Tag: Poetry

Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends
Author: Shel Silverstein

Published: 1974
187 Pages

Reviewed By: Cristina

Book Description:

Come in… for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins.

Shel Silverstein, the New York Times bestselling author of The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, has created a poetry collection that is outrageously funny and deeply profound.

You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings stretches the bounds of imagination and will be cherished by readers of all ages.

Cristina’s Review:

Poetry often gets overlooked for young readers, but it can be a great stepping stone from picture books to chapter books, or comprehension practice for older readers. And, you know, poetry can just be fun to read!

Shel Silverstein is a very popular poet for children. This happens to be my favorite collection of his works. With poems about ice cream, pirates, doing chores, going to school, Silverstein’s poems are something children can relate to in their own lives. Some of them are just plain silly, some are very thoughtful, and some have a little lesson in them. He also draws illustrations to go with them. (The crocodile in the dentist chair is one of my favorites!) If your reader is thinking they are getting “too old” for bedtime stories, or you don’t have time for a whole book or chapter of something, try reading a poem together instead. This is a great collection to get them hooked on poetry!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds

Published: October 24, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: November 22, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

Will’s older brother, Shawn, has been shot.

Will feels a sadness so great, he can’t explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES:

No. 1: Crying
No matter what.

No. 2: Snitching
No matter what.

No. 3: Revenge
No matter what.

But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there’s always someone else who knows to follow the rules…

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds

Jessica’s Review:

Wow, wow, wow! This is one where I edited the book descriptions from both Amazon and Goodreads, as both together give away the plot and this is one where it is best to know next to nothing other than the bare minimum: That Will’s brother Shawn was shot dead and Will is determined to get revenge on the shooter.  Other than that all you need to know is that the novel is written in poetry/ verse and also takes place in 60 seconds. How does it take place in such a short time period? You’ll have to read this one to find out! 

As mentioned, Will’s brother was shot dead and he wants revenge. He seeks out revenge by going to kill his brother’s killer. He gets on an elevator with a gun (which he has never shot)… and then things start happening. 

The numbered chapters in Long Way Down descend as the elevator reaches a new floor level, which adds to the urgency of the situation. 

I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by the author himself, Jason Reynolds. No one other than Reynolds could have accomplished what he intended; and even in the brief author interview, Reynold explains why only he could narrate this novel. This novel is written in verse, which usually is not for me. In this case I benefitted by listening to the audiobook. 

Long Way Down is a short yet also very powerful novel that leaves you thinking about so much after you have finished it.  This is one that will stay with you. I can say this is my top read for 2020.  The audiobook is just one hour and 45 minutes long and deserves a full listen to in one sitting.

I very highly recommend the audiobook version for everyone, especially if verse and poetry are not your typical genre. Long Way Down is a must read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK