Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
Published by Greenwillow Books
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Naomi Shihab Nye set out to do a progressive thing when she proposed 25 Under 25 to her publisher - she aimed to produce a relevant anthology of, by, and for young readers. After completing said collection, I feel wholeheartedly certain that she succeeded. While Shihab Nye's introduction might lead a reader to believe that the breadth of the writers and topics leaves something to be desired, as she writes of a rather singular and specific experience in an isolated region of the United States, the book unfolds into something far from limited. Each poet emerges from a unique background and brings with him or herself a set of experiences and a personal history that is widely relatable and clearly imperative in the composition of the poetry - many stanzas include references to personal traumas and successes, in every instance formatted to be as honest and genuine as possible. This is a book not only suitable for the portion of youth who love poetry, but also for those who detest it based on the stuffy prose offered by English teachers; I advocate its integration into the curriculum of any educator who finds overcoming a student's distaste difficult.
There is a poet in this anthology for each and every young person to find kinship with, whether due to stylistic flair of the writer or the subjects addressed. From rejection to rape to airplane travel, each writer puts into words the deep emotions experienced by themselves and so many others. The borders of this collection do not exist - you will find sounds of Pakistan, images of Mexico, and memories of New York City, all coalesced into one enormous dream coat, perfectly suited to keeping one warm through the snowy winter. Essentially, you would do well to keep this books at your side, regardless of age or season.
Juliana, 12th Grade