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From the PublisherA perceptive and witty look into the 11-year-old heart. Thirty-three short poems describe moments during a boy's day at the beach . The simple language and conversational tone are just right for capturing the emotions of a child on the edge of adolescence. The narrator goes from "Watching Teenager" ("When I'm a teenager/I'm never/getting zits on my face/and I'm never going to/make a fool of myself/just to impress some girl") to "Looking" ("Believe me: it's much easier/swapping baseball cards/than trading looks/with a girl") to playing "Shadow Football" ("At first I hardly notice this dark/spirit spilling out of me until/I have a double exactly my size/matching me step for step"). He also has a gift for observation and humor: the "Beach Baby" is ". . . one year old. One tooth. A total pudge./ She tries to get out of the water but her/soaked diaper must weigh/ten thousand pounds/so all she can do is /sit." Black-and-white photos add atmosphere and extend the feeling that seemingly ordinary times can be magical, if you really look at them. Both boys and girls will enjoy this accessible yet artful book. Perfect for use with creative writing groups.
---School Library Journal, August 2001
The author of I Am Wings (Simon & Schuster, 1994), and Relatively Speaking (Orchard, 1999), presents us with another well-done collection of poems focused on a specific topic. Short poems from the viewpoint of an 11 -year-old boy trace a day his family spends at the beach. The well-written poems, some lighthearted and some more insightful, cover fairly universal themes that most middle-school-aged children can relate to. For the most part, they do sound as though they come from the mind of an 11I -year-old. All come together nicely to give readers a realistic view of all that goes on at the beach from the time of arrival through the drive home at night. The b&w photos complement the text very well and many add just the right background for the poems. Written mostly in free verse, these poems demonstrate that good poetry does not have to rhyme.
--Library Talk, September/October 2001