I was lucky enough to request and receive a copy of this from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
Everything, All At Once by Steven Camden
A collection of poetry for – I’d say – late KS2 upwards. It opens with the transition from primary to secondary and then takes us through daily life in your typical high school in verse.
There’s lessons and lunchtime, students and teachers, gossip and friendship, learning and not.
There’s humour and tenderness, hustle and bustle, moments of solitude, emotion and masks.
It’s a brilliant collection that took me right back to my time at secondary school. So many of the poems drew a wry smile of recognition or the emotional tug of bring seen and understood.
And even in those poems which didn’t speak to me directly, I could bring to mind characters – either real from my school days or conjured from the poem alone.
In the best way, they are the Ahlbergs’ Please Mrs Butler/I Heard it in the Playground kids grown up. They are evocative, funny and written with incredible understanding and tenacity – a brilliant collection.