Mom in Training: April Is National Poetry Month

April 8, 2011

April Is National Poetry Month

 In honor of Poetry Month I was provided with three poetry books for reviewing.  The first was Falling Hard - 100 Love Poems by Teenagers.  This book was really interesting and had a great variety of poems.  They were all written by teens, and from what I gathered were based on their life experiences, which made them have a bit more meaning in my opinion.  Some were cute and funny while others were very deep and sometimes sad.
Falling Hard -Love Poems by Teenagers — author: Betsy Franco

"But what I'll really mean is
are you ready to dive in?
This is not falling,
this is landing."
-- From "Gift" by Portia Carryer, age 16

The poets are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender. They live next door or across an ocean; they are innocent or experienced; their lyric explorations range from new love to stale love, obsession to ennui, ecstasy to heartbreak, and every nuance in between. Whether the romantic escapades described are touching, comical, or tragic, whether the feelings expressed are tender and sweet or brutal and biting, readers will find the love these young poets openly share to be exquisitely, excruciatingly, endlessly fascinating. Here is a collection to turn to again and again, because life and love keep on changing. 

Next I was able to review 12 Rounds to Glory - The Story of Muhammad Ali.  This one was completely different than any poetry book I had ever read before.  From the cover you are expecting it to be a book written in the usual story form, but once you open the pages you see so much more.  It follows through "12 rounds" of Muhammad Ali's life not just in story form, but also in poetry form. I'm not personally a big fan of boxing but I know who Muhammad Ali is and really enjoyed reading this  life story in poetry form. It was so much more interesting than just the usual boring set of facts one usually finds with this type of book. 
Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali author: Charles R. Smith Jr.

From the moment a fired-up teenager won 1960 Olympic gold to the day when a retired legend, hands shaking from Parkinson’s, returned to raise the Olympic torch, the boxer known as "The Greatest" waged many a fight. Some were in the ring, against opponents like Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier; others were against societal prejudice and a war he refused to support because of his Islamic faith. The rap-inspired verse weaves and bobs and jabs, while bold collage artwork matches every move--capturing the "Louisville loudmouth with the great gift of rhyme" who shed the name Cassius Clay to take on the world as Muhammad Ali.
"An in-depth look at Ali’s life through twelve rhyming poems. . . . Collier’s bold pictures are among the best of his illustrious career."--BOOKLIST (starred review) 
Finally I received Switching on the Moon - A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems. This was my favorite of the three books, it had not only featured some great bedtime poems, but it also has some wonderful illustrations to go along with each one.  Having the illustrations that went along with each poem gave my kids something to envision as I was reading them (and me too).  The book itself was even 10-3/16" x 11-5/16" so it was large enough for the kids to see sitting on my lap or laying next to me in bed. I really liked that feature because they are usually struggling to look over my arms when I am reading a book with pictures.  This way they could see them easily while I was actually reading the pages. 

Switching on the Moon -A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems author: Jane Yolen
illustrator: G. Brian Karasco-author : Andrew Fusek Peters

From the hoot of an owl to the horns of the city, from children giggling in the bath to the hushed notes of a lullaby, here is an exquisite anthology that captures the universal poetry of bedtime. Expertly gathered by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, these sixty poems range from old favorite poets such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Sylvia Plath, and Eleanor Farjeon to beloved contemporary poets like Marilyn Singer, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman. Beautifully illustrated by G. Brian Karas with richness and whimsy, SWITCHING ON THE MOON is the perfect book to share with a child to usher in a night of sweet dreams. 

Disclosure:  I received these books for free for this review. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and no financial payments were received. This blog post is not a paid post and the honest opinions stated are my own.


  1. i love reading poems teens write, having 4 of my own i believe writing is a good outlet

  2. Thanks for the great book reviews.
    I have been trying to find some new ones for the kids, I am getting tired of the ones that we have now. This one sounds great.

    Kimmie Barnes

  3. I grew up watching Muhammad Ali so I've been a fan for a very long time. I love the whole idea of the love it took to create such a tender book. I plan to look for this a Christmas gift! Thanks for the review.

  4. Falling Hard looks like a great book! I have a teenage niece who is going through a lot right now and I think she might like this book. Thanks for the review!

  5. I loved your review! I will be using the Teen book in my HS Bible Study!

  6. I remember having to write poems in highschool - not an easy task!

  7. Sharon BraswellApril 07, 2012

    I want his book for myself and my nieces and nephews!!! Thanks for the review!!! :)

  8. Thanks for the great book reviews. My kids love listening to me read poems to them - expecially ones that rhyme!

  9. Commenting for an entry. If you're going to ask folks to comment for an entry in a giveaway it wouuld be nice to find some posts to comment on.

  10. My nephew loves poetry. I'll have to look into these books

  11. Thanks for the reviews, I love poetry. I really should get some new poetry books for my girls. I'd like them to appreciate and love poetry as much as I do.

  12. Thanks for the great book reviews. I like the Switching on the Moon - A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems review. I will check it out.
    thank you

  13. Interesting and varied array of books...I'm especially intrigued by the Ali one!


  14. I love that they have National Poetry Month for teenagers. I love poetry as an adult and I think it's a great way to get teens interested in poetry.

  15. i"m going to look into the book of poems by teens for my teen. April 30th is poem in your pocket day and this will give my teen more ideas of a poem to stick in her pocket to carry around for the day!

  16. i"m going to look into the book of poems by teens for my teen. April 30th is poem in your pocket day and this will give my teen more ideas of a poem to stick in her pocket to carry around for the day!

  17. Love to read this i like poems


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