Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye

Published by Greenwillow Books

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Summary:  Young People’s Poet Laureate Nye has written 84 poems with the theme of trash.  Many are about found objects that she or someone else has discovered on the streets, beaches, in a trash bin, or some other location.  An eight-page introduction tells of her lifelong interest in keeping things tidy and some of the rewards she has discovered from picking up trash.  The poems are divided into five sections: Sweepings, Titters & Tatters, Odds & Ends, Willy-Nilly, and Residue. A final section gives kids ten ideas for writing, recycling, and reclaiming.  Includes an index of the poems by first lines. 176 pages; grades 5 and up.

Pros:  This is a fun topic for poetry.  Most of the poems are brief, but thought-provoking, and will inspire kids to look more closely at the world around them.

Cons:  While this seems like a collection intended for elementary students, I think many of the poems would go over the heads of most kids under the age of 10.  The introductory poem, “Taking Out the Trash” by Kamilah Aisha Moon feels more like an adult work.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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