Poisoned Apples

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My PrettyEvery little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale. Christine Heppermann’s collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

“A bloody attack on the beauty myth that’s caustic, funny, and heartbreaking.”
— E Lockhart, author of We Were Liars

“Full of razors that cut–and razors to cut of shackles: a must.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Simply phenomenal. Heppermann’s honest voice grabs the reader with urgency. This collection is a champion for teens and adults who see our world as an advertisement for perfection that doesn’t exist. Readers will want to read these poems aloud over and over again.”
— A.S. King, Printz Honor author of Reality Boy and Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

“Caustic, witty, sad, and angry, Heppermann articulates . . . the false promises, seductions, and deathly morass of popular culture’s imagery of girls’ bodies. What makes Heppermann’s poetry exceptional, however, is not the messages it carries but the intense, expressive drive that fuels it.”
–Horn Book (starred review)

 Official Poisoned Apples Trailer

Hear Christine Read “If Tampons Were For Guys” and “A Brief History of Feminism”

“Nature Lesson” from Poisoned Apples


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