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Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems
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Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  487 Ratings  ·  102 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 ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 18th 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Michael Jones
Oct 10, 2016 Michael Jones rated it it was amazing
Parody and poetry, two of my favorites jammed together into a delicious sandwich of words containing just the right amount of peanut butter.
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 ...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
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.
Bryan Wanlass
Oct 28, 2016 Bryan Wanlass rated it really liked it
I liked it
Natalie
Oct 06, 2016 Natalie rated it liked it
Fun book of poems. I didn't love it because I don't love having to turn my book every which way to read it. I'm not that exciting.

My favorite poem was the letter he wrote to his aunt. The footnotes describing how he REALLY felt were hilarious and totally relatable.

I'm hoping that the kiddos will like it and come to appreciate poetry more.
Julie W
Sep 19, 2016 Julie W rated it it was ok
Another one to check off for Battle of the Books. Not impressed. There were a few good poems and the creative pictures made with the text were fun but too much use of the word stupid and crude bodily function subjects. This one might be popular with the younger boys but as I said earlier, not impressed.
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 ...more
Chris
Jul 23, 2016 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
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 ...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
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
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 ...more
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
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
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
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
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
Bethany
May 21, 2010 Bethany rated it really liked it
A school bus that eats children, the autobiography of a fart, an annotated thank you letter for a hideous sweater, and the best excuse for not mowing the lawn are just a few of the poems in this collection. Each concrete poem is told from the perspective of Robert, an 11-year-old boy who likes skateboards, video games, and tricking the class bully. The poems are funny, gross, goofy, sarcastic, and insightful--much like a pre-teen boy. Even readers who don't like poetry can get into these poems.
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 ...more
Kathryn
Jan 26, 2013 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
As an elementary school teacher, I have found that kids love to read and write poetry ... especially when it is in a unique form, and when it is hilariously funny. You don't get much more creative than concrete poetry! And the poems that are presented in this collection are funny! There is even a poem about a fart, which the boys, especially, thought was the end all be all of poetry. They couldn't wait to go back to their seats and try their own "gross" poems after that!
Becky
Awesome, just wonderful! This was my first experience of concrete poems, at least a whole book of them and I loved it. I liked how the character of Robert was throughout the book. Also, this would be great for a middle school and possibly an intermediate class. It would just show them that poems can come in all different formats. It would be really interesting to see the kids do their own concrete poems.
Amanda
Jul 22, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
I use this book when I do poetry programs, and the kids LOVE it!

However, adults in the room sometimes, do not approve of all of the subject matter or how the brother and sister in the book treat each other--be warned if you use this book that you may get mild looks of "really?" all the way to down to a talk about appropriate choices (haha).

*I also talk about censorship in my poetry programs!
Brenda Engelhardt
Mar 22, 2013 Brenda Engelhardt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I am not an artistic person - but I am visual. This book combines the art of word choice and organization into visual concepts. The themes were higher elementary and could also work for younger middle school aged children.

I felt that I was reading a poem and a puzzle at the same time.

This would be a terrific book to engage boys or non-poetry lovers in. In fact, I want to make this a mentor text for writing a concrete poem.
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.
Jennifer
Jan 28, 2016 Jennifer 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.
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