BRICKYARD SUMMER by Paul B. Janeczko


Email this review


From a much-praised anthologist for this age group, an approachable group of 30 of his own poems concerning the summer after eighth grade as experienced by the narrator and his best friend. From the last-day-of-school ""Bonfire"" of memorabilia (""the report on flax I delivered/ the day of the hurricane,/when a wedge of the ceiling collapsed/on the Blessed Virgin"") to ""The Kiss"" that ""started when I danced/with Molly Burke,/spelling champ/and crossing guard,/when I could feel/that bumpy bone in the middle of her back,"" these are a little prosaic, yet strongly evocative of that time of life when boy and man uneasily share one changing body. The dark side frequently surfaces here: the mischievously pursued cat ends up dead, as does one of the boys on the forbidden railway trestle; and though ""The gargoyle/owner of Gold's Fix-It Shop"" can mend most things, ""his history/tattooed on one wrist"" is a grim reminder that ""Some things remain forever broken."" Glints of humor and a good measure of compassion lighten this sometimes charming, always believable adolescent voice, while Rush's somber b&w paintings emphasize the poems' serious side. Fine for YA collections.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Page count: 53pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts