Grade/Age: Ages 9-14
Annotation: A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.
Themes: Poetry, personal growth, school life, coping with a loss
Ways to use the book:
In this book, Jack's March 14th apology to Miss Stretchberry takes an unusual form. Have students think about a time when they did something wrong, and write an apology (or excuse?) as a poetic letter to the person they hurt. Discuss the following question as a class: Is writing an apology harder or easier than apologizing face-to-face?
Have students select their favorite poem that appears at the end of the book. They can then use that poem's form to write one of their own.
Have students choose one of the poets featured in the book and research that person's life. Afterwards, have them give a presentation to the rest of the class about what they learned. They should also choose a poem by their selected author that does not appear in the book to share with the class.