Speak to Me: (And I Will Listen Between the Lines)
Six voices from an inner-city classroom
In a series of candid free-form poems, Karen English presents the thoughts of six third-grade children in one day and one classroom at an inner-city public school. Malcolm is the central observer, but also a dreamer. Rica has turned eight today, and her real father will be picking her up later. Brianna is upset because Rica has given over "best friend" status to Neecy. There's Lamont, who aspires to be teacher's pet, and Tyrell, a kid bound for trouble from the moment he arrives.
Inspired by her own experience as an elementary school teacher, Ms. English captures voices that reflect a range of emotion and interest children will easily identify with, and Amy June Bates's watercolors breathe pictorial life into the characters.