GRASS SONGS by Ann Turner

GRASS SONGS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Turner's historical fiction (Katie's Trunk, 1992, etc.) is notable for putting a human face on great events; these 17 poems, all in the first person and inspired by the letters and diaries of pioneer women on the westward journey, are even more vivid and personalized. The collection begins with the exultation of throwing off the confinements of civilized female life (``I scream into the wind,/ race after cattle,/...and reach so high my waist tears,/ and no one can say/ I am not a lady'') and ends with a woman tending a plant she's carried to Oregon from her mother's Arkansas garden. In between are marriage, childbirth (and maternal death), Indian raids (one survivor miraculously finds her kidnapped child safe in California; another, who lived for years with the Mohave and was recaptured by Anglos, never ceases grieving for her Indian husband and sons), and a trail of graves in the wagons' wake. There are also dreams: Amanda Hays secretly reads the Odyssey by moonlight; behind her workaday faáade she dreams of ecstatic union with an ancient deity. Another woman dreams only of home: ``...just give me a porch, a song,/ peace.'' Moser's pencil drawings (mostly portraits), based on historical photos, are riveting. Unforgettable. (Poetry. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-15-136788-4
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1993




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