Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip

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9781582349480: Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip

I was smitten,
bitten
by a love bug
or something.

I didn't
even care
that I'd
just been hit.

I was in deep
smit.

Laura Crapper, a seventeen-year-old combat-boot-wearing poet with spiked red hair, renames herself Sister Slam and hits the road with her best friend, Twig. On the way to a slam poetry contest in New Jersey, they hit a pig, get pulled over by the cops, fight with one of the judges, lose the contest, get into two more fender benders, fight with each other, and finally land on the front page of a New York City newspaper for their amazing impromptu performance at the famous Tavern on the Green. The girls and their fresh style of poetry take the city by storm, but when Laura's father back in Pennsylvania has a heart attack, she must face her fears about home and the still-raw loss of her mother. This inspiring romp of a coming-of-age story, written entirely in Laura's in-your-face slam poetry style, proves you don't have to give up your home to live your dream.

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Review:

Told in the jagged rhythms of rap, with unexpected rhymes and frenetic energy, Sister Slam is a soul sister to Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat. Hip but innocent, sharp but sweet, fresh out of high school in Banesville, Pennsylvania, plump Laura Crapper and her skinny friend Twig ("an indie-goth-hippie chick like me") set out in their '69 Firebird for the Sixth Annual Tin Can, New Jersey Poetry Slam: "We'll be driving/ into the so-cool/ School of Real Life./ The College Of Reality!/ The University/ of Gray Road, Blue Sky,/ and Yellow Lines," exults Twig. As a mark of the importance of the occasion Laura chooses a new name "so hot it sizzled/ and blistered your fingers/ like Crisco-fried ham./ My new name was: Sister Slam!" In Tin Can the new poets bomb when the subject of Sister's angry poem turns out to be one of the judges. And like all road trips, this one has its bad moments (their car is totaled by a collision with a Mustang) and its wild surprises (the driver turns out to be a hunky guy named Jake with "avocado-hotto eyes"). A spontaneous performance at a restaurant catapults the two poets into fame on the slam circuit, with success beyond their dreams as they rant onstage in thrift store chic--until real life intervenes. Teen slammers will snap their fingers along with Twig and Sister in this lighthearted and innovative verse novel. (ages 12 to 16) --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

Linda Oatman High is an award-winning author of many books for children and young adults. Her book Barn Savers was an ALA Top of the List Best Picture Book, and Under New York was named a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book and a Nick Jr. Best Book of the Year. She frequently offers writing workshops and enjoys visiting schools. Linda lives with her family in Pennsylvania.

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