Emma Patton


Dependable, Primary, Intermediate, poetry; friendship; grief; moving; transitions; elementary school; middle school; poverty; sisters

Document Type

Book Review


Emerson Elementary is closing, which makes this the last group of fifth graders in Emerson Elementary history. Through poems that their teacher asks them to write throughout the year, the students in Ms. Hill’s fifth grade share who they are and what they care about. Some write only about the basics: their likes and dislikes or the interaction they have with other students in the class. But others find themselves struggling with much deeper issues and use poetry to express and work through some of their deepest vulnerabilities. As the students approach a time of change in their life, they are forced to learn how to use their voices in whatever form they can to speak about what matters to them. Even if their voices can’t create the change that they expect or want to see, it doesn’t mean that they can’t make change happen.