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Review of Voices in the Air

Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye Middle School    Greenwillow    208 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-06-269184-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-269186-6    $9.99 Many of Nye’s ninety-four original poems speak to historical and contemporary figures, from storied poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Lucille Clifton, José Emilio Pacheco, and Walt Whitman to a trusted Honolulu […]

Review of Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney; 
illus. by Brian Pinkney Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    128 pp. 1/18    978-0-545-70253-9    $19.99 A creative poetic celebration of the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that also, as a song for the dead, includes a meticulous explanation of how and why he died. Henny Penny […]

Last class, works in verse | Class #6, 2018

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Adolescent novels in verse have steadily increased in popularity since Virginia Euwer Wolff’s groundbreaking Make Lemonade was published in 1993. The best of these marry form and subject in a way that enriches both. Jacqueline Woodson’s eloquent free-verse memoir traces her family history and the earliest development of a […]

Review of Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters; illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Primary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp. 1/18    978-1-5124-0442-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5124-7214-1    $9.99 This clever book of poetry is about finding an unexpected friend. Classmates Irene and Charles (also the names of […]

Review of Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up

Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M. Walker; illus. by William Grill Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-7636-7512-7    $17.99 Nonfiction writer Walker (winner of the 2006 Sibert Award for Secrets of a Civil War Submarine) and illustrator Grill (winner of the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal for Shackleton’s Journey) team up […]

Review of I Am Loved

I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni; illus. by Ashley Bryan Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    32 pp. 1/18    978-1-5344-0492-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0493-9    $10.99 A legendary pair presents a volume of verse worth remembering. Bryan’s recognizably vibrant, colorful, and moving illustrations accompany a selection of Giovanni’s poems (both new and previously published). The electric blue, sunny yellow, warm […]

Review of Family Poems for Every Day of the Week

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week / Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana by Francisco X. Alarcón; illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez Primary, Intermediate    
Children’s Book Press/Lee & Low    40 pp. 9/17    978-0-89239-275-9    $18.95 Alarcón uses simple verse (printed in both Spanish and English) to explain the origins of the days of […]

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story! by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla Burris Preschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99 No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The […]

Review of That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes; illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 10/17    978-0-399-55017-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55018-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55019-5    $10.99 Langston Hughes’s 1924 poem “Dream Variation” tells of a wish “to fling my arms wide / In some place of the sun, / To whirl and to dance / Till […]

Review of Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad

Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy; illus. by Beatriz Vidal; with excerpts from Versos sencillos by José Martí; trans. into Spanish by Adriana Domínguez Primary    Children’s/Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-89239-375-6    $17.95 “I come from every place, / And I’m on the road to everywhere: / I […]