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Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems
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Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  439 ratings  ·  123 reviews
A 15-year-old girl named Jessie voices typical—and not so typical—teenage concerns in this unique, hilarious collection of poems. Her musings about trying out new makeup and hairstyles, playing volleyball and cello, and dealing with her annoying younger brother are never boring or predictable. Who else do you know who designs her own clothes and writes poetry to her cat? J ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published May 21st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Katie Carson
I loved the creativity that comes with writing concrete poetry and Blue Lipstick is exemplary of this. The story of a teenager sorting her way through high school is brilliantly told through a variety of styles, shapes and fonts. As in all concrete poetry, the form of the writing tells the story along with the words themselves. What I really liked about Blue Lipstick in particular is that the author never strays from the story in order to include a poem. With each new narrative poem, the story o ...more
Recommended for Ages 10 and up
Kirkus Reviews
After suffering indignities at the pen of little brother Robert (Technically, It's Not My Fault, 2004), big sister Jessie gets her chance. In full adolescent voice, she talks of the disastrous day she dyed her hair blue, the misery of pep rallies, the futility of talking to grownups and the path of a secret. As in the previous volume, the poems are shaped by their subjects, so in "The Bowling Party," the reader gets a bird's-eye view of Jessie's shots-
Abby Johnson
In a collection of concrete poems that are more fun visually than intellectually, Blue Lipstick gives a snapshot of 9th grader Jessie's life. Poems cover everything from an emotional graph of her day (stretching from "Shaving My Head and Running Away" to "Ridiculously Happy") to Zombie Jocks (my personal favorite) and making a poem that a cat would appreciate (cut onto strips, attached to a hanger, "She loved it. She batted at it for an hour.") Certainly fun to look at and to read. Kids will eat ...more
Written from the viewpoint of a teenage girl, this collection of poems brilliantly portrays the thoughts, feelings, and issues of being an awkward high school kid. Students will be able to easily relate to these poems, as the words visibly show the actions or emotions being expressed. Some of the poems are about lighthearted topics, while others are more serious. I would recommend this books for middle schoolers. However, concrete poems will appeal to students of all ages and this book is a grea ...more
great book,the words are set up very creativley and everyone is waiting for me to check it back in. Im not going to check it back in for a while... even though i already finished it! :)
On my recent trip to the library, this was the only book on my list that I could find. I was somewhat disappointed in the size, knowing that I'd finish it in no time. I'm glad I picked it up though. While it wasn't what I expected, nor the gripping novel I was hoping for, it was still a good, light read. The poems were very honest and easy to identify with. I do have to say I wasn't a huge fan of having to turn the book sideways and upside down to read some of the passages. However, I appreciate ...more
Richie Partington
19 June 2007 BLUE LIPSTICK: CONCRETE POEMS by John Grandits, Clarion, May 2007, ISBN: 0-618-56860-3 (hardcover) 0-618-85132-1 (paperback).

Three years after its publication, I continue to regularly turn middle school students onto John Grandits' first, incredibly fun book of concrete poems. That first book, TECHNICALLY, IT'S NOT MY FAULT, which is made up of a series of poems that are created through an interplay of text and graphics, involves the exploits of a boy named Robert. The fun begins on
Brandy Shark
At random, I pulled this book off the shelf because it looked very interesting.

I think that it's a good concept, and I loved the typography of the poems, but I think the book fell a little short.

Blue Lipstick is a book of poetry from the point of view of a teenage girl. A simple look at her daily life, but what I found the book lacking, oddly enough, was creativity. The typography aside, there wasn't anything really special about the poems. They were the media, stereotype thoughts of a teenage
Chris Murray
This is a collection of poems written by fictional 15-year-old Jessie. They say, write what you know, so Jessie writes about bad hair days, talking to her stupid younger brother, her emotional day, and volleyball practice, among other things. This is typical teen stuff, but what is not typical is the layout and design of the poems. In A Chart of My Emotional Day, the printing spikes up and down on a grid that ranges from “Shaving my Head and Running Away” to “Ridiculously Happy.” In Volleyball P ...more
Robert Beveridge
John Grandits, Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems (Clarion, 2007)

I might have ended up liking this book better had I known from the outset it's the sequel to another Grandits book (which I haven't read), but I don't know about that. I have a tendency to be very touchy when it comes to the subject of poetry (after all, I wrote the stuff for more years than I care to count), and the plethora of young-adult-oriented “verse novels” in recent years has in general, when I have encountered them, made me wan
Blue Lipstick is a really cute book that is all concrete poems. Every poem tells about a girl named Jessie’s life. It describes school, looks, sports, music, and other issues in young girls’ lives. All the poems are in the shape of the topic that the poem is describing. There are different ads and activities that go along with the poems.
I loved this book. The poems were all really clever. Students could really relate to what Jessie is going through at her school. My favorite poem was “All my i
Grandits, John. 2007. BLUE LIPSTICK: CONCRETE POEMS. NewYork: Clarion. ISBN 9780618568604

Blue Lipstick is a collection of poems written by a 15-year-old girl named Jessie. The poems are written about the trials and tribulations she has of her life and the people and circumstances within it. Her troubles range from an annoying little brother to the school bus driver. The poems are all written in unique shapes and designs that reflect the content of the writing. I loved tur
Hey, everyone I just finished John Grandits' book "Blue Lipstick". The book was easy to read and quick, but it was fun and made you want to continue. The reason why I was attracted to this book was because of the fact it was all concrete poems. There is not many books out there where the words create the pictures. My favorite poem was "Point A to Point B". I think the most creative way Grandits formatted the words was in the poem "Go Look in the Mirror!”. The story of the book was also amusing b ...more
I’ve always loved concrete poems. When I taught back East, I worked in a private school. I was in charge of the yearbook which was anything but traditional. We had each of our seventh graders write a concrete poem to an eighth grader who would be graduating from our school. Many of our students had attended our school since preschool.

One of the poems that I really enjoyed in Blue Lipstick is called “The Wall.” It is written from the perspective of a young girl who after
Dad said, "It's not easy to
be creative." And I thought
to myself, "You wouldn't
believe how creative I have
to be just to get through
the day." He said, "It's tough
being an artist. You've got
to struggle for years. People
often misunderstand your
work. You've got to be thick-
skinned because critics can
be cruel. You don't have any
money. And in many ways
you're really alone." And I said,
"It sounds like high school."

- from "Mondrian"

This is a companion book to Technically, It's Not My Fault that improves
Being a teenage girl has never been s fun or creative. In John Grandits' Blue Lipstick, Jessie struggles with all the highs and lows of high school life from missing the bus to fighting with her brother to hating the cheerleaders because they ARE cheerleaders. She also learns a lot of tough lessons along the way, like don't trust your best bud to dye your hair and sometimes people you know can surprise you with kindness. Jessie is irreverent and fun, warm and delightful.
Concrete poems are poems that embody the shape of what they describe. The words are arranged or drawn or somehow visually (as well as textually) represent what they’re about. Grandits writes from the point of view of Jessie, a high school teenager, and each of these poems describes in some way what her life is like. There’s a poem called “Bad Hair Day,” and another that charts her “Emotional Day” and another about a pep rally where the cheerleaders are drawn in words: stupid little skirt, pom po ...more
Michele Velthuizen
Interest level: 7th +
Reading level: easy
Genre: poetry, concrete poems, shape poems, humor

Even those of you who don't care too much about poetry will enjoy this short and hilarious book of concrete poems by George Grandits (he also wrote "Technically, It's Not My Fault", another book of poetry).

Concrete poems take the shape of the subject they describe so theyíre a lot of fun. For example, in the poem called "Allergic to Time", the author wrote the poem in the shape of an hour glass.
Grandits uses concrete poetry to tell the tale of a high school girl called Jesse. She's a vegetarian, has issues with jocks, cheerleaders, and riding the bus, but broadens her perspective on a lot through her first year in high school. A lot of the poems are really funny. Like Grandits first book from Robert's point of view, Jesse's little brother, the poems tell a story, but some of them could work alone if you don't like the entire collection. I think this collection is more wordy and difficu ...more
Jessica McIntyre
The book “Blue Lipstick” by John Grandits is filled with concrete poems intended for children. The main character throughout the book is a girl named Jessie and she is talking about her everyday struggles and concerns. Some of the poems are silly and nonsensical, but they are all very relatable for children and teenagers. Each of the poems is drawn into an image or design that is related to the words, making the poems even more appealing for the reader.
The poems within the book are mostly appe
Fifteen-year-old Jessie voices her teenage concerns about her annoying brother, school, dumb jocks, and more in this unique, hilarious collection of poems. Jessie's strong opinions are revealed through concrete poetry: words, ideas, type, and design that combine to make pictures and patterns. The poems are inventive, irreverent, irresistible, and full of surprises--just like Jessie--and the playful layout and ingenious graphics extend the wry humor.

I'm not usually a big fan of poetry, but this b
Junior high girls will love this book. I think they'll find the voice of Jessie very convincing. Her insights, gripes, and sarcastic humor are so genuine. They'll want to be friends with this girl. (Or better yet, they'll want to write their own concrete poems!) However, part of the appeal is that the book can be risque. Jessie talks about how she doesn't like "smokers (of anything!)," uses the word "boobs," wears a wide-neck t-shirt that reveals "one black bra strap," yells at her younger broth ...more
This book was great, The whole way it's written just pulled me in, even though it was a bit confusing.. This book was about a girl named Jessie, who was telling about her struggles through middle school life, about cheerleading and adults always looking for you to do your best. I can really relate to this because I have been through the stuff Jessie has been through, even though I don't have a annoying little brother ;) Right now I'm reading the sequel, "It's not my fault" Which is her brother R ...more
Amy Taylor
A collection of concrete poems written in the point of view of a 15-year girl named Jessie. It's the second book of poems written by John Grandits. The first was titled Technically, It's Not My Fault and was written from the point of view of an 8 year old boy Robert. Robert is a very interesting little boy who had a lot to say about his older sister, you guessed it, Jessie. Blue Lipstick is Jessie's turn to give her side of the story. I really enjoyed this book, although I sometimes had a hard t ...more
Dan Thorson
Grandits offers a unique set of poetry told from the mind of a high school-aged girl named Jessie. The subjects of her poems cover a fairly typical range of topics pertaining to growing up, coping with an annoying little brother, and trying to survive high school. Grandits presents this material, however, in a very atypical way. These fine examples of concrete poetry often demands a physical interaction with its reader as the words twist and flip across the pages in order to visually convey the ...more
Linnea McGowan
I stole this from my co-worker Leslie's box today... I know... I'm a really, really bad person and Leslie I'm so sorry! I just had to know what "Blue Lipstick" was about, and then when I saw it was concrete poems... well... I just had to read it!

I read this over about an hour (helping patrons along the way) and there were some that just KILLED me (Zombie Jocks; Grownups: Talking A+, Listening D-; and Poems Inspired by the Free Perfume Samples at Carson's) so I have to give this the VERY solid f
This collection is a companion to Grandits’ first book of concrete poetry, Technically, It’s Not My Fault, featuring poems by a fictional boy named Robert. In Blue Lipstick Robert’s sister, Jessie, reveals her feelings about high school and teen struggles. From bad hair days and dealing with her little brother, stupid pep rallies, and zombie jocks, to the art of Mondrian, mood swings, volleyball practice and popularity--or the lack thereof--Jessie opens up in terrifically creative concrete poems ...more
538pm_jacqueline Lyles
ALA notable book for children
2008 Lee Bennett Hopkins poetry award honor
4th grade

A teenage girl named Jessica talks about what a typical teen or preteen girl might go through from bad hair day to an annoying brother, to charting an emotional day in this book of concrete poems. What I liked most about the book was the shapes that the poems are in. Some are shaped like an angel, volley ball match and a shower. Can't say I enjoyed the poems though. I just didn't feel like they were all that creati
(NS) Laura Jackson
This is a book that has a collection of poems about a teenage girl. Jessie is a 15-year-old girl that shares her teenage concerns. She uses her voice to generate poems that are unique and humorous, which make them enjoyable for middle school students and high school students to read. Some of her poems include topics including playing volleyball, her relationship with her younger brother, trying new hairstyles, wearing make-up, and playing a musical instrument. Jessie enjoys writing her own poetr ...more
Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems by John Grandits was my first encounter with concrete poetry, which is poetry written in shapes. This book of poems focuses on a 15-year-old named Jessie as she discusses typical teenage, female angst. Each page displays a new poem written into a unique shape. I think the use of concrete poetry was really well done and kept my attention really well, however, I could have used a few more poems to make Jessie feel a bit more well rounded as a character. I liked the st ...more
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