Poetry Friday – A Verse Novel
Don’t miss The Good Braider, an exciting new YA verse novel by Terry Farish. Viola is a Sudanese teen who escapes Juba with her mother and younger brother in 1999 and slowly makes her way to Portland, Maine.
Smart, brave and tenacious, Viola experiences first hand the reality of war in Sudan. She yearns to escape and be free. Habuba, her grandmother, tells her,
“Who follows the elephant will have no problems.
They know how to make a path through the forest.”
Farish braids Viola’s story a strand at a time, as expertly as the hands of any Sudanese woman braiding narrow lines of hair. Viola experiences loss, betrayal, and the uncertainties of a new friendship. As she struggles to adapt to her new culture, she misses the smell of rain and the banks of the Nile in Juba.
The Good Braider is an
important book. It chronicles experiences common to many of our new refugee neighbors both their desire to fit into a new culture and their pain at leaving behind the culture they love. It is also a sensitively told tale that captures your heart.
Terry Farish is writing an article about the craft of verse novels and choices writers make as they compose and rewrite. She would like to interview writers who practice this form.
E-mail Terry if you’re willing to explore your
process with her.
Jama has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Alphabet Soup.