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Post #29 -- The Smell of a Book

Friday, 12 April 2019 - No comments
by Brett Vogelsinger

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of Laurie Halse Anderson's new book Shout back in November, and I knew from page one that I had something special to read.  Now that it has hit the shelves of bookstores everywhere, you can get your own copy!

All of the chapters, written in verse, are powerful as standalone poetry, and the first poem in the book, "PRELUDE: mic test" is an example of one that can send us quickly to our notebooks to write.  

Unlike so many books that begin with images we can see, this book begins with images we can smell.  

Ask your students: Based on this first page, what might you find in the book Shout?  (I dare you to keep this book on your classroom library shelf after reading this chapter aloud!)

Now invite your students:  Try writing a prelude to your life story so far. What would the book that holds your life story smell like? 

Further Reading:


Brett Vogelsinger is a ninth-grade English teacher at Holicong Middle School in Bucks County, PA.  He has been starting class with a poem each day for the past six years and is the creator of the Go Poems blog to share poetry reading and writing ideas with teachers around the world. Find him on Twitter @theVogelman.


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