Want help selecting and sharing the best books of poetry for young people?

Want help selecting and sharing the best books of poetry for young people? Here are guides and trailers for the LBH award books.

Friday, April 29, 2011


This is the 2001 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award:

Rosenberg, Liz, ed. 2001. Light-gathering Poems. New York: Henry Holt.

Here is a Digital Trailer for LIGHT-GATHERING POEMS created by graduate student Jessica Upchurch.

Here is a Readers' Guide for LIGHT-GATHERING POEMS created by graduate student Cynthia Jones.

Recommended age levels: 12 and up

1. Summary of book

Liz Rosenberg puts together a collection of poems by various authors including Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walt Whitman and the editor, herself. The poems celebrate light and inspire readers to think of how light always shines somewhere, even in the darkest and most difficult times.

2. Review excerpts/ Awards

* Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, 2001 Winner- United States
*Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, 2001 Winner Grades 7-12- United States
*Best Books:
Books That Comfort US, 2002; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, 2003; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Children’s Books of Distinction, 2001; Riverbank Review; United States
Lasting Connections, 2000; American Library Association; United States
Poetry Picks, 2000; Voice of Youth Advocates ; United States

*Booklist – “This is a beautiful anthology of mainly classic poems from everywhere, for reading aloud in the classroom or library or for reading alone.”

*Kirkus Reviews- “Structured as it is around images and metaphors of light, this anthology brings refreshment to the spirit. Older readers or those with perhaps a more traditional education will find a lot of old friends here, but familiarity in this case breeds freshness.”

*VOYA- “These poems make the mind spin and soak in the breathless power of word palettes applied to the canvas of paper. They are ones to read, to reread, and to read yet again.”

3. Questions to ask before reading the book

* To introduce a poetry unit, invite students to discuss the following:
“What do you think about when you think of poetry?” “Do you know the names of any famous poets?”
* Think about light. “What are objects that emit light?”
* Think about different types of poems. “How is poetry different from prose?” Discuss poetic form: Haiku, Free verse, Ballad, Limerick.

4. Suggestions for reading poems aloud

“Daylight Savings” – Read aloud. Discuss changes that occur with Daylight Savings Time and positive/negative aspects of the time change.

“Recuerdo” – Read aloud. Choose 3 students to read. Assign students A, B, C, to lines and discuss the repeating rhyme scheme of each stanza.

“The Summer Day” – Read aloud to students. Listen for ideas that remind you of summer memories. Students share in groups special memories of summer time.

5. Follow Up Activities

* Art- Choose a poem from the book and illustrate it to depict the element of light portrayed in the poem.

* Writing- Students keep a journal for responses to the poetry read. Analyze and respond to the poems read.

*Science- Assign 3-4 poems from the book, students will look for elements and examples of nature in poetry.

*Language Arts- Read examples of Haiku. Discuss elements of Haiku and have students write their own Haiku.

6. Related websites/blogs

* Robert Frost’s Poetry website
[Look here for information about and more poetry from Robert Frost]

*Poems about light- Poetry website
[Look here for poems on many different subjects, find ones about light.]

*Poetry for Children Blog
[Look at this bog for reviews and information on children’s poetry about light, but not light poetry]

6. Related books

Here are a few more poetry collections that feature poems about light in its various incarnations, either directly or indirectly.

Bruchac, Joseph. 1996. Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.

Bruchac, Joseph. 1992. Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back: A Native American Year of Moons. New York: Philomel Books.

Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 1998. Lemonade Sun and Other Summer Poems. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.

Esbensen, Barbara Juster. 1984. Cold Stars and Fireflies: Poems of the Four Seasons. New York: Crowell.

Fisher, Aileen. 1980. Out in the Dark and Daylight. New York: Harper & Row.

Graham, Joan Bransfield. 1999. Flicker Flash. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2005. Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp. 1983. The Sky is Full of Song. New York: Harper & Row.

Levy, Constance. 1998. A Crack in the Clouds. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Lewis, Richard, comp. 1988. In the Night Still Dark. New York: Atheneum.

Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1984. Sky Songs. New York: Holiday House.
McCord, David. 1962. Take Sky: More Rhymes of the Never Was and Always Is. Boston: Little Brown.

Merriam, Eve. 1986. A Sky Full of Poems. New York: Dell.

Moore, Lilian, comp. 1992. Sunflakes: Poems for Children. New York: Clarion Books.

Moore, Lilian. 1980. Think of Shadows. New York: Atheneum.

Mora, Pat. 1998. This Big Sky. New York: Scholastic.

Ochoa, Annette PiƱa, Betsy Franco, and Traci L. Gourdine, Eds. 2003. Night is Gone, Day is Still Coming; Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.

O’Neill, Mary. 2003. The Sound of Day; The Sound of Night. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth. New York: Knopf.

Singer, Marilyn. 2000. Fireflies at Midnight. New York: Atheneum.

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