THINGS I HAVE TO TELL YOU by Betsy Franco

THINGS I HAVE TO TELL YOU

Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls
edited by & photographed by
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KIRKUS REVIEW

These 45 pieces, most poetry but some prose, come from the hands and minds of girls across the country. They’re paired with black-and-white photos that, while not posed to match the poems, often resonate quite effectively. Sixteen-year-old Theresa Hassfeld’s “Escape” faces a picture of a girl with her hair floating behind her in a bathtub, like the drowned Ophelia; other images focus on body parts—sneaker-clad feet, breasts, hands. With the self-consciousness comes a brimming self-awareness: 15-year-old Idit Meltzer Agam’s incantation of “feminine” words; Jessie Childress in “New Honesty,” writing, “Like a plastic ball, / I toss between myself / and the various identities / I have been assigned.” Melissa Parker writes, with rue and pain, “I broke my own heart so many times,” in “Born at 15.” There is the occasional flash of amusement—15-year-old Danya Goodman writes in “Hallway between Lunch and English,” “we march together toward / the war we cannot name / but at least we are dressed for it.” Sure to find its audience and to inspire other girls—and boys—to write it down. (Poetry. 12 )

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-0905-6
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2001




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