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Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems Hardcover – September 24, 2002

8 customer reviews

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$14.46 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Middle school, with all its trials, tribulations, and triumphs, is portrayed humorously and poignantly through the eyes of one girl. Some of the more mundane topics include a locker that won't open, being late to homeroom, carrying around a large piece of wood as a hall pass, and deciding where to sit in the lunchroom. The book also delves into significant issues, from making new friends and a first crush to teasing, gossip, and a bully who may not be so tough after all. The selections are short, mostly filling less than a page, and get to the heart of the matter quickly. The emotions range from confusion, loneliness, and fear to being nervous and tongue-tied. Amid all the angst and trauma are light moments of "chaperones/(someone else's parents!)/bobbing offbeat" at the school dance or a troublesome musical instrument, "after much practice/flute still suffers severe case/of laryngitis." Students will relate to this voice navigating "upstream," while they try to find their own place in the middle-school wilderness.
Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. These tiny poems--rhymed, free verse, haiku, even an acrostic--cover the first year of junior high--sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. The unnamed female narrator sees the first "jigsaw year" as refitting and recombining old friends and new, old ideas and new. In "Is It Monday Again?" she decries dividing the week into "seven square pieces / (five for school, two for me)" and in "Lunch Survey" the myriad variants on "peanut butter and" are trumped by Zach's sushi. The mysteries of lockers and uncontrolled giggling are plumbed; as is the rapture of the boy you like liking you back: "I am shining / from the inside out." There's a running thread about practicing the flute until at last she can make something like music. Sweet and on key. Illustrations unseen. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618152504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618152506
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kristine O'Connell George is one of the principal voices in contemporary children's poetry. Awards for her books include the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, International Reading Association / Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, the Golden Kite, Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Awards, Claudia Lewis Awards, ALA notables, NCTE notables, School Library Journal Best Books, Hornbook Fanfare, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, and IRA-CBC Children's Choice.

Her most recent book, Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems, received the Claudia Lewis Award from Bank Street and was named an ALA Notable, School Library Journal Best Book, and Bulletin Blue Ribbon.

Kristine lives in a rural area in Southern California with her family and their rescue dog, Riley.

Visit her website, for audio clips, teacher's guides, and more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The book may not qualify as great poetry, but it does a good job of showing the point of view of a child enduring the sometimes frightening, difficult, and at times even exhilarating transition to middle school. Sixth graders (or kids in the first year of middle school) are likely to really connect with the short poems in this book. It is easy to read and appealing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gwendolyn Jones on July 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've purchased this book twice. I purchased it last year because my daughter needed a book of poetry for a reading class assignment. Both she and I found it a perfect read, not only for her assignment, but also because it spoke to her feelings as a new middle schooler. My second purchase was as a gift for a friend of my daughter's who is an avid reader, though I don't know how she feels about poetry. (I guess we'll know soon.) The book is so current that I'm confident that she'll enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Swimming Upstream" is a wonderful book filled with poems about 7th grade. It tells how 7th grade really is. How you go to a bigger school, have your own locker, home room, surviving the lunchroom,etc. I think kids will really enjoy this because it relates to them. I really liked this book. Everything these poems describe is true. This is a great book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because my daughters 6th grade class required they read a book of poems. It was hard to find anything that would keep her attention. She loved this book. Read it all in one day and really enjoyed it. It was easy for her to compare her school days to what the author was saying.
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