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April is National Poetry Month

The theme of #TitleTalk on Twitter last Sunday night was poetry in anticipation of Poetry Month in April. Teachers nationwide chatted about challenges and successes of teaching poetry in the classroom. Here are some poetry books for children of all ages that might inspire new ways to enjoy poetry in the classroom or at home.

A Foot in the Mouth
A Kick in the Head
A Poke in the I

"Readers will have the good fortune to experience poetry as art, game, joke, list, song, story, statement, question, memory. A primer like no other."School Library Journal (starred review) (Ages 8 -12) Candlewick Press, Editor: Paul B. Janeczko, Illustrator: Chris Raschka

Poetry tips for teachers from Paul B. Janeczko.

Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry, Anthologist: Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, Illustrator: Polly Dunbar Candlewick Press

"With lots of hugs and kisses, as well as messy nonsense and uproarious action, this big spacious anthology of more than 60 poems is a wonderful first book to read with babies and toddlers over and over again."Booklist (starred review)

Poetry Speaks Who I Am by Elise Paschen, Sourcebooks

“This volume of verse is aimed at teenagers and is, not surprisingly, full of strong emotion… It’s a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves.”

Stage a Poetry Slam by Marc Kelly Smith and Joe Kraynak, Sourcebooks

Poetry Speaks Expanded by Elise Paschen and Rebekah Mosby, Sourcebooks

“By the time you’re done, your biggest problem may be that you wish there was more.” Wall Street Journal

“The definitive anthology of poets reading their own work.”Publishers Weekly

Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets, Selected by Bruno Navasky, in association with the Academy of American Poets, Amulet Books

The perforated pages in Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets enable readers to select a poem they love, tear it out neatly from the book, and carry it with them all day to read, be inspired by, and share with family and friends.

Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry Edited by Elaine Bleakney and published in conjunction with the Academy of American Poets, with an introduction by Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate, Abrams Image

Download free poems for your pocket from Poets.org

Haikubes By Forrest-Pruzan Creative, Chronicle Books. Haikubes is a set of 63 word cubes. Simply roll the cubes and use the words that come up to create an expressive haiku.

Sterling Children’s Books Poetry for Young People Series

Click here for the entire series on the Sterling website.

Leave a comment and share your favorite poetry ideas, poets or poems. Enjoy National Poetry Month!

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Five starred reviews for Steampunk! edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant from Candlewick Press. Outstanding! Congratulations! ★★★★★

"Veteran editors Link and Grant serve up a delicious mix of original stories from 14 skilled writers and artists. Among the many high points: Cassandra Clare’s creepy “Some Fortunate Future Day,” in which a lonely girl, grown bored with her sentient clockwork dolls, develops a crush on a wounded soldier; Libba Bray’s subversively funny “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls,” which concerns a girl gang robbing trains and dirigibles on another planet (presumably a future Mars) heavily reminiscent of the Old West; Holly Black’s humorous and romantic “Everything Amiable and Obliging,” whose heroine, a rich orphan, must deal with her feelings toward her cousin and persuade his sister not to marry her clockwork dance instructor; and M.T. Anderson’s magisterial “The Oracle Engine,” which explores the political complexities resulting from the Roman Empire’s development of a Rube Goldberg–like supercomputer. Chockful of gear-driven automatons, looming dirigibles, and wildly implausible time machines, these often baroque, intensely anachronistic tales should please steampunks of all ages. As the lovelorn, mechanically gifted “hero” of comics artist Shawn Cheng’s contribution says, “The world is a machine. Imperfect parts together in a perfect arrangement.” - Publishers Weekly

"Steampunk is hot right now, as evidenced by the rush of titles featuring goggle-wearing heroines on their covers. Happily, there are gems to be found within the flood, and editors Link and Gavin treat fans, old and new, to an array of fantastically rich stories in this polished, outstanding collection. Skillful organization slots entries by authors less well known to YA readers between those by stars, including Libba Bray and Cory Doctorow, and the result is an anthology that is almost impossible to put down. The gears, goggles, automatons, and dirigibles are all here, but these gifted writers have used the steampunk trappings as a launchpad, leaping into their own unique explorations of what it is to be human in a world influenced by technology. Settings range from Appalachia to a Pacific island to an alternate Wales everything but Victorian London. M.T. Anderson reveals an engineers cunning revenge in ancient Rome; Delia Sherman explores what happens when a ghost inhabits a machine; Kelly Link blends faerie tropes with clockwork tinkerings; and Shawn Cheng and Kathleen Jennings present stories in a comic-style format. From rebellious motorists to girl bandits, the characters in this imaginative collection shine, and there isn’t a weak story in the mix; each one offers depth and delight.” - Booklist

“It is about time that steampunk short stories really got a focused and creative exploration in YA lit, and this anthology of fourteen pieces (all original to this volume) is an excellent start. A brief introduction references the murky beginnings of the term itself, the key themes that make it what it is, and the one intentional common thread here: none of the stories is set in the well-worn venue of Victorian London. It’s a brilliant idea, and it has clearly led to some intriguing approaches, as readers will encounter steampunk elements woven into the old Wild West, as in “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls” by Libba Bray, all the way to ancient (perhaps) Rome in M. T. Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine.” Wistful efforts at trying to will clockwork and gears to somehow improve one’s dreary life are explored in pieces that inspire pathos even as they are gorgeously rendered to be more than their tragic parts, such as Shawn Cheng’s short graphic piece “Seven Days Beset by Demons” and the modern “Steam Girl” by Dylan Horrocks. The variety of storytelling styles and lengths and the inclusion of two graphic stories enhance the value of this collection and ensure that the common themes avoid samey repetition. While there are plenty of YA novels dipping into this area, this impeccable anthology can serve as either an introduction to much of what makes steampunk what it is or a creative take for established fans who will be intrigued by the authorial tinkering. And since tampering and tinkering is not only how steampunk evolved into a subgenre but also is very much part of each of these stories, that is a nice point of intersection indeed. - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Most readers have become familiar with the essential steampunk elements: clockwork automatons, brass goggles, mad scientists, brave adventurers, and Victorian imagery. However, this collection of short stories by some of the best YA authors today, including Libba Bray, Garth Nix, and Cory Doctorow, offers something different and takes the steampunk ethos to a new level. Within these pages, there’s a little something for everyone. For the romantic, there is Holly Black’s “Everything Amiable and Obliging,” in which a clockwork automaton exceeds the bounds of its programming and falls in love with the beautiful daughter of its employer. And for the disillusioned, there is Link’s lovely and eerily sad “The Summer People,” in which a girl in Appalachia is forced to care for the mysterious inhabitants of an unusual house. M. T. Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine” is an alternate version of the story of Crassus of Rome that will delight history buffs. And Dylan Horrocks’s “Steam Girl,” the story of an unusual girl with steampunk sensibilities in modern times, will resonate with those who feel as though they don’t quite belong. Two stories told in comic book format will appeal to graphic-novel fans. There is not a weak story in the bunch. This exceptional anthology does great service to the steampunk subgenre and will do much to further its audience.– School Library Journal

"You can’t have steampunk without steam (and maybe some gears), but in the hands of a stellar cast of authors, everything else is open to interpretation. Tales range across space and time, from ancient Rome (sort of; M.T. Anderson takes history, adds a few gears and delivers a mind-boggling result) to a Dickensian North America, courtesy of Cory Doctorow, where maimed orphans fight the literal and figurative man; from Wales (Delia Sherman’s comedic “The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor”) to the melancholy present and a heroine who might be an accidental transplant from an altogether more exciting reality (Dylan Horrock’s “Steam Girl”). The collection is carefully organized, frontloaded with bound-to-be- popular selections from Libba Bray (girl power in the Old West) and Cassie Clare (unrequited love, talking dolls and second chances) and then moving into less well-known contributors. A couple of graphic tales mix with literary hard hitters like Elizabeth Knox (a dark, dreamy and tragic look at the nuances of relationships) and co-editor Link (whose “Summer People” riffs on old tales of Faeries and humans). Steampunk is hot at the moment in literature, art and fashion: This collection taps into the ethos without ever seeming topical or transient, thanks to contributions rich with much more than just steam and brass fittings. An excellent collection, full of unexpected delights.” - Kirkus

Goodreads.com Giveaway! 3 copies to giveaway until October 31, 2011.

Click here to visit the Steampunk! website.

9780763648435 $22.99 Hardcover


From Abrams Image: The Steampunk Bible by Jeff VanderMeer with S. J. Chambers.

An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature

7 x 10; 224 ppg
Hardcover; 150 color illustrations

Praise for The Steampunk Bible:

The Steampunk Bible is an informed, informative and beautifully illustrated survey of the subject.” - The Financial Times

The Steampunk Bible is far and away the most intriguing catalog of all things steam yet written.” -The Austin Chronicle

“It’s hard to imagine how VanderMeer and Chambers could have put together a stronger collection. Its publication marks a significant, self-conscious moment in the history of the movement.”
— PopMatters.com

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