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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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  790 ratings  ·  182 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
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 9th 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  790 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Okay, I was fooled. Hahaha.. I.was.totally.fooled!🤣 (view spoiler)

Anyway, the sincerity of the poems is real. One part of the book is part for the apologetic poems and the other half is the responds for part 1. One particular poem

Feb 20, 2008 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
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids 10 or 11 & up, parents, teachers, all adults
These are really wonderful poems for older children. Some are funny, some are poignant, and some are truly heartbreaking and not suitable for very young kids. This poetry book has a wonderful premise: the first half of the book has poems of apology and the second half are poems of forgiveness (or not) in response. I had to look back a couple of times to match them up properly, but most were memorable enough to not have to do that. I loved these poems, and it would make a wonderful class project ...more
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a fun idea this class had to publish their collective work. Great poems!
Cara Turski
Sep 22, 2016 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
Lauren Smith
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness" is a book full of lighthearted, and sometimes quite funny, apology letters written by sixth-grade students. The first half of the book is written in a variety of poem styles, each page with a different apology letter. The second half of the book is full of the forgiveness letters written back to the students. I think this book would be ideal for grades 3-5, because it introduces poetry in a fun way and the ideas are concrete rather than abs ...more
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
Feb 24, 2009 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: z_09, poetry, middle-grade
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
Nov 17, 2009 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
Meggie Donovan
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I used this book to teach a poetry writing unit to 7th graders this past fall. In truth--this book of poems might be one of my favorite collections of poetry. Modeled after William Carlos Williams's poem "This is just to say." this funny and touching book is a wonderful way to introduce poetry in a non-threatening way. I think many students have this conception that poems need to rhyme and be full of flowery and elaborate language. Sideman's poems are about every day moments and emotions we feel ...more
Mar 13, 2010 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
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, childrens-lit
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
Jun 28, 2008 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. ...more
Jackie Ostrowicki
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eva-and-me
A delightful children's book based on William Carlos Williams poem, "This Is Just to Say." Williams' poem is itself an apology poem and reads:

"I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold'

The book chronicles apology poems from sixth graders, written as part of a poetry unit at their school, and has two parts. The first part consists of apologies, and the second part consists of those who were apologized t
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the concept but not the layout. The first half of the book are the apologies and the second half of the book are the responses. So the reader is flipping back and forth to see how the apologies were received. I think the format would have been more inviting if the apology and the response were side by side. Both the apologies and responses are wonderfully unique and sincere. A favorite pairing is one where a girl apologizes to her sister for physically hurting her and her sister responds ...more
Cristie of Crops and Craps and Things Long Since Past
This is a compilation of apologies from school children and the recipients' responses to them. Some are funny. Some are cute. Some are heartbreaking. I found it hard to read simply because of the tears clouding my vision.

There are some serious topics in this anthology - abandonment, death, disappointment - that might be too mature for younger audiences. Also, even though this is a children's book, there is a point in one of the poems where the writer blasphemes against Jesus Christ.

This is my ne
Samantha Ledesma
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, this poetry is just gorgeous. I'm sitting here, cheeks splotchy and red from Jewel's poem, and Anthony's poem, and all the responses the students received. It's almost hard to believe that the students in this book aren't real because the emotions definitely were. My heart aches with the memories they each recalled and the friendships they each revealed. I love poetry and I've always thought that the lack of enthusiasm for it is so tragic. I would without a doubt introduce this book to kids ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Renaud
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book's genre is poetry.
What makes this book unique is that all the poems are written by actual students. A 6th grade classroom wrote apology poems and had the person they were apologizing to write a response poem.
Kids will connect to this right away!
I feel that 3rd grade and up will benefit with this book but 5th plus will really be able to relate to the poems since it was written by kids around their age.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre-wheel-edr
This is a very interesting poetry book. It is unique because of the format of it. It is not just individual poems, but poems of apology and forgiveness. Each apology has a response of forgiveness even having some poems narrated by animals forgiving their owners. I would use this in a 4th or 5h grade classroom because of the complexity in the format of the book.
Doug Glenning
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Such a nice poetry book for young people! The idea of apologies in poetry form written to someone in particular and then the recipient responding--it was very touching.

The only downside to me was that two of the poems had illusions to off-color language, which is why I didn't give it more than three stars.
Myka Ellenwood
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit-18
Genre: Poetry
Grade Level: 4-7
I enjoyed reading this book. It is in two parts, the first is apology poems in different styles of poems, and the second is forgiveness poems. This book would be great when teaching about poetry and also forgiving one another.
Shannon Leal
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
Genre: Poetry
A unique feature about this book is that there are two parts to it. The first part is sixth graders apologizing for something and the second part is the person/thing responding to their apologies. It is cool to see both sides.

Grades: 4-7
Date Completed: November 16
Rebecca Plaza
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this a while ago but am fond of the illustrator and very fond of the concept of apologizing in poetic forms. Subtitle is poems of apology and forgiveness; life skills we aren't always prepared for when we need to do it, so purposeful practice would reap benefits for students. Ja tak uwazam. ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is poetry book is very unique from the rest, in my opinion. instead of just having the poems, this book included the responses of the people the poets were writing to.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Got this from the NPM display at my library and absolutely loved it! It's sweet and kind and clever and heartbreaking in turn. Pretty sure it's aimed at children, but I think it's good for all ages. ...more
Kristina Shin
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVED the concept of this book and how it was separated into two parts, apologies and the responses. Lovely illustrations as well!
Meg Petersen
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book of poems of apology and responses to them. They touched me. This is a fantastic book to use for writing activities in the classroom for students of all ages.
Tarawyn Baxter
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars!
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book had me feeling all the feels. A great book to be a model text for young poets. Written by students. Some are light and funny. Some are so touching I cried.
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The Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman is today's foremost nature poet for children. Accolades for her books include two Caldecott Honors, a Lee Bennet Hopkins Award, winner of the Claudia Lews Award, and many stars and best of lists. For her award-winning body of work, she won the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. Visit ...more

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