes into it. My father was standing in the doorway.
“Ready?” he asked. I brushed past him.
“Anita!” An hour later, my parents were saying goodbye to me on the dock. Grandpa was in his boat.
“Anita, come!” He yelled. I hugged my parents and boarded the boat. Grandpa rowed away, and my parents left. Two figures appeared on the beach.
“Grandpa,” I said nervously, "Who are they?”
“Nazis,” he muttered. They turned and saw us.
“Halt! Halt!” They shouted. Grandpa rowed faster, and the Germans fired their guns at us. In a few minutes they stopped, and the boat hit shore. A boy that looked a bit older than me tied the boat to a dock.
“Amelio,” he nodded to my Grandpa.
“Sawyer! I understand you have not met my granddaughter, Anita.” Sawyer smiled at me. We stepped out of the boat and I ran to Grandpa’s cottage. Half an hour later, it was time for bed. Once I was sure Grandpa was asleep, I crept down the stairs into his study. It had a large window with the telescope in front of it and a poster of different stars and planets at the time of year. I quietly closed the door behind me and slinked over to the telescope. I focused the lens and peered through it.
“Oh, the stars!” I gasped. I glanced at the poster’s September section and recognized the constellations and planets that were visible tonight. I squinted back through the telescope, saw all the stars and planets, but there was something else there. I looked closer. What was it? It wasn’t a star. It looked like a planet, but it wasn’t on the poster.
“Grandpa?” I called. He immediately came down.
“What is it?” He asked. I pointed to the telescope, and he looked through.
“Anita,” he whispered, “You’ve discovered a new planet.” I stood, frozen. How had I, of all people, discovered a planet?