Thursday, May 17, 2007

More about Verse Novels: Sonya Sones

I’m on a roll with verse novels, so let me herald the arrival of Sonya Sones’ latest book, another young adult novel-in-verse, What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know, due out this summer. It’s a sequel to the very popular, What My Mother Doesn’t Know, although it changes points of view to focus on the boy’s perspective, the misfit Murphy, whose name is a synonym for “klutz” or “outcast.” We begin with the outcast Murphy and the popular Sophie madly in love and in the throes of longing.

As Soon as We Get Upstairs to My Room

It’s like there’s
no future,




The greatest

I’ve ever




Simon & Schuster, 2007, p. 211

The effect of their relationship on their peers at school, however, is quite different. They are not accepted and indeed, Sophie’s friends abandon her and gradually take part in ridiculing her. Sophie is defiant and her faith in him empowers Murphy to grow in confidence—and lust! Murphy feels stunned by his good fortune and unworthy of her love and attention. However, things take a turn when he has the opportunity to mix with college students in an extra-curricular art class. For once he is accepted, even admired, and the object of attraction for another girl. Conflict ensues, choices must be made. With her usual blend of sharp humor and honest anguish, Sones creates a story of love and longing against a backdrop of art, artists, and artlessness.

Look for more books by Sonya Sones like the “prequel,” What My Mother Doesn’t Know, as well as One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies. And for more poetry on the teenage boy’s perspective on love, look for poems by Ralph Fletcher, Gary Soto, and Steven Herrick.

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