Realm of Possibility [NOOK Book]

Overview

Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility—
it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead.
As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm ...
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Realm of Possibility

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Overview

Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility—
it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead.
As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world’s devising. And yet,
every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us.

Enter The Realm of Possibility and meet a boy whose girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield; a girl who loves the boy who wears all black; a boy with the perfect body; and a girl who writes love songs for a girl she can’t have.

These are just a few of the captivating characters readers will get to know in this intensely heartfelt new novel about those ever-changing moments of love and heartbreak that go hand-in-hand with high school. David Levithan plumbs the depths of teenage emotion to create an amazing array of voices that readers won’t forget. So, enter their lives and prepare to welcome the realm of possibility open to us all. Love, joy, and these stories will linger.

From the Hardcover edition.

A variety of students at the same high school describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Through a series of poems, readers meet a group of friends and acquaintances, reflecting a diverse range of sexuality, race and social standing. PW called it "a realm worth exploring." Ages 12-up. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
If you are looking for a great book that tells a story in poetry in the style of Mel Glenn or Sonja Sones, this is it. Focusing on one high school in a contemporary setting and twenty of its students, this book shares the voices of teens agonizing over failed romances, romanticizing the looks that pass between them in hallways, struggling with teacher and parent expectations, enjoying personal successes, coming out of the closet, and struggling to define themselves against so many competing pressures. The poems in this book are the teenage condition, and within them the hope, the angst, the beauty, the insecurities of everything young. One of my favorites follows the male narrator as he despairs over his girlfriend being in love with Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye and her negativity towards him because he does not appreciate Holden. "Holden is a failure with girls, and my girlfriend says that's because he hasn't met the right girl, one who'd UNDERSTAND him. She says this the same night we argue for an hour about the fact that I always say "I love you" before she does." In so many ways, if this does not sum up the teenage experience, I do not know what does. This is a must-have book for any library or classroom. 2004, Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 12 to 18.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Most readers will find someone they can relate to in this enchanting collection of linked poems that delve deep and go far beyond the original stereotypes. Twenty teenagers-sensitive outsiders, cruel popular girls, body-obsessed jocks, gay teens in the throes of first love-take turns pouring their hearts onto the pages, detailing their loneliness, heartaches, hopes, and joys. All attend the same high school, and as the book progresses their stories slowly weave together to form a larger view of the school community. In the first selection, for instance, Daniel talks about his relationship with Jed; Jed's view of their romance closes the book. Though friendships and romantic relationships grow and change, character is much more the focus here than plot. Each chapter contains four points of view, and it will take patient readers to determine who's who and exactly how they are linked. Effort is rewarded, however, in selections such as "The Patron Saint of Stoners," in which a girl seeks out a drug dealer for reasons few will guess. Another standout is "Experimentation," in which a boy writes about his sexual experiences with astonishing insight and tenderness. Thoughtful teens will find much to appreciate here.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Editor and author Levithan winningly joins the ranks of talented authors exploring the novel-in-verse and kicks it up a notch. Though there is a progression of events in these mostly blank verse poems, it's less a story than an examination of teenage relationships-with family, friends, self, and lovers-from every angle. Twenty distinct voices chime in with their own poem, series of poems, or cycle of songs; and several relationships and incidents are described by more than one character. No synopsis could do justice to the complexities of the interconnectedness of these characters. If high school is a dim memory for you, you might need a scorecard to keep track of who knows who and how well. However, all teenagers will find themselves, their relationships, and their attitudes toward life, love, and the pursuit of happiness somewhere in these poems. A must for YA collections used by those unafraid of poetry, strongly suggested for all others. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307490032
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 57,750
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

David Levithan
David Levithan is a children’s book editor in New York City. He lives in Hoboken, NJ.

From the Hardcover edition.

Good To Know

In our interview with Levithan, he shared some fun factoids with us:

"This book started out as a Valentine story I sent to friends; I've done that for the past 15 years, and this one happened to turn into a novel."

"Since January 1, 2001, I've taken a photograph every day, part of a New Year's resolution that shows no signs of stopping."

"My friend Kristin and I decorate each other's offices for our birthdays, and as a result I am surrounded by a year's worth of small celebrations, from mobiles to woodcuts of the Eiffel Tower to (this year's decoration) photos from my childhood.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hoboken, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      1972
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University, 1994

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2004

    I almost considered 4 stars

    However... after realizing how completely ACCURATE this book is, the 5 star rating is completely necessary. From a span of about 5 pages i had went from sad to lauging my (butt) off.... from touched to disgusted. Levithan is able to depict the most vivid emotions with naught but a few fleeting words scattered amongst lines of flowing free verse poetry. More than commended... this book has my highest praise and is my read of the year.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Whoever you are, you will be able to relate to this book in some way. I swear.

    It's easier for people to fall in love with a character in a book than a story. Or at least for me it is. Because the book is written in free verse by twenty different people, you're sure to find one character, or story to love. "The Realm of Possibility" was definitely one of the best books I read this year. It has loners, it has popular kids it has straights, gays, lesbians, it has drug users, and it has dorks. It has it all. Like I said, there's something in it for everyone.<BR/><BR/>So go read it. Seriously.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2004

    A life changing book

    This is one of the most poignant books I have ever read. David Levithan somehow knows exactly how high schoolers feel, act and just are overall. I was blown away by his beautiful, flowing free verse poetry. He so perfectly describes first loves, the awkwardness of the social scene in high school, and he addresses the issue of gender and sexuality in an appropriate and understanding manner. Working at a bookshop, I got the advance copy of the book to read back in December and was immediately in love with this book. The funny thing is, I'm not usually one to read poetry, but this book defies all of the cliches and usual poetry stereotypes. It is, quite simply, a wonderful and perfect book that embodies all of the feelings an adolescent goes through, something that is not easily captured by simple words. David Levithan tells these peoples' stories in a flowing and beautiful manner. This is definitely a good read, and recommended to all.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    When I first read this book I was stunned at the range of emotion and how well David Levithan captures emotion. I fell in love with Jed and Daniel and wondered along with Charlotte. The words are arranged so beautifully in these poems that anyone can appreciate it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2005

    Ive never felt so many emotions

    it is amazing how he can turn our thoughts and feelings into words ... i couldn't put this book down ... ive never felt more connected to any story ive ever read ... he is an amazing author i felt like i was listening to twenty highschool students ... it just blew me away

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2004

    One Night Stand Reader

    I couldn't put the book down; it took me about an hour to read the whole thing and I fell in love with it by the second verse. The content was perfect and the story was depicted wonderfully, even if it is composed entirely of poems.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2008

    OOOOKKKK...

    Um, wow. It's...different from what I usually read. I mean, how often do you find gays and lesbians in books? I enjoyed how it shifted from character to character, focusing on the main situation- the story that each student is facing. It's not the best book, or the greatest but hey, that's just my opinion.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    A gift

    Did not read this, it was a gift for my granddaughter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Cover.

    I have that same exact ring but the heart is a big pink diamond on mine ( real diamond !!! ) and it opens like a locket. I hope they know that that ring is a purity ring. Yes, im a purity chick.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Everytime I read this novel I find something new to fall in love

    Everytime I read this novel I find something new to fall in love with. This book quickly became my favorite novel and David Levithan has earned the honor of being my favorite author.  This novel has changed my life. The characters are intertwined and connect in ways that our every day lives intertwine.  I love the fact that David Levithan has characters that anyone can relate to. If you're the popular kid, you will relate to someone. If you're that kid in the back of the classroom, you will relate to someone. There are 20 different characters and you will be able to relate to at least one of them. 
    I recommend this book to everyone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Hollyleaf 9

    Fallen Leaves steered Featherwhisker toward the far edge of the clearing. "Did anything happen?" He hissed. "Jayfeather proved that he did not kill Flametail!" Featherwhisker's eyes were bright. Paw steps were thundering toward the thorn barrier. Owleyes. The dawn patrol was returning. The barrier rustled as Owleyes exploded into the camp. "WindClan has reset the borders and put a permanent watch at the stream." Fur ruffled, he headed for Thunderstar. "We should do the same." Lionheart and Ferncloud followed the ThunderClan deputy into camp, with Sweetpaw, Swiftpaw, and Hollyleaf right behind. "I should have stayed at the border," Lionheart growled. "What could you have done alone?" Ferncloud argued. Thunderstar narrowed his eyes. "Go back," he ordered Lionheart. "Don't start anything, but warn us if there's trouble." Rainwhisker poked his head out of the warriors' den. "Is WindClan planning to invade?" "We're not sure," Thunderstar told him. "But it is better to be prepared." He signaled to Owleyes with his tail and the two warriors scrambled up the rocks to his cave. Swiftpaw bounced around Honeyfern. "Can I go with Lionheart?" He begged. "My hearing's sharper than his. I'll know if they're coming way before him." Honeyfern gazed sternly at the apprentice. "Lionheart has the experience to know the difference between the sound of action and the sound of threat." She nudged him toward the fresh-kill pile. "We don't want any false alarms. Now go and eat." As Swiftpaw stomped away, Hollyleaf joined Fallen Leaves and Featherwhisker. "WindClan is furious," she warned. "They've found enemy scents all over the moorland, especially ThunderClan scent." Featherwhisker narrowed his eyes. As Hollyleaf headed for the yew bush, Fallen Leaves nudged Featherwhisker toward the fallen beech. Poppydawn was stretching outside the warriors' den. Stonepelt pushed past her and headed for the fresh-kill pile, where Adderfang and Stormtail were already rooting through yesterday's catch. "Has Owleyes organized the patrols?" Adderfang hooked a shriveled shrew with his claw. "We're going to need something fresher than this." "I should think so!" Frostfur padded from the nursery. "Mousefur's hungry and she wont want to eat stale mouse." "I'll go hunting!" Swiftpaw offered. Honeyfern sat down. "We just got back from patrol!" Adderfang rubbed his nose with his paw. "I'll take Swiftpaw and Sweetpaw out while you rest," he told the creamy golden she-cat. "Thanks." Honeyfern breathed. The yew bush shivered and Hollyleaf emerged, followed by Bluefur, whose eyes were bleary with sleep.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Dissapointing

    Too many narrators for such a short book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    kinda confused me

    kinda confused me

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Amazing

    This book is amazing. I am only 13 but i can relate to what these characters are going through and i fell in love with them. The way the author put it together is great to and even though it is kindof hard to follow i understood everything. All i have to say is AMAZING BOOK! =^_^=

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Awesome.

    Finished this in two days, it's really great. Every story really paints a picture in your mind.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I would recommend reading it before you let your younger teens read it.

    This book deals with issues I feel parents should discuss with their teens before allowing them to read it. I think it could help people to be more compassionate; however I probably would not allow my younger teen to read it.
    It was difficult to tell who was talking in the story and the whole thing was written in poetic form.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    David Levithan portrays the stories of twenty characters through poems and free verse in the book The Realm of Possibility. The unique aspect of this book is the vast amount of social issues that students could potentially face in high school. In some books about high school issues, the reader can enjoy the tragedy or the entertainment, but cannot relate. In this book, the other presents different issues such as homosexuality, losing a loved one, smoking and drinking, peer pressure, rivalry amongst peers and most importantly, teenage love. By exploring the different issues of adolescence, more potential exists for a reader to be able to relate to one or more of them. Throughout each individual story, the characters try to identify who they are and who they want to be. A majority of the characters find just that through love. In today's society, acceptance of homosexuality is improving, but high school students struggle especially with the acceptance of it whether it is themselves or their friends. This book positively reinforces the feelings of acceptance and discourages those of doubt, which can be difficult in a high school atmosphere where that is a new possibility. Often times in high school, peers disapprove of relationships that extend out of a social group. Levithan presents the stories of several characters that doubt their feelings due to their peers, but persevere and find that love is not defined by social status or even gender. Every high school student endures some form of peer pressure, whether it is drugs, smoking, alcohol or even cheating. The Realm of Possibility allows a reader to see how teenagers accept themselves and their lifestyles at times when judgment appears from many sources and overcome the relentless pressure to conform to others' actions. David Levithan opens the door to the angst of high school life and how with acceptance of yourself and exploring your realm of possibility, you can overcome any obstacle, insecurity, heartbreak or doubt.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Beautiful Stories

    Wonderful book. Worth the money. Some would say this book is confusing, but it isn't, not for me atleast. Its writen from different points of view and everyone in the book is linked to each other someway. I think its kinda sweet.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    a new favorite!

    an absolute must read for poetry lovers or really anyone who enjoys amazing lines that will linger in your mind long after you set it down. i am in love with this book: )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2011

    HORRIBLE!

    I absolutely hated this book, it sounded good and i was excited to buy it but it was just badly put together, and i had no idea what was going on the whole time. Very disorganized.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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