Everything All At Once

Publisher: Macmillan

What is secondary school for you? Friends; enemies. A haven; a jungle. Somewhere lonely; somewhere full of life. A set of walls within which a thousand thoughts, emotions and experiences take place.

Here is a story of one day at one secondary school, told entirely in verse, each poem/chapter a different student’s perspective, capturing in one perfect snapshot all the wonderfulness and terribleness of being a teenager.

There’s the girl taking refuge in the bathroom at break time; there’s the kid who’s so much smarter than he lets on; the one betrayed by the friend she trusted; the boy desperate to be outside on the field, running. Where do you sit at lunchtime if your best friend’s off school? When do you say no to a fight? How do you find the courage to step in front of the class?

Crowded corridors, daydreams, arguments, love, friendship, gossip, anxiety, being yourself or fitting in. Being a teenager is like experiencing everything all at once. Some poems cross over one another, while others remain isolated, just like the students themselves. It’s poignant and funny; by turns familiar and then surprising; accessible yet uses a depth of language, and ultimately feels incredibly profound. 

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