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Children's LiteratureConcrete poems for the upper elementary/middle school reader cover some usual and unusual subjects but always in a clever format. There's the boring circularity of "My Stupid Day," the gut-stirring "Spew Machine" that makes the reader queasy just turning the book to read the words, the delicious satisfaction of "Robert's Four At-Bats" which leads the reader triumphantly to Roger's trip around the base for the final "Cougars Win!" jubilation. There aren't many concrete poetry collections for this age group, and the computer generated illustrations, the varying type faces (all identified in back for would-be printing designers), and the black, white and red illustrations give this collection an edgy and compelling look with great boy appeal. Good fun with a few to chew on, as well. 2005, Clarion, Ages 9 to 14.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.