This is not poetry class . . .
There is no memorization required . . .
There will not be a test . . .
But there are more than 100 amazing poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in - find the one you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and add your own inside the book. (book back blurb)
I'm not too big into poetry but with compilations like these, I tend to grab onto them. In this case, the editors did an amazing job of compiling old and new work into a compendium of poignant and touching poetry for teenagers (and really, anyone that's still a teenager on the inside).
You have Langston Hughes, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou and Percy Bysshe Shelley mixed in with more current writers like Sherman Alexie and Nikki Giovanni. The editors chose perfect poems from the past that, despite their age, young adults of today can still relate to and they can still be touched by them.
Some of my favorites were Caroline by Allison Joseph (about teasing and protecting), In the Fifth-Grade Locker Room by Rebecca Lauren (about chicks and puberty), Bra Shopping by Parneshia Jones (I don't think I even need to explain), Dream Variations and Dreams, both by Langston Hughes (because Hughes is a poetry god and can do no wrong), Oatmeal by Galway Kinnell (about going it alone, or not), If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking by Emily Dickinson (yet another slightly reclusive and batty poetry goddess), Ozymandia by Percy Bysshe Shelley (one of the best poems I've ever read about the fading of popularity, basically), The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (a classic about standing up on your own), and the first prose by Rainer Maria Rilke (on writing).
Personally I don't think it's fair to review the individual poems because poetry is something so intensely subjective (moreso than novels, I think) that it just wouldn't do them justice. I didn't think any of them bad at all but I loved some more than others. I didn't listen to the CD as I'm not a fan of actually listening to poetry but I'm sure it would only heighten the effect of reading the work on its own.
As I said, the editors did an awesome job of compiling such great works and I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has even a slight interest in poetry. Even if you don't, it's a quick read and you never know; you might just get something out of it.
I have one ARC in hand and Sourcebooks is putting up two finished copies of this book for a giveaway, so I'll have 3 winners total. If you're interested, just fill out the form below. Good luck!