Summary: A collection of free verse poems that make up stories about growing up told from various perspectives. Storylines include Mark and his grieving process over his father dying, Stacey and her need for attention, Annabelle focusing on changing the world, Christopher falling in love and getting his first girlfriend and Mary stepping out of her shell to play in the school’s talent show. These stories intertwine with each other, and insights are provided by everyone involved.
Number of Pages: 240
Age Range: 13-15
Review: Yellow Mini by Lori Weber is a free-verse novel that contains interconnected vignettes told from a variety of perspectives.
I like how the threads of the story weave together, mostly because Weber chooses interesting perspectives to draw from: students, parents, and teachers. As a result the book is incredibly well-rounded, and I enjoyed getting multiple views of the same situation.
My favourite story was Mark’s. His grief over his father’s death was poignant and I thought his journey to find the land his father intended to buy was a creative way to deal with it and memorialize his father. I was pleasantly surprised when he found an unexpected friend in Mary, especially when it was clear that Stacey didn’t really understand what he was going through.
But what touched me most were the perspectives from the parents. Honest and raw at times, they showed that adults don’t have it all figured out either, and that the process of growing up is difficult on both sides.
It was a quicker, lighter read about the challenges of growing up that I would recommend to early to mid teen readers.
“We kissed on the big rock, way out
in the middle of the lake, our tongues
sparking like flint. With each spark,
a piece of my childhood chipped
and fell into the lake, taking away
the geeky girl I had been. – from Crossed Over by Stacy from Yellow Mini by Lori Weber, pages 6-7
“When John Lennon said, Whatever gets you through the night
he meant night as a metaphor for any hard place, like school
I know that. These kids know it. Why not get through
AND change the world in the process?” – from These Kids by Mr. Dawe from Yellow Mini by Lori Weber, page 31
“I watched, I couldn’t help thinking how
hugging used to come to us so naturally; we
did it with both girls, and each other, all the time,
yet just now it was like he had to relearn the gesture,
like someone in rehab, learning to walk after an accident.” – from Simplicity by Stacey’s Mom from Yellow Mini by Lori Weber, page 232