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Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems Paperback – May 21 2007

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Paperback, May 21 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 21 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618851321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618851324
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 0.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #324,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"This irreverent, witty collection should resonate with a wide audience." School Library Journal, Starred

"After suffering indignities at the pen of ... Robert (TECHNICALLY, IT'S NOT MY FAULT, 2004), big sister Jessie gets her chance." Kirkus Reviews

"A cover that'll grab adolescent girls' attention--and the poetry inside is equally appealing." Horn Book

"Friendly and accessible ... it will undoubtedly inspire a multitude of curricular uses." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About the Author

John Grandits is an award-winning book and magazine designer and the author of “Beatrice Black Bear,” a monthly cartoon for Click magazine. He lives in Red Bank, N.J., with his wife, Joanne, a children’s librarian, and Gilbert, an evil cat. His first book of concrete poetry, Technically, It’s Not My Fault, followed the adventures of a boy named Robert, who was often in conflict with his older sister, Jessie. Blue Lipstick gives Jessie a chance to tell her side of the story.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great Poetry Hook Sept. 15 2007
By Peggy T. Feeney - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blue Lipstick is the perfect book to get teens interested in reading and writing poetry. Buy this and its companion book, Technically, it's not My Fault, and watch the teens in your classroom devour them!
Amazingly Wonderful Sept. 23 2010
By Uncommon Grey - Published on
Format: Paperback
It was amazing. I love it. I discovered this book when I was a sophmore in High School and fell in love with concrete poetry. I connected with the main character, Jessie, and related to her stories. I've checked it out from my local library several times since then and started writing my own concrete poetry. I would definately recommend this book to teens who enjoy poetry, or even who don't because it's not in the usual poetry format teenagers are accustomed to.
Exceptional for middle school students Dec 12 2013
By M. M. Hong - Published on
Format: Paperback
Such a great read for middle schoolers. My students go crazy over this book. I have had several of these books stolen-- it is that kind of book.
Favorite of my daughter's Nov. 23 2008
By Joan L. Denney - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter (almost 13) was familiar with the first book by this author and I bought this for her as a gift. She really enjoys these "different" poems!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's a start, but as a stand-alone, not enough. April 15 2010
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format: Paperback
John Grandits, Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems (Clarion, 2007)

I might have ended up liking this book better had I known from the outset it's the sequel to another Grandits book (which I haven't read), but I don't know about that. I have a tendency to be very touchy when it comes to the subject of poetry (after all, I wrote the stuff for more years than I care to count), and the plethora of young-adult-oriented "verse novels" in recent years has in general, when I have encountered them, made me want to boil my head in acid rather than have to read another page of the stuff. So, the second strike against the press release that alerted me to this book: it didn't inform me that this was anything other than a single-author collection of poetry. I didn't know it had a plot, however loose that plot may be. Still, I tried to put my prejudices aside and give this a fair shake. I must have, because I didn't end up giving it zero stars--and it's the first "verse novel" that hasn't gotten such.

Jessie is fifteen, the older sister of Robert, from Grandits' earlier book Technically, It's Not My Fault. Blue Lipstick is supposed to be a glimpse into Jessie's journal, a look at the ups and downs of being a teen. And it is that. Whether it is poetry is an entirely different story, but it's much less of a story than it is in the work of Ellen Hopkins or Tonya Lee Stone (neither of whom would know a good poem if it bit either in the face). Grandits at least has a handle on Apollinaire, the originator of the calligramme (which has morphed over the past century into the concrete poem), and it shows. Not constantly, and not well, but it does show, and there are a few pieces in here that surprise and please with plays on words (obviously intentional by Grandits, but not always intentional on the part of Jessie, and this is also impressive). It's not a book of consistently high quality, else I'd be giving it a far higher rating, but it does have its moments. As a way to draw kids into the idea of poetry, it may well work if you hit them with a copy of Apollinaire's Alcools right afterwards to show them what the real thing should be like ("Il Pleut" is still, to this day, the finest example of the calligramme in existence). On its own, though, it may reinforce the kind of negative traits that made [...] a thriving site for so many years. **