THE RHYMING SEASON by Edward Averett


Age Range: 12 & up
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Squeaky clean, and devoid of any aspect of contemporary teen culture (no Internet, drugs or sex; rap is called “urban music”), this first-person narrative, set in a logging community, tells the story of a high-school senior who must learn to cope with a pile of grown-up issues: the recent loss of her basketball star brother, the shuttering of the town’s mill and a peculiar basketball coach who believes in the power of poetry. Hanging tough, Brenda negotiates these issues by excelling in basketball and helping bring her team to the State Championship. At the same time, she must referee between her player pals, the antagonistic bunch of unemployed men and the eccentric coach who implements the practice of identifying each girl as a particular dead poet in the hope that poetry will help them develop insight into themselves and find the rhythm of basketball. Brenda’s storytelling is superficial, her voice without personality and too often—particularly in her interactions with her father—rings emotionally false. Too many problems try to ratchet up the emotional temperature, and readers never get far enough in Brenda’s head to heat up a connection. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-46948-6
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2005