Trophies, flag football, runaway dogs, sleepovers, old houses, loving aunts and great coaches are all part of the mix when a child grows up in Royal Oak.
Fifth grade students at Oakland Elementary School read personal stories to parents, grandparents, aunts, and Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin at an Author Celebration event in the school's media center on Thursday morning.
From a heartbreaking story of death, to the triumph of an inside-the-park home run, to lessons learned when you play baseball facing a cranky neighbor's house, the students painted a picture of Royal Oak that would make the adventures of Tom Sawyer seem ordinary.
"I'm amazed. These kids could all grow up to be writers," said Carmen Detroyer, the aunt of one of the students. "It's amazing how much they remember and how well they can write about their feelings."
"I love doing the Author Celebration," said fifth grade teacher Kris Ryan. "The parents love it. They get to see what students are doing in school and they get to hear what other kids are up to."
Students worked on refining their personal narratives for weeks, Ryan said, gathering stories about people, places and emotions that matter.
"Every story is exciting," said Julie Martin, the mother of fifth grade twins Ben and Noah. "Most were happy and a few a sad, but they all were so interesting."