Soul Moon Soup


In this volume of connected poems, Johnson (Hurricane Henrietta) crystallizes the emotions of a homeless girl, who describes herself as “fading fast” as she loses sight of hope. In the opening poems, Phoebe Rose longs for her past life, when she lived with both of her parents in an unheated minibus. After her mother decides she and Phoebe need to move to a shelter, “for more quiet/ less fun,” Phoebe’s sense of loss dissolves into a feeling of emptiness: “But deep inside I’m slowing down,/ down deep inside I’m shutting down,/ closing down, turning into/ nothing.” The mood shifts again, after Phoebe and her mother lose their only possession, a suitcase, and hit bottom. Phoebe is sent to live with her grandmother in the country, and it is here, under Gram’s nurturing guidance, that Phoebe allows herself to feel again. She “crack[s] open” far enough to let in a friend, neighbor Ruby, and dares to express her secret dreams through art. With the exception of Phoebe’s somewhat contrived tie to Ruby (who could be her real sister), the story has poignancy. Readers will be moved by Phoebe’s slow acceptance of her loved ones’ failings and by her rebound into the stream of life. Ages 10-up. (2002)

Author: Lindsay Lee Johnson
ISBN: 1-886910-87-1
Count: 1
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