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Frost, Helen. Keesha's house.

FROST, Helen. Keeshaa's house. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 116p. c2003. 978-0-374-40012-5. $8.00. JS

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2003: A new addition to the poetry novel genre, Keesha's House is composed of sonnets and sestinas in both traditional and creative structures. Frost uses these forms to introduce us to the teens who congregate in and around a safe haven, a house owned by a man named Joe who "knows the value" of having a place to stay when your own home has become toxic. Keesha stays there, escaping her drunk, abusive father. Dontay finds his way there when his foster family turns him out. Katie sleeps in a basement room with a lock on the door, safe from the stepfather who doesn't respect boundaries. She brings Harris to the house after finding out he's been living in his car, alienated from his parents because of his homosexuality. Stephie stops in briefly while she tries to imagine her life after her baby arrives. We also meet Carmen, who is in a juvenile detention center waiting for a DUI hearing. We feel Jason's struggle between a college basketball scholarship and life with Stephie and their baby, and we witness Keesha's baby brother Tobias falling into a deadly trap. Alternating voices in six "verses" and two "refrains" weave together stories that depict the harsh reality of teenage life.

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

Michele Winship, Asst. Prof., Capital Univ., Columbus, OH
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Author:Winship, Michele
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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