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The Resource Keesha's house, Helen Frost

Keesha's house, Helen Frost

Label
Keesha's house
Title
Keesha's house
Statement of responsibility
Helen Frost
Title variation
Keeshas house
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again
Award
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2004
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2008
Review
  • Gr. 6-10. Like Virginia Euwer Wolff's True Believer (2001) and much contemporary YA fiction, this moving first novel tells the story in a series of dramatic monologues that are personal, poetic, and immediate, with lots of line breaks that make for easy reading, alone or in readers' theater. Keesha finds shelter in a house in her inner-city neighborhood and helps other troubled teens find home and family there ("like finding a sister when I'm old / enough to pick a good one"). Stephie is pregnant, and she's heartbroken that her boyfriend doesn't want the baby. Harris is gay; his dad has thrown him out. Carmen is fighting addiction. Dontay's parents are in jail, and he doesn't feel comfortable in his latest foster home. Interwoven with the angry, desperate teen voices are those of the adults in their lives: caring, helpless, abusive, indifferent. In a long note, Frost talks about the poetic forms she has used, the sestina and the sonnet. But most readers will be less interested in that framework than in the characters, drawn with aching realism, who speak poetry in ordinary words and make connections. (Reviewed March 1, 2003) -- Hazel Rochman
  • Gr 9 Up –Frost has taken the poem-story to a new level with well-crafted sestinas and sonnets, leading readers into the souls and psyches of her teen protagonists. The house in the title isn't really Keesha's; it belongs to Joe. His aunt took him in when he was 12, and now that he's an adult and the owner of the place, he is helping out kids in the same situation. Keesha needs a safe place to stay–her mother is dead; her father gets mean when he drinks, and he drinks a lot. She wants to stay in school, all these teens do, and Keesha lets them know they can stay at Joe's. There's Stephie, pregnant at 16, and terrified to tell anyone except her boyfriend. Harris's father threw him out when his son confided that he is gay. Katie's stepfather has taken to coming into her room late at night, and her mother refuses to believe her when she tells. Carmen's parents have run off, and she's been put into juvie for a DUI. Dontay is a foster kid with two parents in jail. Readers also hear from the adults in these young people's lives: teachers, parents, grandparents, and Joe. It sounds like a soap opera, but the poems that recount these stories unfold realistically. Revealing heartbreak and hope, these poems could stand alone, but work best as a story collection. Teens may read this engaging novel without even realizing they are reading poetry.–Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR --Angela J. Reynolds (Reviewed March 1, 2003) (School Library Journal, vol 49, issue 3, p232)
  • Sestinas and sonnets carry the storyline in Frost's multi-voiced story of teens struggling to find their way in the world. While playing somewhat with the structure required, Frost underplays her virtuosity to let readers focus on the characters and their plight. Seven teen voices are heard in describing their individual need to find a secure home and in two sections the voices of various adults round out the narrative. Stephie and her boyfriend Jason struggle with a pregnancy that seems sure to blight their futures. Keesha has found Joe's house and made it her refuge, offering hope to Katie and, in turn, the others. Katie's stepfather is trying to abuse her and her mother is unwilling or unable to protect her. Carmen is trying to help Dontay, who hates his new foster home, when her drinking lands her in jail. Staying at the home of their out-of-control father, Keesha's brother Tobias sounds the wake-up call without speaking a word in the poems. His fate is a catalyst that draws the others gradually together for support. In a surprisingly rigid format, the poems manage to seem spontaneous and still carry the plot easily. With a number of threads to follow, no one character is at the center, but there is great satisfaction in seeing the narratives gradually mesh as the isolation recedes and support is given. Impressive. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2003)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
082514
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1949-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Frost, Helen
Index
no index present
Intended audience
NP
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
Reading level
4.4
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Teenagers
  • Home
  • Family problems
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Poetry
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
Keesha's house, Helen Frost
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Frances Foster Books"
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
451194
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
ix, 116 pages
Isbn
9780374340643
Lccn
2002022698
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780374340643
  • (Sirsi) ADJ-3650
Label
Keesha's house, Helen Frost
Publication
Note
"Frances Foster Books"
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
451194
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
ix, 116 pages
Isbn
9780374340643
Lccn
2002022698
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780374340643
  • (Sirsi) ADJ-3650

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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