Keesha's House by Helen Frost

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Synopsis

An unforgettable narrative collage told in poems

Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can’t make it on their own. They are Stephie – pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason – Stephie’s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay – in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen – arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris – disowned by his father after disclosing that he’s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie – angry at her mother’s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.

Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms – sestinas and sonnets – Helen Frost’s extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties. Keesha's House is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
 

About Helen Frost

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Helen Frost is a poet and the author of many nonfiction books for young readers. She lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
 
Published April 2, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 128 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Keesha's House

Kirkus Reviews

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Seven teen voices are heard in describing their individual need to find a secure home and in two sections the voices of various adults round out the narrative.

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Publishers Weekly

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In her first YA novel, Frost profiles seven teens in trauma, artfully revealed through sestinas and sonnets. With pregnant Stephie's opening lines, she conveys a bittersweet contrast typical of

Apr 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Keesha's House

Publishers Weekly

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The struggles may be familiar, but Frost makes her characters and their daily lives seem relevant and authentic (in one poem, Katie describes how the smallest wrinkle—a new bus schedule—brings her to tears because she now won't have time to change for work;

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Booklist Online

But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 160,000 reviews.

Dec 20 2014 | Read Full Review of Keesha's House

Booklist Online

But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 160,000 reviews.

Mar 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Keesha's House

A Patchwork of Books

Add your reply to Melanie .

Dec 20 2014 | Read Full Review of Keesha's House

A Patchwork of Books

With third person limited narrators, the storyteller voice can actually know more about the point of view characters than first person narrators often know about themselves.One thing writers can do while trying to determine what their stories are is write a scene twice, once in the first person,...

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A Patchwork of Books

Pick up any of her books and see for yourself: Let The Spirits Dance, Fragile Night, If I Die in Juárez (American Book Award 2009) or her short story collection, Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories (Chicano/Latino Literary Prize winner 2008 University of California at Irvine.

Jul 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Keesha's House

Reader Rating for Keesha's House
80%

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