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50 Classic Poems Every Boy Should Know Review by Brittney Rutherford

Thor Ewing
01568 771 983
Church Bank, Burrington
Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2HT

50 Classic Poems Every Boy Should Know is a softcover book, with a collection of poetry chosen by Thor Ewing, a historian and writer. The particular poems in the book were chosen with the adventure-loving boy in mind, but they can easily be enjoyed by girls and boys alike. The book includes works written by men and women, and some of the poems feature female subjects as well, so do not let the title fool you. The title was not meant to exclude girls, but simply to encourage boys to discard the notion that “poetry is all flowers and fairies” and to enjoy the power of words.

The poems are in chronological order, and poets include Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and many others. There is a brief synopsis about each poet and the poems that are included. When the author of a poem is unknown, there is historical background that helps put the poem into perspective. Though I appreciate poetry, I’m certainly no expert, so I enjoy having some historical context with it when sharing with my kids.

These are poems about life and death, war, heroism, freedom, and many other aspects of life. Parents with younger or sensitive children should probably pre-read to make sure it is appropriate for their situation, and may wish to read the poems aloud with their kids. Middle and high school students could certainly read them independently, but the benefits of reading aloud is well known, even for older children, and this collection of poetry would be a good choice for that purpose. The discussions that should follow when reading the eloquent and wise words of great poets is well worth the investment of a few minutes a day devoted to reading aloud with your children. I would recommend this book for parents or educators who want to encourage their children, boys in particular, to experience poetry in a new way.

-Product Review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2016