Friday, April 07, 2006

Sex, Love and Missing Moms

April is National Poetry Month -- did you know that? I have a bulletin board up in Club Fishbowl featuring poetry for teens in honor of National Poetry Month.

In further honor of Poetry, I decided to read The Geography of Girlhood, a book that showed up on the new book cart, even though it didn't look like something I would like. I have a love/hate relationship with novels in poetry format. I either love them to pieces (What My Mother Doesn't Know) or I hate them with a fiery passion (A Wreath for Emmett Till). Just judging by the oh-so-girly cover of The Geography of Girlhood, I was leaning towards the hate side of the equasion.

I was SO wrong.

Penny is a good girl with a wild child sister and a missing mom. The book starts in the summer before her freshman year of high school, when she's just starting to wonder about girls and boys, and what it means to be a grown up. It follows her first kiss, her father's surprising remarriage, her friendship with a cool older girl, her bad-idea of a relationship with her sister's ex and the deep sadness she always carries with her.

What makes this book so amazing is how real Penny is. She thinks and sounds like someone you could meet on the street tomorrow. So even if you don't like poetry or don't like books with girly covers, you should try The Geography of Girlhood. The author, Kristin Smith, was a writer on some of my favorite movies, and she really knows how to create a beliveable and memorable character.

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