Never a Word Wasted: Novels in Poems
before I was born,
the broken body
of Marielle LeMoyne
was found in the woods
at the bottom of Twelfth Street..."
Frenchtown is a seamy industrial town filled with families down on their luck. Secrets lurk here, dark and unwholesome, somewhere beneath our everyday understanding of life, love and family. Robert Cormier eerily captures the painful step from childhood innocence to adult awareness. By the author of The Chocolate War and The Rag and Bone Shop.Top
"When did you begin to experience dramatic weight loss? The spring I turned sixteen, after experiencing a dramatic desire to lose weight. What fueled this desire? Did you believe others considered you
overweight? I believed others didn't consider me very often. I felt too much, burdensome. In the window beside my bed, a hole broke through the mesh screen. I used to write help me on scotch tape across pennies and poke the coins through the hole. One day I decided This is stupid. There are other ways to ask for help. Thin was one of them."
Eireann Corrigan's brief memoir is a painful and deeply personal examination of a teen's struggle for survival and understanding.Top
Jack doesn't like poetry. He doesn't want to read it and he certainly doesn't want to write it. Poetry is for girls. But Jack doesn't have much choice - teachers don't take no for an answer. To his surprise, Jack discovers that poetry has something to say to him, and that he has something to say with his poems. A touching and funny homage to the healing power of poetry by the Newbery Award-winning author of Walk Two Moons.Top
It's Joe's house, really. He owns it. But Keesha is the one who leads people there. An unplanned pregnancy, an abusive home, an uncaring foster home - there are so many reasons why teens can end up on the street, looking for a place to call home. These are a few of their stories, told in a variety of poetic forms.Top
"At approximately 7:30 this morning,
The body of one of our teachers
Was found on the school's track.
We are withholding disclosure of his name
Pending notification of next of kin."
Who is Mr. Chippendale? Who shot him? Why? Does anyone care? Will anyone remember?Top
"Mr. Wiedermeyer, No Answer I'm knocking No Answer On the door. No Answer Would you mind No Answer Opening it up, please? No Answer Are you OK? No Answer Is the class OK? No Answer"
When a highschool history teacher loses it and takes his class hostage, anything can happen. Mel Glenn's taut novel explores the thoughts and feelings of the many players in this drama.Top
The New Teacher He must teach Science see how he squints and looks at his lunch like a failed experiment. Or Maths! the grey of his shorts the expanse of his ears the lovely floral tie and check shirt all add up. He couldn't teach English because he's always reading and he seems able to string a few words together and as yet, he hasn't misspelt his own name... we're sure he'll fit into this school like a burger into a bun.
Australian Steven Herrick serves up a dose of quirky realism in Jack's musings on a miscellany of topics including Annabel (the love of his life), his mother (the ghost in his house) and nose hair (the curse of his existence). For more of his witty and reflective free verse, check out A Place Like This (the further adventures of Jack and Annabel) and The Simple Gift.Top
bringing a red dust
like prairie fire,
hot and peppery,
searing the inside of my nose,
the whites of my eyes.
turning the day from sunlight to midnight."
Billie Jo is suffering. Still aching with the loss of her mother and her own physical injury, she and her father are trying desperately to hold on to the family farm - and each other - through the harsh years of the Depression. Winner of the 1998 Newbery Award.Top
Life is full of choices We don't always make good ones. It seems to Kristina you gotta be crazy to open your windows, invite the demons in. Bree throws rocks at the feeble glass, laughs.
Kristina is reliable, responsible, everything her mother wants her to be. But on a visit to her father, Kristina decides to abandon her safe and sober self. She becomes Bree, adventurous, fearless, even dangerous. The freedom is impossibly, almost unbearably exciting, but what about the consequences? If she wants to, can Bree still find her way back to Kristina?Top
It's a sort of dark, post-modern Breakfast Club. All the stock characters are here - jock, brain, loser, loner, whatever. On the surface, they all play their roles, behave as expected. Inwardly, everyone is seething with suppressed emotion - anger, fear, resentment, insecurity, self-loathing. Now someone at Branston High has a gun, and a list. How long will it be before the pot boils over?Top
"Here's what I know about the realm of possibility - it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead. As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world's devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us."
David Levithan offers a familiar but intriguing look at highschool in all its desperate glory. Twenty distinct voices give us their perceptions of their world, themselves and each other. An engaging and thoughtful novel that speaks to everyone currently living through highschool - and survivors of the ordeal.Top
Ships, pirates, treasure, ghosts - here are all the ingredients of a classic tale of high adventure. Rhythmic and atmospheric, Hugh Montgomery's poems conjure up a story of intrigue and betrayal in the tradition of The Highwayman and The Wreck of the Hesperus.Top
"She feels strangely sad and lost. This is when they should begin feeling closer and closer, but instead it is as if each is on a different train, drawing apart, heading for a different destination. Sometimes she worries, does she only like him because she feels she will never know him?"
Stephanie's 17th year is a crazy one. She is in love for the first time, but it doesn't make her happy - joyful, sometimes, but not happy. Love consumes and frightens her. She is stalked by the fear of loss - of this fragile relationship, of old friendships, of new possibilities, of her freedom, and of herself. 17 is a perilous journey.Top
GOD GOT A DOG He never meant to. He liked dogs, He'd liked them ever since He was a kid, but He didn't think He had time for a dog now. He was always working and dogs needed so much attention. God didn't know if He could take being needed by one more thing...
What if God was one of us? Cynthia Rylant's skilled hand paints a portrait of God that is human and humane, a loving and powerful being who suffers from loneliness and finds that He cannot control everything. Amusing, poignant and thoughtful, this is one to be shared aloud.Top
"If only Dylan liked Ferris wheels.
If only I liked roller coasters.
If only Dylan liked fun houses.
If only I liked bumper cars.
If only Dylan liked horse shows.
If only I liked video arcades.
If only I had come with Rachel and Grace instead." ("At the County Fair")
Take a trip through first love (on to second and third love), friendship and family with Sophie. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, Sophie's trials and tribulations are ever so familiar...Top
Wayland, April Halprin
when when your father mother met your father mother he she thought he she would make a great mother father ("Mr. C. Explains the Double Helix")
It's a year in the life - a year of home and school, friends and family, and the emergence of a poet's voice.Top
"Do not get to know me.
Do not ask me out.
Do not love me.
I am Jinx."
Once her name was Jen, but that was before - before the deaths of two boyfriends. Now she is Jinx. Margaret Wild's poems speak with the voices of Jinx, her family and friends as she tries to find the way back to herself.Top
"When people ask how, I say
a fire took them.
And then they look at me like
I'm the most pitiful thing in the world.
So sometimes I just shrug and say
They just died that's all."
Lonnie Collins Motion is orphaned and separated from his sister at age seven. Life after that is silent pain and surviving out loud: group homes, new schools, foster care. Nothing seems to belong to Lonnie. He has no way to even express his grief - until Ms. Marcus makes his class write poetry.Top
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