Geography projects include: building a "state tree" with leaves from as many types of trees as possible; recreating the path of a state river using a wire coat hanger, and more.
The poetry is wonderful, but the real power in this book is the way that Judith Valente and her husband Charles Reynard have designed the overall experience for readers.
Both are respected poets. Both also are successful in other fields. Judith is famous as a regular reporter on PBS's "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly." Charles is a judge. On the side, they conduct inspirational writing workshops and also work with at-risk groups, including incarcerated young people.
Their book is an offering of 20 poems, not as the "best" in all the world -- but as beloved poems in their lives. They explain why they came to love these poems and invite us to contemplate similarly loving relationships with poetry.
This isn't an overly sweet or an overly preachy book. These are friendly neighbors sitting down for conversation with a warming cup of tea -- one reflection actually involves tea.
They understand exactly how the spiritual experience of reading should flow.
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