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The Other Side: Shorter Poems

by Angela Johnson

Published by Orchard, 1998
44 pages
ISBN: 0-531-30114-1

Ages 11 - 15

Shorter, Alabama, is the community of childhood and family for writer Angela Johnson. The place where she grew up, it is filled with memories that will soon be all that she has left of Shorter. Her Grandmama writes her, "They're pullin' Shorter down." And so the subtitle of this collection is a play on words that echoes with poignancy as readers move through a series of poems that are quiet reflections of childhood feelings and events seen through the eyes of an adult returning to the place of her past with appreciation for what was and sadness for what never will be again. Written without sentimentality or nostalgia but rippling with emotions rooted in childhood that continue to resonate, these poems also provide detailed, sensual observations of life and people in a small, southern African American community during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The book is illustrated with black-and-white photographs from the author's personal collection. CCBC categories: Poetry.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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