Poetry Friday: Sneak Peak at Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

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Thank you Carol W. at Carol’s Corner for hosting today’s Poetry Friday. A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have Margarita Engle send me an ARC of SOARING EARTH. This is the companion memoir to ENCHANTED AIR.

Now if you haven’t read ENCHANTED AIR yet, stop by your local library and borrow it. It was nominated for a CYBILs Poetry Award in 2015.

SOARING EARTH continues as Engle begins high school just as the social issues: Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, environmental concerns are heating up. In Engle’s lyrical language, she paints a landscape of what it’s like for a teen during the late 60’s.

Despite not being allow to travel to Cuba (thanks to the revolution there), Margarita finds other way to spread her wings through friends, writing and education.

Readers of both books are in for a treat of rich and delicious language. It’s sure to make your spirit soar.

Available in the world in February. Give youself the Valentine of a book and purchase a copy or make sure your local library has it in their collection.

Title: SOARING EARTH
Author: Margarita Engle
Illustrator:
Published: Available, February 2019
Pages: 192
Reading Level: 7th gr and beyond
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781534429536
Source: ARC sent to me by the author

The ARC I have is available for the next reader. If you’d like to read it and share the love, leave a comment and I’ll draw a name next week.

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Poetry Friday: Voices in the Air by Naomi Shihab Nye

IMG_1077Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

This week, I want to show case the title I nominated for the CYBILS Poetry Awaed:  VOICES IN THE AIR, POEMS FOR LISTENERS by Naomi Shihab Nye.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I consider her a mentor.  Last April, I attended the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture given by Naomi Shihab Nye.   I, of course, bought her latest book.

What if we were the listeners of all the voices in the air? Those who came before us or those we have yet to meet? What if we took the time to listen? What would we notice?

VOICES is divided into three sections: Messages, Voices in the Air, and More Worlds.

Nye begins with an introduction, a pondering of making sense of the strange world we currently reside in with a quote by Galway Kinnell, “To me, poetry is someone standing up to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.”

She reflects on a conversation student at the Yokohama International School in Japan. She said listening and writing poetry give us more yutori– a place to stand back to contemplate what we are living and experiencing…more spaciousness in being and more room to listen. I love this!

This ninety-five poem collection is contemplative and we should listen to one another read these poems aloud. Many of the poems were written for specific people. At the end of the book, Nye includes Biographical Notes.

We should take the time to slow down and listen.

Some of my favorite poems in this collection include: “Twilight”, “Train Across Texas”, and “Where do Poets Find Images, and For the Birds”.

Here’s the first few lines of perhaps my favorite (I’m not sure I can really choose)

Reserved for Poets
(Signs on first rows of chairs at poetry festival. La Conner, Washington)

Sunsets.

Trouble.

Full moons.

No really–they’re everybody’s.

Nothing is reserved.

I highly encourage to find this book, read it, and listen.

Title: VOICES IN THE AIR, POEMS FOR LISTENERS
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Illustrator:
Published: 2018
Pages: 190
Reading Level: YA
Publisher: Greenwillow
ISBN: 978-0-06-269184-2
Source: Personal purchase

Poetry Friday: Student Poetry Randomly Shared With Me

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Thanks to Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

Earlier this week, I got a noticed that a fifth grader, Jamison, had shared poetry with me.  We have been done with poetry for awhile in the library but fifth graders may have been working on poetry in class.

When I had Jamison in class on Wednesday, I asked him if meant to share his poetry with me. He said yes. Jamison is one of those students that I wouldn’t expect to do this.   He’s active, speaks out, and sometimes you wonder if he’s listening.  I asked if I could share on the blog today and he said that’s why he shared them with me.

I am skilled with games
I wonder if I am going crazy
I hear rustles in the basement
I see morning stars on the roof
I want to have the earth’s core in my hand
I am skilled with games
I pretend there’s no sound
I feel bad presence
I touch a shadow
I worry that something is going to jump at me
I cry about my grandma
I am skilled with games
I understand my mom
I say the world is ending
I dream everything is ok
I try to convince people
I hope I last long

–Jamison, 5th grade

I am a casual ghastly
Nobody wants me though I am alone
All by myself an alleyway
Asking if I can be someone’s partner
It’s been 3 days without anything
I’m behind a trashcan hiding
I have a visitor and he has a nice home
I guess I’m not so lonely after all

–Jamison, 5th grade

Such thought provoking images. this always makes me happy to receive unasked for poetry from students.  Thank you, Jamison, for sharing with me.

Poetry Friday: Super Bowl Sunday

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Thank you Penny for hosting today at her blog.

Are you ready for Super Bowl Sunday?  Are you a Patriots or a Falcons fan or maybe a kitty bowl or puppy bowl fan?

In THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY for CELEBRATIONS, by the fantastic duo, Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell, I have just the poem to celebrate this unofficial holiday.image

These girls, now fifth graders, recorded this for me two years ago.

TOUCHDOWN!

Happy Friday!

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: William Stafford

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Thank you to  Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems for hosting Poetry Friday.

Throughout January in Oregon, one can find many celebrations honoring William Stafford born this month.

With the political climate and this day, I went to the files of Stafford in search of an appropriate poem to share. From Poetry Foundation:

Peace Walk

We wondered what our walk should mean,
taking that un-march quietly;
the sun stared at our signs— “Thou shalt not kill.”
Men by a tavern said, “Those foreigners . . .”
to a woman with a fur, who turned away—
like an elevator going down, their look at us.
Along a curb, their signs lined across,
a picket line stopped and stared
the whole width of the street, at ours: “Unfair.”
Above our heads the sound truck blared—
by the park, under the autumn trees—
it said that love could fill the atmosphere:
Occur, slow the other fallout, unseen,
on islands everywhere—fallout, falling
unheard. We held our poster up to shade our eyes.
At the end we just walked away;
no one was there to tell us where to leave the signs.
William Stafford, “Peace Walk” from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by William Stafford.
An interesting piece about this POEM.
Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: CYBILS Poetry Finalists

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Thank you to Linda at Teacher Dance for hosting Poetry Friday.

ICYMI: On Sunday, January 1, 2017, the CYBILS’ finalists for Poetry were announced. 

I must tell you that this was perhaps one of the most difficult years to whittle forty titles in Poetry down to seven finalists.  There were SO many great books. So, so many.  I am proud of our committee: Joy Acey, Linda Baie, Carol Wilcox, Kortney Garrison, Sylvia Vardell, and Tricia Stohr-Hunt.  We came to consensus on the list that represents diversity and something for all ages.

And here are the finalists:

Booked
by Kwame Alexander
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Nick Hall is a typical eighth grader who loves soccer and hates school. Unfortunately, he has a father who is a linguistics professor afflicted with chronic verbomania.* Nick’s father loves words so much that he has written a dictionary, Weird and Wonderful Words, which he is forcing Nick to read, one letter at a time. And of course, his father is much more interested in developing his son’s cognitive abilities than in supporting Nick’s passion for soccer.

Most of Nick’s problems are typical middle school dilemmas– boring classes, budding interest in a girl, and dealing with the school bullies, twins who steal Nick’s bike. And of course the book has a couple of caring adults- one of whom happens to be a former Grammy-winning rapper turned school librarian, Mr. MacDonald. Nick’s life takes an unexpected turn when his parents inform him they are separating and his mother is moving out of state to return to her first love, training horses.

What’s not typical about this book are Kwame Alexander’s poems. Alexander uses a variety of poetic forms- including free verse, acrostics, found poems, and many others. And thanks to Nick’s father, there’s tons of interesting and unusual vocabulary- codswalloped, limerence, cacchinate, to name a few.

A novel-in-verse that’s sure to engage even the most reluctant reader.

*a love of words

Carol Wilcox, Carol’s Corner

Fresh Delicious
by Irene Latham, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
Wordsong
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Irene Latham’s poems and Mique Moriuchi’s illustrations bring to the reader one of the colorful pleasures of summer in this “fresh” and “delicious” poetry. Here we go into the farmer’s market, baskets on our arms. They might be filled with “a fleet of green submarines” (cucumbers), ” a “mountain of mice-sized swords” (okra) or “rows upon rows/of tiny noses” (corn on the cob). The poems open the senses to new ideas about fruits and vegetables found. They are mouth-watering to imagine through the words, with illustrations that show the animals shopping in the happiest of ways. In the poem Wild Honey, Irene writes that it makes “our tongues/buzz/with pleasure.” In this book of poetry, readers will do the same. Irene also shares recipes after the market shopping, just right for kids to help with the cooking.

Linda Baie, Teacher Dance

Garvey’s Choice
by Nikki Grimes
Wordsong
Nominated by: MissRumphius

A middle grade verse novel that strikes at the heart of early adolescent angst, Grimes has given us a heartfelt, realistic portrayal of what it means for a young person to navigate school, friendships and family life. Garvey, who is overweight and not the athlete his father hoped he would be, has dreams of his own. Written in tanka, Grimes’ short verses pack an emotional punch, sharing the highs and lows of Garvey’s journey to figure out who he is, while simultaneously making himself happy and his father proud. Father and son eventually find that connection, and I dare you not to tear up when they do. Grimes has a gift for getting to the heart of middle school angst and gives readers a boy they will love and won’t soon forget.

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, The Miss Rumphius Effect

Guess Who, Haiku
by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Kortney Garrison

Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell is a fun introduction to the puzzle of poetry. Each spread presents a farm animal’s poem–a riddle in haiku form–on bright pages with simple, engaging illustrations by Bob Shea.

The familiar barnyard animals and the rhythm and rhyme of the repeating lines make this an excellent read-aloud. It’s the perfect book for groups of mixed age children at library storytime or at home. The youngest children will enjoy the riddles while older children will want to take up the writing challenge.

Deanna Caswell plays with language, and then invites her readers to join the fun! The delightful end matter continues the game and helps to answer the last, most surprising riddle of all.

Kotney Garrison, One Deep Drawer

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
by Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books
Nominated by: Adrienne Gillespie

A teacher and her students work together to try to save their school from demolition in this novel in verse snapshot of one fifth grade class across a whole school year. Ms. Hill’s class of 18 students includes a mix of boys and girls, twins, Spanish speakers, children from a variety of cultural backgrounds, shy kids, leaders, friends, “frenemies,” all trying to express themselves through poetry. Each poem reflects an individual point of view that changes and grows over the year contributing to a complete narrative detailing their classroom dynamics as well as their struggle to take an active stand for their school. Shovan effectively employs 17 different forms of poems throughout this novel in verse including acrostic, concrete, diamante, epistolary, fib, found, free verse, haiku, limerick, list, narrative, ode, rap, rhyming, senryu, sonnet and tanka poems. This is an engaging school-based story in poems that can inspire young readers to become activists in their communities and to consider writing poetry as a vehicle for achieving some of their goals.

Sylvia Vardell, Poetry for Children

To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party
by Skila Brown
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Jonemac

Donner Party. This ill-fated party began their westward journey from Illinois to California in the spring of 1846. An ill advised detour proves deadly as less than half of the party actually survived.
Through the eyes of 19-year-old, Mary Ann Graves, readers travel on the trail with her family.
Skila’s poems match the mood of the party. In the beginning, they are light with a quick tempo. But as the travel slows, challenges surface along with danger, and so does the cadence and tone of Mary Ann’s voice. Readers are with her during that ominous snowstorm. when the entire party takes shelter and are forced into cannibalism to survive.
Skila captures a compelling story of adventure, despair and survival that readers will want to read again and again.

Jone Rush MacCulloch, Check It Out

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons
by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by  Julie Morstad
Roaring Brook Press
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano gently leads the reader through a year’s worth of journal entry poems to celebrate the seasons. Written without capitalization or punctuation, the poems take advantage of caesuras and spacing on the page to draw the reader through the poems. There is a Zen like/haiku feeling of discovery in the short poems.

These poems frolic in nature and provide fresh language for young ones just learning language and for jaded old timers who need new ways of seeing and discovering their environment.

Joy Acey, Poetry for Kids Joy

Stay tuned and wait for Valentine’s Day when our winner is revealed.  Until then I will be featuring books that were on my shortlist but were left behind.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.