Overheard in a Tower Block

Publisher: Otter-Barry Books

Review

Recounting the childhood of a child living in a city tower block, many of these poems are sad or angry and bristle with an edginess that young teens may find refreshing when compared to other poetry aimed at them.

Unlike Coelho’s previous work which was focused at primary school children, this collection deals with a variety of difficult issues around parental absence, growing up, bullying, but also less everyday concepts like mythology and nature. There’s a real spread of form and content so young teens will be able to pick out pieces that particularly resonate.

There is definitely space for modern poetry for secondary age that doesn’t rhyme or fall into a rap or performative spoken word style. Coelho’s collection uses a lot of blank verse and other techniques and approaches that teachers might need to highlight to kids, so that they really appreciate the form side of things. The content is current, personal, moving and needs saying.

Share this page with your friends

More books like this

Bone Talk

Author: Candy Gourlay

Samkad is a boy from a remote Filipino "headhunter" tribe called Bontok in the highlands of the Philippines, back in around 1899 – on the brink of invasion by American invaders. A brilliant, exciting and fascinating adventure story.

Read more about Bone Talk

Becoming Jo

Author: Sophie McKenzie

Jo has always wanted to be a writer - but with three sisters, a new friend who's just moved in to her street, and a father working as a humanist minister in Syria, there's a lot going on. A clever retelling of Little Women which transports the March sisters to the modern day.

Read more about Becoming Jo