Sunday, February 26, 2012


Frost, Helen. 2011. HIDDEN. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. ISBN 9780374382216 [Suggested Reading Levels 6-12]

When Wren was eight years old, she remained in the car while her mother went into the gas station to pay for gas and get a drink, not knowing that the station is being robbed. The robber flees by stealing the car with Wren in it and drives her to his house, not knowing she is hiding in the back. Once there, Wren is afraid to leave the safety of the car parked in the garage—until she hears him abusing his wife and daughter, a daughter who has discovered Wren and brought her food and water. Wren escapes and calls the police who arrest the man and send him to prison. Fast forward six years and Wren is at camp where she recognizes Darra, the abused daughter of her kidnapper. Wary of each other, eventually the two begin to talk about their shared experience and its repercussions. Helen Frost is a master of the verse novel and the alternating voices of the two girls are distinctive in their poetic styles. The twists and turns and secrets combined with the superb artistry makes this an appealing novel in verse.

Use this book to introduce dialogue in poetry. Pair students, give them a situation and have them write a verse conversation in alternating voices.

Verse novels for middle grade readers:
Frost, Helen. DIAMOND WILLOW. ISBN 9780374317768
Grimes, Nicki. PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL. ISBN 9781599902845
Howe, James. ABBIE ON THE INSIDE. ISBN 9781416913849

By Janet Hilbun

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