|Diamond Willow, by Helen Frost, has won the 2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award! This award is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the University Libraries, and the Pennsylvania School Librarians’ Association. It comes with a boatload of honor and $1,000 from Lee Bennett Hopkins. Wow.
Mary Lee at a Year of Reading recommended Diamond Willow to me last September after I posted an acrostic of mine and a Sara Holbrook poem with a poem-within-a-poem. I read it shortly after that, loved it, and thought I had blogged about it. Apparently, I thought wrong, because I can’t find such a post.
Anyway, it’s a lovely book of poetry, every poem shaped like a diamond like those on the special diamond willow sticks. And within each diamond-shaped poem is a set of bold words, creating a mini-poem-within-a-poem. The poems follow Willow, a 12-year-old Alaska girl who wants to prove she’s old enough to mush her grandparents’ dogs.
When Willow makes a risky choice that brings danger, she learns that independence is great, but interdependence is even better–and she has friends and loved ones looking out for her that surprise her and the reader.
Check out Sylvia Vardell’s announcement to read a poem from the book.
Congratulations, Helen Frost and Diamond Willow (Frances Foster Books)!