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This is a short story for Pre-K to Elementary ages, specifically written to introduce them to the idea of a new state (in this case, Alaska) becoming part of the U.S.
Bryce ran up the slope to the playground
“Can I get on the merry-go-round?” he asked.
“No!” Noah shouted as he pushed his foot against the ground, trying to keep the merry-go-round spinning. “Our club is only for kids who have gone to first grade.”
“I’ll be in first grade in a few weeks!”
“You can’t join. It’s the club’s rules!”
“You and Ethan are the only two people in the club!”
“And Ethan and I said ‘no.’”
Bryce looked across the merry-go-round at Ethan, who was doing his best to help keep the ride spinning from his spot opposite Noah. But, Ethan didn’t look very happy.
“Ethan, can I please join your club?”
Ethan pushed his lips together. Did he want to argue with Noah?
“Come on, I can help! I’m really good at pushing the merry-go-round!”
Noah glanced over at Ethan, then back to Bryce.
“Three people aren’t any better than two.”
“Yes, they are!” Bryce said.
Ethan stopped pushing the ride for a minute, and it slowly spun to a stop.
“What are you doing?” Noah asked.
“If you don’t need three people, maybe you don’t need two people, either.”
“You’re different, Ethan. We’ve known each other our whole lives! Bryce is new to town. And, I don’t want him in our club.”
“Mom said something about a place called Alaska this morning when we were eating our cereal. She said that today, it becomes America’s forty-ninth state. We haven’t had a new state join America for over forty years! But, because Alaska joined America, our country got a whole lot bigger. She said it got better, too.”
“What does Alaska have to do with Bryce?”
“I was thinking that if America was better having a new state, maybe our club would be better if it had a new member. Mom said Alaska has lots of stuff like trees and fish and gold that will help make America better. Plus, it will add lots of new people to the country.”
Noah leaned against one of the handrails on the merry-go-round. “I can’t make the merry-go-round spin by myself. Maybe having an extra helper would be good.”
Bryce smiled and hopped on.
Noah said, “You had better hold tight! Welcome to the club!”
All three boys began to pump the merry-go-round until it was soon spinning faster than ever before.
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