“Do you come from close by?” from We Belong and the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone, to the Roundup! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) It’s been so nice to see some new people joining in and blogging these past couple of months. We are a welcoming community, and I hope you feel that and reach out with any questions you have!

Well, it’s only a couple of weeks until We Belong publishes, so I’m sharing another excerpt. This bit follows a verse about being local and giving a warm welcome to people who have come from someplace else…

Do you come from close by?
From a town that’s quite near?
The one with tall buildings
and the old, wooden pier?

Or maybe you come from some other land.
Did you drive along highways?
Trek across sand?
Did you have a front yard
or a field full of sheep?
Did traffic or sirens
keep you from sleep?

I wanted to make this verse inclusive of all kids who have moved somewhere else—whether they’ve moved across town, across state, or across the world. Whether they’ve come from somewhere similar or someplace more urban or rural—or more peaceful or war-torn. An asylum-seeking family from Syria, whom I met in Cyprus several years ago, was in my head and my heart as I worked on this passage.

Next week, I’ll be doing my first in-person school visits in TWO WHOLE YEARS! I’m both excited and nervous to see what is the same and what is different. I’ll be sharing We Belong with kindergartners and first graders at four schools, and we’ll be writing We Belong poems together. I wonder how it’ll go?

Curious about a collaborative We Belong poem? Please come to my book launch event, where we’ll write one together and I’ll share a template to use with students. Hope you can come!

Meanwhile, Mr. Linky is rounding us up, so just click to add your link and find the other links to visit. I look forward to reading all of your posts this weekend! Happy Poetry Friday, everybody :>)

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31 Responses

  1. I’m very excited for you about your book, WE BELONG! It’s very timely. I’m looking forward to your launch party and a copy of your book is coming my way! All the best at your in-person school visit, I’m sure it’ll be a huge success!

  2. I want to sob. It’s been a really challenging school year for me. Most of my students are either first generation Americans or immigrants. We have dozens of nations represented in our classrooms. I love these kids so much and they — like kids everywhere right now — are under so much stress. Thank you for this book with this message. One of our educator professionals went into a classroom and simply asked what do you miss from home? The answers were the gamut of hysterically funny to tear-jerking. This book is essential for now where I am. I’ve already ordered a copy and will be at the launch!

  3. I don’t wonder how your visit will go — it will be FABULOUS! What an important, beautiful book — and the artwork looks gorgeous. Thanks for all you do, Laura, including hosting our fabulous Poetry Friday party this week, with your generous spirit. :0)

  4. I am smiling so wide right back at your beautiful face, Laura. Congratulations on this hug of a new book. And face-to-face visits! Oh. The. Joy.

  5. Laura, I love the concept behind your latest book. The notion of inclusiveness is critically important, and your book is a further contribution to that end. No doubt you are also celebrating your upcoming school visits after all this time. I can readily identify with this. Congratulations on all this uplifting news!

  6. Congrats on your new book — such a timely topic. Have fun at your in-person visits next week. Thanks for sharing the excerpt and for hosting this week!

  7. Hi Laura! I like “one circular swirl that is home to us all.” Congrats on the new book and good luck with getting back in the saddle with in-person school visits! Thanks for hosting us this week 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing this poem Laura! I really appreciated the varying perspectives that you included here.

    Also, I saw your Nervous and Excited, in my house we have a label for that. Nervous + Excited = Nervouscited. (Pronounced: Nervus-site-ed). Best of luck on your launch and school visit!

  9. Thanks for sharing from your book We Belong, Laura. I love the poem you shared! I could imagine children of different backgrounds and places feeling they had a place in your book! I am excited that you are getting back not schools for visits. I miss the kids and although I’m scheduled to do at least one Environmental Day in April for seven first grade sections, it’ll still be virtual. I am imagine that I’ll be feeling the same mix of excitement and nervousness when I finally get to stand in front of a classroom again! Thanks for hosting and Best Wishes for a great book launch! ~ Carol ~

  10. ‘We Belong’ looks wonderful & I love the excerpt, imagine so many children will love it. And love that you have those school visits coming! It seems so long ago when we met at that book fair — different times! Thanks for hosting, Laura!

  11. I come with gratitude in my heart for you and your newest creation, Laura. Congrats and thanks for rounding us up! 🙂

  12. Thank you for hosting! The new book looks great!

    I accidentally linked to the wrong post on Mr. Linky. I’ve added the right one, but I can’t see how to delete the other one. Would you mind deleting my first link? It’s the very first one. Thanks!

    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  13. What a beautiful and important book, Laura. Thank you for sharing another snip…all of us move and all of us are curious and sometimes feel that we don’t belong. This will resonate with everyone. Thank you, too, for hosting. Have such fun at your school visits!!!

  14. Laura, my post today is a review of We Belong. I’m so excited for you getting this book out in the word and in live person. It will be great! Looking forward to the book launch. Thanks for writing this important book.

  15. Laura, how exciting–in-person visits! And you have a mighty timely book right here. In PreK we are ready to start learning our affirmations, which I carefully selected for reasons that you will appreciate. I hope I’ve addressed a whole slew of ‑isms with these ten words…“I am smart. I am strong. I’m important. I belong.” Thanks for hosting!

  16. Congratulations, Laura! I’m looking forward to your new book. Love the questions in the excerpt you posted. They hint of the many possibilities (and people) in the world. A much needed book, especially now.

  17. The right book at the right time. Thank you for this ray of hope for our world! (And thank you for hosting us!)

  18. Laura, I am so delighted for you-another new book that let’s all children understand they belong in this world. The trailer if fabulous and I especially like that it shares a peek into a few pages in the book. Just enough to whet one’s appetite for reading what looks to be a must for classroom libraries. Enjoy your time in the classroom and let me know if you are having a book tour. I would delighted to review you book at my blog.Thanks for hosting.

  19. Laura, congratulations on We Belong, which is a needed book for today! Thank you for sharing your excerpt. I love the question format; it will reel kids in an they will be able to identify with the questions. Yay! I’m excited and happy for you that you are having in-person school visits sharing We Belong! You’re going to have so much fun! I love your trailer. I’m looking forward to reading all of your great new book.

  20. Thank you for sharing this peek into We Belong. It looks and sounds like such an important book to share with our children. I can’t wait to get a copy! Thank you for hosting today, Laura, and hooray for your in-school visit. I know it will be fabulous!

  21. Laura, congratulations on the new book, which looks absolutely wonderful. And returning to in-person visits, wow. Enjoy! Thanks for hosting this week.

  22. Thank you for hosting! I just went around and read everyone’s posts. Lots of good stuff this week! I signed up for your book launch — now just to remember to come! 😀 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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