Review of Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems

Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems
by Irene Latham; illus. by Amy Huntington
Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g
4/20    978-1-62354-116-3    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-1-63289-881-4    $9.99

A nonet, as the first poem explains, is a “Grand / poem / with nine lines / one-syllable / first line builds toward / nine-syllable ninth line / (or the reverse). A staircase / for poets and readers alike! / (Any subject, rhyming optional.)” Latham’s nonets focus on a wide range of subjects, each related to the number nine — Apollo 9, the Little Rock Nine, being “dressed to the nines” — while loose-lined illustrations in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil show a diverse cast of kids engaging with each topic. Detail-oriented readers should find fun in counting syllables, and the language is well-chosen for read-alouds (in a poem about nighttime baseball: “Nine players like dancers / on a stage lit by starshine”), though there’s a forced line here and there. A closing note gives more information about the poem topics, the word nonet, and, of course, the number nine.

From the November/December 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax
Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine, is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She is a current member of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award committee, and has served on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more


We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing