Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing
Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing
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Catalog Number: #5868803
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 112
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-547-57737-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-547-57737-1
Dewey: 811
Language: English
ALA Booklist
"If only you would turn / And see me / Seeing you." In rapid, clear free verse, young teens, both girls and boys, speak about falling in love e jealousy, loneliness, and hurt of rejection and breaking up, as well as the romantic bliss. The speakers are as varied as their hairdos, which include curls, straight locks, Afros, or green spikes; and the contemporary settings are diverse, too, from the classroom ("I secretly open my cell / And look at you, digitally caught") and cafeteria ("Lucky fork touched your lips") to the forest ("where boys go / When a girl says no") and town streets, where the speakers skateboard. The sex is minimal, mostly dreams ("Her hair against my throat / And the pink bud of her tongue"), and even parents' discussion of sex isn't direct; in one poem, a dad tries, and fails, to talk about the birds and the bees. Young teens will enjoy the "love sick" puns and the metaphors, lyrical and sad, that show there is poetry in the way they speak.
Horn Book
Soto presents seventy-seven original poems about teenage love. Divided into two sections, "A Girl's Tears, Her Songs" and "A Boy's Body, His Words," the free-verse poems all ring true: appropriately corny, rich with image, accessible and believable. The simple, open design encourages browsing, and readers flipping through are bound to find the right words when they need them.
Kirkus Reviews
Soto's volume of tender and truthful love poetry for teens is divided into two sections, the first titled "A Girl's Tears, Her Songs" and the second called "A Boy's Body, His Words." The deceptively simple poems examine love from many angles in verses that are by turns funny and poignant. In "Obsession," a girl talks about having so many pictures of her boyfriend that her optometrist says, "A curious case. Young lady, there's a picture / Of a boy at the back of your retinas." "Vegan for Your Love" features a boy bemoaning all the types of food he must relinquish (and the four pounds he's lost!) for his vegan girlfriend. In "Faces" a boy draws happy faces on his girlfriend's fingertips only to inexplicably fall in love with another girl later that day. When he breaks the news—and his girlfriend's heart—he looks at her fingertips: "the ink had run. / Each little face / Was sobbing, dropping / Little black tears." A gentle, affecting collection. (Poetry. 12 & up)
Publishers Weekly

Teenagers pine for, revel in and recover from early loves and relationships in Soto's (Mercy on These Teenage Chimps) collection of nearly 80 poems, divided into two sections: “A Girl's Tears, Her Songs” and “A Boy's Body, His Words.” From those in love, there are moments of joy—“Love, I like how your hair is shaggy,/ That your sweater, when wet, smells of dog./ And that you itch when I'm around” as well as poignant humor: “I checked my e-mail and my cell phone/ A hundred times a day./ You were a fake. I was the one who helped/ You in math. You didn't learn anything!” says a girl in “For the Love of Dogs.” Certain poems take a more despairing tone, as in “An Act of Kindness,” in which a boy muses, “The world is cruel. People have knives,/ And even their teeth look like knives.” Ultimately, the effect is akin to experiencing all the seasons in one day, as the simplicity of the unrhymed verse thinly veils the undercurrent of complex emotions at play. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
Gr 69 Soto skillfully captures the voice and emotions of young teens in love. The free verse poems are grouped together in two sections: "A Girl's Tears, Her Songs" and "A Boy's Body, His Words." There are selections about first kisses ("I haven't been kissed, /But I'm waiting"), young love ("We were young, not yet fourteen./What chance could our love have/In a world so rough?"), jealousy ("You narrowed your eyes at me,/Flashed red coals from deep inside you"), and rejection ("When she said no,/I took my loneliness to the river"). In "Danger" a boy says, "If I knew you were in trouble,/I would take a shovel and shovel my way/To your house, six blocks away,/And risk live wires hissing like snakes./Love, I know, can be hazardous to my health." Since many of the narrators are 13 or 14 years old, these short, accessible poems will appeal to middle schoolers, especially. A great addition to poetry collections. Ann Nored, Wilson Central High School, Lebanon, TN
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Teen poems of love and longing by acclaimed author Gary Soto. The fleeting emotions of teenagers, as changeable as the weather, ring true in these emotionally resonant poems. Narrators, both boys and girls, of various ethnicities fall in love for the first time, pine over crushes, and brood over broken hearts. Tender, lighthearted, and surprising, this collection will capture teens, tweens, and anyone who remembers what it s like to be a young person in love."

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