Spinning Through the Universe by Helen Frost
A Novel in Poems from Room 214

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Engrossing tales from the fifth grade

Every child is like
A little world with ever-changing weather,
Nights and mornings. And somehow, here we are,
Spinning through the universe together.

Unforgettable students in this fifth-grade classroom reveal their private feelings about birth and death, a missing bicycle and a first kiss, as well as their thoughts about recess, report cards, fitting in, and family.

Using a rich array of traditional poetic forms, such as sonnets, sestinas, and acrostics, Helen Frost interweaves the stories of the kids in Room 214 and their teacher. A final section giving detailed analyses of the twenty-two forms will be of special interest.

About Helen Frost

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Helen Frost is the author of several books for young people, including Hidden, Diamond Willow, Crossing Stones, The Braid, and Keesha’s House, selected an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award. Helen Frost was born in 1949 in South Dakota, the fifth of ten children. She recalls the summer her family moved from South Dakota to Oregon, traveling in a big trailer and camping in places like the Badlands and Yellowstone. Her father told the family stories before they went to sleep, and Helen would dream about their travels, her family, and their old house. “That’s how I became a writer,” she says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but all those things were accumulating somewhere inside me.”  As a child, she loved to travel, think, swim, sing, learn, canoe, write, argue, sew, play the piano, play softball, play with dolls, daydream, read, go fishing, and climb trees. Now, when she sits down to write, her own experiences become the details of her stories. Helen has lived in South Dakota, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Scotland, Colorado, Alaska, California, and Indiana. She currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her family.
Published April 1, 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 112 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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“You have to really look at things,” Naomi says, and that’s what each fifth-grader does in this look at life from many points of view.

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Booked Solid

As April is National Poetry month, I’ve been exploring and rediscovering great poetry.

Apr 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Spinning Through the Universe...

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