A standout is This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Poet Joyce Sidman has invented an imaginary class of sixth-graders who write sorry poems as part of a poetry unit. The famous poem that inspired this project is This Is Just to Say, in which William Carlos Williams apologizes to his wife for eating the plums she left in the refrigerator. ( Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold. ) The concept for Sidman's book is original and entertaining, using a fictional classroom to bring a group of poems and their elementary school authors to life. There are verses about dodge ball mishaps, stolen doughnuts, a fashion faux pas, broken windows, crushes and spelling bees. There is humor, sadness and drama as people respond to each poem. Lively mixed-media illustrations by Pamela Zagarenski add to the fun. This is a fabulous book to show students the many forms that poetry can take and to inspire them to write their own sorry poems.

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