The Crossover – Kwame Alexander — August 19, 2020

The Crossover – Kwame Alexander

Synopsis РTwin brothers, Josh and Jordan, are star basketball players at school. The brothers deal with growing up, both on and off the court, before the tragedy happens.

My thoughts –¬†I wasn’t too sure about the book at first, it took a few pages to get used to it being written in verse, but when I did get into it, I really enjoyed it. The verses have a good flow to them and lend themselves to being read aloud. There is an emphasis placed on certain words with the layout of the book, an example of this is the word down is split into four lines, each letter on the line below so you are reading down. This is done throughout the book, and makes it more engaging for a reader.

You quickly become attached to the characters within the book and empathise with their situation. It feels very real and is easy to relate to the events throughout the book. The use of slang makes it feel more personal and realistic and helps you to build a connection with the character.

Even though there’s no description within the book, it is easy to imagine what is happening and where they are from the language used and prior knowledge.

Classroom ideas –¬†It would be good to explore the point of view of other key characters within the book. The book is told by Josh and only really considers his feelings. Exploring the thoughts and feelings of other characters would enable the pupils to develop their understanding of the plot and the motives of the characters.

The author uses key poetry techniques throughout the book which would lend itself to lots of discussions about the different techniques and what impact it has on the story and how it is read.

*Spoilers*

It would be important to discuss the death of their dad with the class, to ensure they all were ok. It can be a hard ending to read and for some children may not be an appropriate book to share with them, depending on their needs. This would need to be addressed sensitively and with caution to cause as little upset as possible, whilst getting important messages across to the class.

Mirror, Mirror – Marilyn Singer — November 16, 2017

Mirror, Mirror – Marilyn Singer

Synopsis – This is a collection of poems that tell two perspectives of the same story. Each poem is about a different well-known fairytale such as Snow White.

 

My thoughts – I really enjoyed the poems in this collection. I really liked how they were written and that each poems tells the story from two perspectives. Each poem is about one fairytale told from both the good perspective and the evil perspective of the story. The words used are very child friendly and make the book very accessible for children, it could open up a world of poetry for children who are reluctant to read poetry, as it tells familiar stories.

Classroom ideas – Children could write their own poems in a similar style about another fairytale or a book you are currently reading in class. You could read the poem alongside the corresponding fairytale. You could look at the techniques used in poetry, such as alliteration. You could do role play/drama and the children could act out the poem from both perspectives.

Each poem is about a different fairytale, so each poem lends itself to a selection of activities linked to the poem.

The chaos of longing – K.Y. Robinson — September 26, 2017

The chaos of longing – K.Y. Robinson

* synopsis –This book discusses sensitive subjects, such as racism, sexism and sexual trauma as stated at the start of the book. This book is a collection of poems discussing sensitive topics and sharing how someone may feel when they are experiencing these feelings and times.

My thoughts – It was a difficult read at times as this is the reality for some, that for me, is very difficult to imagine as I am lucky enough to have never experienced any of these feelings. I really liked the authors use of language and their writing style and would like to read more poems by Robinson. There were some poems that I preferred to others, and some that I personally didn’t connect with, but this happens with most poets and poetry books. It is a very personal and honest collection of poems that are aimed at an acquired audience.