Home to Me, Poems Across America
Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn
The poems included in the book are set in a number of different locations across America, from the prairie, to the city, and more. Each poem has its own story to tell in a unique way. The colorful illustrations which accompany them add to the imagination and images pulled from the text.
I was excited to find this book because I felt that it was a way to make poetry personal for students, and yet universal at the same time. Poems can have many subjects, and this anthology collects snapshots of experiences across our country. Additionally, in the back there is a short explanation of each poet contributor that I think makes the poems meaningful.
Poetry is not just for April. I think that poetry is a beneficial medium for writing. This book can help to introduce poetry as well as develop author studies and work on developing poems in different styles. I also saw it as a way to incorporate the “Who I Am” poems from the beginning of last semester. While not as structured as those, it paints different images of where people are from. I also enjoy that it’s an anthology of poems, so that for a read aloud or shared reading the poems can be looked separately as well as in comparison to one another. It will help children recognize their own culture and backgrounds, as well as hopefully prove as a starting point to generate discussion about accepting others. From this book it is possible to move even further, discussing living experiences in other places, not only differences, but also where there may be inequalities; why they may be so, and how to make a change.