From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—As she did with Revenge & Forgiveness
(2004) and Truth & Lies
(2001, both Holt), Vecchione explores weighty topics in a wide-ranging anthology. Here she touches on faith and doubt of all kinds. Will teens believe as their parents do and as their friends do? Will they believe what their teachers or ministers or president tells them? Will their beliefs change during their lifetime? Is doubt something that can hurt them or make them more thoughtful? The editor also looks at faith and doubt as they influence writers and poets specifically, the struggle for words, the joy when they come, and the hope that some readers will be inspired to put words to paper. Over 50 poems, some by well-known writers, some by classical philosophers, some contemporary, some in English, others translated from 11 different languages, are included. Many of these poems will prompt thought and conversation. While some do deal with religion, others touch on everything from self-esteem to parents to nature. It's a diverse and well-rounded collection, balanced by both the insightful introduction and the brief but interesting biographies of the poets, which touch on the topics at hand.—Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
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Vecchione, whose The Body Eclectic
(2002) was an Editors' Choice selection, offers another themed anthology that gathers works from some of the world's most celebrated poets. "Just what are you going to believe? . . . What gives you strength?" Vecchione asks in her spirited introduction to poems that explore themes of faith and doubt. Some of the poems are profound spiritual affirmations: "God said . . . Yes Yes Yes," writes Kaylin Haught in her playful "God Says Yes to Me." Joy Castro's "Not" describes finding moments of private grace, despite the "various, endless thou-shalt-nots
" at church and at home. Some poems are weighty, abstract inquiries; others are open, urgent prayers: "Give us love so that we may rebuild the collapsed universe / within us," writes Fadwa Tuqan in "A Prayer to the New Year." Many poems caution against rigidity: "In the place where we are right / flowers will never grow," writes Yehuda Amichai. Appended biographical notes will point teens to more works by the poets featured in this stirring collection. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved