Updates to the 2011 List of Best Kids' Books
Found Poetry: Fascinating...and a Invitation (for Poetry Friday)

Poetry Friday: Bootleg (Found Poem)

Bootleg: A Found Poem


Blind tiger, bootlegger, booze
Flapper, hooch, moonshine

Rumrunner, speakeasy, teetotaler

The days
of outright prohibition
and likely will
will never return.

Source: Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, by Karen Blumenthal (Roaring Brook, 2011)

9781596434493I'm just starting Bootleg, which is popping up on year-end best-kids-books lists, including those from School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, as well as the YALSA Nonfiction Award finalists.

I'm curious about the subject since saloon keeping and home brewing were activities enjoyed by a number of my kinfolks during the same era. Well, the saloon keeping (of one Bismarck Saloon on the town square in Waco, Texas) was just prior to Prohibition, for obvious reasons...

The glossary words in Blumenthal's book read like poetry to me, and I liked her conclusion at the end. That's where I concocted the poem above. The nonfiction book is geared toward readers 12 and older.

Other children's books bloggers are writing about poetry (and not moonshine) today; see the Poetry Friday roundup at Read, Write, Howl for more selections.


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What a great collection of words! It kills me how poetic people are when they are not even trying to be. (Love your effort of augmenting and illuminating the vocab though!)

Love, love, love that cover.
The alligator that lives in the sewer (there are always two or three) was really tipsy that day.

What a funny family legacy! I don't think my grandparents did anything as interesting as rum-running and bathtub gin -- I'm sure they made up for it with Other Nefarious Things, though! (Of course, in the twenties, they were toddlers, so their nefarious things involved tantrums...)

look at all those great words, many of which stemmed from prohibition! what is it about lawlessness and gangsterism that brings about so much slang? is it the fact that they had to speak in code?

looks like an interesting read as well, thanks for putting this on my radar.

I love the vocabulary, the anarchy of words that don't seem to mind their elders, like "hooch" and "booze."

Thanks for sharing, Susan! I enjoyed your found poem, and the book sounds great.

Andi, I know! I love unexpected poetry.

Tanita, oh, yes, the bathtub gin was not unknown to the home brewers! I can't wait to find out more about Prohibition. I've heard the Ken Burns documentary is excellent, too.

David E, aren't they grand! I mean, hooch! Can't you beat that? I am going to reincorporate it into my vocabulary. No doubt you're onto something about the code, too.

Maria, too funny. They really don't mind their elders, do they? I am hoping that I gather even more of these when I read more of the story.

Robyn, Poetry Friday is great fun. Thank you for rounding up all the entries. You have a big crew today writing about poetry.

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