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The Realm of Possibility by [Levithan, David]
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The Realm of Possibility Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Through a series of poems, Levithan (Boy Meets Boy) introduces readers to a group of friends and acquaintances, including a gay couple celebrating their one-year anniversary, a girl whose mother is dying and an outsider who fills his notebook with "ink explosions of thought." His characters represent a diverse range of sexuality, race and social standing, and most struggle with love relationships, from a boy who wants to help his anorexic girlfriend, to a girl with an unrequited crush on a straight friend. The author experiments with different voices and styles (one series unfolds in song lyrics); some of these poems work better than others. An energetic verse, "Gospel," from a black choir girl who feels bullies "[push her]/ to a kindness they would never/ understand" to help the aforementioned white outsider, reads as authentic and thought-provoking, while an alphabetical poem about a break-up, constrained by its form, grows tedious. Readers may have trouble tracking all of the characters and the various connections between them, but they will find clever lines and inspiring ideas in many of the poems here ("Most of the limits/ are of our own world's devising"). Ultimately, that is what makes this ambitious project a realm worth exploring. Ages 12-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Most readers will find someone they can relate to in this enchanting collection of linked poems that delve deep and go far beyond the original stereotypes. Twenty teenagers–sensitive outsiders, cruel popular girls, body-obsessed jocks, gay teens in the throes of first love–take turns pouring their hearts onto the pages, detailing their loneliness, heartaches, hopes, and joys. All attend the same high school, and as the book progresses their stories slowly weave together to form a larger view of the school community. In the first selection, for instance, Daniel talks about his relationship with Jed; Jed's view of their romance closes the book. Though friendships and romantic relationships grow and change, character is much more the focus here than plot. Each chapter contains four points of view, and it will take patient readers to determine who's who and exactly how they are linked. Effort is rewarded, however, in selections such as "The Patron Saint of Stoners," in which a girl seeks out a drug dealer for reasons few will guess. Another standout is "Experimentation," in which a boy writes about his sexual experiences with astonishing insight and tenderness. Thoughtful teens will find much to appreciate here.–Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3153 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Publication Date: December 30, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,854 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
David Levithan's THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY is a collection of interrelated monologues written in free verse. Each poem is a glimpse into the private world of one of twenty different characters, all attending the same high school. While each person may be separated in school by the usual social boundaries, they privately share many of the same desires, fears and longings.

The poems range from the humorous, "My girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield" or the darkly hilarious, "Suburban myths," to more serious subjects such as "The Patron Saint of Stoners," about an honor society student buying marijuana for her terminally ill mother. One of the book's highlights is a poem called "Gospel," about what happens when Gail, a deeply Christian choir singer, shares her music with Anton, the school's resident outcast.

As one gets further into the book, the interconnectedness between the poems and the characters becomes apparent. The book begins and ends with poems about the same relationship, from two different points of view. While many of the characters feel isolated and alone, they are in fact part of a vibrant, interrelated community.

David Levithan is also the author of BOY MEETS BOY, set in a comparably tolerant community. Like THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY, it focuses on the similarities between characters instead of their differences. Both books treat sex preference as a normal expression rather than as a problem or source of trauma. This approach is a relatively new development in young adult literature; Levithan's books are a marvelous example of how homosexual themes are being integrated into mainstream young adult literature.
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Format: Hardcover
I admit it: this book totally sucked me in. The characters are realistic, and I was able to find something about a number of them that I could relate to. And I found a number of them that I simply fell in love with, for all sorts of reasons. My favorite sections were the ones written by Anton, Charlotte, Lily, and Jed.

I found the book somewhat confusing at times, because I kept coming onto names I'd seen before. So i actually went back and made a little list of characters and their relationships, which I shall put up here for anyone that's intested. So *spoiler alert* for the next section of this review (just in case you want to pick up this book knowing NOTHING whatsoever about anything in it...
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Format: Paperback
It's become a tradition to read this book at the beginning of every year. First off, this book saved my life. It's hard to admit but during my freshman year of college I felt suicidal. It was a few weeks into second semester and one of my close friends gave me this book to read. I read it within hours, I ignored the basketball game that I went to and I devoured this book. Tears were shed, and my life was changed.

This book quickly became my favorite novel and David Levithan has earned the honor of being my favorite author. The characters are intertwined and connect in ways that mimics our every day lives.

I love the fact that David Levithan has characters that anyone can relate to. If you're the popular kid, you will relate to someone. If you're that kid in the back of the classroom, you will relate to someone. There are 20 different characters and you will be able to relate to at least one of them.

I have read this book 6 times so far and every time I read this novel I find something new to fall in love with. My signed book is something that I will forever treasure.

I recommend this book to everyone.

This too shall linger...
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Format: Paperback
The Realm of Possibility is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

I haven’t read many books in prose (or song lyrics, or stream of consciousness – which all appear in The Realm of Possibility, but for ease, I’ll just say it’s prose), because the few I have read haven’t been able to get me to really invest my emotions. There’s a kind of detachment because not everything flows in the right way.

But that was not the case with The Realm of Possibility. This was written so beautifully, and I connected with every single one of the character pieces that I read. Each one was so very unique and distinct, and I could feel everything they were feeling. It was just superb.

One of the things I absolutely loved most about The Realm of Possibility was the fact that all the characters were connected. I think you would have to pay close attention to realise the connections between some of the characters, but even so – it was lovely. I was able to read about why characters were the way they were, and why they felt the way they felt.

Even though it's very hard to pick a favourite couple, or a favourite character, I have to say that my favourites are Daniel and Jed. Daniel's piece is the first piece in the book, and that was when I really fell in love with The Realm of Possibility. With this quote right here:

"in my english notebook, i had catalogued his graces

while in his mind he had detailed my kindnesses,

dreamed about saying things i dreamed of hearing."

AH, I JUST REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK. And I just want you to read it. I want you to read it in one sitting, like I did. Because it just lets you invest yourself in the book, and I think it’s a lot easier to see the connections when you’re reading it in one go.
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