• Title: The Rhyming Season
  • Author: Edward Averett
  • Released: 2005-09-12
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN: 0618469486
  • ISBN13: 978-0618469482
  • ASIN: 0618469486
From School Library Journal Grade 7-9–Some basketball players might have a lucky number on their jersey or even wear shoes that are bound to bring them good fortune–but recite poetry at the foul line? That's just what Mr. Hobbs, the new girls' basketball coach/high school English teacher, has his team do to encourage focus and concentration. Does it work? Eventually. Brenda, one of the star players, is mostly the sap that holds the team together even though she is dealing with the death of her older brother, Benny, eight months earlier; her parents' separation; and living in a small town in Washington that doesn't hold much promise. When the Fostoria Mill closes, change is the only thing that is certain. To start with, Mr. Hobbs gives all the basketball players names of famous poets. Brenda's is Emily Dickinson, whose work she learns to embrace on and off the court. However, she does not embrace life as a recluse and in shadow, but decides to come off the sidelines and present herself to the world. In Hemlock, this mostly means going to college and leaving the small-town squabbles behind. This book will attract readers who are on the brink of transformation in their own lives. They will identify with Brenda's determination and self-discovery while she encounters difficult circumstances. Young adults will also appreciate that sometimes a little poetry helps, too.–Kelly Czarnecki, Bloomington Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Gr. 9-12. In Hemlock, Washington (pop. 737), Brenda begins senior year trying to sort out a lot of stuff. It's the last year for her basketball team, and their cherished coach has moved on. The town's lumber mill has shut down, and many parents are out of work. Her shining older brother, Benny, the family basketball star, is dead in a senseless car accident. When the assistant coach--an English teacher for several Hemlock generations--takes over the team and assigns them all the names of poets and has them reciting poems as they take their shots, it doesn't go over well. But after initial fumbling, the girls do find their rhythm, and Brenda's team goes on to the state competition. Brenda's is not always a convincing voice, but it is an interesting one. Her parents' separate struggles with Benny's death as well as her own sense of loss lie vividly against the small-town loss of jobs and self in a place where no one ever wants to change. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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