FOREIGN EXCHANGE – A MYSTERY IN POEMS by Mel Glenn
CITY/COUNTRY, BLACK/WHITE, WHO DID WHAT AND WHY?
City boy. Local
girl. Murder. Accusations.
Middle grade / YA (grades 6-10)
Multiple POV – all first person – most present tense
Free verse poetic format
Mystery / realistic fiction
City and country settings on facing pages
Parallel poetic forms on facing pages
Similarities and differences in setting, form, voice, plot explored, compared, contrasted
Newspaper clippings used as visual aid and plot device
Voices include characters – named and unnamed – and inanimate objects such as the town clinic.
Forms and perspectives combine to create plot arc
Variety of distinct voices blend together – distinct but complementary
Main plot — murder of a local girl, Kristen Clarke
Prologue develops immediate reader connection to the victim
Verse thoughts of victim show readers that she was not a perfect pretty girl or a stuck up one or a sweet little daughter (as she is portrayed in other characters verse thoughts)
Multiple viewpoints vary pace, intensity and emotion