Thursday, October 2, 2014

Poetry Friday

     Several weeks ago, I wrote a Poetry Friday post on favorite middle grade/young adult novels that feature poetry (not novels in verse).  I just finished a debut novel by Tracy Holczer called The Secret Hum of a Daisy that is so beautifully written that it's almost as if you are reading poetry.  Robert Frost is woven throughout the story.  I have to add it to my list!  If you haven't read it yet, you must fix that right now!  I was lucky enough to get the book, have it signed, and snap a picture of Tracy Holczer at the ALA Annual Convention in Vegas this summer.
     My Goodreads review: This is a beautiful, beautiful book that reads more like poetry than a novel. I loved 12-yr-old Grace and her search for love and a home after the accidental death of her mother. I loved Grace's grandmother, flawed as she was, because she truly wanted to do right by Grace. I loved Mrs. Greene and Lacey who wanted desperately to make a home for her. I loved the various birds who meandered like supernatural signposts throughout the story, and I loved the Robert Frost poetry that weaved it all together. I loved the words and poetry that Grace needed to express.  If I didn't have a thousand books in my TBR pile, I would've started at the beginning and read it all over again immediately.
     I always feel like it's cliché, but my favorite poet is Robert Frost.  In a Vale is featured in this book.  Just a snippet opens up the novel:
Where the bird was before it flew,
Where the flower was before it grew,
   Where bird and flower were one and the same.
                                            - Robert Frost
     That's not the only poetry, though.  Poetry ultimately saves Grace and helps her understand loss, forgiveness, and home.  Again...beautiful!
     Check out the wonderful curriculum guide written by Debbie Gonzalez on Tracy's website.  It's full of writing and poetry activities!

     I can't wait to book talk this novel with my students!

     Now, hop on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup for the Poetry Roundup!


  1. Hi, Holly. Thanks for featuring this book. I'm going to put it on my TBR list. I've heard many adults say that poetry saved their lives, just as it does for the character of Grace.

  2. We had a copy in our Little Free Library and two girls wanted it immediately. It has a great cover. I enjoyed reading it too. Beautiful language.

  3. I think there are a lot of Robert Frost lovers in the world... I enjoyed seeing his work in SECRET HUM. Thank you for sharing!

  4. It is a beautiful story with lots of poetry love, Holly, I agree. And I think it's wonderful you love Robert Frost, doesn't everyone? Great that you shared this book again!

  5. Thanks for sharing about this book -- will add it to my TBR list. I enjoy Frost's poetry and find his life pretty fascinating :).

  6. Holly,
    I loved this book, too. I was totally enthralled by Grace and her search for magic and meaning. I will give it to Emily when she is older. Now is too soon, but I think next year...

  7. I loved this book when I read it over the summer, and I have loved sharing it with my kids this year. Sweet, sweet story.

  8. Holly, thanks for sharing the book and the poem by Frost that are a new ones for me.

  9. I've been meaning to find this poem for the longest time. I love it when poetry is beautifully woven into middle grade/YA novels. I am reminded of Kate DiCamillo's Flora and Ulysses. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts about this novel.