Review: Keesha's House by Helen Frost
in a sentence: A poetic journey through the challenging lives of 7 teenagers.
Coming from a non-poetry fan, this book was incredibly easy to read and follow. Each poem is written by a different teenager (as portrayed by Helen Frost), but they are all connected. They write about their struggles at home, school, and work in a way that is easy to follow and keeps the reader interested and hanging on for more. I was sucked in immediately by the use of language, conversation, and range of emotion expressed in the different poems. All of the poems are unique to the teenager's character they express, and is consistent throughout the novel.
The use of the open-ended poem to keep the story moving was interesting at first. I thought I would have a hard time keeping the characters straight and their situations in order, but I had no problem at all. The writing is clear, the poems are excellent, and the emotions expressed through them is awesome. An interesting twist that came twice in the novel were the poems from the parents or concerned adults. Their point of view was presented in poetic form as well, and up to that point the reader had only heard the teen point of view. The author's use of Keesha's house as an image to represent safety and acceptance was interesting, considering from all other viewpoints it would be seen as dangerous (the man who owns the house) and unsafe (teens living alone) and illegal. The author touches on the hardships and different scenarios faced by teens, and the impossible struggle they are asked to face - all while giving them a completely unique voice.
Title: Keesha's House
Author: Helen Frost
Genre: Poetry, Printz Honor Title
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
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Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.