Read, Discuss, and Do with MARI IN THE MARGINS

By Marci Whitehurst The best books make readers feel like they aren’t alone. They’re seen. Understood. Our very own  Rebecca J. Gomez  accomplishes this flawlessly in Mari in the Margins , her new middle grade novel in verse, published by Bandersnatch Books. It releases May 14 th !  Here’s a snippet about the novel, which you’ll surely want to READ:   For Marivel Jiménez, life in her big family is full of chaos. Feeling overlooked by her parents and overshadowed by her siblings is frustrating, and it's even worse to have the constant attention of her annoying, mischievous three-year-old sister, Susana.  Caught between her need to be noticed and her dream of having time to herself, Marivel pours herself into poetry and, eventually, art journaling. When she hears of a school-wide poetry contest, she sees winning as a chance to escape the margins of her family and finally be seen. Doesn’t that sound amazing? That’s because it is. I was honored to read the book ahead of its release—and

Poetry Challenge Week Four: Blackout Poems

 It’s week FOUR of the Weekly Poetry Challenge, and this week is all about blackout poems! A blackout poem is created by taking a block of text—like from a newspaper, magazine, or book—and “blacking out” everything except the words you want.

Here’s a blackout poem I wrote:

Created using the book MAKE BLACKOUT POETRY by John Carroll

Read some black out poems!

Write a black out poem!

When creating your blackout poem, you may to start with a pencil and circle or block around the words you want to keep for your poem. Then, once you’re happy with your poem use a sharpie to black out everything you don’t want. Blackout poetry is a great visual, but you can also type out your poem when you’re done to make it easier to read. Need a little help? Here’s a video by Austin Kleon on how he makes blackout poetry.

If you or your kids write blackout poems this month, we would love to see them! Share them in the comments, email them to us (readdiscussdo @ gmail dot com), or tag us on Instagram. If you share them on social media, use the hashtag #RDDPoetryChallenge.


This is the final challenge for poetry month! We hope that you will share some of your poems with us so that we can feature them in a special newsletter next week! If you would like your child’s poem (or your poem) to be featured, email us (readdiscussdo @ gmail dot com), let us know in the comments, or message us on Instagram! Have fun writing!

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