Cover image for You hear me? : poems and writing by teenage boys
You hear me? : poems and writing by teenage boys
Franco, Betsy.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 107 pages ; 21 cm
An anthology of stories, poems, and essays by adolescent boys on issues that concern them.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 7.1 5 Quiz: 22875 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ5 .F925 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PZ5 .F925 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



More than 70 poems and essays by boys, ages 12-18, collected from around the country.Allows the disenfranchised, the misunderstood, the stereotyped, the feared, the villianized -- the adolescent boy -- a chance to speak and be heard above the din of news stories, magazine articles, sociological analyses, and talk shows that attempt to dissect and sum up his character.Like Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, this book speaks straight to the heart on issues and emotions kids grapple with every day. Some of the topics included are masculinity; sexuality; relationships with family, friends, or lovers; sports; self- silence; school; hair; clothes; music; poverty; adoption; loss; confusion; addiction; parenthood; dreams and goals.Honest, hard-hitting, funny, poignant, sad, angry, tragic, strong, celebratory, optimistic, hopeful.After reading this book, you will find a complexity and fragility in teenage boys that you may not have previously recognized. May this book help you to see more clearly and listen more carefully.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. With more urgency than many YA novels, the poems and brief prose pieces in this fine anthology speak directly in teen voices about boys coming of age. They talk about love and anger ("I woke up pissed this morning"); about sex ("some good pussy") and jealousy ("You fell for gelboy and his hair"); about the "monster" drugs, family warmth, rejection; conformity, and bullying; about being gay ("queer is more than / cocks and A.I.D.S.") and accepting that your father is gay. The poetry is rooted in a wide range of neighborhoods, families, and classrooms, and the language is direct and frank, with a rhythm ("I'm / not a / hip hop / Dred / retro / 4-pierced brother") and a physical immediacy in the imagery. Some voices are more private, about secrets, sadness, the weariness of the blues, and the loneliness when a girlfriend leaves ("the photograph torn in half"). In one of the best pieces, a boy thinks about his birth mother ("What if . . . ?"). There are no intrusive illustrations, just the images and music of the words, and lots of white space that makes it easy to browse. Many teens will recognize their search for themselves. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Through these mostly free-verse lines, the hopes, dreams, fears, and desires of young men from different cultures and backgrounds shine through. They pull no punches with their words in these openly honest, raw, and sometimes tender selections. They talk about what you'd expect-drugs, girls, AIDS, sex, parents-sometimes in unexpected ways. For example, 12-year-old Quantedius Hall's first stanza-"Time Somebody Told Me/That I am lovely, good and real/That I am beautiful inside/If they only knew/How that would make me feel." What do these boys want? "I want to live my life/through peace and knowledge./-I want to wake up/to clean, fresh air/blowing in my face," says 14-year-old John Merrell. Others speak of the fear of alternately being abandoned and loved, of being shunned or ridiculed. Obviously, there's some harsh language and tough situations but they add to the believability and timeliness of the words. You Hear Me? is a fresh approach to hearing what today's youths have to say, and it's refreshing that the words came straight from them.-Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.