Have you ever had to move away from your home and friends? If so, you will relate to poet Ralph “Fletch” Fletcher’s story in verse about relocating at the age of 12. Moving Day in anyone’s life is about far more than the day, and Fletch takes us through the whole process, starting with Dad’s announcement: “We’re going to move to Ohio.” Dad tries to soften the blow with a new bike for Fletch and something for little brother Ray, but it does not work. These free verse poems realistically explore the ups and downs that Fletch experiences, from taking fall leaves from Massachusetts along to Ohio (and finding they mix in with the leaves there) to leaving his best friend and his grandpa—and the neighborhood bully! (Maybe there is an upside!) Little brother’s concerns are sillier than Fletch’s, of course, but the reassurances from Dad and Mom are still “Just the kind of thing/ to make you feel better,/ if you’re a little kid.”
After the tables, shelves, and beds are taken apart and put on the moving truck, Fletch finds that an empty old house and an empty new house each has a different feel. Come along to see how that dumb new bike ends up helping a bit in Ohio.
You can also accompany author Ralph Fletcher in Ordinary Things: Poems from a Walk in Early Spring, which is not your father's Robert Frost, though there are similarities. In conversational, non-rhyming free verse, Fletcher describes and comments thoughtfully on the things he sees and feels: arrowhead, wind, circles, “rock dreams,” and even litter, to name a few. If the poetry gives you the urge to write, try it! You might want to check out Fletcher’s Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know, which includes advice from authors such as Jon Scieszka. However, if you’re not into writing about snot and epic battles, The Girls' Book of Glamour: A Guide to Being a Goddess includes a chapter on how to write your first autobiography. To discover how to write poems, plays, biographies, and more, you can find many more resources at your Virginia Beach Public Library.