Hi. My name is Tami. I am the author of this blog. You can contact me by posting a comment or emailing me at readaton@gmail.com. I am also happy to add you as a friend at www.goodreads.com where I keep track of everything I am reading.

I LOVE to read. I am pursuing my master's degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Right now I mostly use this blog for class assignments.

No matter your reading tastes you will find books for you here. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

19 Varieties of Gazelle

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

by Naomi Shihab Nye
Greenwillow Books, 2002
ISBN 0060097655
141 pages

3.5 (out of 5) STARS

Plot Summary

Award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye has brought together a collection of her poems about the Middle East, shedding powerful, tender light on a region filled with rich history and much turmoil. Nye, who is of Middle Eastern descent herself, speaks from the heart, capturing an entire culture in strong images -- especially in "Biography of an Armenian Schoolgirl," "Rock," and the poem that gives the anthology its title. Both remarkable and enlightening, this collection of poetry will help foster understanding in young and old alike for an area of the world most of us know only through nightly news broadcasts.


Critical Evaluation

Although I do not usually read poetry, I enjoyed this book. A quote on the very first dedication page says, "If you look at the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religions, their first commandments are the same: 'Thou shalt not kill.' It's not taken seriously." This collection of poetry is full of imagery and questions. Questions about war and fighting, about intolerance and selfishness. The poems are beautiful and make me pause and think.

Reader’s Annotation

A collection of poems about the middle east.

Information about the author

Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent, and Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. Her experience of both cultural difference and different cultures has influenced much of her work.

Nye told Contemporary Authors: “I have always loved the gaps, the spaces between things, as much as the things. I love staring, pondering, mulling, puttering. I love the times when someone or something is late—there’s that rich possibility of noticing more, in the meantime…Poetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own.”




Curriculum Ties

poetry. current events. geography. history.

Booktalking Ideas

*Close your eyes, breathe deeply. What do you hear, smell, feel? Can you write about your thoughts? Slow down. Notice things around you.

Reading Level

age 11 and up

Challenge Issues


Why Included?

I believe poetry adds a depth to a library collection. Some teens really respond to poetry. I also appreciated that this book was about other countries and cultures.

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