Monday, August 6, 2007

Reaching for Sun

I recommended this book to a friend who is writing a story through poetry and she recommended it back to me; now I'll recommend it to all of you. This is Tracie Vaughn Zimmer's second book of poetry (Sketches from a Spy Tree is for a younger audience) and both show a great grasp of language through terrific imagery and word choice. I can't help it. I'm a sucker for word pictures and this book is full of them! Savor this segment from the final poem, "reaching:"

"Even after summer

packs her bags,

the garden blooms:

holly drips berries

for the birds;

the river birch

peels back

to show its pale heart."

Although this is a story of a young teen coming to grips with cerebral palsy, Zimmer doesn't hit the reader over the head with that theme. Instead, the main character grapples with all of the normal angst which middle school students face: acceptance (or the lack thereof) from peers, gaining and then feeling like she has lost a new best friend, disappointment in a mother who doesn't seem to understand her, and fear over losing her beloved grandmother, to name a few. I highly recommend this book for readers in 5-7th grade.

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