The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary (Paperback)
An award-winning, big-hearted time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. A great pick for fans of Margarita Engle and Eileen Spinelli.
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.
But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class
has plans for you.
They’re going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.
Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.
Honors and Praise:
Winner of a Cybils Award in Poetry
Winner of an Arnold Adoff Poetry Honor Award for New Voices
An NCTE Notable Verse Novel
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year
An ILA-CBC Children’s Choice
Nominated for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award, the Wisconsin State Reading Association Children’s Book Award, the Rhode Island Children’s Book Award, and the Great Stone Face Award (New Hampshire), Lectio Book Award Master List
“This gently evocative study of change in all its glory and terror would make a terrific read-aloud or introduction to a poetry unit. A most impressive debut.” —School Library Journal
“Sure to inspire the poet in all of us, young and old.” —Mark Goldblatt, author of Twerp
About the Author
Laura Shovan has been a writer since the second grade. After graduating from NYU's Dramatic Writing Program, she taught high school and worked as a freelance journalist. She is now an educational consultant for teens with learning difficulties. She edited two poetry anthologies and is the author of the Harriss Poetry prize-winning chapbook Moutain, Log, Salt, and Stone. Laura and her family live in Maryland, where she is a longtime poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council. This is her first novel. Visit her online at laurashovan.com and on Twitter at @LauraShovan.
“The poems are easy to read, in authentic-sounding language that captures the poets' personalities; avatar-like illustrations accompany each piece to remind readers of who's who. A helpful guide to poetic forms appears at the end of the book.” —The Horn Book
“Entertaining . . . Shovan skillfully employs different poetic forms and styles...Characters... will inspire readers as they find the courage to save their school and make their voices heard, both as a united front and as capable, valuable individuals.” —Publishers Weekly
“Eighteen kids. Eighteen Stories. An original idea, artfully and heartfully rendered. What a treat.” —Eileen Spinelli, author of Another Day as Emily and other books
“A delightful book, with an endearing cast of characters who can help teach the craft of poetry while sharing their own diverse personal stories.” —Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree