Monday, October 29, 2012

LAUGH, ESCAPE, THINK with Steven Herrick



My reading adventures over the past few weeks have seen me visiting some old friends.  I already mentioned that I cleaned out the works of Steven Herrick from the school library.  I am combining a few themes to tell you about a few of the Steven Herrick books I have been enjoying lately.    

LAUGH

Love Poems and Leg Spinners is a verse novel about class 5B.  Illustrated by Steven’s son, the book is written from the perspective of five year 5 students.  Topics cover teachers, lessons, games, playground conversations, families and religion.  The world through the eyes of 10 year olds provides quite a chuckle for me as a grown up.  I read a few of the poems to my year 8 class and they actually cracked a smile. 

ESCAPE

I believe I may have covered this topic in the past, but I will quickly remind you that reading is my escape hatch.  The world is so much better when my head is in a book.  A Place Like This screams "escape" from many angles.  The story follows Annabel and Jack who have to escape their safe suburban lives to see they’ve really lived. The poems are written from the perspective of all the characters and Herrick seamlessly morphs between voicses.  When I read A Place Like This, it felt like I was watching a reality show and the characters were telling me what they were thinking and feeling as the action unfolded before me.  We see people of different ages choose between escaping or not.  It is an interesting read. 

THINK

I have probably covered this theme in the past as well, but I will say it again.  Reading is Thinking and true engagement with text requires and stimulates thought.  Reading Verse Novels over the recent weeks has led me to think about Steven Herrick (as an author and a person). He reveals much of his upbringing and experience in his books.  There are so many similarities between Herrick’s main characters.  I began to make connections between the experiences of the characters and I can see Herrick’s history in them.  But, the significant thought is that of returning to verse writing.  I love writing poetry.  I would like to try my hand at more free form verse and I think I can learn a great deal from Steven Herrick’s style. 


Next Week will be November! I will be covering the NYR Theme: Cry.  This will probably be the first time I manage to cover the theme in the same month. 

Happy Monday and Happy Reading! :D


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