Thursday, June 27, 2019

Poetry Friday: Be Grateful

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Buffy Silverman. Be sure to check out her lovely review of "Hello, I'm Here!" by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes asked Charlesbridge editor, Karen Boss, to issue this month's Ditty Challenge. Karen challenged us to write a poem in 2nd person offering advice to a child. Today, I'm sharing my two cents.

Be Grateful
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

For each new sunrise
that comes your way.
For the opportunities
of each new day.

For family that loves you
more than you could know.
For loyal friendships 
you sew and grow.

For a home that shelters,
keeps you safe and sound.
For your treasures lost
that have been found.

For food and drink
and special sweet treats.
For air conditioning
and furnace for heat.

For the chance to learn
and go to school.
For summers spent splashing
in a swimming pool.

For medicine for when
you're feeling queasy.
For amazing days
when life is easy.

Even on bad days
that are hard and rough,
remember this poem
and all the good stuff.

Copyright 2019

In other poetry news, my S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry partner, Heidi Bee Roemer, and I have been busily adding new videos, acitivites, and book lists to the site. Be sure to click over to check it out. We are also hosting a video contest for next year's poems. Here are the details:
EDU Contest CALL: Pre-Service Teachers, Librarians, & Media Specialists
With an offer of cash prizes, Heidi Bee Roemer, children's author/poet and creator of the vlog, "S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry Videos for Pk-8," is hosting the Second Annual Poetry-Video Contest for College Students. Heidi seeks to enlist a Professor of English or Education or Information to oversee a classroom contest among their pre-service teachers or school media specialists. Ms. Roemer will provide guidelines and a packet of S.T.E.A.M. children’s poems. Contestants can choose a poem and create a short, core-curriculum based video which will be of use in their future classrooms or libraries. First prize is $100, Second, $50, and Third, $25. All entries of good quality will be posted on Heidi's vlog: For details and guidelines, email Heidi at
We truly appreciate all of the likes, shares, and love you've given us on social media. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Poetry Friday: Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Linda at A Word Edgewise blog. Please click over to read all of this week's poetry goodness.

You may remember several weeks ago I reviewed A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS by Alice Faye Duncan. This week, I'm gushing over Faye Duncan's MEMPHIS, MARTIN, AND THE MOUNTAINTOP. This book tells the true story of the last days of Martin Luther King through the eyes of a fictional little girl named Lorraine Jackson. Lorraine's father is a sanitation worker in Memphis, Tennessee. Two of his fellow workers are killed on the job by old equipment that city bosses refuse to maintain and fix. The sanitation worker's union tries to fight for better wages and working conditions, but the mayor refuses to acknowledge the union. Outraged by the deaths of their fellow workers, the sanitation employees agree to strike. The strike eventually gets the attention of Dr. King. He agrees to come to Memphis to walk with protesters. While there, he delivers his famous, "I've Been To The Mountaintop" sermon. Sadly, Dr. King was assassinated outside of his hotel room the next day. His inspiring words carried striking workers forward in protest, and it wasn't long after that the strike was settled with help from the intervention of President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Alice Faye Duncan's lyrical and vivid language and R. Gregory Christie's illustrations bring this story to life. It's no wonder that this book was chosen as 2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, an SLJ Best Book Of The Year, and A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book. If it's not already on your school or library bookshelf, please don't hesitate. It's not only a great addition to any civil rights collection, it's an inspiring story of perseverance- a beautifully written reminder to never stop fighting for what you believe in. I'll leave you with the words on the last page of the book:


Dream big.
Walk tall.
Be strong.
March on.
Don't quit.
Never stop.
Climb up the MOUNTAINTOP!