You Hear Me: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys

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9780763611590: You Hear Me: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys

"YOU HEAR ME is a fresh approach to hearing what today's youths have to say, and it's refreshing that the words come straight from them." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

In a powerful collection of more than seventy uncensored poems and essays, more than fifty teenage boys from across the country explore their many-layered concerns: identity, love, envy, gratitude, sex, anger, competition, fear, hope. Here, unadorned and without the filter of adult sensibility, is the raw stuff of their lives, in their own words. Isn't it time to listen?

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About the Author:

Betsy Franco has published more than forty books, including poetry and nonfiction titles for children. She inspires trust in the many different people she meets in the course of her work as a writer. As she explains, "My philosophy when researching and writing books has always been to let adults, young adults, and children spread for themselves as much as possible." With YOU HEAR ME, her purpose is to let teenage boys do so. And, as she says, "It's about time."

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

TIME SOMEBODY TOLD ME

Time Somebody Told Me
That I am lovely, good and real
That I am beautiful inside
If they only knew
How that would make me feel.

Time Somebody Told Me
That my mind is quick, sharp
and full of wit
That I should keep on trying
and never quit.

Time Somebody Told Me
How they loved and needed me
How my smile is filled with hope
and my spirit sets them free
How my eyes shine, full of light
How good they feel when they hug me tight.

Time Somebody Told Me

So, I had a talk with myself
Just me, nobody else
'cause it was time
Somebody Told Me.
Quantedius Hall, "Son of Reality," age 12

BUMMING THROUGH PITTSBURGH? MAYBE NOT.
Hey, where are you going?
Where will you be in five to ten years?
Is it college, career, or do you really care
with your dark baggy clothing
and whacked out hair,
your face, an unfinished puzzle.
The moon only shines for those who request it.

Because the moon only shines for those who request it,
your face is an unfinished puzzle
with your whacked out hair
and dark baggy clothing.
Do you really care? Is it college, career-
where will you be in five to ten years?
Hey, where are you going?
Antony E. W. Kirkland, age 18

I need to do something,
Write a letter,
Let it go somehow.
My heart attaches
To things, people.
When there is collision,
I lose myself in it,
In confusion.
Why not have two hearts?
I don't understand love,
But I know it exists.
Thomas Andrade, age 17

The elements are at their peak.
Clouds raging, rain falling.
It's the kind of day that makes you think . . .

What does age bring, wisdom or confidence?
Will I ever know what I need to know?
Is there such a thing as an adult?
When I get there, if I get there . . . I won't forget.
Kyle Blanchard, age 16

A feeling,
not necessarily of "I can."
not even that "things will change."
but undeniable courage
to see the future through.
dr, age 18
You Hear Me? Copyright (c) 2000 Betsy Franco. Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA

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