Friday, June 22, 2018


Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle Kogan for Roundup.

Summer is for reading, right? And I've been doing as much of that as possible. Today I'd like to share with you some bits from KNOCKOUT by K.A. Holt. I love this book! It's a companion to HOUSE ARREST, which I also loved. Fast-forward 11 years, and enter the mind of Levi (the baby who was sick in the first book).

Now rewind to 2016 when I sat on a panel with Kari Anne at TLA as part of Sylvia Vardell's Poetry Round Up. I loved hearing Kari Anne talk about her books. And in KNOCKOUT, I really love Levi's voice. He's tired of being the sick kid, and when he discovers boxing... well, it does play a part in changing his life!

Here are a few passages from the book I found particularly wonderful:

When I hit the bag
it stopped all my thoughts
and I'm just ... in the moment...

an animal
not a boy
a beast
a different
We all should have something in our lives that makes us feel that way, yes? For me, it's cello-ing.

Trust can't really be explained
because it's a feeling
like love.
But it's kind of more than that
because trust has long arms
and an open face
and it believes the words 
you say.

Love can't be lost
when it comes to moms
but trust can
curl back its arms
close off its face
and disappear
a puff of smoke
a memory
nothing left for you to hold on to.
Nothing left for you to do.

Nice distinction between love and trust, isn't it?

It's not just that I want to hit people
or that I like to hit people,
really it's not.
(OK, sometimes it is.)
It's that I like to fee strong.
I like to feel ten feet tall.
And when I am slap dash fast
when I pop and feint
when I dart and jab
I am so fast
I am so strong
I get in my hits
not because I want to hurt someone
but because
it makes me not hurt

I love that explanation!! I think many of us do hurtful things to stop the hurting...

This past year has been bananas
so this year I'd like bananas
and whipped cream.

Ha! Pretty sure I am having myself a bananas and whipped cream year right now. :) This book is a cherry on top! I do hope you'll give it a whirl. xo


  1. Wow. What a powerful point of view. I will add these to my list!

  2. I loved House Arrest and still haven't read this one, such a great voice he has! Thanks for reminding me about the book, Irene.

  3. Thanks for sharing this new book. I love Levi's voice--and the wisdom he shows in these particular poems.

  4. What a great review! Thank you. I want to dig right in. I couldn't keep House Arrest on the shelves this year. A reading teacher at my school always made sure that our 5 copies were circulating. Is Knock-Out also good for middle grade? Please and thank you. Enjoy that whipped cream!

  5. I also loved House Arrest. I'm looking forward to reading with Kari Anne at the Poetry Blast Sunday night at ALA.

  6. I'm looking forward to this companion novel to House Arrest. Thanks for these sneak peeks, Irene.

  7. I enjoyed House Arrest a lot, and fast forwarding 11 years in many fewer than that is a feat! I'll read this alongside Laura's TAKEDOWN...

  8. Sounds like a good, and fast-paced read. Think I'll start with "House Arrest" first and then move on to "Knock Out. "Thanks Irene! We'll have to extend the summer, I've too many books to read …


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