Reviews: Books for Adult/High School
Chaired by Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia -- School Library Journal, 3/1/2008
TAYLOR, Keren, ed. Lines of Velocity: Words That Move from WriteGirl 288p. notes. WriteGirl 2008. pap. $19.95. ISBN 978-0-9741251-5-2.
Adult/High School–This is the fifth title to come out of WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring organization for teen girls in the Los Angeles area. Unlike many such anthologies, this collection includes the work of experienced mentors who volunteered their time to the project, as well as the teen participants. The result is a dynamic exchange of shared prompts, ideas, and projects as well as an obvious display of the inspired, caring, multigenerational relationships that were formed in the process. This appealing volume is broken into 10 sections: self, writing, Los Angeles, friendship, love, rants, family, place, origins, and writing experiments. The poetry and prose found in each one are sincere and personal, and one gets the feeling of having discovered a dog-eared, doodle-laden journal among the refuse of a high school parking lot. The writing is at times hilarious, as in Zoe Lateju’s instructions from “Eight Ways to Get Over Your Long-term Crush”: “#2 Take a different route than the usual you use to stalk him….#7 Start playing your PS3–most electronic games deal with violence and it helps to release pent up anger.” At other times, it is heartbreaking as it describes the struggles of young urban women from diverse backgrounds: the drug problems of loved ones, the complexities of culture and immigration, or abuse and poverty. This anthology is sure to be picked up by aspiring young writers as well as educators looking for inspired samples and interactive exercises.
–Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA