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SWIMMING UPSTREAM by Kristine O'Connell George


Middle School Poems

by Kristine O'Connell George & illustrated by Debbie Tilley

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-15250-4
Publisher: Clarion Books

In simply worded verse, George (Little Dog and Duncan, not reviewed, etc.) writes of lockers and lunches, new friends and typical experiences, as she tracks a child’s first year of middle school. She invites readers stepping across that (or any) threshold to embrace change: “Where do I fit? / Nothing is clear. / Can already tell / this will be / a jigsaw year” becomes, in “Long Jump,” “I can do anything. / All I need / is a running start,” and by “Last Day of School,” “I am shining / from the inside out.” Aside from a superficial poem about “the boy who’s so tough / the one who scares us so much,” plus a few passing anxieties, there’s little sign of tears or fears here—just a growing sense of self-confidence, a promise of good things to come calculated, and apt, to buoy up young grammar school graduates. Illustrations not seen. (Poetry. 10-12)