Book Review: The People’s Poet: Transformed, by Geoff Goodfellow & Rebecca Bond • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: The People’s Poet: Transformed, by Geoff Goodfellow & Rebecca Bond

A book positioned beautifully to engage young people with language so that they see how powerful literature can be created out of everyday life, deeply and sensitively observed.

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These two South Australian, in fact Adelaidean, residents have combined their passion and knowledge of language to produce an extremely useful and often inspiring text and teacher resource book in The People’s Poet: Transformed.

Goodfellow’s talent for writing poetry and Bond’s ability to encourage students and young people to engage with the life experiences presented through poetry put this book in an ideal place for teachers of SACE to use in the compulsory Transformation Task.

The teaching and research of topics are clearly identified and supported with the poetry of Goodfellow. Many of the topics covered are confronting and may cause students to rethink their beliefs and standing on modern social issues. Goodfellow has also provided online support in many tasks, giving suitable websites in the tasks sections.

Of particular use are the initial chapters explaining ‘The Transformation Task’ and ‘How to Use This Book’. The Support Materials, at the end of the book, for Senior English: Creating Texts are easily followed and provide Student Task Sheets and Proformas for classroom use. I particularly found interesting the Stylistic Features of both Written and Visual Text Types, which I feel could be used by English teachers at a secondary level of schooling. The final index of text types provides the busy teacher with a quick reference for planning and teaching.

Each chapter contains a context statement, a list of themes and text types, poetry and relevant tasks to explore.

This is a book every Senior English teacher would find useful and would, I am sure, promote amongst their peers. Goodfellow and Bond have taken the hard work out of finding the texts and developing tasks that will engage young people. If your resource centre does not have a copy of this book in their teacher reference section, speak to them, they need at least one copy on site.

Reviewed by Leanne Caune

Rating out of 10:  9

Distributed by: Wakefield Press
Released: July 2018
RRP: $24.95

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