Jeanine Allen's Reviews > Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls

Things I Have to Tell You by Betsy Franco
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May 06, 2012

bookshelves: poetry

Jeanine Allen

Things I Have to Tell You: poems and writing by teenage girls edited by Betsy Franco with photographs by Nina Nickles is a collection of poetry written for and by teenage girls. The writings generally talk about the transition from girlhood to womanhood. They focus on body image, relationships, friendships, school, acceptance, etc. Some poems slide right by and some poems hit you directly in the face. One especially harrowing poem by a 15 year old girl talks about her love for crank and how the drug will never love her back. Some poems conflict the feelings of what other poems convey. One poem will be about how she wants to be accepted for who she is and not her body (Apricot Bath by Lindsay Henry - my personal favorite). Another poem written by a girl who celebrates her body (Damn, I Look Good by Miraim Stone). Another poem will reflect the authors heartbreak about stepping on the scale and the roller coaster of emotions we feel about our bodies (poem by Becky Mann). Young women will find it easy to read through the book and find a poem that relates to their life. As an adult reading this book, I was able to relive my teen years and reflect. The pictures in the book do not show the girls posed to look like magazine models. Instead, they show them as they truly are: genuine and natural.
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