More Than Friends: Poems from Him and Her

More Than Friends: Poems from Him and Her

by Sara Holbrook, Allan Wolf
     
 

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Teenage love explored from his and her points of view. From the first furtive looks across the classroom to the blossom of new romance and the final flameout, teenage love is loaded with awkwardness, uncertainty, dreams, conflict, and pure bliss. Poets Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf combine their considerable talents to explore these feelings and struggles by

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Overview

Teenage love explored from his and her points of view. From the first furtive looks across the classroom to the blossom of new romance and the final flameout, teenage love is loaded with awkwardness, uncertainty, dreams, conflict, and pure bliss. Poets Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf combine their considerable talents to explore these feelings and struggles by creating the voices of a girl and boy in the throes of affection. As they experience the giddiness of love, the poems' two characters also face obstacles (parents) and distractions (friends) while learning to respect each other's interests and needs. Can this relationship survive? In sonnets, tankas, villanelles, and other poetic forms, Holbrook and Wolf examine the efforts of two teenagers who dare to be more than friends.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For teachers looking for ways to get high-school students to read and relate to poetry and learn its forms this is a top choice." --Kirkus Reviews

"Teachers and readers alike will savor this innovative approach to an ever-popular topic." --School Library Journal

"Teachers modeling this writing strategy will engage adolescent writers in the creative craft of poetry." --Library Media Connection

Katie Roiphe
These are not great…poems; and yet the book is as vivid in chronicling teenage relationships as many of the trendier novels written for those years.
—The New York Times
VOYA - Francisca Goldsmith
The dramatic, authentic, and brief life cycle of young teen romance unfolds in a series of free verse poems, sonnets, villanelles, and "tanka talk" (brief verse expressing each partner's interior feelings, fears, and hopes). Created via e-mail by the authors, each of whom contributed the poems associated with the voice of his or her own gender, these are not love poems but rather expositions on how friendship turns to affection to identification as a couple and then deteriorates as the young partners feel less sure of their new togetherness and chafe under its demands. The grainy black-and-white photo close-ups are more distracting than engaging, and although the voices in the poems are compellingly genuine, some pieces are better poetry than others; in particular, the villanelles stand out as successful beyond simply moving the narrative forward. With its references to au courant fashions and slang, these poems may not last more than a generation, but the book's brevity and subject matter will make it immediately popular for now. The different poetic forms are described briefly at the end of the volume with each verse's format noted at the foot of the poem as well. Reviewer: Francisca Goldsmith
Children's Literature - Leslie Greaves Radloff
Love. Those furtive glances and sighs; giggles as he walks by; acting totally cool so she notices you; the pain when there is a break-up; meeting parents and family—it's all here from both his and her perspectives. One side of the page takes her part while the opposite takes his and readers find out what is on the other's mind through a series of poems. An interesting concept, though not original, and one that might be used in reading the poems aloud. The poems will resonate with the teenagers reading them since they mirror all stages of relationships and many emotions. Black and white illustrations and photographs illustrate this slim volume, which is best suited for middle or high school shelves. The authors include a section describing how the book came about and another about the kinds of poems used, including the Vietnamese luc bat (LUK-Baht), the Italian terza rima, and the French villanelle. This may have a very select student audience, but writing teachers and teachers of English might like their own copies. This might be good to pair with Cynthia Rylant's and Jaqueline Woodson's poetry for older readers. Reviewer: Leslie Greaves Radloff
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Through a series of "he" and "she" poems, Holbrook and Wolf detail the range of emotions when a childhood friendship become a teenage romance. The relationship goes from shy uncertainty to blissful togetherness, dark rejection, and, finally, a return to friendship. Most of the poems are complementary and conversational, such as the excellent opening selections: "What to Do When She Looks at You?" and "What to Do When He Looks at You?" These deliciously readable poems, accessible and compact, bring to light recognizable feelings and use a variety of forms, including sonnets, free verse, luc bat, villanelle, tanka, and terza rima. An appendix briefly explains each form and refers to famous poems written in these styles. The book's appeal is limited somewhat by an unattractive cover and grainy black-and-white photos and graphic artwork, but teachers and readers alike will savor this innovative approach to an ever-popular topic.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
The highs and lows of first love are chronicled in various poetic forms. Two unnamed narrators, a boy and a girl, speak in alternating voices about the course of a relationship from crush to breakup. At the bottom of each page, the authors note which form of poetry was used to tell that particular point in the story. Some of the forms, such as the sonnet and terza rima, will be familiar to teen poetry aficionados. Others-the tanka and Vietnamese luc bat, for example-invite discussion of unfamiliar forms. It is unlikely than anyone other than teens already interested in poetry will pick this up voluntarily, even teens who are fans of verse authors. This book's value may come in its potential for classroom use: For teachers looking for ways to get high-school students to read and relate to poetry and learn its forms this is a top choice. The teen voices are honest and will ring true for any teen who's ever had a crush, been mortified by his or her parents or broken off a relationship with the classic "it's not you, it's me." (Poetry. 11-15)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590785874
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Sara Holbrook performs her poems around the world and in schools in the United States. She offers workshops for teachers and students that explain how to incorporate poetry and poetry writing across the curriculum. She is also the author of several textbooks on writing and using poetry in the classroom. She lives in Mentor, Ohio.

Allan Wolf lives in Asheville, North Carolina. His novel in verse, New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery, was chosen as a School Library Journal Best Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. His new novel in verse, Zane's Trace, was named a Book Sense Children's top Ten Pick.

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