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Poems from Homeroom: A Writer's Place to…
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Poems from Homeroom: A Writer's Place to Start

by Kathi Appelt

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This was a really witty little poetry book. I read just a few selections, but it has all the possible situations in a school. The poems range from the nurses office to the playground, and all the way to the school dance. I think that it would be a good book to read to students when they return from recess and as they are cooling down and few poems could be very calming for them. ( )
  tarannum93 | Feb 14, 2013 |
Poems from Homeroom examines life from a teenage perspective. Each poem is accompanied (at the back of the book) by commentary from the author and suggestions as to how aspiring writers could use these poems as models for their own writing. ( )
  ABurrell | Jul 10, 2009 |
Poems from Homeroom : A Writer's Place to Start, by Kathi Appelt, is a charming group of mainly free verse poems that take any reader who went through the high school years in the United States back again to the days of pimples, passing notes, and proms. Immortalized in the book's poems are such sorts as the football jock, the grocery store stockboy, the driving test applicant, and the school baton twirler. A standout among the 26 poems presented is "The Twirling Queen of Dogwood, Texas." The poem evocatively lays out the evolution of a baton twirler from her earliest inklings towards the activity to her graduation and beyond (her portrait on velvet comes to hang in the city hall). A disturbing low note is also on hand in the poem "Dumpling" about a girl who, after being groped by her father, can't scrub enough to "get that old gasoline smell to go away." At the end of the section of 26 poems, the author lays out her rationale for writing each of them, and some of it is a little convoluted. Helpful is her describing what type of poem each is, and then the affair turns into a type of well-rounded writing clinic for those seeking additional explanation. At book's end is a two-page list of books on writing poetry that nicely concludes things for the reader who enjoyed what came beforehand. This book would come in handy for any high school English class analyzing different types of poems. ( )
  mattlhm |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080506978X, Hardcover)

"Poetry is the home for all my yearnings
each poem a separate room
where wandering words
find a cool bed, a bowl of soup..."

Using her own adolescent-appealing poems, Kathi Appelt has created a poetry guide that teens can turn to when they are having trouble corralling those "wandering words." In "Part I: Homeroom: The Poems," Appelt showcases her own poetry, mostly whimsical in tone, about such teen-pleasing topics as tattoos, first crushes, and homecoming dances. In "Part II: Study Hall: Writing What We Long For," Appelt describes the inspiration for each of the previous 26 poems, and provides questions to stir the imaginations and pens of young writers. She identifies the specific motivation behind each of the poems, (some examples include longing for attention, justice, or respect) and then asks readers through a series of open-ended questions to examine that motivation in their own writing. And while most of her poetry is free verse, she also throws in a few forms for young readers to challenge themselves with, such as the sestina, villanelle, and haiku.

Young adult author Kathi Appelt's lighthearted take on crafting poetry will have teens scratching down sonnets in no time. Full of practical advice, poetry-provoking questions, and thin enough to fit in the back pocket of a binder, Poems from Homeroom is sure to be popular with wannabe young Maya Angelous and Walt Whitmans. And for further guidance, aspiring bards may also want to try Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and Inspiration for Young Poets, edited by Paul B. Janeczko. (Ages 13 to 18) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

A collection of poems about the experiences of young people and a section with information about how each poem was written to enable readers to create their own original poems.

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