Thursday, March 11, 2010

Technically, It’s Not My Fault: concrete poems to make you laugh out loud (ages 9-12)

Any book that has a poem called “The Autobiography of Murray the Fart” is going to make kids laugh and want to read more. If you're looking for a book to broaden your view of what counts as poetry, come check out John Grandit's wonderfully, creative concrete poems.
Technically, It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems
by John Grandits
NY: Clarion, 2004
ages 9-12
available from Amazon or your local library
These poems are all told from the point of view of Robert, an 11 year old boy who is clever but bored. “Technically, it’s not Robert’s fault that a concrete block fell on the car or that his sister’s homework got blown to smithereens. Really, he doesn’t try to cause trouble. He’s just an ordinary kid who likes pizza and sports and computer games.” Grandits creates visually engaging, hilarious concrete poems – shape poems that combine words, ideas, type and art to make pictures. But it’s Grandits’ humor and understanding of real kids that will make readers laugh about the most ordinary things. This accessible, goofy collection shows how you can bend and twist language to create meaning in new ways.

Take a look at John Grandit's website for a new concrete poem each month.You'll get sense of his creativity and humor.If you have a big sister in your family, you'll also enjoy Grandit's collection for young teens: Blue Lipstick. It's a definite favorite with our middle school students.  Both are available in paperback and would make a fun addition to a home or school collection.

Review copies came from our school collection. Please note if you make a purchase from Amazon using the links here, a small percentage goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you).  This will be used to purchase more books to review. Thank you for your support.


  1. I get excited by concrete poems so am eager to get the book.

  2. This is one of my favorite poetry books for upper elementary kids. On my school visits, I always partner read the Thank You Letter (with Footnotes) with 5th and 6th graders. In fact, I have to order a new copy--I've left mine behind somewhere. Ack!