discover your poetic possibilities
The kids in Ms. Hill’s class are writing poems for a time capsule. Poem by poem, the thoughts, emotions, and complications of being a fifth grader emerge. We learn that what’s on the surface is often quite different than the personalities and motivations within. That’s enough right there to hook me as a reader, but add to that the fact that their school is being torn down to make room for a supermarket, newfound student political voices, and learning to respect another’s views even when you disagree? That seals the deal. Add Laura Shovan’s novel-in-verse to your elementary or middle school classroom or library. I did! (BONUS: It includes an explanation of the poetic forms in the book, some great poetry prompts, and a glossary of terms.)
An excerpt from one of my favorite poems:
“Is It True?”
Is it true
the Board of Ed wants to turn our school
into a supermarket?
That’s what my mom heard
at Mrs. Stiffler’s community meeting
Shelves of cereal
and toilet paper
instead of shelves of books.
Bored cashiers at the checkout
instead of the school media specialist
saying, “I’ve got a great book for you!”