Today's Poetry Friday title is different because it is not just a collection of poems (excellent ones), but it is also full of notes to help young readers think about their world in new ways, and to explore their experiences by writing their own poetry. This is a great title for young people who are learning the 'rules' of friendship, and who are going through the early stages of adolescence.
Illustrated by Karen Sandstrom
For ages 9 to 11
Boyds Mills Press, 2011, 978-1-59078-821-9
Friendships are often full of ups and downs. People who seem very unalike discover that they actually have a lot in common, and they come to the conclusion that they would like to be friends. They would like to share the good times and the bad, “hang in / through trips and tears.”
In this thought provoking book, poet Sara Holbrook explores friendship and several fundamental life experiences in a creative way. Her poems explore the fact that people need someone to support them when “storm clouds start to grumble” and when they are trying to deal with uncertainty and change.
Of course, there are also those times when friends are unkind to one another, when they fight, and when they let each other down. When harsh and painful words are said, we are reminded not to “stay mad forever.” We are cautioned that secrets are precious, they are confidences that we have been given in trust.
In this unique collection of poems, Sara Holbrook addresses issues that affect young people all over the world every day, and she does so with humor and sensitivity. In addition, she includes prompts and thoughts on most of the pages in the book to encourage her readers to discuss the ideas and to explore the concepts using poetry. Several of the poems are for two or more voices, which makes this book a perfect title to look through with friends.