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Honeybee: Poems and Short Prose

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Published by Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2008
164 pages
ISBN: 9780060853907

Age 13 and older

Podcast featuring this book

Reading these poems and essays by Naomi Shihab Nye makes one wonder: is she someone to whom extraordinary things happen, or is she someone who gives extraordinary meaning to ordinary things? The answer seems to be both. It’s evidenced in the experiences she recounts in short essays such as “Museum,” about a hilariously memorable encounter with art as a teenager, and “Gate A-4,” about an uplifting affirmation of connectedness among once-disparate travelers who share the gift of togetherness. The unexpected sense of community is seeded by a distressed Palestinian woman in the Albuquerque airport. Along with essays, there are poems that celebrate the sweetness and wonder of the world, and poems that agonize over its sting. In “Consolation”she writes: “This morning the newspaper / was too terrible to deliver / so the newsboy just pitched out / a little sheaf / of Kleenex.” Nye’s most overtly political collection to date, she offers her perspective on politics and the president and war, but also people and moments in her daily life—and ours as well, perhaps—that are meaningful in ways both small and large. (MS) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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