From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up–Almost all of the 26 poems collected here are familiar classics, such as Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" and Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." The introduction explains why each selection was chosen. Each poem is preceded by an introductory paragraph that suggests the poet's motivation for writing it. Potentially unfamiliar words are defined at the end of the entry. Most of the poets are from the 19th and early 20th centuries and are Caucasian; Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou are notable exceptions. The poems paint a varied, but predominantly rosy picture. They are not arranged by theme or chronology, but merely offer different snapshots of the American experience. Comport uses a variety of media and styles to reflect the tone of the poems. Milton Meltzer's Hour of Freedom
(Boyds Mills, 2003) contains a more liberal mix of poets from diverse cultural backgrounds and poems that include a critical portrayal of American culture, but it has less visual appeal. Because of its colorful art, this book is an inviting choice for collections needing accessible American poetry.–Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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