THE WAY A DOOR CLOSES by Hope Anita Smith

THE WAY A DOOR CLOSES

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A spare cycle of mostly free verse details the anguish of one family when the father loses his job. Thirteen-year-old C.J. traces, in separate poems, the arc taken by his family from pre-layoff security to despair when his father leaves, shutting the door behind him, “and we were vacuum-sealed inside. . . . I can tell a lot by / the way a door closes.” C.J.’s own transformation from youthful hero-worship to pained disillusionment is delicately limned, making his conscious decision to commit to his family all the more poignant. Evans’s illustrations are characteristically powerful, the naturalistic renderings carrying great emotion. Newcomer Smith’s verse is not so well-seasoned; it is occasionally more prosaic than poetic, and its one attempt at rhymed verse seems quite forced. For all this, however, C.J.’s story is a touching and memorable one, its eventual happy ending not a capitulation but a blessing. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-6477-X
Page count: 54pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2003




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