April 29, 2020

Turning pain into art and an unintentional mission. SHOUT is the story of a girl who lost her voice so she wrote herself a new one. I am in awe of anyone who can write a memoir. To be able to look at the events of your life and select the ones that shaped you? I honestly cannot imagine. My life has been pretty much idyllic yet the thought of examining it so closely makes me shudder. I am not brave; I’m a Hufflepuff (no shade to you brave Puffs!). Just let me remember the good stuff and blindly appreciate the life I live. Someone who can write a memoir poetically? Well, that just blows my mind....

November 7, 2017

Jason Reynolds is at his most powerful in Long Way Down.  In sparse, potent verse, Reynolds tells the story of Will and his plan to get revenge on the guy who shot and killed his brother, Shawn.  Will knows the rules.  Shawn’s the one who taught them to him: 1) No crying, 2) No snitching, 3) Get revenge (“If someone you love / gets killed, / find the person / who killed / them and / kill them.)  I couldn’t help thinking of the 10 Duel Commandments from Hamilton . . .  Once Will decides to kill Shawn’s murderer, (“but if the blood / inside you is on the inside / of someone else / you never want...

September 8, 2017

Impressive verse retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Author, David Elliott, writes the POVs of each of the seven characters involved in his version of the story and gives each one his own form of poetry to help distinguish the characters. This differentiation gives the book a super cool vibe. Dare I make a Hamilton connection? Elliott's use of modern, poetic words to convey an old story made me think of how Lin Manuel Miranda did the same. Poseidon's voice even had a bit of a rap beat (probs because of his unrestricted poetic form). Cool, funny, moving, quick.

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Nina O'Daniels


Shannon Grieshaber


Created in 2017