About SamiK

I'm a Library Director for a small(ish) Texas town with a desire to share my love of books and the library with my community.

Currently, I am working towards my MLS (Master of Library Science) from Texas Woman's University (my alma mater!).

When I'm not treading through a pile a school work and work work, I make precious memories with both my handsome men at home. Whether we are playing with the sand between our toes, making a campfire, or just taking in a movie at home, every moment is unique.

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October 8, 2015

LS5603 - Genre 3 - Poetry


1. Bibliography

Myers, Walter Dean. 2011. We are America. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-052309-1

2. Plot Summary

Walter Dean Myers takes a poetic stance on the history of America. Through powerful verses and complimentary illustrations, the Myers duo once again capture the essence of such an important time.

3. Critical Analysis

After reading We are America, a sense of pride began to swell up in my chest. Myers captured a variety of the different peoples - Native Americans, slaves, pioneers, etc - that have made and continue to make up this great country. Although written in free verse with no distinguishable rhythm, I could imagine the corresponding music to the characters. Myers uses alliteration and consonance throughout the poem but does so in a way that allows the reader to focus on the meaning rather than the style. To add to the emotion and power, quotes from historical leaders accompany the words and illustrations.

4. Review Excerpts

  • Reviews in Booklist, SLJ, Horn Book Guide, and Publisher's Weekly. 
  • Audiobook version won an Audie in 2013
  • "It's best appreciated by readers with some knowledge of American history, but few will be unmoved by this stirring and provocative collaboration." - Publisher's Weekly. 2011. 

5. Connections

  • Display with other patriotic books.
  • Include in a unit discussing September 11th, 2001.
  • Use in history class project in which students would choose one period covered in the poem to research.  


1. Bibliography

Florian, Douglas. 2003. Bow Wow Meow Meow. New York: Harcourt, Inc. ISBN 0-15-216395-6

2. Plot Summary

In this humorous collection of poems, Florian captures the breeds of our favorite canines and felines, big and small. Readers will undoubtedly laugh as the see how well the animals have been portrayed.

3. Critical Analysis

Florian uses various meters and mostly the AABB rhyme pattern to create a fun collection of poems. Although simple, there is much truth that can be found in these short poems. He begins with the canines - dachshunds, pointers, and wolves - and follows with the felines - domestic and wild. Readers of all ages will enjoy reading the poems and the complimenting illustrations that justify the character of topic.
My favorite was the poodle. Florian captures the curls of the fur by using alliteration and assonance while the words twist in four curls. Using wordplay, Florian leaves readers with a good time!

4. Review Excerpts

  • Reviews in Booklist, SLJ, Horn Book Guide, and Publisher's Weekly. 
  • A definite contender for "best in show."- Susannah Price. School Library Journal. 2003. 
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 2005 Nominee.
  • Garden State Children's Book Award, 2006.
  • Young Hoosier Book Award, 2006 Nominee.                    

5. Connections

  • Display with other Douglas Florian poetry, such as Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs .
  • Pair with a visit from the local shelter pets for a storytime. 
  • Have students create their own animal poems using the simple AABB pattern using Bow Wow Meow Meow as an example. 


1. Bibliography

Sones, Sonya. 1999. Stop Pretending: what happened when my big sister went crazy.  New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-028387-4

2. Plot Summary

Sones shares her personal story of mental illness to bring awareness of the disease. Through this verse novel, readers follow the struggle of the main character as she learns to handle her sister's condition.

3. Critical Analysis

Sones breaks barriers as she discusses the affects of mental illness with such honesty. Readers will feel emotion from the first page. The novel opens with the nervous breakdown of the older sister and moves through the journey of the family to cope with mental illness.
Geared towards older middle school and high school readers, students will find vivid look inside a family shaken by manic depression. Simple yet powerful, Sones' use of alliteration and assonance allow the story flow with ease on a normally tumultuous journey of recovery.

4. Review Excerpts

  • Reviews in Booklist, Horn Book Guide,
  • Bluegrass Award, 2001 Nominee.
  • Maine Student Book Award, 2001 Nominee.
  • Christopher Book Award, 2000.
  • Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, Nominee 2000.
  • Beehive Young Adults' Book Award, Nominee 2002.
  • Garden State Teen Book Award, Nominee 2002.
  • Volunteer State Book Award, Nominee 2004.
  • "this debut novel shows the capacity of poetry to record the personal and translate it into the universal." - Michael Cart. Booklist, 1999.

5. Connections

  • Use as a discussion starter for mental illness.
  • Pair with Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill or other stories about mental illness.
  • Display with other verse novels by YA authors, such as Elizabeth Scott and Lisa Schroeder.


Rating System

IT WAS AMAZING!!!! You should be at the book store right now buying it! :)
I really liked it. You should def check it out and give it a shot
It was ok. At least read the synopsis on the back.
Eh....It was alright. It's borrow from a friend material.
Leave it on the shelf!!


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