Girl Coming in for a Landing: A Novel in Poems


You walk into class?
my head clears.

No kidding.
You are my aspirin.

One girl. One school year. All poems. From friends to first dates, school dances to family fights, this inspiring collection captures the emotional highs and lows of teen life with refreshing honesty ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $9.74   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

2002 Hardcover New

Ships from: san francisco, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Note: Visit our Teens Store.
Sending request ...


You walk into class—
my head clears.

No kidding.
You are my aspirin.

One girl. One school year. All poems. From friends to first dates, school dances to family fights, this inspiring collection captures the emotional highs and lows of teen life with refreshing honesty and humor. With an authentic voice full of wit and insight, Girl Coming In for a Landing is just like high school: impossible to walk away from unchanged.

A collection of over 100 poems recounting the ups and downs of one adolescent girl's school year.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A sequence of poems, in the voice of a sensitive preadolescent, unfold over the course of a school year on topics such as kissing games, crushes and close relationships. "This work succeeds in making reading and writing poetry more accessible to teens who may otherwise find these tasks intimidating," wrote PW. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) n Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This novel provides a soft, intimate glimpse into the life of a young teen girl through poetic vignettes that are subtle stories depicting events in her life that require courage, expose longing, explore friendship and conflict, and cause pain. The poems, which are accompanied by artwork that is representative of the subject matter, also provide portraits of people who affect her life—friends, crushes, teachers, and family. The combination of poetry and art is delightful and amusing. A metaphor of poetry as underwear is carried throughout the text in the artwork of the dividing sections—Autumn, Winter, and Spring. The poems explore different styles, ranging from a rewrite of a Shakespearean sonnet to concrete poetry that is artwork on its own. Although the quality of some poems is uneven, that unevenness lends authenticity to the voice. Several are wonderfully written and capable of standing on their own without the benefit of a connecting plot. As a novel, the story has the intimate feel of being inside someone's thoughts or at the very least being able to read a private journal. Among the many stories told through verse, this book is a standout,
— Mary Ann Harlan <%ISBN%>0375901582
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-This "novel in poems" covers the school year of a girl who is young enough to be shaving her legs for the first time but old enough to be learning how to kiss. Between fall and spring, she goes from an imaginary boyfriend to a real one to the loss of that boyfriend: "-all the space in the world/wouldn't be enough for him/and as close as he could ever come to me/would never/be close enough for me." From the humiliation of getting the "Susie Spineless Award" at the drama party to the exhilaration of having a poem published in a magazine, the unnamed heroine is a girl in transition, with all the intensity of emotion associated with adolescence. Readers will relate to her boredom in school: "Fed up with this dull/class, my mind pecks open its/cage and flies away." Other observations are more personal. Wayland remembers this time of life well; in fact, some of the poems are based on her own journals. She uses simple language in a graceful yet direct way. Readers will also find the book's compact size and sophisticated mixed-media illustrations on most pages appealing. Similar in form to Sonya Sones's Stop Pretending (HarperCollins, 1999), this is a quieter, more episodic, and perhaps more universal tale.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This utterly fresh and winning collection of verse is in the voice of an unnamed teenager, whom readers will come to know really well through her introspective and spot-on observations. During the course of a school year in California that is divided into sections (Autumn, Winter, Spring), she welcomes back her best friend Leslie and then has a fight with her, plays Mozart duets on her violin with Yen-Mei, and learns about kissing with Carlo. She is a writer, and she works at it, and she's dazzled when her teacher, in his honey-sweet Tennessee accent, suggests she's good enough to be published in "Faan Powms." She tries out for drama club, hangs out with her Great Aunt Ida, and ruefully examines her pull-and-tug relationship with an older sister. Employing many forms of verse, some rhymed, some not, she even writes a sonnet; all of them are accessible and exquisitely crafted. "Rehearsal" says in its entirety: "This music is so / amazing, it builds a nest / of tears in my throat." She notes wryly when an annoying boy stops hanging around her "And lately I have missed / being annoyed." Clayton's (Three Rotten Eggs, p. 339, etc.) illustrations, a mix of collage and sketches, hint at each subject often in amusing or wry corollaries. The narrator says a great deal about writing: "I want to / make something / beautiful. / Peaches. / If I could / make peaches-grow them / from my pen . . . " She gets her wish. (author's note) (Poetry. 11-14)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375801587
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.89 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Read an Excerpt



All this summer
when I was alone,
I'd think about what he would say
and then he said it.

He did.

He'd walk with me hand in hand
in the late afternoons
along the sandbar of the Feather River.
He'd tell me, "You are the most important person in my life,"
and then he'd kiss my nose.

He would.

He'd pull leaves from my hair
and say, "Never leave me."
But I have. I've left him.
I've come back to school,
my two feet planted firmly on the ground.

I'm a teenager now.
I'll never walk with my invisible boyfriend again.

But I remember what he said.


Last year
I worried about where the rooms were
and all those kids.

I didn't know
what kind of binder to buy (three-ring?)
or how much lunch money to bring.

Last year I got my hair cut the day before school started.
Dumb me.
It was way too short that first day.

And last year I didn't know if I should buy new jeans
or if my comfortable overalls would be dorky ...
or even if anyone cared.

Last year I wasn't sure what time to set my alarm.
Last year
I was scared.


This year
I've got the perfect organizer
with pockets for every subject (except PE).

This year
I ironed my lavender shirt three days ago
and laid everything out last night.

This year
I set the alarm for six forty-five:
just right.

This year
I got my hair cut two weeks ago
so that it is exactly the rightlength today.

This year
I have Mr. C for science,
Mr. Barton from Tennessee for language arts

and Ms. Konigsberg
for chorus.
Aga i n .

Last year I worried: Who was I? What did I know?
This year
I put on glitter Chop Stick and go!


Laughing, tonight, after Christopher's party,
we pile into Yen-Mei Chen's stepfather's car.

"No room at the inn," I say softly to Leslie,
and even the kids in the front turn and grin.

We squeeze in.
The door slams shut.
I'm shoved on Carlo's lap!

words / stick
clocks /stop
blood /goes cold

The car moves.

Part of my brain still works.
It prays

let this
car ride


Leslie called me "unsupportive."
She said I didn't help her
make campaign posters on Friday.

Leslie called me "unsupportive."
She said she'd made it perfectly clear
she needed help on Friday.

Leslie called me
She hadn't made it clear.

was a jerk
on Friday.


All I can think about is kissing him.

All I can write about in notes passed to Leslie

is kissing and she replies

about kissing and more.

All I can think about is kissing him and more.


My heart
Is coming in
For a landing

Carrying a suitcase
packed with hope

I stuffed it'
Sat on it to snap the clasps

And as my heart dips from the cloud high
and slo wly descends,

finally taxiing to the gate, someone will unload my suitcase.

I am holding its tag tightly.
I have come to reclaim it.

Taking care ...
taking it

From the Hardcover edition.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2002

    I CAN...

    Positive, uncanny, refreshing and I CAN [DO IT], are the first words that jump to mind as I read Ms. Wayland's poems, private journal entries, novel --This book fits each category. I now have a new view of my own pre-teen and teenage years, long forgotten first events blurred into mostly murky lump came alive. PLUS-- my teenage son feels he read the new code book on girls. This book is for daughters, mothers, fathers and sons-- an intimate 'experience' to share.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)