Tag Archives: poetry

The Games In Which We Compete: A Review of ‘The Crossover’ and ‘Booked’

“Continue, dear young men, to give the best of yourselves in sports competitions, always remembering that the competitive spirit of the sportsman, though so noble in itself, must not be an end in itself, but must be subordinated to the far more noble requirements of the spirit. Therefore, while I repeat to you: be good sportsmen, I also say to you: be good citizens in family and social life, and, even more, be good Christians, who are able to give a superior meaning to life, in such a way as to be able to put into practice what the Apostle Paul said about athletes to Christians of his time: ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it … They (athletes) do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable’” (l Cor 9:24-25).—Saint Pope John Paul II from his address to the Bologna Soccer Team, December 9, 1978

The Crossover

Interest Level:


Grade Level Equivalent:


Review and Thoughts

Kwame Alexander’s book The Crossover would’ve made my basketball-lovin’ heart oh so happy back when I was in middle school.  Alexander uses poetry to write so passionately about the sport and brings in a close family to add to the drama of the novel. Continue reading The Games In Which We Compete: A Review of ‘The Crossover’ and ‘Booked’

Guard your Mind: A Review of ‘Poisoned Apples’

She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”–Proverbs 31:25

Suggested Grade Levels:

Grades 9-12

Review and Thoughts

My mother raised me to be a strong woman.  She always told us we could be anything we wanted to be and taught us to fight for our right to do certain things.  My mother ALSO taught us that we were still women.  She taught us that God had created us with special gifts and beauties that men do not possess and because of that, we have a lot to offer the world because of our sex. My feminism is strong, but I acknowledge my weaknesses and am appreciative of the strengths of the men I am surrounded by.  Our different strengths and weaknesses complement each other and we are better for having both sexes.  Perhaps this is why I had such a difficult time reading Poisoned Apples by Christine Hepperman. Continue reading Guard your Mind: A Review of ‘Poisoned Apples’

I Spy a Fun Read!:A Review of ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back, relax, all you need is a book.” Dr.  Seuss

Reading Level:

Grades K-1 [according to common core]

Grade   2.5 [according to Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which a student reading on grade could read the book independently]

Interest Level:

Grades K-2

Review and Comments:

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is a treasury of poetry, familiar fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters and corresponding illustrations that compliment every detail of the text.  It all begins with a little poem that invites the reader to play a game of “I Spy.”  Then the fun begins.  Young readers, even non readers, will love to listen carefully to the short rhyme on each page so they can identify familiar characters and then search for those characters in the illustrations.  The text is simple and repetitive and the very detailed and colorful pictures make the search lots of fun. This book is the perfect opportunity to introduce a few fairy tales and nursery rhymes to children or retell old favorites. Continue reading I Spy a Fun Read!:A Review of ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’

Rhythmical Creation of Beauty in Words: A Review of ‘Pocket Poems’

“Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes.”–Carl Sandburg

Grade Level:


Review and Comments:

Pocket Poems by Bobbi Katz is an anthology of 55 short poems that are both humorous and thought provoking. They cover subjects from nature themes to a twist on traditional stories like ‘Humpty Dumpty’, ‘The Old Woman in the Shoe’, and ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’. There is even a poem written in English and Spanish entitled “You – Tu.”  Teachers will find the poem using homophones and a few poems about punctuation marks good additions to English lessons.  My particular favorites are “The Drum” and [from]” Arithmetic.”  The poems are written by classic authors such as Emily Dickinson and Carl Sandburg along with contemporary authors like the author of the anthology, Bobbie Katz. Continue reading Rhythmical Creation of Beauty in Words: A Review of ‘Pocket Poems’