How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson
A celebrated poet and author of books for children and teens, Nelson tells the story of growing up in the Civil Rights era and her connection to poetry. In fifty poems, several of which have been previously published, Nelson reveals her growing up from age 4 through 14 during the 1950s and 1960s. The poems show her progression from child to a self-aware teen who is directly impacted by the changes in civil rights. Nelson also touches on the Cold War and feminism along with race in these poems. Each poem here is a gem, carefully crafted and firmly placed in its setting in the book. Beautiful.
In her author’s note, Nelson mentions that she prefers not to see the character in the book as herself but rather as “The Speaker.” The first person perspective though will leave readers assuming that this is Nelson’s personal story and journey and it’s difficult to change that perception after reading the entire book. Perhaps even more than the historical period it is The Speaker’s love of poetry and writing that makes the connection to Nelson as that person ring so true. It is that love of poetry and words that makes each poem so beautiful, but also makes the narrator come alive.
Beautiful and worth rereading and revisiting, this collection of poems that forms a story is deep and worth submerging yourself in. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.
Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:
6 Life Lessons from Laura Ingalls Wilder| Bich Minh Nguyen | http://buff.ly/1eELQfM
Anne Ursu on ‘The Real Boy’ and writing for kids | MinnPost http://buff.ly/1cprRgR
Children reading books to cats | Metro News http://buff.ly/1dCVMBS
Downtown Books: Five great children’s books about Harriet Tubman http://buff.ly/1dCWrTP
Glenn Close, Sophie Nelisse, Octavia Spencer Join ‘The Great Gilly Hopkins’ | Variety http://buff.ly/1dvLLGm
Happy birthday, Charles Darwin! – The Horn Book http://buff.ly/1cxj0tu
J.K. Rowling Did Make a Mistake, But It Wasn’t the Ron-Hermione Pairing | BOOK RIOT- http://buff.ly/NDvPgA
Pictures Of Babies As Book Characters Are Worth WAY More Than A Thousand Words http://buff.ly/1g1SLiB
Zita the Spacegirl faces her toughest challenge yet: Space Prison! http://buff.ly/NyiMgd
As the line between platform and publisher continues to blur, who wins and who loses? http://buff.ly/Nyj9Yk
12 Jobs on the Brink: Will They Evolve or Go Extinct? http://buff.ly/1eEFMDP See a smart take on libraries!
Best College Libraries: 12 of America’s Most Magical http://buff.ly/1lM9Kv4
Kyle Cassidy photographs librarians at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting (PHOTOS). http://buff.ly/1orF417
Beth Revis: Why is Diversity Important? http://buff.ly/1gpI7T8
The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2014 http://buff.ly/1orFSD2
Pete Hautman on the Book that Will Save Us (Writing for the Long Haul series)/ Desert Dispatches http://buff.ly/NyirKB
YALSA’s 2014 Hub Reading Challenge Begins! | The Hub http://buff.ly/1dvLX8x