by Helen Frost
Brief Summary: Written in a variety of poetic forms, Keesha’s House follows seven young adults as they confront violence, teenage pregnancy, abuse, homophobia and more. The characters are each led at some point to Keesha’s House – some for a short stay, others much longer – where they can be free to live and confront the brutal realities of life.
Kell’s Chatty Review: What a beautifully written novel. I absolutely loved this book – the poems stand out individually, but together they create such a moving portrait of the trials and troubles that face teens today.
The book: is divided into parts and there are a variety of different poetic forms used throughout the book. However, the last part is a crown of sonnets (which I only know about thanks to A Wreath for Emmett Till) and it wrapped the story up in such a profound way – with each poem interlacing with the next much like the characters were interlaced by Keesha’s House. Loved!
There also: was a great blurb in the back about the different poetic forms used. To be honest, I’ve always had a trouble grasping the layouts of specific poem types (Don’t even ask for a haiku), so I loved the informational side of the book as well.
Obviously: There are some upsetting moments in this book. Also, there are moments that seriously make you wonder how situations like the ones in the book are even allowed to occur. But Frost made each unsettling moment or situation poignant and perfect – not shady and attention-grabbing at all (which could have happened if done wrong).
What I wanted to do after reading this book: I googled some of the forms I didn’t know and read their wikipedia entries.
Where this book came from: el library!