Mrs. Merz gives her class an assignment to write poems apologizing. The sixth graders like the assignment so much, they assemble them in book form and ask those to whom they apologized to write a note of forgiveness back, also included in the book.
A very original concept, many forms of poetry are in this book, which makes it enjoyable to read as it is not repetitive. There is even a pantoum which I had never before heard of. The apologies and forgiveness notes range from things the kids are not really sorry for to deep, heartfelt and moving. The illustrations are done a mixture of mediums it looks like, collage, pen and ink, water color. Each page is a different color, leaving the words as focus, the pictures adding to them but not the main draw of the book by any means. Often, the abundance of empty space give impact to the sparse amount of words on the page.
Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2007
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: “Her skill as a poet accessible to young people is unmatched. Zagarenski’s delicately outlined collage drawings and paintings are created on mixed backgrounds–notebook paper, paper bags, newspaper, graph paper, school supplies. This is an important book both for its creativity and for its wisdom.”
For an opening unit on Poetry this would be incredible simply for the examples of all the different types there are. It also could be used as a springboard in a writing lesson on either poetry or letters (a lost art).