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Poetry for Young People: Walt Whitman

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Sit back and travel the universe through the imagination of Walt Whitman. From the depths of the sea to the far reaches of the cosmos, from the songs of America’s workers to the plight of America’s slaves, you’re about to embark on an experience you’ll never forget! More than twenty-five of Walt Whitman’s most popular poems, including “O Captain! My Captain!,” “I Hear Amer Sit back and travel the universe through the imagination of Walt Whitman. From the depths of the sea to the far reaches of the cosmos, from the songs of America’s workers to the plight of America’s slaves, you’re about to embark on an experience you’ll never forget! More than twenty-five of Walt Whitman’s most popular poems, including “O Captain! My Captain!,” “I Hear America Singing,” and many selections from Leaves of Grass, have been gathered and stunningly illustrated in this wonderful collection.


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Sit back and travel the universe through the imagination of Walt Whitman. From the depths of the sea to the far reaches of the cosmos, from the songs of America’s workers to the plight of America’s slaves, you’re about to embark on an experience you’ll never forget! More than twenty-five of Walt Whitman’s most popular poems, including “O Captain! My Captain!,” “I Hear Amer Sit back and travel the universe through the imagination of Walt Whitman. From the depths of the sea to the far reaches of the cosmos, from the songs of America’s workers to the plight of America’s slaves, you’re about to embark on an experience you’ll never forget! More than twenty-five of Walt Whitman’s most popular poems, including “O Captain! My Captain!,” “I Hear America Singing,” and many selections from Leaves of Grass, have been gathered and stunningly illustrated in this wonderful collection.

56 review for Poetry for Young People: Walt Whitman

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl is busier irl atm.

    My rating might possibly be a bit harsh. But consider: I've read other introductions to Whitman that I enjoyed more & learned more from; I have read many from this series, and this one just doesn't have the impact on me that the others have, and though the illustrator took care, it doesn't seem to me that he really felt in his heart what he should have been trying to express as the pictures seem prompted by literal or at least obvious interpretations with no spark. I will however certainly contin My rating might possibly be a bit harsh. But consider: I've read other introductions to Whitman that I enjoyed more & learned more from; I have read many from this series, and this one just doesn't have the impact on me that the others have, and though the illustrator took care, it doesn't seem to me that he really felt in his heart what he should have been trying to express as the pictures seem prompted by literal or at least obvious interpretations with no spark. I will however certainly continue to read through, and heartily recommend, the entire series of Poetry for Young People.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lstirl

    A nicely illustrated introduction to the classic poetry of Walt Whitman. Ages 10-16 I hate to disagree with classics but I found the majority of this book to be tedious to read silently to myself, I cannot imagine having a sit down read aloud with a small child of this entire volume, front to back. I appreciate the premise behind this book as a way of introducing the beauty of this classic poetry, however, I would argue that these poems need to be appreciated one or two at a time for a young child A nicely illustrated introduction to the classic poetry of Walt Whitman. Ages 10-16 I hate to disagree with classics but I found the majority of this book to be tedious to read silently to myself, I cannot imagine having a sit down read aloud with a small child of this entire volume, front to back. I appreciate the premise behind this book as a way of introducing the beauty of this classic poetry, however, I would argue that these poems need to be appreciated one or two at a time for a young child. The subject matters are sometimes abstract and the language from a different time. For example, the poem "To a Locomotive in Winter," is about trains, which is always a hit with younger children. However, the first line is "Thee for my recitative," and the third, "Thee in thy panoply," and while I think a young child might appreciate the lyrical nature of the words, they would have difficulty deciphering a meaning. Most children in the preoperational stage are focused on learning meaning from less abstract ideas than the ones presented in some of the poems. Furthermore, the poems "A Man's Body at Auction and "Did you Read in the Seabooks" are downright violent and are dealing with the subjects or war and slavery. Those can be heavy topics for some children. There are some more concrete poems included, such as "I Hear America Singing," and "On the Beach at Night." In fact, on the Beach at Night is perfect for a young child. The illustrations are pleasant, full paged and fit nicely with the poems. Also included in the back is a lovely biography of the poet. I would include this volume in my collection as the historical nature including the American History topics of the poems, combined with the classic nature, make it valuable. However, I would read the poems myself before sharing with a child to make sure the subject matter was appropriate to their developmental level and I would introduce the poems a few at a time, not as a sit down, cover to cover read. The other use for this book would be for an older child, however, the presentation as a picture book makes it appear as if it was for a younger child and that might be a turn-off to a tween aged child, who I think this would be best for. Because of this, I'm having trouble placing an age range for this item. The look of it is for a younger child, while the contents are for a young teen. School Library Journal An outstanding introduction to Whitman's life and work. This collection of 26 poems and excerpts from longer poems is prefaced by a biographical sketch and a description of the time period. Students will be impressed by the poet's daring departure from traditional metered and rhyming poetry. Levin guides readers into understanding the importance of Whitman's oeuvre. He introduces each selection with pertinent information about its relevance to a larger work, its relationship to Whitman's beliefs, or the symbolism within it. Words that students might find difficult are defined at the bottom of the page. Beginning with the patriotic "I Hear America Singing," the collection includes excerpts from "Song of Myself," "O Captain! My Captain!," poems from Leaves of Grass, and a variety of other selections that are thought-provoking, descriptive, and full of emotion. Burke's pastel drawings add to the feelings Levin describes, and to the emotional impact of each poem. Several illustrations are historical in nature; others reflect ordinary lives and activities of the times. Still others show Whitman's sense of the miracles and mysticism of life. This superb volume can be used to teach literature or to show a variety of poetic devices and style. Students who have been taught to appreciate poetry will enjoy it on their own.--Betty Teague, Blythe Academy of Languages, Greenville, SC I like her description of using this book as a teaching tool. That is how I see it, rather than a purely pleasurable book, unless your child is really into classic poetry. The poems are very thought provoking and fun to interpret though, I do agree with that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Summary This book of poems by Walt Whitman begins with Levin describing Whitman’s life and the subjects he write about in his poems. Whitman loved to travel and write about the common everyday people and things he encountered on these travels. During the early stages of his writing, people didn’t have an open mind for the structure and subjects of his works. Reading through the poems gives you the feeling of being with Whitman on his journeys throughout the land. The brightly colored illustration Summary This book of poems by Walt Whitman begins with Levin describing Whitman’s life and the subjects he write about in his poems. Whitman loved to travel and write about the common everyday people and things he encountered on these travels. During the early stages of his writing, people didn’t have an open mind for the structure and subjects of his works. Reading through the poems gives you the feeling of being with Whitman on his journeys throughout the land. The brightly colored illustrations allow you to picture what he’s talking about and make you feel that you are standing in the time. Response I noticed this book appeals to students eagerness to learn by placing statements of what the poem is about before the start of the poems. This makes you interested in wanting to know more about the subject. Often during our reading we run across words we don’t understand and lose interest because we don’t know what the author is talking about. Levin place definitions of words he feel students may not understand right on the page below the poem. The talent of the illustrator’s use of color and detail peaks your curiosity. Classroom Connection I would connect this book to a vocabulary lesson. I would have the students write the vocabulary words and definitions at the bottom of each poem on paper. I would give the time to study the words and definitions. Then I would have them write a sentence using each of the words. Text Complexity There is not a Lexile measure available for this book, but I would give it a 1050L Lexile measure and a Guided Reading level Z. There is an interest level for 6 – 8 Grades. Students should be able to read by alone by the middle of 6th Grade.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Johncady

    Walt Whitman was one of the most important and influential writers in American history, and this book is a good way to introduce new readers to his poetry. After the author biography, the first section of the book is mainly Whitman's poems about American society and life. The second portion focuses on his works surrounding the Civil War and the death of Abraham Lincoln, two events that he lived through and affected him as much as they affected the entire country. The last portion is some of his Walt Whitman was one of the most important and influential writers in American history, and this book is a good way to introduce new readers to his poetry. After the author biography, the first section of the book is mainly Whitman's poems about American society and life. The second portion focuses on his works surrounding the Civil War and the death of Abraham Lincoln, two events that he lived through and affected him as much as they affected the entire country. The last portion is some of his works on nature. The illustrations are soft and colorful, but very realistic, which fits the style of Whitman.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cathi

    I've read four or five of the Poetry for Young People books, and they're all terrific. Each one has a different illustrator, and the pictures really highlight the style of the particular poet and his/her work. I enjoyed this one, and it was nice to re-read some poems I hadn't read in decades. Also, there were a few new ones (well, new for me) which I really enjoyed. "The Artilleryman's Vision" and "The Runaway Slave" were especially powerful. I hope to enjoy more of these poetry collections in t I've read four or five of the Poetry for Young People books, and they're all terrific. Each one has a different illustrator, and the pictures really highlight the style of the particular poet and his/her work. I enjoyed this one, and it was nice to re-read some poems I hadn't read in decades. Also, there were a few new ones (well, new for me) which I really enjoyed. "The Artilleryman's Vision" and "The Runaway Slave" were especially powerful. I hope to enjoy more of these poetry collections in the future. They're meant for young readers, but I'm certainly enjoying them myself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Lovejoy

    This was the third poetry book I bought to reward myself for memorizing 52 poems. It is another treasure. Not only did I enjoy the poems and illustrations, but I also enjoyed learning more about Walt Witman.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Brown

    Accessible book for children, including defined vocabulary and backstory for each poem. I love this series!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I loved Whitman’s style of writing! Really whimsical and beautiful!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Really enjoyed discussing these with my teen.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becky Kondritz

    I like this series for middle school students. Provides enough details about the author and the poems, but it does not tell the students what they have to think.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alma

    Levin, Jonathan. Poetry for Young People, Walt Whitman. Scholastic. 1997. 48 pp. ISBN: 0439375452. Genre: Poetry, Non-fiction, series Rating: 4.00 Stars. A collection of poems written by Walt Whitman. Summary: At the beginning of the book, there is a brief summary about Walt Whitman. The remaining of the book is a collection of poems written by Walt Whitman, edited by Jonathan Levin and beautiful pictures illustrated by Jim Burke. Poems also contain a brief summary, giving the setting of when the Levin, Jonathan. Poetry for Young People, Walt Whitman. Scholastic. 1997. 48 pp. ISBN: 0439375452. Genre: Poetry, Non-fiction, series Rating: 4.00 Stars. A collection of poems written by Walt Whitman. Summary: At the beginning of the book, there is a brief summary about Walt Whitman. The remaining of the book is a collection of poems written by Walt Whitman, edited by Jonathan Levin and beautiful pictures illustrated by Jim Burke. Poems also contain a brief summary, giving the setting of when the poem was written, as well as a list of vocabulary word/definitions. Main Characters: Walt Whitman – author of the poems Key Issues: Civil War, slavery, poetry, animals Other interesting information: Nice way to introduce students to poetry.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Diehl

    While I am an avid reader, I rarely like poetry. This book is a mix of poettry by Walt Whitman. Often it is excerpts of the poems. I tried to find one that I liked and I couldn't. If kids are interested in poetry, I imagine this would be a good book to recommend. It has colorful drawings and it tells what some of the words mean at the bottom of each page. For me though, the most interesting part of the book was the 5 page biography at the beginning of the book. While I am an avid reader, I rarely like poetry. This book is a mix of poettry by Walt Whitman. Often it is excerpts of the poems. I tried to find one that I liked and I couldn't. If kids are interested in poetry, I imagine this would be a good book to recommend. It has colorful drawings and it tells what some of the words mean at the bottom of each page. For me though, the most interesting part of the book was the 5 page biography at the beginning of the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miguel

    I liked this poetry book. It talked a lot about the past during the Civil War. One of my favorite poems in this book is "O Captain!" "My Captain!". It Talks about the end of the Civil War and that the plan to end slavery was a success. But at the end of every stanza, it say "Where on the deck my captain lies, Fallen cold and dead." This refers to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. I recommend this book to people who love poetry and like to read Walt Whitman's poetry. I liked this poetry book. It talked a lot about the past during the Civil War. One of my favorite poems in this book is "O Captain!" "My Captain!". It Talks about the end of the Civil War and that the plan to end slavery was a success. But at the end of every stanza, it say "Where on the deck my captain lies, Fallen cold and dead." This refers to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. I recommend this book to people who love poetry and like to read Walt Whitman's poetry.

  14. 5 out of 5

    jacky

    I don't like Whitman as much as Frost and Dickinson, so that made an impact on my judgment of this book. Like the others in this series, I think a book such as this is a good way to introduce "classic" poems to kids, and the illustrations, although literal, are helpful for comprehension. I don't like Whitman as much as Frost and Dickinson, so that made an impact on my judgment of this book. Like the others in this series, I think a book such as this is a good way to introduce "classic" poems to kids, and the illustrations, although literal, are helpful for comprehension.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A good selection of poems from Whitman that children could enjoy. I thought the illustrations matched the style of the poetry. No need to argue Whitman's place in literature although he is probably not my favorite poet. A good selection of poems from Whitman that children could enjoy. I thought the illustrations matched the style of the poetry. No need to argue Whitman's place in literature although he is probably not my favorite poet.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam Strickland

    The book performs its job of introducing younger readers to Whitman’s poetry. I wish the editors had focused a bit less on excerpts from his longer poems. The biographical introduction is brief and informative as well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Theodora Kousountidis

    Walt Whitman, another fantastic poet!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    a good selection of poems and information about the poems explaining them to children i love the way this series presents the poems with beautiful pictures and explianations

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annika Garbers

  22. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  23. 5 out of 5

    ☼Book her, Doesn't Like New GR Format☼

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alena

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jake

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  31. 4 out of 5

    Community District Library

  32. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  33. 4 out of 5

    Bob Diehl

  34. 5 out of 5

    Christieburke

  35. 5 out of 5

    Pragya

  36. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Martin

  39. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  40. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Cooper Russell

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kenzie Cornelison

  42. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  43. 4 out of 5

    john

  44. 4 out of 5

    Carla Swanson

  45. 5 out of 5

    Renee

  46. 5 out of 5

    John Lisa

  47. 4 out of 5

    Karisa Riddle

  48. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  49. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  50. 4 out of 5

    Kimber

  51. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Hurst

  52. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  53. 4 out of 5

    Makenzie

  54. 5 out of 5

    Alexandrea

  55. 5 out of 5

    Kailey

  56. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie

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