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Redwood and Ponytail Paperback – October 1, 2019
- Features a unique presentation of text that beautifully merges together two first-person narratives
- A. Holt is the author of Rhyme Schemer, House Arrest, Knockout, and several other books for young people. She lives in Austin, Texas "A glowing, heartfelt addition to the middle-grade LGBTQ genre." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "The free verse narration is totally accessible, flowing quick and clear, and Holt plays with form, beautifully highlighting the parallel internal journeys, often achieving something akin to a musical duet. Ultimately, this is a . . . moving story well-told." -- Booklist, starred review - A great chapter book for middle school students
- Novels for preteens and teenagers ages 10-14
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"A glowing, heartfelt addition to the middle-grade LGBTQ genre."-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
About the Author
- ASIN : 1797201980
- Publisher : Chronicle Books (October 1, 2019)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 9781797201986
- ISBN-13 : 978-1797201986
- Reading age : 10 - 14 years
- Lexile measure : NP0L
- Grade level : 5 - 9
- Item Weight : 1.11 pounds
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I first read this book when I was in the seventh grade, the same grade as the main characters, and I loved it! I would recommend this to anyone around ages 10-15. It is a very easy read. It was a very sweet and heartwarming story about two girls with opposite lives coming together with an amazingly strong bond.
From beginning-to-end of Redwood and Ponytail, my mind continuously was spinning as I tried to wrap my head around what K.A. Holt was doing on the pages before me.
Her construction of a story is magnificent, and it is so different from anything else in young adult literature today. She has a voice and strong purpose in her stories, and that talent shines through in every one of her books.
Redwood and Ponytail picks up where the books House Arrest and Knockout have left out. You get to see glimpses are some of K.A. Holt's best characters, but in a completely opposite manner that you see them in the other two books of this series.
Instead of the story focusing on the relationship between brothers, Timothy and Levi, the story tells about the unlikely friendship between Tam and Kate. Tam is a full out tomboy that rules the volleyball court while Kate is a well-loved perfectionist that shines on the cheer squad.
The friendship between Tam and Kate turns heads as soon as it begins. The unlikely pair confuses the school, but the two ignore the stares. Things speed up quickly when Tam and Kate learn that they mean more to each other than either initially realized.
As the two navigate middle school, they find that their growing feelings for each other are complicating the already difficult struggles that are present in one's teenage years.
The strength of the new relationship is quickly tested when things in both their lives blow up. Will the two be able to figure out if they have a future together, or are they destined to forever be known as "the Redwood" and "the Ponytail?'
TL;DR: Please give this to your middle schoolers! Amazing. Well written. Timeless. Quick read. Age appropriate. Worthwhile. Will make you feel things and probably cry - especially if you’ve ever been through these things before. Coming of age. Accepting yourself. Wholesome.
The first couple of pages didn’t catch me because I hadn’t gotten a feel for the two characters’ voices yet. A few pages more in and I couldn’t put it down. That ‘can’t put it down’ feeling continued for the rest of the book.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it being told through poetry, but it really added to the book in a meaningful way.
This is the kind of book I would buy for a kid trying to figure themselves out. Yes, it’s fantastic if you’re figuring out your sexuality, but I’d also recommend this for anyone trying to figure out who they are and wondering if the people around them will accept them. People trying to figure out which ‘me’ is the real ‘me’. Honestly that applies to so many people through their teens and twenties as well.
This book dealt with some serious topics and yet still managed to feel uplifting overall and wholesome. I would have liked a few more pages of happiness at the end to fully make the switch back to uplifted.
As Kate and Tam dealt with their feelings, you felt them too. It’s pretty powerful. It’s also very realistic for what people go through trying to figure themselves out.
I actually enjoyed the ending of this one and I give huge props to the author for that because it’s so rare for me.
This book had me fully crying on the train from the depth of emotion the girls were dealing with.
It was also nice to see the different family dynamics between the two girls. I think this alone could be so important for young girls to see. It’s also important to see that everyone has things going on you don’t know about and that we all struggle with who we are.
I’d like to request a college age version of this because I think it’d be a really great adaptation.
Regardless, this story is timeless and should be in every school library.
The alternating POV allows readers to enter the story through either character's eyes. This book beautifully captures that space in female relationships that become more than friends and that whole quandary of what to do/who am I/what do I want.
The form of the writing itself is interesting and would be great for writers to study to learn about alternative ways of telling a story, but the novel (plot, characters, pacing) is vivid and enthralling.
I also enjoyed the care that went into the book design--each page looked like notebook paper taped into a book. You can tell this book was designed with care and love, and I think when queer books are also visually beautiful it further eliminates any lingering shame in the reader.