One of only 10 recipients in Canada, Gabrielle (who recently turned 9) received a Magic Tree House Bookshelf Collection complete with 28 books from this favourite series and a treehouse bookshelf to store them in, pictured below:
Unfortunately, Scholastic has prematurely deleted the contest page from its website, but a Google cache is still available here.
Asked about her future prospects, Ms. Koetsier says she expects to win the Booker Prize next year, the Newbery medal after that, and, as an encore – sort of like the cherry on top of the most perfect desert imaginable, a Nobel Prize for literature.
Read on to see one of Gabrielle’s seminal achievements in literature.
Solar System at Sunset
By: Gabrielle Koetsier (Grade 3)
Jack and Annie had just eaten supper. They asked if they could go in the woods. They were allowed.
Jack said, I wonder where we’re going now!? They climbed up the ladder and into the treehouse. They saw a book about space and said “I wish we could go there,” and the wind started to blow. The treehouse was spinning. Then everything was still. Absolutely still. They opened their eyes.
They were in a huge spaceship approaching the moon. Annie shouted “Quick, steer it away! We’re going to crash!” But Jack quickly steered the spaceship away and they were safe.
They travelled for a distance, and then noticed Mercury, that tiny, hot planet without any moons.
“Let’s turn around and tour the Solar System! Not many people get to do that,” said Annie. Next they saw beautiful Venus, with swirling clouds, a deathly atmosphere, and a melt-metal hot surface.
“What’s an atmosphere?” asked Jack. Annie looked in the book. It said “An atmosphere is a blanket of various gasses surrounding a star, planet, or moon.”
Soon they came to beautiful, watery, wet, and living Earth and its companion, the dead, cold, dusty and rocky moon. Here’s our home!” they declared.
Pretty soon they came to Mars, the Red Planet, with its moons, Phobos and Deimos. â€œMarsâ€™ moons look like big potatoesâ€? said Annie. â€œLook at all the asteroids!â€? cried Jack. â€œThey look like more potatoes,â€? said Annie. â€œSome asteroids even have tiny moons,â€? said Jack.
â€œLook, thereâ€™s Jupiter!â€? exclaimed Annie. Itâ€™s the biggest planet in the Solar System!â€? Then they saw the Galilean Moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede (the biggest moon in the Solar System) and Callisto. â€œCool, the biggest planet in the Solar System has the biggest moon in the Solar System!â€?
â€œHey, look, thereâ€™s Saturn!â€? said Jack. â€œIt and its rings and moons make it look beautifulâ€? said Annie. â€œIt has about 31 moons!â€? said Jack.
â€œLetâ€™s hurry up and get to Uranus. â€œLook, it spins on its side!â€? said Jack. â€œIt has 15 moons,â€? said Annie. â€œWhen do we get to Neptune?â€? asked Jack. â€œLooks like . . . now!â€? answered Annie. â€œThere is the Great Dark Spot!â€? cried Jack. â€œLook at Neptuneâ€™s dark, thin rings,â€? said Annie.
â€œWhere is Pluto?â€? asked Annie. â€œHey, Plutoâ€™s coming up ahead!â€? said Annie. â€œPluto is a tiny planet with one moon called Charon,â€? said Jack. â€œSo is this the end of the Solar System?â€? asked Annie. â€œI donâ€™t know,â€? said Jack. â€œLetâ€™s keep going and see so we donâ€™t miss anything,â€? said Annie.
After a while, they saw lots of icy rocks. â€œWhat are they?â€? they asked. The book said â€œThe belt of icy rocks beyond Pluto is called the Kuiper Belt. Beyond is a comet cloud called the Oort Cloud. This is the end of the Solar System.â€? Before long, they were out of the Kuiper Belt. Soon, they were in the Oort Cloud.
â€œWell, I guess itâ€™s time to start heading back,â€? said Jack. â€œYeah, that was a great tour of the Solar System,â€? said Annie. â€œNext time I want to take a tour of the Milky Way!â€? â€œIt sure was a really good tripâ€? said Jack.
â€œItâ€™ll be a really, really, really, really, long trip back!â€? said Annie.
*Donâ€™t miss Jack and Annieâ€™s next trip . . . â€œThe Milky Way at Midday!”
Prolific author Gabrielle Koetsier also has a promising career in illustration. She created this depiction of the Solar System to accompany her story: