Zombies! Evacuate the School

Overview

A fun and quirky collection of school poems every kid will relate to. Celebrated performance poet Sara Holbrook's poems range from begging for a few more minutes' sleep to a "slam-dancing ride" on the big yellow bus, from the teacher who picks up signals with "antennae in her hair" to a full-on zombie invasion. Silly, serious, and everything in between, these poems show kids that poetry is not just for grown-ups! Writing prompts and mini poetry lessons throughout introduce readers to many of the elements of ...

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Overview

A fun and quirky collection of school poems every kid will relate to. Celebrated performance poet Sara Holbrook's poems range from begging for a few more minutes' sleep to a "slam-dancing ride" on the big yellow bus, from the teacher who picks up signals with "antennae in her hair" to a full-on zombie invasion. Silly, serious, and everything in between, these poems show kids that poetry is not just for grown-ups! Writing prompts and mini poetry lessons throughout introduce readers to many of the elements of poetry and invite kids to write poems of their own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite its title, this collection of school poems is not filled with supernatural horrors. The vast majority of Holbrook's verses cover the experiences of the average student, from summer's end ("Days, no longer long,/ whisper, Time to move along") to tests ("Frantic/ panic,/ sinking/ sorrow./ The science test/ is not tomorrow") and even daydreams ("Time to pack myself/ in a hands-folded smile,/ and dream/ my way outta here"). Plentiful cartoon illustrations and tips on writing poetry crowd the pages and distract somewhat from the poems themselves, but should provide some motivation and inspiration for aspiring writers. Ages 9-11. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Dawna Lisa Buchanan
The only real connections to zombies in this collection occur in the rather lengthy introduction from the author and in the concluding poem, "Evacuate the School!" Holbrook uses simple events (waiting for the bus) or objects (an empty cage) as subject matter for different kinds of poems that illustrate writing techniques for independent readers. This reader did not find the poems particularly compelling. "The Artist, Me" reads: "Sandcastles. Snow writing. Pictures drawn in steam. Temporary art shaped from my daydreams. Not done for an assignment or squeezed between the lines. Imagining is working out, shaping up the mind." This slender volume does offer, however, some very good writing tips for aspiring poets, and Holbrook's frank, chatty style will appeal to many. In a way, the advice is better than the poetry. In reference to the poem quoted above, she writes: "No one owns a sandcastle, and you can't sell a picture drawn in steam, so what's the point? I once had a teacher give a speech in which she complained that when she gave students writing assignments they would stare at the wall. She said it as if that were a bad thing. Staring at the wall is a good thing. All good writing comes after we bounce ideas around in our brains a little. She probably knew that, but with the bell schedule and all, she just forgot." The book would be useful for modeling poetry concepts and styles, such as refrains, list poems, descriptive vocabulary, and prompts. The accompanying images are rather dull, and the "advising" snippets, such as the definition of irony, are contained in cartoon bubbles. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—With a breezy and comedic touch, Holbrook shines a light on school experiences, from academic pursuits to classroom rivalries to gym-class exploits. Humor reigns, and readers will identify with themes and emotions, such as panic in "It's Today?" "Frantic/panic,/sinking/sorrow./The science test/is not tomorrow." Many of the poems utilize an inner voice and encourage self-reflection. They are brief and accessible, and Holbrook sprinkles conversational, informal prompts throughout the book that encourage readers to create poetry about their own experiences. Sandstrom's pen-and-ink illustrations provide additional humor. The simple design is attractive and the book will appeal to reluctant readers and those who are intimidated by poetry. Language-arts teachers will appreciate the writing prompts and may even consider using this book in poetry-writing units. Students who are encouraged to "write what you know" will be inspired by these selections.—Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590788202
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 1,386,480
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara Holbrook puts words into action, writing and performing poetry for kids of all ages. The author of poetry books for children and adults, she delights in sharing her love of words in classrooms worldwide. She lives in northern Ohio.

Karen Sandstrom is a lifelong artist and writer who never wanted to choose between words and pictures. She's an award-winning journalist, a book critic, and a short-story writer.

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