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Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  458 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
An eleven-year-old boy named Robert voices typical—and not so typical—middle-grade concerns in this unique, memorable collection of hilarious poems. His musings cover the usual stuff, like pizza, homework, thank-you notes, and his annoying older sister. In addition, he speculates about professional wrestling for animals, wonders why no one makes scratch-and-sniff fart stic ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 18th 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,236)
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David Schaafsma
I picked this up for the kids because of the title, which is mildly amusing to me, and because it is a collection of concrete poems. Also, it is for late el/ms kids, which loosely tells the story of an 11 year old kid named Robert through the poems. The cover is an apology that gives you the background for the story, and him as kid.

* The thank you letter to Aunt Hilda for the gift of a sweater (that is attached to funny footnotes making it clear he hates the sweater, and so on)

*The (missed) lay-
...more
Sarah
Oct 12, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is a highly enjoyable, unique book of poems. Through humorous concrete poetry, the author allows us to see into the world of a fictional 11-year-old boy. Each poem poses a creative way of looking at a situation—especially according to an 11-year-old boy. My favorite has to be “The Autobiography of Murray the Fart.” Using only a drawing of the outline of a cylindrical shape (which can be interpreted as a can of soda) and the arrangement of the words, Mr. Grandits is able to convey the journe ...more
Jordon Worley
Sep 30, 2012 Jordon Worley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Technically, It's Not My Fault is a wonderful poetry book for children. These are some of the most creative poems I have ever read. The poems are written in a way that illustrates the text. For instance, in the poem "Skateboard," the text goes down as the skateboard goes down. The text also wraps around into a figure eight as the author describes the skateboard going around in a figure eight. I think that children would love reading this book of poetry because it shows that poetry does not have ...more
Crystal Navarro
Sep 15, 2012 Crystal Navarro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Wow what a fun little collection of poems! I almost like this- almost- as much Hate That Cat and Love That Dog, which are two very wonderful free verse poetry books.

The thing that I loved the most about this little book of poetry (and here you will see my education background start to pop out) is the fact that this book is interactive. You have to twist it and turn it around in order to read all the lines as the poetry literally flows around the pages. The content is funny and would be a great o
...more
Ch_13catherinecooper
Mar 14, 2013 Ch_13catherinecooper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Technically, It's Not my Fault is a fantastic book for middle and high school students (potentially some elementary students also). It provides a collection of poetry (some humorous, serious or informational) in a variety of formats. For example, a poem entitled, "My Stupid Day" the poem is written in a circle around the page in the shape of a clock--with the poem describing what the person does throughout the day. In another example, a poem entitled, "How We Ended Up With A Strange Pizza", the ...more
Dora
Mar 12, 2013 Dora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Booklist calls this title "winning, highly creative collection" that also serves the purpose to "convince readers that poetry can be loud, outrageous, gross fun".

I couldn't agree more! "Technically, It's Not My Fault" is a collection of concrete poems from the perspective of a middle school student. Like most concrete poems, the poet uses the language and the placement of words to convey a message. In this case, John Grandits uses it to portray humor in the daily life of a growing adolescent. Th
...more
Teresa Scherping
These are not your average poems. Each one may tell a story in the life of 11-year-old Robert, but you've probably never seen a poem document a TyrannosaurBus Rex or the autobiography of a fart. You've also probably never seen poems spread across the page to look like an octopus fighting a boa constrictor or the coolest roller coaster ever invented. These concrete poems are perfect for any kid who loves a good laugh and mistakenly thinks that poetry isn't for them.

As poetry books go, this is a p
...more
Catherine Toca
Mar 29, 2015 Catherine Toca rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdg-291
This book is incredibly clever and fun to read!

The book is comprised of fun concrete poems. The poems are geared towards older elementary school and middle school kids. The subject matter is fun for them to read and relevant to their lives. Although there are no illustrations in the book, the idea behind concrete poetry is that the poems themselves makeup the drawings.

For example, the poem in the book entitled "How We Ended Up With a Plain Pizza" is written in the shape of a pizza, complete wit
...more
Abby Johnson
Dec 05, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
This collection of concrete poems stars Robert, a seventh-grade boy, as he goes through his school day, plays basketball and baseball, smashes the car with a concrete block, farts, gets a present from his aunt, and much, much more.

Thumbs up. Cool poems that are unusual enough for kids to want to look at them and relevant enough for kids to identify with.
Chris
Dec 09, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
The concrete aspect is merely a bonus, as the words themselves convey excellent personality and voice. Each poem is a brief vignette from the life of eleven-year-old Robert, a peek inside his head. He's clever, sardonic, and snarky, someone who feels very real and familiar. His poems are expressions of his cleverness, sardonicism, and snarkiness.

Like the "TyrannosaurBus Rex," that:

Early in the morning, I spy
a group of small human children
standing on the corner of Elm and Spring.
I slam on my brak
...more
Meghan
May 13, 2012 Meghan rated it it was amazing
The author uses several metaphors and similes in his poems while still being very simplistic in his writing. The “shape” of each poem helps readers to visually “see” what the poem does not say in words. The use of these together helps to create a better understanding of the poem’s meaning for younger or reluctant readers. The poems are written in free verse with some of them being only three lines long. The poems presented in this book are used to humor people and make them laugh. The author us ...more
Courtney
Nov 21, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it
This was my selection for my poetry book. This was a collection of concrete poems all about the life of a boy named Robert, who finds himself in so many stereotypical boy situations. There are poems not just about ituations but also about things he enjoys such as basketball. This was such an enjoyable and hilarious book. I think I laughed while reading every single one of the poems that were written in this book. My favorite poem was "The Thank You Letter",which included footnotes. I thought thi ...more
Denise
Mar 22, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it
This is not rhyming poetry. But the prose and drawings are the laugh-out-loud-funny view of an 11-year-old boy about life. One thing that makes the stories fun is that they are not written straight out. The words are integrated into the drawings. It's a nice change of reading pace. It is also in a format (concrete poetry) that is user-friendly and may well encourage readers to write concrete poems of their own.
Jake
May 05, 2015 Jake rated it it was amazing
when I started reading this book I was confused because of the twists and turns. But after a couple pages I got used to loops by turning the book around and around. my favorite poem in the book was tyrannosaurBus Rex. it was my favorite because of the way they made a every day non living thing into a living monster eating kids then describing what was going on then throwing up. 10 out of 10 would read again XD.
Jennifer K
Jan 28, 2016 Jennifer K rated it really liked it
...Technically, It's Not my Fault is a fantastic book of concrete poems. They are from the point of view of a boy who finds himself annoying his sister and cousin, trying to explain missing homework, and other child-relatable activities. Two of my favorites are Skateboard and Roller Coaster because the poems really create a fun image. This is not traditional poetry therefore it has a broad appeal.
Adrienne
May 09, 2015 Adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, poetry
I don't like this one as much as I like Blue Lipstick (which is concrete poems from the POV of Robert's teenage sister), but that could be because I don't relate to an 11-year-old boy as much as I do to a teenage girl, having been one once myself. Still, this book is cool; I love the idea of concrete poems and Grandits does a great job showing us the inside of an 11-year-old boy's head.
Jenni
Mar 15, 2014 Jenni rated it really liked it
This was such a creative collection of poetry. The author uses words to create a picture as well as a poem. For instance, The Skateboard follows the up, down, and curves one would make while riding a skateboard. It forces you to move the book in all kinds of directions to read the text - incredibly clever! Also, the poems are quite funny in nature. A great find!
Kerri
Mar 20, 2009 Kerri rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel-in-verse
3/15 - This looks cool because it is by the fictional little brother of the high school girl who "wrote" Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems. I loved that book but it was pretty much a high school read. This one might be good for middle schoolers since the main character is a middle schooler. We shall see...

3/21 - Finished it today and I was right! This is perfect for middle school and younger. My 10 year old laughed at a few of them (Autobiography of a Fart and the gravestone for the pet whose "insid
...more
Mary Ann
Mar 09, 2010 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 6th, humor, families, 4th, boys, poetry, 5th
Any book that has a poem called “The Autobiography of Murray the Fart” is going to make kids laugh and want to read more. These poems are all told from the point of view of Robert, an 11 year old boy who is clever but bored. “Technically, it’s not Robert’s fault that a concrete block fell on the car or that his sister’s homework got blown to smithereens. Really, he doesn’t try to cause trouble. He’s just an ordinary kid who likes pizza and sports and computer games.” Grandits creates visually en ...more
Courtney Harden
Nov 30, 2013 Courtney Harden rated it it was amazing
1. Grandits, John Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems


This is a Poetry book about the narrator's magnificent curiosity that can get him into a bit of trouble. It is a book that will keep the interest of students in 4-8 grades. They will be able to enjoy how they relate to the book. Along will that students will be learning about poetry and how it is and expression through writing. I can see this being used in the classroom with the During Reading strategy Rereading(Beers, pg. 110). Stu
...more
West Region,
Middle School - Poetry

Technically, It’s Not My Fault
By John Grandits

Take a look at Robert’s crazy view of the world through a series of poems that are shaped into pictures and patterns.

Here Robert takes his new skateboard to the 7-Eleven parking lot; is kicked out, and goes to the park, is kicked out, and goes home, and is kicked out.

Robert also enjoys playing a little bball, dribbling up the court, making a lay-up, the ball going around and around and around the rim – Oh, no, Robert was robbed
...more
Macy Oliver
Jan 23, 2015 Macy Oliver rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good because the person telling the story was like me. I didn't have a favorite part because it was all poems and it's hard to have a favorite poem.
Bridgit
Oct 21, 2012 Bridgit rated it really liked it
Grade/interest level: Upper Elementary/Middle School
Reading level: not found
Genre: Poetry
Main Characters: n/a
Setting: n/a
POV: Robert

The main character Robert takes his readers into the daily life of a young boy who gets into mischief, is bored at school, and writes about the weirdness of his family--all through concrete poetry.

This is a fun and funny book of poetry that teaches students how creative poetry can be. This can be used during a poetry unit on freeverse poems. The content is acces
...more
Lauren
Jul 17, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, black
The poems in this book were creatively shaped and my students would probably get some enjoyment from this one, but the story lacked a cohesive theme and there was just a bit too much rude and immature humor here for me.

Interest Level: Grades 6 - 8
Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5
Guided Reading: Q
Genre: Poetry and Rhymes
Wiola703
Mar 23, 2010 Wiola703 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7th-grade-books
Even though I'm not finished with this book, I can already say its really good, I read the first book "Blue Lipstick" which is about a girl named Jessie struggling through her middle school years. Both books are written in "poem" form, The really cool thing is that it's written in all crazy ways, this book is short so be sure that you have an extra book in hand, becuase once you start reading this, you can't stop. It's like an addiction, a drug, haha nice comparison to a book huh? Well, anyways, ...more
Kedron Skiles
Mar 30, 2015 Kedron Skiles rated it liked it
roger gets yelled at three times for riding his skate board. he goes home and watches TV. his yells at him for not being active.
Emma Mohler
May 20, 2015 Emma Mohler rated it it was ok
It was ok. I do not like poems at all. So this book was hard for me to enjoy.
NicAlba
Jul 24, 2014 NicAlba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved it. Hilarious. Such great fun. It was like being a kid again :)
TA Flatland
Mar 11, 2016 TA Flatland rated it liked it
Shorter than I expected...
Susan
Nov 03, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Robert, an 11 year old (fictional) boy who I may possibly be related to since he sounds an awful lot like one of my sons, writes this collection of concrete poems from the Thank-You Letter (very funny) and his thoughts on the Australian Cane Toad (hey, my kid did a whole report on those!), and important subjects like Octopus wrestling and the Autobiography of Murray the Fart (I kid you not). Boys will get over their Emily Dickensonian phobias when they realize poetry can embrace their inner Capt ...more
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