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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing Teen Voices in Poetry, April 18 2010
By 
T. K. Harkness (Richmond, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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Ce commentaire est de: Fishtailing (Paperback)
I'm a high-school teacher, and the voices in Fishtailing are the voices you hear in the hallways - and the voices you don't hear but know are there. Ms. Phillips captures the emotional turmoil of young men and women who are shot (by their own or other's actions) into high trajectories beyond the reach of help or counsel. We can only pray that they learn to fly before they crash. Some do. Some don't. Fishtailing reflects that reality. The poetry is engaging and unobtrusive. It never fouls the narrative with baroque phrasing or lyric ambition. This is simply a compelling story told through clear, effective poetry, and by the time you put this excellent book down, you will believe that poetry was the best way to tell this tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Interesting Book, April 29 2011
Ce commentaire est de: Fishtailing (Paperback)
Summary:
This is the story of four teens in high school dealing with issues of abuse, bullying, racism, violence, fitting in, and following your dreams. Wendy Philips tells the story in free verse poetry, each character with their own voice, also with input from two of their teachers.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't sure about this book when I saw that it was written in poetry, but it was interesting and different kind of book to read. Fishtailing also won the Governor General's Literary Award.

At first, I got a bit confused about the characters, but their voices came through fairly quickly (each page is a poem by one of each of the four characters). The stories of these four teenagers "fishtail" together in English class, with notes from the English teacher and school councilor. The issues that these teens are dealing with are very brutal and horrifying, and the poetry worked for this. All of the details did not have to be spelled out, but the language of the poetry gave more than enough to understand the full situation. The words are sparse, but packed and I found it amazing how much we could learn about a situation in so few words - this is the power of the poetry. I really felt for the characters, trying to make sense of the world as well as some issues much too big for them to handle. Fishtailing is an intense, fast read that will linger with you.
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Fishtailing
Fishtailing by Wendy Phillips (Paperback - Feb. 14 2010)
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