Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann

Wow.  I never knew I needed a book that addressed the complexities of growing up female through the lens of poetry based on fairy tale tropes, but this book satisfied a deep part of me.  The topics are sometimes uncomfortably difficult, but then, so are stories of witches eating children.   The best way to advertise this amazing collection is to let it speak for itself–here is one of my favorite poems, “Blow Your House In.”

She used to be a house of bricks,
point guard on the JV team, walling out
defenders who could only huff and puff
and watch as the layups roll in.

She traded for a house of sticks,
kindling in Converse high-tops and a red Adidas tent.
At lunch she swirled a teeny spoon in yogurt
that never touched her lips and said
she’d decided to quit chasing a stupid ball.

Now she’s building herself out of straw
as light as the needle swimming in her bathroom scale.
The smaller the number, the closer to gold,
the tighter her face, afire with the zeal of a wolf
who has one house left to destroy.

Book Jacket poisoned-apples-cover

Once upon a time…you were a princess, or an orphan.  A wicked witch, fairy godmother, prom queen, valedictorian, team captain, Big Bad Wolf, Little Bo Peep.  But you are more than just a hero or a villain, cursed or charmed.  You are everything in between.  You are everything.

In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann places fairy tales side by side with the modern teenage girl.  Powerful and provocative, deadly funny and deadly serious, this collection is one to read, to share, to treasure, and to come back to again and again.

Release Date:  September 2014

Want another opinion?  Check out reviews by Teenreads and Elle.

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