EDGAR ALLAN POE

An ambitious but not completely successful entry in the Poetry for Young People series (see Bolin, below). The format is admirable: a handsome sampler of poems, with a short introductory essay, unfamiliar words briefly defined in footnotes, and a few prefatory sentences for each poem to establish context and aid interpretation. Fittingly, 13 of Poe's more accessible poems appear here, including ``The Raven,'' ``The Bells,'' ``Eldorado,'' and ``Annabel Lee.'' The volume concludes with passages from short stories, laid out in lines like verse; they highlight Poe's mastery of prose, but, without context, are not otherwise particularly meaningful. A larger concern is the less-than-meticulous presentation of the poems. Readers confronting Poe's unfamiliar diction need all the help they can get; inaccurately reproduced are word choices, order, line layout, punctuation, etc. Bagert does not indicate which standard edition he usedthere may not be onebut even a variorum (ed. by Floyd Stovall, 1965) did not support some questionable usages. In her first book, Cobleigh provides atmospheric art: an arresting picture of ``The Raven,'' a cadaverous ghoul in ``The Bells,'' and a depiction of the narrator of ``The Tell-Tale Heart'' as a deranged Wee Willy Winky. (index) (Poetry. 10+)

Pub Date: June 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-8069-0820-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1995

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A beautiful, powerful reflection on a tragic history.

ON THE HORIZON

In spare verse, Lowry reflects on moments in her childhood, including the bombings of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. 

When she was a child, Lowry played at Waikiki Beach with her grandmother while her father filmed. In the old home movie, the USS Arizona appears through the mist on the horizon. Looking back at her childhood in Hawaii and then Japan, Lowry reflects on the bombings that began and ended a war and how they affected and connected everyone involved. In Part 1, she shares the lives and actions of sailors at Pearl Harbor. Part 2 is stories of civilians in Hiroshima affected by the bombing. Part 3 presents her own experience as an American in Japan shortly after the war ended. The poems bring the haunting human scale of war to the forefront, like the Christmas cards a sailor sent days before he died or the 4-year-old who was buried with his red tricycle after Hiroshima. All the personal stories—of sailors, civilians, and Lowry herself—are grounding. There is heartbreak and hope, reminding readers to reflect on the past to create a more peaceful future. Lowry uses a variety of poetry styles, identifying some, such as triolet and haiku. Pak’s graphite illustrations are like still shots of history, adding to the emotion and somber feeling. He includes some sailors of color among the mostly white U.S. forces; Lowry is white.

A beautiful, powerful reflection on a tragic history. (author’s note, bibliography) (Memoir/poetry. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-12940-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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An intimate novel that beautifully confronts grief and loss.

RED, WHITE, AND WHOLE

It’s 1983, and 13-year-old Indian American Reha feels caught between two worlds.

Monday through Friday, she goes to a school where she stands out for not being White but where she has a weekday best friend, Rachel, and does English projects with potential crush Pete. On the weekends, she’s with her other best friend, Sunita (Sunny for short), at gatherings hosted by her Indian community. Reha feels frustrated that her parents refuse to acknowledge her Americanness and insist on raising her with Indian values and habits. Then, on the night of the middle school dance, her mother is admitted to the hospital, and Reha’s world is split in two again: this time, between hospital and home. Suddenly she must learn not just how to be both Indian and American, but also how to live with her mother’s leukemia diagnosis. The sections dealing with Reha’s immigrant identity rely on oft-told themes about the overprotectiveness of immigrant parents and lack the nuance found in later pages. Reha’s story of her evolving relationships with her parents, however, feels layered and real, and the scenes in which Reha must grapple with the possible loss of a parent are beautifully and sensitively rendered. The sophistication of the text makes it a valuable and thought-provoking read even for those older than the protagonist.

An intimate novel that beautifully confronts grief and loss. (Verse novel. 11-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-304742-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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