Hormone Jungle

( 1 )

Overview

Open Christina's scrapbook and enter a world where girls rule and boys drool, where hormones rage, and where poetry captures the impassioned, lovesick, humiliated, and hilarious voice of the middle school student. College-bound Christina Curtis scrapbooks her years in middle school as a member of the Digital Poets, a group of students who find their voices through verse. Weaving her own narrative into the poems of her peers, Christina tells the story of her friendship with Steven Gilley, the obnoxious, ...

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Overview

Open Christina's scrapbook and enter a world where girls rule and boys drool, where hormones rage, and where poetry captures the impassioned, lovesick, humiliated, and hilarious voice of the middle school student. College-bound Christina Curtis scrapbooks her years in middle school as a member of the Digital Poets, a group of students who find their voices through verse. Weaving her own narrative into the poems of her peers, Christina tells the story of her friendship with Steven Gilley, the obnoxious, girl-teasing, and "unbearably immature" boy who incites her to write her first poem. But Steven holds a secret that makes him wise beyond his years, leaving Christina to wonder if there isn't more to this "unbearable" boy than meets the eye. From best friends and crushes, to underarm hair, and an all-out battle-of-the-sexes poetry war, the varied voices of the Digital Poets reflect both the humor and angst of middle school students coming of age in the Hormone Jungle. Hormone Jungle won the Association of Educational Publishers' 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award, the 2007 Independent Publisher Gold Book Award, the 2008 International Reading Association's Young Adults' Choices Award, and the 2009 Gold Mom's Choice Award!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Presented as a scrapbook, this collection of middle school poems is linked like pearls on a string by the narrative storyline of Christine Curtis, former coeditor of "Digital Poetry." The book opens with Christine, now a high school graduate, creating the scrapbook from the poems she and her classmates wrote during middle school. The author has captured the right tone and voice for the characters we meet through Christine's story and their own poems. We are told a bit about each character but learn much more through their own words, which reveal their true nature and deepest emotions. Christine opens with the poem that started the "Poetry War." She had become entirely disenchanted with boys and their attitudes, so she wrote a strongly worded poem and signed it "Athena the Warrior Goddess," then she plastered it on the doors on the sixth grade hall. The next day the walls of the sixth grade hall were plastered with poems from "Thor the Hammer God." Fortunately an astute librarian intercedes and recognizes that the students are hungry to express their feelings through poetry. The librarian establishes a poetry wall outside of the library. The wall quickly fills up and becomes a place for graffiti, so a web site is created and the students post their poems there (they are vetted and screened by Christine and her coeditor, Steven Gilley aka Thor) for the next three years. The poems themselves speak the concerns of young teens in voices that ring true and are unrestricted by pretensions. Steven's leukemia provides the reader a look at dealing with death from a younger perspective, but the presentation is so insightful it would be valuable to adults as well. The scrapbook illustrations werecreated by middle school students from P. K. Yonge Laboratory School in Gainesville, Florida. This book will be invaluable to all middle schools and will serve as the perfect model for stimulating interest in poetry and its creation. 2006, Maupin House, Ages 12 up.
—Sheilah Egan
VOYA - Jeff Mann
Sixth-grader Christina Curtis becomes upset with the way the boys in her school are acting. She feels that they are uncivilized. So Christina channels her frustration into a poem about them and posts it around school. Days later, a response poem from the boys also circulates, and a poetry war between the genders erupts. Many students begin writing, and soon a Web site is created to post the poems. The Digital Poets becomes the writing group's official name. Christina and one of the annoying boys, Steven Gilley, find themselves as the only members of the committee in charge of reading and posting the poetry. Christina soon realizes that Steven might not be as annoying as she thinks and discovers that he has a secret beneath his boisterous exterior. Meant to be a scrapbook of poetry chronicling Christina's middle school years, this book looks the part. Full of short poems, bold color, and artwork created by real students in Florida, the book's look and layout will draw in readers-especially reluctant ones. Several pages of narrative loosely hold the plot together. The poems from twelve different characters in the book are uneven-just like real middle school students' writing. But Bagert catches the rhythm, emotion, and voice of young teen and preteen writers. The twelve poets represented might be too many voices to fully get to know in a brief book, but students will flock to it because of the accessible works within that deal with topics important to them.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Eleven classmates become "Digital Poets" after a school librarian encourages their writing, which began as a girls vs. boys poetry slam. The book is designed to look like the scrapbook of Christina Curtis, one of the students, who is now about to enter college. The 68 poems are divided by school year, from sixth grade through eighth, and illustrated with photos, drawings, and graphics from an actual middle school class. They are accompanied by Christina's running commentary on the events and on her fellow classmates. The result is a portrait of adolescence. In particular, it is about a special, life-changing friendship between Christina and Steven, who has leukemia. He and his philosophy-professor father turn to poetry as a way to cope with his illness. His love for Christina is also pure and respectful-"Just above the trees,/There burned a star so bright,/That all the others seemed dim./And it made me think of you,/Christina strong and tall/Of all the girls who ever lived,/The brightest star of all." While the poems and characters aren't memorable as individual creations, the book as a whole may motivate readers to get a blank notebook and start recording their own observations about their lives and friends.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929895871
  • Publisher: Maupin House Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2013
  • Pages: 121
  • Sales rank: 577,085
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

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    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has earned this distinguished award.

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