- Age Range: 12 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Series: Michael L. Printz Honor Book (Awards)
- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 2, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374340641
- ISBN-13: 978-0374340643
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,896,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Keesha's House (Michael L. Printz Honor Book (Awards)) Hardcover – April 2, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Frost has taken the poem-story to a new level with well-crafted sestinas and sonnets, leading readers into the souls and psyches of her teen protagonists. The house in the title isn't really Keesha's; it belongs to Joe. His aunt took him in when he was 12, and now that he's an adult and the owner of the place, he is helping out kids in the same situation. Keesha needs a safe place to stay-her mother is dead; her father gets mean when he drinks, and he drinks a lot. She wants to stay in school, all these teens do, and Keesha lets them know they can stay at Joe's. There's Stephie, pregnant at 16, and terrified to tell anyone except her boyfriend. Harris's father threw him out when his son confided that he is gay. Katie's stepfather has taken to coming into her room late at night, and her mother refuses to believe her when she tells. Carmen's parents have run off, and she's been put into juvie for a DUI. Dontay is a foster kid with two parents in jail. Readers also hear from the adults in these young people's lives: teachers, parents, grandparents, and Joe. It sounds like a soap opera, but the poems that recount these stories unfold realistically. Revealing heartbreak and hope, these poems could stand alone, but work best as a story collection. Teens may read this engaging novel without even realizing they are reading poetry.
Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-10. Like Virginia Euwer Wolff's True Believer (2001) and much contemporary YA fiction, this moving first novel tells the story in a series of dramatic monologues that are personal, poetic, and immediate, with lots of line breaks that make for easy reading, alone or in readers' theater. Keesha finds shelter in a house in her inner-city neighborhood and helps other troubled teens find home and family there ("like finding a sister when I'm old / enough to pick a good one"). Stephie is pregnant, and she's heartbroken that her boyfriend doesn't want the baby. Harris is gay; his dad has thrown him out. Carmen is fighting addiction. Dontay's parents are in jail, and he doesn't feel comfortable in his latest foster home. Interwoven with the angry, desperate teen voices are those of the adults in their lives: caring, helpless, abusive, indifferent. In a long note, Frost talks about the poetic forms she has used, the sestina and the sonnet. But most readers will be less interested in that framework than in the characters, drawn with aching realism, who speak poetry in ordinary words and make connections. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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Not only do the teenagers come across with their problems, but there are passages featuring the points of view of the adults who are involved with them. There's a lot of pain, but also hope for them. Written in poetic form, this is a heartrending novel about young people at crossroads in their lives.
Most recent customer reviews
and I really enjoy poetry. When I heard the plot for this book
I was looking forward to reading it...Read more