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This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
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This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness

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4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  634 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
When Mrs. Merz asks her sixth grade class to write poems of apology, they end up liking their poems so much that they decide to put them together into a book. Not only that, but they get the people to whom they apologized to write poems back.

In haiku, pantoums, two-part poems, snippets, and rhymes, Mrs. Merz’s class writes of crushes, overbearing parents, loving and losing
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 9th 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30)
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Esther Barajikian
Through this collection of poems, the reader catches a glimpse into the way that children think and feel, at least through the eyes of the author, Joyce Sidman. The first half of the book consists of a collection of short poems written by the imaginary class of teacher, Mrs. Merz. These poems express words of apology for a variety of "offenses" such as getting carried away in a dodgeball game, stabbing a sister with a pencil, and breaking garage windows - to name a few.

The second half of the bo
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Sylvia
Sep 07, 2008 Sylvia rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jess
Feb 24, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 5th grade, junior high kids with prompt, teachers/libraians, fans of apology poems
Recommended to Jess by: Kathy
Shelves: middle-grade, poetry, z_09
Inspired by WCW's "This is Just to Say," a fictional class writes and sends a set of apology poems and then receives responses, in poetry, of course.

I rather like this faux anthology. It's been done than I expected. Sidman went farther than just lighthearted fair and the book is better for it. This isn't to say it's not fun, because it is. It's just that the variety--of styles, of topics--make it good.

This thing has so many uses. Kids will get a kick out of it as well parents. Teachers/Librarian
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Bernice
Nov 17, 2009 Bernice rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
What a neat book! This book was originally written by a class of sixth graders who were working on an assignment to write poems to say you're sorry. It turned out so successful that they turned it into a book. It didn't stop there! In addition, they all got to write responses to the people whom they apologized to. They also had an artistic classmate create all of the illustrations. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind story! I loved how the apologies were sometimes not apologies, but excuses. It r ...more
Anna
Feb 20, 2008 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: children-800
I really like the idea of this book, poems of apology and their responses of forgiveness, but I was distracted by the fact that they were all written by one person. The book jacket makes it seem as if a sixth grade class has written poems of apology to one another and received poems of forgiveness back. This isn't the case, the author has simply used this idea as the framework for her compilation (which was kind of a bummer). I also wished the apology and forgiveness poems were together, with on ...more
Samantha
Mar 13, 2010 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was a very touching collection of poems. A group of 6th graders wrote poems apologizing to someone. The people that received the poems wrote back. Some of the poems were written by a group effort to fill in the gaps. The poems have a lot of emotion, which make them authentically interesting. The illustrations add to the sweetness of the poems and really fit with the tone.

I think this book would be great for introducing poetry to middle school students. It would show them how to write about
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Paul
Dec 31, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit, poetry
If I'm biased about this book, it's because it was given to me by good friends who wished us well as we read it together - thank you Rachel, thank you Noel, thank you Greg. And "well" is what we are as we have enjoyed reading it together - the last book of 2012. Sidman's verse (divided between the apologies in the first half followed by the corresponding forgivenesses in the second) and Zagarenski's illustrations are magical, sometimes very touching and always unexpected (especially in the forgi ...more
Haley
Jun 28, 2008 Haley rated it liked it
Texas Bluebonnet for the '08-'09 school year. Joyce Sidman creates a classroom where students write poems of apologies in their 6th grade English class. Those people that the poems were directed to write back their responses in poetry form for the second half of the book. I loved the poems! Some of them were quite funny.
Tamara the Librarian
Pairs of poems written by 6th grade students apologizing for various misdeeds-- and then the people who are apologized to write back.

*** Not really written by students-- by a fun and interesting premise.
Kelly
Dec 19, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Brilliant, simply brilliant!
Ms Threlkeld
Jan 07, 2017 Ms Threlkeld rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A thought-provoking collection of paired poems where one poet apologizes and is then responded to with another poem. A lot is learned about each poet in very few words.
Laura
Apr 07, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
This collection of poems features the authentic writing of students. The book opens with poems of apology and ends with poems of forgiveness. The topics range from the silly (a game of kickball) to heartbreaking (Jewel’s poem to her father who walked out on the family). The range captures the interest of intermediate aged kids, who still love to be carefree and silly but are also dealing with serious topics like death and crushes.
The book is unique because each writer’s voice is unique. Some
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Rosie Sanchez
APA: Sidman, J. (2007). This is just to say: Poems of apology and forgiveness. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Review:
Randall Enos from Booklist (2007) states, “For a poetry unit, a fictional sixth-grade class writes “sorry” poems. They like their poems so much they decide to put them together into a book and then add a second section with responses from the recipients of the “sorry” poems. The result is a captivating anthology of short poems in various styles touching on different aspects of life. So
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Amy Yount
Book Review

The Library Media Connection (2007) states the following about Joyce Sidman’s book, “This Is Just To Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness”:
“Every school should purchase a copy of this book of poetic apologies and responses. The title poem by William Carlos Williams sets the tone. Sidman sought help in writing a poem to her mother from a group of fourth graders in one of her writing workshops, which became the impetus for this book. Zagarenski uses typical schoolchildren materials a
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Meltha
Aug 19, 2014 Meltha rated it really liked it
I liked the style of illustration in this, which in places reminded me of candy for some reason because the colors tended to be very bright, while the style was childlike without being cloying. The concept that this was written as a class project by an imaginary group of sixth graders worked very well, and I liked the idea that there were responses to each apology. The topic choices were very good as well, ranging from the funny (stealing jelly donuts from the teachers lounge) to the heartbreaki ...more
nicole
Oct 20, 2009 nicole rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Love That Dog / Hate That Cat fans
Shelves: picture-books, poetry
Initially I picked this up for Pamela Zagarenski's illustration. I'd read "Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors" and loved her subtle use of color. But the illustration is hardly the main attraction here. The collage element is nice, but otherwise the pictures are simple drawings. Zagarenski's style itself doesn't do a lot for me, but in this case it worked nicely, lending believability to the "this book was made by a buncha kids" factor. They do look like children might've drawn them. Illu ...more
Misty Jimenez
Book Title: This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness

APA Citation: Sidman, J. (2007). This is just to say. Boston: Houghton.

Original Review: This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman is a book of poems with two parts. One section is titled Apologies and the other is titled Responses. The book can be read section by section or paired up with its response. One poem is an apology from a student for eating the donuts for teachers. He explains how he couldn’t r
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Jessica
Sidman, J. (2007). This is just to say: Poems of apology and forgiveness. Boston: HoughtonMifflin.

This book of poems was ‘written’ by the students in Mrs. Merz’s class. After reading William Carlos Williams’s poem This Is Just to Say, they were inspired to write apology poems to someone they had hurt. Some are humorous. One boy writes to the school secretary about stealing doughnuts. A girl apologizes for rubbing a statue’s nose before every spelling test. Others are more profound. A student apo
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Brittany Trinh
Apr 27, 2016 Brittany Trinh rated it really liked it
Shelves: project-1
APA:
Sidman, J., & Zagarenski, P. (2007). This is just to say: Poems of apology and forgiveness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Review:
Library Media Connection (2007) says:
“Every school should purchase a copy of this book of poetic apologies and responses. The title poem by William Carlos Williams sets the tone. Sidman sought help in writing a poem to her mother from a group of fourth graders in one of her writing workshops, which became the impetus for this book. Zagarenski uses typical schoolc
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Landon Rotolo-Utz
Feb 22, 2015 Landon Rotolo-Utz rated it really liked it
This Is Just to Say by Joyce Sidman is a perfect resource for teaching poetry in the classroom. The book is split into two sections. The first is a collection of poems written as apologies and the second are poems written as forms of forgiveness. The first section of poems originally were produces by a classroom of sixth graders. The intended readers of the apology poems then wrote their own poems as forms of forgiveness. These poems are written in a variety of forms including free verse, haiku, ...more
Cara Turski
Sep 22, 2016 Cara Turski rated it it was amazing
“This is Just to Say” is a brilliant collection of apology poems written by a mock 6th grade class. The apologies are followed by a collection of responses to the original poems. The “classroom project” was inspired by William Carlos Williams’ poem This is Just to Say.

The illustrations made this book fun and accessible. Most students view poetry as drab, old-people stuff but these illustrations show otherwise. They are funky and use bright colors. Zagarenski said she wanted it to be authentic wi
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Becky
Aug 19, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it
Joyce Sidman's poems strike a chord in readers by recounting careless words spoken, impulsive acts of theft, unrequited love, disappointing a parent, and getting carried away in sports. The simple language is easy for children to read and its humor and emotional depth is accessible for young and old readers alike. The varying poetry styles such as haiku, rhymes, and two-part poems accentuate the poems' different voices.

Pamela Zagarenski's illustrations are a collage of pictures, oftentimes on a
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Tracey
Joyce Sidman uses the poem "This Is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams as the basis for This Is Just to Say : Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. In her book, an imaginary class is assigned the task of writing a poem apology to someone. The students apologize to teachers, parents, siblings, and pets; some poems are about trivial matters while others are about serious wrongs. Thomas apologizes to Mrs. Garcia in the office about stealing the jelly doughnuts from the teachers’ lounge; Alyssa apo ...more
Emily
May 04, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
Review:
As far as poetry books go, this one tops my list. Written by sixth grade students, these poems of apology (and sometimes forgiveness) are funny, heartwarming, and very real. Students will see this book as one to inspire their own poetry as it breaks down some of the misconceptions writers often have about the way poems should go. The authors of the book generally write in free verse, some using specific poetic forms like Haiku, but mostly they are short, powerful verses that get right to
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Ying Lee
Dec 07, 2013 Ying Lee rated it really liked it
Genre: Poetry
Copyright: 2007

Mrs. Merz’s introduced the poem, This Is Just to Say, by Williams Carlos Williams to her 6th graders, which then inspired students to write sorry poems to their parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and pets. What’s more interesting is that students received response poems from whom they apologized to. Some poems are funny and humorous, while others are very touching, especially the one that a child’s apology poem to her father changed her father’s mind of leaving thi
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Ch_jank-caporale
Mar 15, 2010 Ch_jank-caporale rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is a call for HELP!
This collection of forgiveness poems is quite amazing because most were written by children, though you'd never guess it. Using William Carlos Williams' poem, "This is Just to Say" as the model, a Mrs. Merz had her students write their own poems of apology. The poems are so good and they have so much fun with the project, the class decides to put them into a book. The second half of the book contains the poetic responses from those who were wronged! In haiku, pantoums, tw
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Sarah
Oct 28, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness written by Joyce Sidman is about when Mrs. Merz asks her sixth grade class to write poems of apology, they end up liking their poems so much that they decide to put them together into a book. Not only that, but they get the people to whom they apologized to write poems back. The poems are written in haiku, pantoums, two-part poems, snippets, and rhymes, Mrs. Merz’s class writes about crushes, overbearing parents, pets, and much more. Some poe ...more
Heidi
Jul 10, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, poetry
I was very enthusiastic about this book until I read the jacket cover. If at first you think these are poems written by a 6th grade class, inspired by the famous poem of apology by William Carlos Williams, you will love this book. When you find out they're not really, it's still a good book, but not quite as amazing. You can just imagine the two boys whispering, "I'll write a poem on dodgeball if you do." You'll wonder a little more if a girl could really apologize to her teacher over making fun ...more
Lindsey
Apr 27, 2013 Lindsey rated it really liked it
A great collection of poetry. Each poem can stand alone, but they are written in pairs: apology poems the first half of the book and poetry responses to the apologies. Each poem is written to someone with the author's signature at the end. These poems appear in a collection from a fictional classroom poetry project. The end notes of some of these poems are just as cute as the actual poem.

All of the poems in this collection are absolutely fantastic and include wonderful illustrations, but of cou
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Abby Johnson
Feb 23, 2008 Abby Johnson rated it liked it
This collection of poetry is written as if by a classroom full of kids. Mrs. Mertz's class read the poem "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams and then decided to write their own "I'm sorry" poems. They collected the poems along with response poems and illustrations in this book. The first half of the book is apology poems and the second half is the response poems. The poems include apologies for digging into the fresh-baked brownies early, stealing donuts from the school office, turn ...more
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Joyce Sidman lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. www.joycesidman.com
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