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Yeomans, Ellen. Rubber houses.

YEOMANS, Ellen. Rubber houses. Little, Brown. 150p. c2007. 0-316-10647-X. $15.99. JS

The jacket copy claims this is Yeomans's first novel. To call it a novel is a stretch, as the narration is a series of poems that are like snapshots of the grieving process rather than a continuous narrative. Seventeen-year-old Kit, who adores her younger brother Buddy and shares with him a love of math and baseball, must, along with her parents, deal with Buddy's diagnosis of cancer, his subsequent illness, his death, and her movement towards healing. Perhaps the book's intent can best be likened to Tennyson's series of poems about the death of his best friend, Arthur Hallam. The poetry here is free verse in generally short lines, accessible, imagistic. Many references to map-making and trip-taking (Kit loves to plan imaginary trips with maps given to her by the American Automobile Association) along with references to the seven stages of the grief process suggest, not too originally, that dealing with loss is a journey. Kit, at first, rejects this metaphor as being too easy, and makes all the mistakes and suffers all the pain that must come as the result of loss. She rejects her friends, seeks numbness in sleep, finds herself ranting at unexpected moments in the school cafeteria, and listens to her parents weep and argue. She comes to realize that grief is a journey, a painful one that must be taken no matter how much one resists the first step. Myrna Marler, Assoc. Prof. of English, BYU, Laie, HI

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.
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Author:Marler, Myrna
Publication:Kliatt
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:279
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