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How I Discovered Young Adult Poetry – The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Marilyn Nelson

A couple of weeks ago, at a dinner with several poets, one of them said, “You’re lucky, Marilyn: you know how to write poems for the young adult audience.” I laughed and told him he was entirely wrong. I have absolutely no idea how to write for the young adult audience. I just write what […]

Review of Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

atkins_finding wonders

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    198 pp. 9/16    978-1-4814-6565-6    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6567-0    $10.99 Atkins (Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters, rev. 5/10) here tells the stories, again in poetry, of three real-life self-taught female […]

Review of You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen

weatherford_you can fly

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    82 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-4938-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4940-3    $10.99 Thirty-two poems written in the second person bring to life the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Pilots, bombardiers, instructors, maintenance workers, and navigators […]

Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Jungle app review

flip flap jungle title

A companion to Axel Scheffler’s flip book of the same name, Flip Flap Jungle (Nosy Crow, 2015; iOS only) allows you to create seemingly infinite animals by combining the top half of one and the bottom half of another. Want to see what a parakeet might look like with four furry legs? Swipe the bottom of […]

Review of Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks

brown_slickety quick

Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks by Skila Brown; illus. by Bob Kolar Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6543-2    $16.99 Brown begins this playful and illuminating collection by taking a bite out of the most infamous of these ocean predators, the great white shark: “you’re no bully, / just a big attention hog. So / move […]

Books mentioned in the April 2016 issue of What Makes a Good…?

What Makes Good Poetry? Picture Books Argueta, Jorge  Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 32 pp.     Groundwood     2015     ISBN 978-1-55498-442-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-55498-443-5 Brown, Skila  Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks Illustrated by Bob Kolar 32 pp.     Candlewick     2016     ISBN 978-0-7636-6543-2 Greenfield, Eloise  The Great Migration: Journey to the […]

From the Editor – April 2016

What Makes a Good...?

I can’t think of a genre that scares more book reviewers than poetry (maybe sports books). Perhaps they are afraid that some eagle-eyed reader is going to find out the reviewer doesn’t know the difference between a spondee and a dactyl, but, really, this is making the task more difficult than it needs to be. […]

Recommended Poetry: Young Adult

block_how to uncage a girl

Block, Francesca Lia How to (Un)cage a Girl 119 pp. HarperCollins/Cotler 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-135836-4 Library binding ISBN 978-0-06-135837-1 This three-part collection includes forty-five autobiographical poems. Part one details Block’s teenage years; part two follows her as an adult; part three contains “Love Poems for Girls.” Readers will welcome advice from someone who not only understands […]

Recommended Poetry: Picture Books

argueta_salsa

Argueta, Jorge Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem 32 pp. Groundwood 2015. ISBN 978-1-55498-442-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-55498-443-5 Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. This bilingual cooking poem plays on the multiple meanings of salsa for a musical recipe. As a boy and his family prepare salsa roja, his imagination runs wild, with ingredients becoming […]

Recommended Poetry: Intermediate

fogliano_when green becomes tomatoes

Fogliano, Julie When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons 56 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter 2016. ISBN 978-1-59643-852-1 Illustrated by Julie Morstad. The book begins and ends on “march 20″ with a blue bird on a flowering tree branch (and with the same poem). In between are poems for days throughout the year. Morstad’s gouache and […]