Keesha's House

Helen Frost

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An unforgettable narrative collage told in poems

Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can’t make it on their own. They are Stephie – pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason – Stephie’s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay – in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen – arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris – disowned by his father after disclosing that he’s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie – angry at her mother’s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.

Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms – sestinas and sonnets – Helen Frost’s extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties.
 
Keesha's House is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Reviews

Praise for Keesha's House

"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...engaging." -- Starred, School Library Journal

"Spare, eloquent, and elegantly concise." -- VOYA

"This moving first novel tells the story in a series of dramatic monologues that are personal, poetic, and immediate." -- Booklist

"Impressive." -- Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Helen Frost

Helen Frost is the author of several books for young people, including Hidden, Diamond Willow, Crossing Stones, The Braid, and Keesha’s House, selected an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award. Helen Frost was born in 1949 in South Dakota, the fifth of ten children. She recalls the summer her family moved from South Dakota to Oregon, traveling in a big trailer and camping in places like the Badlands and Yellowstone. Her father told the family stories before they went to sleep, and Helen would dream about their travels, her family, and their old house. “That’s how I became a writer,” she says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but all those things were accumulating somewhere inside me.”  As a child, she loved to travel, think, swim, sing, learn, canoe, write, argue, sew, play the piano, play softball, play with dolls, daydream, read, go fishing, and climb trees. Now, when she sits down to write, her own experiences become the details of her stories. Helen has lived in South Dakota, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Scotland, Colorado, Alaska, California, and Indiana. She currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her family.

Helen Frost

Helen Frost

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Available Formats and Book Details

Keesha's House
Helen Frost

Award

American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association Popular Paperbacks for Young Readers, Michael L. Printz Award - Honor, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, IN Eugene & Marilyn Glick IN Authors, Missouri Gateway Readers Award Master List, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Oklahoma Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award Master List, South Carolina Children's Book Award Master List

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Sunburst Paperbacks
February 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374400125
ISBN10: 0374400121
Young Adult Poetry
5 7/8 x 7 5/8 inches, 128 pages, Author’s note
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
January 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312641276
ISBN10: 0312641273
Young Adult Poetry
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 144 pages
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up
$9.99
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From The Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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