Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Things I Have to Tell You edited by Betsy Franco

“my friend and i/ got caught in a storm/ with tears for rain/ and shouts for thunder”
-Melissa Leigh Davis, p41

This slim collection of poetry written by teen girls covers a wide swath of topics, from self-image to gender inequality to complicated relationships and transitioning to adulthood, in its 63 pages.  The writing is at times poignant, acerbic, witty, and deeply touching.  It is always heartfelt.  Each page is illustrated with bold, candid black and white photographs which, while unrelated to the text, complement it well.  Things I Have to Tell You collects voices from girls from many walks of life and many different places and in this diversity offers a chance for girls to see themselves powerfully reflected on the page.  Recommended for fluent readers looking for honest and relatable poetry and to young writers looking for inspiration.  Best suited to teen girls with established poetic leanings.  Front and back matter include a table of contents, author’s preface, photographer’s preface and acknowledgements, author's acknowledgements, and an about the editor and photographer section.  Educators wishing to use this volume in the classroom, perhaps as a supplemental text for women’s history or poetry month lessons, may want to know that there is occasional strong language. --Regan Schwartz

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