Friday, July 15, 2011

Giveaway: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Scroeder

Chasing BrooklynI started Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder (Simon and Schuster - Simon Pulse) last fall, got distracted in the middle and returned to it to finish late this spring.

I haven't read many novels in verse, and I have this idea that I don't appreciate poetry (which isn't true; I am most likely to appreciate it as song lyrics, or childhood rhymes, or something similar, though). While I don't think I'm quite converted to novels in verse yet (I have a handful more to read to help me get to know the--I don't know, is genre the right word?), I think I get them more.

First, white space: so much less intimidating than paragraphs, so much easier to fly through a book. You probably know some reluctant readers, some struggling readers, and here is a book that they and their more accomplished reader-friends can read together. That is no small potatoes, people.

Second: words, arranged, have a beauty of their own. There's a moment in this book ("d a n c e," for lack of a better reference) that, whenever I recall it, makes me wriggle in my chair. Given how quickly I clear out brainspace for the next book--my draft entries are looking at me and glaring and asking why I am struggling to write reviews of what I read six months ago--remembering something like that is, again, no small potatoes for me.

Third: here is a complete plot, with much for the reader to fill in and imagine. The nature of this book is that the plot is sketched in atmospheric pastels, where a non-verse book would focus on tight curlicued ink details. Readers want and need both, I think.

Would you like to read this book? I'm working on my great shelf-clearing project of 2011, and I'm happy to send this to a new and loving home. To win this book, you must...

1. Leave me a comment: What's your favorite poem, poetry collection, poet, or novel in verse? Include your e-mail address, but please mangle it (like, myname at to cut down on spam.
2. Leave that comment by midnight on Tuesday, July 19.
3. I'll choose a random winner who must be able to give me a U.S. mailing address.


  1. I love Shakespeare's Sonnets and the poems of Lord Byron. You can read them together or separately, but I think both of them are brilliant. I also enjoy novel in verse too, because I think those books are stripped from the unnecessary words down to their basic element. I loved Lisa's first book but haven't gotten around to reading this one!

    Thanks for a great giveaway.
    Email: rummanaha at hotmail dot com.

  2. My favorite poem is "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali. The first time I heard it, I saw him perform it on YouTube and I literally sobbed. I watched it so many times that I have it memorized and recite it whenever someone acts like I tool when I tell them that I'm a teacher.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    beths0103 at yahoo dot com

  3. Right now mine is Dante Alighieri, love him.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  4. Thank you for the giveaway :) I love Ellen Hopkin's books that are written in poem form.

    aprilxu2222 at gmail dot com

  5. I really like Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. It's a fast read, but also meaningful. I'd love to be able to add this one to my classroom collection! I've read Far From You by her and really liked it.

    arallison at gmail dot com


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