HOME TO ME by Lee Bennett Hopkins


Poems Across America
edited by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Hopkins and Alcorn (Hoofbeats, Claws, and Rippled Fins, p. 46, etc.) repeat their successful collaboration with a new themed collection. Fifteen poets were commissioned to write about the special places in America that are dear to their hearts. The poets seem to have been selected by the diversity of their geographical locations. Perhaps it was originally intended as a kind of journey through America; what has emerged is a rather powerful sense of Americans who not only love their country, but their particular corner of it. The poets describe the beauty of a beloved place, or the life-affecting significance of that place. Many indicate a sense of spiritual ownership with the repeated use of possessive pronouns. Joan Bransfield Graham writes, “What do I like best about the sea? The fact that it belongs to ME!” Similarly Patricia Hubbell writes, “On my island far at sea, this island-home to me.” Other poets feel the deep roots of home as a connection to the past and a sense of belonging. Joseph Bruchac understands that “hidden roots still give you strength.” While roaming along mountain trails Fran Haraway knows “if briefly, where I am and where I plan on going.” These are the farms, islands, small towns, deserts, mountains, prairies, and cities, each place unnamed, a place of the heart rather than a particular dot on a map. Each poem is given a two-page spread with a banner title. Alcorn’s softly colored, stylized illustrations interpret the text in imagery that is both literal and figurative. The wind blows on the prairie, mermaids swirl in the waves, a loon splashes in the lake, a farmer milks a cow, and a child waves to neighbors. The endpapers are decorated with samples of the places encountered in the poems. Hopkins provides a thoughtful introduction, and an afterword that introduces each poet and where they live. A lovely work. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-439-34096-9
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002


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