Thursday, September 08, 2016

The wait is over for YOU JUST WAIT

Happy Book Birthday to You Just Wait!

Today, Janet (Wong) and I are officially launching another poetry venture and we’re trying something different once again. It's entitled You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book. Our special focus is always linking poetry with teaching and learning—all in one book. Usually, our audience is teachers, librarians, parents, and other adults. This time, we’re focusing on young people themselves, particularly on teens and tweens with a new, slim book that is part poetry, part road map for thinking-responding-writing poetry themselves. 

Here’s the deal:

You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book is a mashup of:
  • Poems from an anthology
  • Plus new poems written in response to those poems
  • Plus creative activity pages to jumpstart thinking, brainstorming, responding, and writing
These are all linked together with a story thread involving friends, siblings, sports, school, movies, and dreams. 

The twelve poems at the root of this book come from our previous collaboration, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (an NCTE Poetry Notable), and were written by Robyn Hood Black, Joseph Bruchac, Jen Bryant, Margarita Engle, Julie Larios, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Charles Ghigna, Avis Harley, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Charles Waters, and Virginia Euwer Wolff

Then Janet Wong created two dozen new poems to join them together in a story featuring Paz, an Asian-Latina soccer player with dreams of stardom in college, the Olympics, and ultimately the World Cup; Lucesita, her feisty movie-loving cousin; and Joe, an older brother with dreams of the NBA. 

You can read the book simply for the poems and the story—a novella in verse.

And you can scribble right in the book to interact with the poems as a reader and a writer. 

For the educator, the structure of the book provides a five-part model for instruction with each of the following components ideal for guiding the reading, responding, and writing process:

*PowerPlay Activity
*Outside Poem
*Response Poem
*Mentor Text Poem
*Power2You Writing Prompt

There are a dozen of these PowerPack sets of 5 linked activities each with a slightly different focus encouraging readers to consider the elements of repetition, rhyme (including internal rhyme), structure, dialogue, and form (list poems, prose poems, sequence poems, cinquain, poems of address, concrete/shape poems, acrostic poems, found poems, and odes). 

Here’s one sample PowerPack showing each of the five components for PowerPack #7. 

*PowerPlay Activity 

*Outside Poem 

*Response Poem 

*Mentor Text Poem

*Power2You Writing Prompt 

#1 PowerPlay activity
#2 Outside Poem                   &                         #3 Response Poem
#4 Mentor text                     &                        #5 Power2You Writing Prompt
In addition, aspiring writers will find helpful backmatter with a poetry self-edit checklist and lots of other lists, including places to publish teen poetry, books of poetry by teen writers, books for young people about writing poetry, collections, anthologies, and novels in verse, websites, talking points, and performance tips. 

Please help us spread the word, as we reach out to young readers with a book they can read, ponder, respond to and write in. 

We’re offering 5 free copies of our new book to a commenter chosen at random, so you can gather a group to read, discuss, share, scribble, and write together. This can be for a small writer’s group, a Reading Recovery session, an ELL teacher with a small middle school cluster, an eager book group, or a homeschool session. Comment below this blog entry please.

Buy your copy now and some for your favorite teacher, too! Here’s the link.

Note: Some vendors such as are offering healthy discounts this month as part of the book’s promotional launch; please consider ordering some copies for your school or library.  

Now, head on over to Amy's place at the Poem Farm for more Poetry Friday goodness! 


Bridget R. Wilson said...

Sounds like a great addition to your other Poetry Friday books.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks, Bridget. We're always trying something new-- which is equal parts nerve-wracking and exhilarating! :-)

Charles Waters said...

Incredible. Thanks for including me in such a fun, vital book that is manna from heaven for all sorts of folk: students, librarians, teachers and more! VARDELL and WONG POWER!

Charles Waters said...

Incredible. Thanks for including me in such a fun, vital book that is manna from heaven for all sorts of folk: students, librarians, teachers and more! VARDELL and WONG POWER!

Elizabeth Nelson said...

Wow. I am so glad you are getting to do this. Poetry is so underated.

Jen Bryant said...

Echoing Charles's comment above--I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of this very ambitious, unique project. Janet & Sylvia . . . you are AMAZING!! There's so much here that's fun, useful and instructive (in the very best sense of that word.) I will do my part to help spread the word about this great book. Thanks again for all of your hard work.

jama said...

Happy Book Birthday, Sylvia and Janet!

Love the many ways one can interact with this new book. Terrific concept! I bow to you both, Poetry Goddesses. :)

Mitchell Linda said...

I really want to be you....either of you when I grow up. Wonderful contribution to kid lit and the world of lit in general. Many congratulations! Can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Ramona said...

So excited about this new book targeted to my favorite people - middle schoolers. Would love to win a set of these books for my book club (and then I'd probably have to supplement it so everyone could have a copy). Happy book birthday to you and Janet! Looking forward to seeing both of you at Western next month for Poetry Camp.

Janet Wong said...

What wonderful comments! Thank you, everyone, for helping me and Sylvia celebrate the launch of YOU JUST WAIT. When you get a chance to look at the book, I think you'll agree that Jen Bryant's two soccer poems and Charles Waters's poem about cousins lend themselves PERFECTLY to the story lines developed in the book. And please read a guest post by me (featuring a different PowerPack) on Monday 9/12 at Jacqueline Jules's Pencil Tips Workshop!

Mary Lee said...

So excited to see this!!

Allison Jackson said...

Congrats & Happy Book Birthday! This looks fabulous! I don't teach middle school (I teach elementary) but I'm going to check it out. Maybe it will help ME as a writer!

Ms. Victor said...

Wahoo! I agree with Allison- will likely help me! Will you be writing a version for younger poets?

Brenda Harsham said...

It looks like such fun!

Lisa D said...

I love the idea of this book. It sounds very engaging. I'd like to use it for homeschooling.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Many congratulations on another book! You two bring us all together so joyously! I enjoyed featuring this at The Poem Farm this week honor! xx

Sylvia Vardell said...

Howdy, y'all, and thank you for commenting. Janet and I are really excited about this new venture and hope it's helpful to tons of teachers, tweens, and teens. So who is the winner of the five free copies this week?

Ramona Behnke!

Ramona, could you please contact me with your preferred mailing address? Use svardell at gmail dot com Thanks, everyone!

Ramona said...

Oh, this is so exciting! Maybe we'll organize a poetry reading/writing group in one of our next book club cycles for our after school book club. Thanks for this generous gift!