Melanie Soble's Reviews > A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems

A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems by Janet S. Wong
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Nov 26, 11

bookshelves: read-for-libs-642
Read in November, 2011

1. This book would fall under the category of a junior book, poetry.
2. The author explores her roots – Korean, Chinese, and American. Through her poems, she describes her childhood and tells stories about what her life was like while she was growing up. At times, the author shares about what it feels like to be Asian, but how she also felt like she did not fit in at all.
3. critique
a. The strongest part of this book is the characters that the author draws for her readers.
b. Each section of the book is introduced by a brief article that tells why the author is writing about the subject. The author then gives descriptions about the characters (her relatives) who connect her to that part of her ancestry. She draws the descriptions so that the reader has a good, round character in their mind. The author describes traditions that she remembers or feelings that she had about them. The reader can really connect to the author and the author’s feelings about her family.
c. In section 2, Chinese Poetry, the author describes an anecdote with her grandfather in the backyard. In the poem “Poetry,” the author describes the accent in which she could hear her grandfather speak. When he says “Po-tree” the reader can actually hear a non-native person saying poetry with a thick accent. In “Money Order” the author tells about her feelings – almost resentful - about her relatives overseas.
4. a curriculum connection
This book is exemplary of free verse. The multitude of examples would be useful when studying the different types of poetry. The author also uses metaphors and similes which would be helpful to give examples when studying different descriptive writing styles.
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