A sequence of poems, in the voice of a sensitive preadolescent, unfold over the course of a school year on topics such as kissing games, crushes and close relationships. "This work succeeds in making reading and writing poetry more accessible to teens who may otherwise find these tasks intimidating," wrote PW. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) n Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This novel provides a soft, intimate glimpse into the life of a young teen girl through poetic vignettes that are subtle stories depicting events in her life that require courage, expose longing, explore friendship and conflict, and cause pain. The poems, which are accompanied by artwork that is representative of the subject matter, also provide portraits of people who affect her life�friends, crushes, teachers, and family. The combination of poetry and art is delightful and amusing. A metaphor of poetry as underwear is carried throughout the text in the artwork of the dividing sections�Autumn, Winter, and Spring. The poems explore different styles, ranging from a rewrite of a Shakespearean sonnet to concrete poetry that is artwork on its own. Although the quality of some poems is uneven, that unevenness lends authenticity to the voice. Several are wonderfully written and capable of standing on their own without the benefit of a connecting plot. As a novel, the story has the intimate feel of being inside someone's thoughts or at the very least being able to read a private journal. Among the many stories told through verse, this book is a standout,
Mary Ann Harlan <%ISBN%>0375901582
Gr 7-9-This "novel in poems" covers the school year of a girl who is young enough to be shaving her legs for the first time but old enough to be learning how to kiss. Between fall and spring, she goes from an imaginary boyfriend to a real one to the loss of that boyfriend: "-all the space in the world/wouldn't be enough for him/and as close as he could ever come to me/would never/be close enough for me." From the humiliation of getting the "Susie Spineless Award" at the drama party to the exhilaration of having a poem published in a magazine, the unnamed heroine is a girl in transition, with all the intensity of emotion associated with adolescence. Readers will relate to her boredom in school: "Fed up with this dull/class, my mind pecks open its/cage and flies away." Other observations are more personal. Wayland remembers this time of life well; in fact, some of the poems are based on her own journals. She uses simple language in a graceful yet direct way. Readers will also find the book's compact size and sophisticated mixed-media illustrations on most pages appealing. Similar in form to Sonya Sones's Stop Pretending (HarperCollins, 1999), this is a quieter, more episodic, and perhaps more universal tale.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
This utterly fresh and winning collection of verse is in the voice of an unnamed teenager, whom readers will come to know really well through her introspective and spot-on observations. During the course of a school year in California that is divided into sections (Autumn, Winter, Spring), she welcomes back her best friend Leslie and then has a fight with her, plays Mozart duets on her violin with Yen-Mei, and learns about kissing with Carlo. She is a writer, and she works at it, and she's dazzled when her teacher, in his honey-sweet Tennessee accent, suggests she's good enough to be published in "Faan Powms." She tries out for drama club, hangs out with her Great Aunt Ida, and ruefully examines her pull-and-tug relationship with an older sister. Employing many forms of verse, some rhymed, some not, she even writes a sonnet; all of them are accessible and exquisitely crafted. "Rehearsal" says in its entirety: "This music is so / amazing, it builds a nest / of tears in my throat." She notes wryly when an annoying boy stops hanging around her "And lately I have missed / being annoyed." Clayton's (Three Rotten Eggs, p. 339, etc.) illustrations, a mix of collage and sketches, hint at each subject often in amusing or wry corollaries. The narrator says a great deal about writing: "I want to / make something / beautiful. / Peaches. / If I could / make peaches-grow them / from my pen . . . " She gets her wish. (author's note) (Poetry. 11-14)