Strangely, I'm beginning to see the nineteenth-century, American poet Emily Dickinson mentioned in a number of book reviews for young adults lately. I've always loved Emily Dickinson, so I'm happy to see her work being introduced to a new generation. In one review I saw, she is a detective, but in two, her poetry helps the main characters deal some very difficult life circumstances.
I just finished Hope Is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera, the story of Star Mackie, a fifth grader with a "layered haircut" and midnight blue streaks. She's new to her school and is having a hard time fitting after her classmates discover that she lives in a trailer park. I knew I would like this book after the first sentence when I read the description of her home as being part of "Treasure Trailers, in the pink-tinted trailer with the flamingo hot glued to the roof."
Star has a wonderful sense of a writer's voice that comes out in some very humorous vocabulary sentences that she writes for her teacher. In order to make friends, she decides to start an Emily Dickinson poetry club after reading one of her poems that the teacher posted on the chalkboard. As the novel progresses, we find that Star's life is more complicated than indicated by her initial loneliness and that she really needs to find the hope that she first discovered at a county fair on a ferris wheel.
A humorous and hopeful story of a young girl trying to make her way in her new school.
Advisory: the plot line includes a teenage pregnancy.