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Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061787256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061787256
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-These spare, sly poems use inference to tell tall tales of deceit and betrayal among family members, friends, and fairy-tale characters. "I have shortened my nose with your saw/because honestly telling lies is so much fun./Forgive me I don't care about becoming a real boy."α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“A playful primer on insincerity for budding poets. This mischievous collection is sure to engage the devilish side of readers of all ages.” (Kirkus)

“Readers will enjoy sharing the surprising selections, which will make them rethink what they thought they knew.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Levine models more than 40 poems after William Carlos Williams’s “This Is Just to Say,” taking its quasi-repentant tone to a whole new level. Poetry fans fine-tuning their sense of sarcasm need look no further. ” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Gleeful false-apology poems. Taking as her model William Carlos William’s poem about purloined plums, “This Is Just to Say,” Ms. Levine has devised verses written from the point of view of any number of unrepentant malefactors. Matthew Cordell’s comic drawings leaven the mordant wit.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Gail Carson Levine’s gleefully snarky poems in “Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It” go a long way in turning this high-minded literary form into a joy for youngsters – and their adults.” (Sacramento Bee)

“The collection overall possesses appealing irreverence and vitality. The open and breezy format adds accessibility, with each spread offering one or two of the terse verses offset by Cordell’s humorous art, monochromatic, wittily scrawled images often containing their own exclamations or sound effects.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

Praise for A Tale of Two Castles:“A thoroughly delicious romp from the author of Ella Enchanted. The plot is winningly unpredictable, the characters easy to relate to, the humor subtle and the action well-paced. Newbery Honor-winner Levine has once again breathed new life into old stories.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

Praise for A Tale of Two Castles:“Readers are certain to be pulled, like Elodie herself, right into the midst of the rich and swirling life of Two Castles.” (School Library Journal)

Praise for Writing Magic:“Levine encourages readers to take their work seriously while remembering to have fun. An informative and encouraging must-read for young writers.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

Praise for Writing Magic:“A veritable treasure trove of advice and guidance for writers across a range of ages.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

Praise for Writing Magic:“Writing Magic is a great introduction to writing for children. The “voice” is upbeat and not condescending. It is clearly written, and includes examples when they are needed. As far as I know, there is nothing else like this available.” (Harold Underdown, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books)

More About the Author

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and has been writing all her life. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Dave At Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; and her Princess Tales books: The Princess Test, The Fairy's Mistake, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, For Biddle's Sake and The Fairy's Return. She is also the author of the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf, illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail, her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, live in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley.

In Her Own Words..."I grew up in New York City. In elementary school I was a charter member of the Scribble Scrabble Club, and in high school my poems were published in an anthology of student poetry. I didn't want to be a writer. First I wanted to act and then I wanted to be a painter like my big sister. In college, I was a Philosophy major, and my prose style was very dry and dull! My interest in the theater led me to my first writing experience as an adult. My husband David wrote the music and lyrics and I wrote the book for a children's musical, Spacenapped that was produced by a neighborhood theater in Brooklyn.

"And my painting brought me to writing for children in earnest. I took a class in writing and illustrating children's books and found that I was much more interested in the writing than in the illustrating.

"Most of my job life has had to do with welfare, first helping people find work and then as an administrator. The earlier experience was more direct and satisfying, and I enjoy thinking that a bunch of people somewhere are doing better today than they might have done if not for me."

Customer Reviews

Totally worth having on the shelf!
Anguissette
The idea to pair these poems with the art of Matthew Cordell was certainly a good idea.
E. R. Bird
These poems are witty and wonderful.
kylie selkirk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I tend to run my bookgroup for kids between the ages of 9-12 like a gentle dictatorship. I choose the books, the kids vote on them, and so it goes. Now if the kids had their way we'd be reading fantasy novels day in and day out every single week. With that in mind, I like to try to make them read something a little different once in a while. For example, one week I might try to get them to read a Newbery winner. The next I would try to encourage them to dip into some nonfiction. One type of book I haven't had the nerve to attempt for years, though, is poetry. Finding a really good, really interesting, really smart book of poetry for kids of that age is tricky stuff. Poetic tastes vary considerably, so it's best to start with a book with a hook. And by hook or by crook, Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It is basically the answer to my prayers I've been seeking all these long and lonely years. It has everything. Humor, engaging illustrations, a clever premise, potential (and very fun) applications, and a passive aggressive streak that's nearly a mile long.

Do you know that old William Carlos Williams poem about the plums in the icebox? The one that calls itself "This is Just to Say"? When you think about that poem, I mean really think about it, it's just the most self-satisfied little number you ever did see. Williams is clearly not sorry, though he included the words "forgive me" in there. With that as her inspiration, Gail Carson Levine has penned forty-five or so false apology poems modeled on Williams'. The rules are simple. "The first stanza states the horrible offense. The second stanza describes the effect of the offense. The last stanza begins with `Forgive me' and continues with the false apology, because the writer is not sorry at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These were delightful poems that I will have my student imitating next term. It's the sort of idea that I wonder why I didn't think of first, but I am glad she did! Take William Carlos Williams famous "This Is Just to Say" poem and apply it to famous stories and everyday life situations. Brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Connie Savage Frokic on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My 7-year old son LOVED this book... first of all, he loves poetry, secondly, he understood the roughly fixed "form" - and he was cracking up time after time - running through the house to share multiple "This is Just to Say" poems. It's a strange one - and I wasn't sure if he'd like it (as he usually likes right-out ryming poetry, i.e., Ted Sheu) - but he did!
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Format: Hardcover
Every poem in this book is styled after a poem written by William Carlos Williams. Here is an example: "They sing the bear went over the mountain/which leads him to see other mountains/Forgive me: no one sings the ending, the landslide and the dead bear."

I was hoping for laugh out loud funny with this book and instead got mostly irreverent and mean. Most of the poems make fun of fairy tales. From Little Red Riding Hood (Grandma to Wolf) "When you arrive I will not be lying in my bed/where you hungrily hoped to find me/Forgive me: tell my granddaughter better one of us should live."

This book is advertized for ages 8-12 which is perfect since they are the age that likes this kind of irreverence the best. However, be aware of the negative content.
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By ecame on March 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my classroom, when it popped up as a recommendation. I was not disappointed. I was concerned that 8 year olds wouldn't get it, but they do.
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By Lisa Huninghake on January 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has had my class in stitches! They have already begun to write their own poems following the format used by Levine.
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By Anguissette on December 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a hilariously clever collection of false apology poems. There is nothing not to like about this book. Totally worth having on the shelf!
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By Amazon Customer on December 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The whole family is enjoying these. Bought these for my 9 year old to get her into poetry style other than Jack Prelutsky, but sill something funny. My husband and I love to read these with her.
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