With its new content, this poetry collection now offers layers of meaning both literary and practical, making it a strong...

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A SUITCASE OF SEAWEED & MORE

Wong’s (GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud, 2018, etc.) 1996 collection of poems has been reissued, now enhanced with over half new content to inspire young writers.

The American-born daughter of Korean and Chinese immigrants, Wong separates her poems into the three sections of her identity: Korean, Chinese, and American. Each begins with an essay giving readers background information about her heritage and moves on to poems highlighting her memories and experiences relating to that culture. Each is now accompanied by new text on the facing page that expands upon the poem’s topic or theme with more details and stories from Wong’s life. Wong’s pointed and evocative poems leave much to interpretation, and the new material often forces readers into a single understanding of the poem’s meaning. However, it simultaneously gives aspiring writers a glimpse into how a poet might morph a theme or a single experience into a finished poem. Moreover, each poem is accompanied by related questions that can be used as springboards for further thought or writing prompts. Backmatter consists of advice for young writers, including how to get published and how to self-publish.

With its new content, this poetry collection now offers layers of meaning both literary and practical, making it a strong resource for teachers of creative writing, school libraries, and anyone interested in exploring identity and belonging. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-937057-33-6

Page Count: 99

Publisher: YUZU

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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