Good friend and poet Laura Purdie Salas has scored with a great book of poems called BOOKSPEAK. I am the proud owner of a copy and had to wrestle it away from Sandy when I wanted to finish reading it.
Each poem in this collection stands alone though each also adds beautifully to the whole. I don’t think I’ve ever considered books from so many different but converging angles. “If a Tree Falls” asks us about the silence inside an unopened book. In “A Character Pleads for His Life,” well, a character pleads for his life. And how could anyone turn a deaf ear to a plea that ends, “Please open the cover and liberate me!/Turn that first page./We’ll be boundless and free.”
See what I mean?
Then there’s the diary acrostic, the index poem with a rather supercilious attitude, and the cliffhanger. Gems and keepers all. Even the cover gets in on the act by telling us in no uncertain terms, “I’ve Got This Covered.”
Sandy’s favorite poem is the one for three voices – “The Beginning, The Middle, and The Ending”. As you might expect, The Middle has a bone or two to pick with the others. I won’t divulge how it turns out.
I could go on, but hopefully this will whet your appetite and send you rushing to your book store or computer to add Laura’s fine book to your collection. It’s available in hardback and also as an e-book. I recommend it!
BOOKSPEAK is a Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, an NCTE Notable book, an Honor book for the inaugural Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, a White Ravens 2012 book, and a Librarians’ Choice book. Way to go, Laura!
Laura has a teaching guide, book trailer, parts-of-a-book worksheets, book reviews, excerpts, etc., on her website: www.laurasalas.com .
Just click on the BOOKSPEAK cover. Also on her site, she will soon (“Nervously,” she says) be adding links to videos of her reading a couple of BOOKSPEAK poems.