By Helen Frost
(Square Fish, Paperback, 9780312641276, 144pp.)
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
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An unforgettable narrative collage told in poems
Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can’t make it on their own. They are Stephie – pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason – Stephie’s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay – in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen – arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris – disowned by his father after disclosing that he’s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie – angry at her mother’s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.
Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms – sestinas and sonnets – Helen Frost’s extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties. Keesha's House is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
HELEN FROST is the author of many award-winning books for children and young adults, including Diamond Willow, winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award, The Braid, Crossing Stones, and Hidden, available from FSG in May 2011. She is the recipient of a 2009-2010 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. She lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“Frost has taken the poem-story to a new level with well-crafted sestinas and sonnets, leading readers into the souls and psyches of her teen protagonists . . . engaging.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review “Spare, eloquent, and elegantly concise.”—VOYA “This moving first novel tells the story in a series of dramatic monologues that are personal, poetic, and immediate.”—Booklist “Impressive.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Making the most of the poetic forms, the author breathes life into these teens and their stories, resulting in a thoughtfully composed and ultimately touching book.” —Publishers Weekly