Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems

Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems

4.0 1
by Kristine O'Connell George, Debbie Tilley
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Award-winning poet Kristine O’Connell George, author of several successful picture books, now turns her attention to the middle school experience. The first year brings an array of challenges: making new friends, moving from class to class, tests and homework, changing for PE, gossip, school dances, and, of course, budding romance. Short, accessible…  See more details below

Overview


Award-winning poet Kristine O’Connell George, author of several successful picture books, now turns her attention to the middle school experience. The first year brings an array of challenges: making new friends, moving from class to class, tests and homework, changing for PE, gossip, school dances, and, of course, budding romance. Short, accessible poems in a variety of forms, but all in a single voice—that of a new middle schooler—evoke the memorable moments of the school year, exploring situations and emotions that will resonate with preteens. Lively illustrations complement this perceptive, humorous, poignant record of an important transitional year.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Readers facing this upstream swim [or] toweling themselves off afterwards will find much they relate to in this engaging volume." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred

"Kristine O'Connell George can do more with a small handful of words than most any poet around." --Riverbank Review Riverbank Review

"...mysteries of lockers and uncontrolled giggling are plumbed...rapture of the boy you like liking you...Sweet and on key." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

Children's Literature
Kristine O'Connell George limns the middle-school experience in Swimming Upstream. Sixty-five poems tell the story of a girl's year, from the first-day jitters of "Wake-up Call" to the fond farewells in "Yearbook" and "Last Day of School." George captures well the details and emotions: shyness while changing for P.E., the pain of dealing with snobs, and the tongue-tied excitement of sitting by that special guy. There is gentle humor, too, as the speaker and her buddies learn to play musical instruments and go giggling to their first dance. Debbie Tilley's energetic pen-and-ink drawings reveal lockers, lunchrooms, high fives, and whispered secrets—all the stuff of the middle-grade world. 2002, Clarion,
— Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Middle school, with all its trials, tribulations, and triumphs, is portrayed humorously and poignantly through the eyes of one girl. Some of the more mundane topics include a locker that won't open, being late to homeroom, carrying around a large piece of wood as a hall pass, and deciding where to sit in the lunchroom. The book also delves into significant issues, from making new friends and a first crush to teasing, gossip, and a bully who may not be so tough after all. The selections are short, mostly filling less than a page, and get to the heart of the matter quickly. The emotions range from confusion, loneliness, and fear to being nervous and tongue-tied. Amid all the angst and trauma are light moments of "chaperones/(someone else's parents!)/bobbing offbeat" at the school dance or a troublesome musical instrument, "after much practice/flute still suffers severe case/of laryngitis." Students will relate to this voice navigating "upstream," while they try to find their own place in the middle-school wilderness.-Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In simply worded verse, George (Little Dog and Duncan, not reviewed, etc.) writes of lockers and lunches, new friends and typical experiences, as she tracks a child's first year of middle school. She invites readers stepping across that (or any) threshold to embrace change: "Where do I fit? / Nothing is clear. / Can already tell / this will be / a jigsaw year" becomes, in "Long Jump," "I can do anything. / All I need / is a running start," and by "Last Day of School," "I am shining / from the inside out." Aside from a superficial poem about "the boy who's so tough / the one who scares us so much," plus a few passing anxieties, there's little sign of tears or fears here-just a growing sense of self-confidence, a promise of good things to come calculated, and apt, to buoy up young grammar school graduates. Illustrations not seen. (Poetry. 10-12)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618152506
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Pages:
80
Sales rank:
350,912
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author


Kristine O’Connell George, one of the principal voices in contemporary children’s poetry, has received the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the Promising Poet Award. She lives with her family in Agoura, California.

Kristine O'Connell George is an acclaimed poet who conducts poetry workshops for children and also for teachers. She lives with her family in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >