I love reading a novel written in verse. I think that these novels tend to be creative and open themselves to more readers than traditional prose novels. Also, it's wonderful to sit and read a novel for thirty or forty minutes and finish the entire books.
This week's book, Girl Coming in for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland is one that I was able to sit and read in less than an hour. What I love about books like this is that, though it only took me a short while to read, the poems and images and the voice of the character will stay with me for weeks and months.
This book follows its speaker through a year of school. I couldn't exactly tell which year of school the speaker was entering, but I'd guess that it was either an 8th or 9th grade experience. Even more than the poems, which are pretty amazing, I enjoyed discovering the artwork contained in this novel. It's a collection of mixed-media drawings, collages, and prints, but it all works together to add to the meaning of the poems.
I almost want to show this book to my freshman and sophomore students as they work to develop their own writing collections with the multigenre and vignette projects. I love the way that poems mingle with images, and the way that media is used to enhance the presentation of the writing.
This book is no longer in print; I bought it a long time ago and have not yet reviewed it. I reread it and re-enjoyed it for this review. It can be found used (hardcover version) on amazon for a penny, plus shipping. A serious bargain!