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Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets

by Naomi Shihab, editor Nye
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Published by Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2000
111 pages
ISBN: 0-688-16193-6

Age 8 and older

For 25 years, Naomi Shihab Nye has worked as a poet-in-the-schools in her home state of Texas and a number of other states across the country. Over those years, she has worked with children and young adults in grades 1 to 12, helping them let the words inside themselves out onto the page. This book is a collection of 100 of the thousands of poems young people have written in their work with her over the years. It is an affirmation of what so many teachers and other adults who work with children already know or will want to discover–that there is a poet, or at least a poem, inside every child and teenager. And it is a validation for every young poet–every child and young adult–that her or his words matter. In her trademark fashion, Nye has written an introduction that invites readers into the book and into the world of poetry. She has actually written three introductions: "To Anyone," "To Teachers, Librarians, Parents, and Other Friends," and "To the Poets," which begins by addressing the specific poets in the book ("Thank you. Thank you for not being too shy to say things. Thank you for experimenting.") and goes on to encourage any and every young poet ("You are making a map of the days you live.") The poems themselves are divided into thematic categories: the self and the inner world, where we live, anybody's family, and the wide imagination. They are simple and poignant, pointed and stunning. Vignettes that accompany the index speak to the power that writing poetry–of giving voice to what lies deep inside–can have for young people. A suggested reading list offers not only suggested poetry collections, but also a rich list of resources for adults to use in poetry workshops with children and teens. CCBC categories: Poetry; The Arts. (MS; Jan 8) ©2001 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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