Friday, May 16, 2008

42 Miles on a Poetry Friday


Until this year
my parents lived
four blocks apart
in Cincinnati.

Until this year
I went
to Liberty Elementary.

Until this year
I was average height
had clear skin
and didn't need glasses
to see the blackboard.

was easier
until this year.

I have really gotten into the free verse novels this year. Home of the Brave, Summerhouse Time, and Where I Live, have been some of my favorites. 42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is no exception. Quite a bit heavier then the others, it will appeal to an older audience, but I couldn't help thinking of our 5th graders as they move to middle school. The transition years are hard enough on kids, but when JoEllen has to deal with her parents living in two completely different worlds, only 42 miles apart, her transition to teen is made even harder. The first part of the book is filled with her 12 year old angst of living two lives between Cincinnati with her mom and the farm life with her dad. When a teacher assigns an autobiography, and JoEllen realizes she doesn't know who she is. Is she Ellen from the city, or Joey from the farm. She is also missing much of her personal history since her parents have been divorced since her birth. The assignment forces JoEllen to look at her life and take some control when she turns 13. The poetry turns hopeful as she brings her two worlds together.


The old me
would've missed out
on everything.
The new me
called Dad
canceled my weekend
on the farm
and went to see
Tamika's dance recital
Annie's judo competition
and a jazz showcase downtown.

The new me asked Dad
if I could invite Annie and Tamika
out to the farm
at least once a month
and have a room
that's truly my own.

The new me
described the grand slam
that ended the Reds'
six-game losing streak.

Have you met the new me yet?

For more Poetry Friday go here.


  1. This looks great. Nice cover, too. I find verse novels so satisfying to read---they deliver with every word.

  2. Tagged for a meme when you all have time!!!