Monday, December 28, 2009

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge

More than just a baseball story! I love the title and cover, which may be enough to draw in some reluctant, boy readers. This novel-in-verse by Koertge was a quick read, but with lots to recommend. Perhaps this book would not appeal to the older, more sophisticated reader, but for freshmen or sophomore boys, or for an older, struggling reader, it is a hit. (Ha!)

I thought the concept of writing a journal about writing poetry using different styles of poems was a clever technique, and would be a great way to introduce a poetry unit to an ELA class. I think most kids know sonnets and Haikus...but a sestina?! What a great introduction to poetry. Not that it is of the same caliber as The Braid, but what an interesting pairing these two books could make for a pre-poetry unit! Anyone remember that book from an older blog? It is still in the blog history...check it out!

I loved how Koertge slowly unfolded Kevin's story...and he does it with such sparse words, in only 116 pages. One review I read said, "This funny and poignant novel celebrates the power of writing to help young people make sense of their lives and unlock and confront their problems." I agree! This I thought, is what I liked best about the book. Makes it a home run in my book.

Anyone else?