Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

lies knives and girls in red dresses

Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses
Written by Ron Koertge
Illustrated by Andrea Dezso
ISBN: 9780763644062
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date of Publication: 2012

Reader’s Annotation:
An illustrated, poetic retelling of various beloved fairy tales.

Plot Summary:
Based on popular fairy tales, Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses are retelling of those tales in poetic form. With art by Andrea Dezso, these modern adaptions show that the stories still have dark relevance in modern times.

Critical Evaluation:
Ron Koertge’s poetry is more whimsical with out a pattern. At times the poetry feels like a Beat Generation adaptation. This doesn’t detract from the poetry, but shows that poetry doesn’t have to be a conformed format.

Andrea Dezso’s art is based on wood prints and gives an unearthly feeling when accompanying the art. It adds to the poetry and serves to remind the reader that fairy tales are often horror stories as well.

Information about the Author and Artist:
From Ron Koertge’s Webpage, Koertge began to write young adult literature when his beginning writing career began to flounder. Koertge is in his early seventies and continues to write books and poetry for teens, specifically for young male readers. Koertge’s misspent youth serves as a reminder of the teen mentality, providing a solid foundation for believable characters.

Koertge has written over a dozen young adult novels. Koertge is also a poet, whose poems have been published since the early 1970s.

Ron Koertge on Twitter

Andrea Dezso is an Assistant Professor of Art for Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is a graduate from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary. Her work has been published in various art magazines and has served as a faculty member at Parsons School of Design and other art schools on the East Coast.

Dezso possesses a large artistic focus from animation to paper blocking, as well as crafts such as embroidery. Her work has been displayed in various galleries across the world.

Andrea Dezso on Facebook

Poetry, Fantasy

Curriculum Ties:
Poetry, Fairy Tales

Booktalking Ideas:
What is your favorite fairy tale?
How can fairy tales become modern?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Kirkus Reviews suggests a reading age of 14-18.

Challenging Issues:
Koertge’s book have been challenged and/or banned in the past due to drug use, language concerns, and sexuality. This particular book has not been banned (yet). The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Potential Issues would include

Why did I include this book in the title selections?
Poetry is a genre that gets readily ignored by teens, mostly because it’s something that is forced in school instead of used for entertainment purposes. Koertge’s reinterpretations of fairy tales through poetry is a great way to introduce reluctant poetry readers into a new genre.

Dezso, A. (n.d.). Home Page. Retrieved from http://andreadezso.com/

Hampshire College. (n.d.). Andrea Dezso. Retrieved from http://www.hampshire.edu/faculty/adezso.htm

Kirkus Reveiws. (n.d.). Lies knives and girls in red dresses. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ron-koertge/lies-knives-and-girls-red-dresses/

Koertge, R. (n.d.). A word from Ron Koertge. Retrieved from ronkoertge.com

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