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Ordinary Things: Poems from a Walk in Early Spring Hardcover – April 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum; 1st edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689810350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689810350
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9. One season, one slender volume, 33 gently evocative poems. Ordinary Things is a quiet book that begs readers to look around, observe nature, and experience a walk through the woods in spring. The poems are the soul of brevity, often with no more than 12 or 16 lines, and embrace objects as common as birds' nests, birch trees, and a rug of leaves. Closer looks reveal shed snakeskins, ancient arrowheads and fossils, and even a discarded, rusty VW Beetle. Fletcher reminds young people that such a walk can be mind-clearing and therapeutic. "Each footstep is like a word/as it meets the blank page/followed by a pause/before the next one:/step, step, word...." All the senses are at work in these selections, as Fletcher reflects on the "monotonous chant" of frogs, the sweetness of maple syrup, the sight of mailboxes that look like "old people dancing slowly cheek-to-cheek," and the feel of "hot horse breath on my cheek." Krudop's pencil drawings extend and enhance the natural woodland images. The next time readers take a leisurely, head-clearing walk, they may wish to recall the author's observations and create their own.?Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4^-6, younger for reading aloud. In Fletcher's poetry, observations on ordinary things reveal more complex thoughts and emotions. The poems in this collection would make strong choices for reading aloud throughout the year. Younger listeners might marvel, as Fletcher does in "Birds' Nests," when his grandmother throws some of his freshly cut hair on the ground outside so that later the hair could be "woven into a bird's wild tapestry." Older readers may understand the desire to look for arrowheads while out walking: to "hold one in my hand / I want to touch the tip of history." Karen Morgan

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book really makes you think i loved the poems and i love the way the Ralph put into words exactly what we take advantage of every day. i really liked it.
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More About the Author

Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers includng Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers around the U.S. and abroad, helping them find wiser ways of teaching writing.

Ralph's many books for students include picture books (Twilight Comes Twice, Hello Harvest Moon, and The Sandman), novels (Fig Pudding, Flying Solo, and Spider Boy), poetry (A Writing Kind of Day and Moving Day), and a memoir, Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. His novel Uncle Daddy was awarded the Christopher medal in 2002. He has also written a popular series of books for young writers including Poetry Matters, Live Writing, and A Writer's Notebook. Ralph lives with his family in New Hampshire. He is a strong environmentalist who believes we all must work together to live in a more sustainable way. His other passions include travel, good food, dark chocolate, growing orchids, and sports.

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