Henry Holt & Co., 2002. 978-0805069785
Synopsis: Experienced poet and teacher Kathi Appelt has written a wonderful collection of poems for young adult readers, accompanied by fascinating accounts of how and why the poems came to be, along with writing exercises to inspire readers to create their own poetry. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: I like the idea of being able to read the work of an author and then getting the story behind their work.
Why I finished it: This book has a little bit of everything. The poems convey the feelings and struggles of teens and young adults that are discovering themselves and the burden of responsibility that comes with growing up. Appelt’s commentary tells the story of how the poems were born and the longing portrayed by the poem’s narrators along with some exercises that will help get the creative juices flowing in young and aspiring poets. She recognizes that poetry has the power to speak to a writer and that there will be lots of bad poems on the way to writing good ones. She conveys just how powerful the right word can be and how we can say something with a poem that demonstrates who the author is and who they hope to become. It’s a wonderful resource for those of us who are looking to hone our writing craft.
Other related materials: Just People & Paper/Pen/Poem: A Young Writer’s Way to Begin by Kathi Applet, photographs by Kenneth Applet; Getting the Knack: 20 Poetry Writing Exercises by Alfred Corn; Where I’m From: Where Poems Come From by George Ella Lyon; Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way by Georgia Heard; Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems from WritersCorps selected by Bill Aguado and Richard Newirth; Teen Ink: Written in the Dirt: A Collection of Short Stories, Poetry, Art, and Photography edited by Stephanie H. Meyer and John Meyer; Poetry Speaks to Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else… edited by Elise Paschen and Dominique Raccah; Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls edited by Betsy Franco, photographs by Nina Nickles; You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys edited by Betsy Franco, photography by Nina Nickles