The Realm of Possibility

The Realm of Possibility

4.3 63
by David Levithan

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


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

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

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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The Realm of Possibility 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Lunabell More than 1 year ago
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.

So go read it. Seriously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
make a tv series please
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book around the time it first came out before my freshman year and still read it years later. It was a really cool book to read as a teen as I and friends and people around me went through things so similar to the teens in the book. It was inspiring, the story of these different characters who faced with all these teenage struggles find their ways through them and even take leaps of courage into these realms of possibilities. It was great because as I went through these confusing, awkward, intimidating, sad or out right breath taking moments of high school adolescences I felt understood, not alone. It felt ok rather then scary or weird. I read how these teens in his writings would be faced with all these possibilities and take these chances to chase a possibility at something amazing in its way and it gave me a courage, an understanding. Even at the risk--that your crush won't return your feelings, your relationship won't last, you'll not fit in, it'll blow up in your face--it'll go bad there's also the chance it'll lead to something great. And that understanding and hopeful courage gave me a willingness to dive head long into these realms of possibilities in my life. Not many books do that, speak to and inspire or empower you, but this one did for me. And that's what makes it so special in my eyes. It's ability to speak to you, a person in these scenarios, like another teen facing the same things the same way you are. Like it's right there with you, like a kid from one of your classes. Not like an adult writing about it, but like another teen just like you experiencing in that moment the same as you. This book is great and so different in look and tone from most other poetry I've read. I'd recommend it to anyone interested by poetry or a teen looking for a relatable story, it's definitely worth the buy and time to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not read this, it was a gift for my granddaughter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KristyJewel More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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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Kaely More than 1 year ago
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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Mandi Ayochok More than 1 year ago
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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Katie Pollock More than 1 year ago
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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