In the Poetry for Young People collection many famous poets are featured. The particular collection I looked through this week is Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel & Arnold Rampersad, Illustrated by Benny Andrews.
What I, personally, like about the Poetry for Young People books is all the additional information they provide. An Introduction includes a short biography on the poet featured. Each poem gives background and context to the poems, explains any vocabulary or imagery that may not be obvious to children, and each poem has one or more pictures association with it that give additional context and support to the poems.
From the Langston Hughes collection I picked a personal favorite:
Mother to Son
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor – – –
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now – – –
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.