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Redwood and Ponytail
Cover of Redwood and Ponytail
Redwood and Ponytail
by K.A. Holt
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A universal story of finding a way to be comfortable in your own skin: Kate and Tam meet, and both of their worlds tip sideways. At first, Tam figures Kate is your stereotypical cheerleader; Kate sees Tam as another tall jock. And the more they keep running into each other, the more they surprise each other. Beneath Kate's sleek ponytail and perfect façade, Tam sees a goofy, sensitive, lonely girl. And Tam's so much more than a volleyball player, Kate realizes: She's everything Kate wishes she could be. It's complicated. Except it's not. When Kate and Tam meet, they fall in like. It's as simple as that. But not everybody sees it that way.
• A novel in verse about two girls discovering their feelings for each other in a sincere and relatable way that helps young reader connect to the storyline
• K.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
A universal story of finding a way to be comfortable in your own skin: Kate and Tam meet, and both of their worlds tip sideways. At first, Tam figures Kate is your stereotypical cheerleader; Kate sees Tam as another tall jock. And the more they keep running into each other, the more they surprise each other. Beneath Kate's sleek ponytail and perfect façade, Tam sees a goofy, sensitive, lonely girl. And Tam's so much more than a volleyball player, Kate realizes: She's everything Kate wishes she could be. It's complicated. Except it's not. When Kate and Tam meet, they fall in like. It's as simple as that. But not everybody sees it that way.
• A novel in verse about two girls discovering their feelings for each other in a sincere and relatable way that helps young reader connect to the storyline
• K.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
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.0
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 2

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • K. A. Holt is the author of Rhyme Schemer, House Arrest, Knockout, and several other books for young people. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from July 15, 2019
    Two middle school girls grapple with their blossoming feelings for each other in this verse novel. Tam is a volleyball player sometimes mistaken for a boy. Kate is a popular cheerleader. When they notice each other at seventh grade registration, Tam sees a walking cliché with a perfect ponytail, while Kate sees a girl as "tall as a palm tree." When they meet face to face, they strike an immediate rapport. Soon the two are having lunch together every day and linking pinkies in the halls. As they grow closer, each finds herself questioning who she thought she was. Tam doesn't know how she fits into Kate's seemingly perfect world. Kate, who has spent her life trying to live up to her shallow, perfectionist mother's expectations, wants to go her own way, a process that includes deciding whether or not to admit her feelings for Tam. Tam and Kate share the first-person narration, which keenly conveys each girl's joys and inner turmoil. The dual narratives play off of each other, sometimes in a call-and-response manner that clearly communicates the shyness, awkwardness, and confusion of first love. A trio of unseen watchers, identified as Alex, Alyx, and Alexx, collectively represent the observant school-hallway bystanders, providing commentary and speculation in the manner of a Greek chorus. Their verses can be read vertically or horizontally, resulting in multiple meanings. Characters are racially ambiguous. A glowing, heartfelt addition to the middle-grade LGBTQ genre. (Fiction. 8-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 5, 2019
    Holt (Knockout) once again offers keen insight into the social pressures and vulnerabilities of middle schoolers in this novel in verse, which traces the mutual attraction between two seventh grade girls. “Tall as a palm tree” Tam, a jock,
    is sometimes mistaken for a boy; “with her “perfect/ swinging/ ponytail,” Kate resembles “every clichéd cheerleader.” Despite their differences, though, they establish a friendship that evolves into something deeper. Conflicts arise when Kate’s friends and social-status-obsessed mother disapprove of Tam, and she fears that people will see her as “twisted up,/ not right” because she is gay. Ultimately, she must choose between molding herself into the girl her mother wants her to be and following her own path. The girls’ interior monologues, sometimes merging on the page, sometimes visually set apart, effectively show their shared feelings and contrasting perspectives, and the voices of three onlooking students function as a Greek chorus, highlighting transitions in the girls’ relationship. In a story thoughtfully formed and eloquently executed, Holt offers affirmation and hope to readers struggling to fit in. Ages 10–14. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Tess Netting and Cassandra Morris offer up youthful voices and emotionally connected performances to deliver Holt's novel in verse about two middle school athletes. Netting portrays Kate, the "perfect" ponytailed cheerleader, and Morris portrays Tam, the tall, stellar volleyball player, who meet and fall in "like." Alternating between introspective and breathless pacing, Netting and Morris accurately portray seventh-grade agitation, confusion, and eagerness while expertly capturing Holt's echoing verse. Taylor Meskimen, Katie Zieff, and Tomasina Sanders function as an amorphous Greek chorus that provides classmates' commentary on feelings and situations Kate and Tam can't always see or acknowledge. This 2020 Odyssey Honor production heightens the intensity of a story that beautifully characterizes the struggle to discover one's rightful place in the world. S.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine
  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2019
    Grades 5-8 *Starred Review* With her latest novel in verse, Holt returns to the world of House Arrest (2015) and Knockout (2018), this time turning her focus to the story of Kate and Tam. Kate, with her perfect swinging ponytail, is next in line to be cheerleading captain, much to the satisfaction of her demanding, ex-cheerleader mother. Tam, tall as a redwood, is a popular volleyball jock whose hippie mother and elderly lesbian neighbors help her feel free to be herself. When the new school year brings the two girls together, they form an immediate bond, but it's a friendship that soon feels like something more, and each of them must make sense of their feelings in the face of first love and the pressure of outside expectations. 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 middle-school romance concerned with the thrilling, confusing, world-shifting emotions of that age. In an afterword, Holt writes that this was the book she needed when she was a kid, and all kinds of children will find hope in what, more than anything, is a moving story well-told.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    Chronicle Books
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Redwood and Ponytail
Redwood and Ponytail
K.A. Holt
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