Learning to Swim: A Memoir

Learning to Swim: A Memoir

by Ann Turner

Paperback(1 ED)

View All Available Formats & Editions


A powerful true poetry memoir for anyone who has navigated the troubled waters of childhood and adolescence searching for a way to stay afloat, now in the new POINT.

Unfolding in a series of exquisite narrative poems, this is the haunting true story of a tragic summer in a young girl's life. Annie is supposed to be having a carefree summer -- but instead she must face the unwanted advances of an older boy in the neighborhood, who threatens her if she tells. It isn't until Annie's mother pries out the secret that Annie is released from her horror and isolation and can slowly begin to heal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439153096
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 7.83(h) x 0.59(d)
Lexile: 1160L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 11 Years

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Learning to Swim 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
janbrennan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This true memoir, told in a series of poems rather than chapters, tells of a young girl's coming to terms with a haunting secret she has been harboring for many years. Child abuse is never an easy topic to read about and this story is no exception, but as unsetting as it is, this poignant story is an important one to tell. Most adolescents have difficult situations with which they need to deal, and reading how Annie came to terms with her secret gives encouragement for all.
mmleynek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Personal Response:This book breaks my heart. Sexually abusing a child is one of the worst things that can happen. I think the author is very brave and sharing what happened to her may help another person.Curricular Connection:I think this book would best be used by a counselor who was helping a child who may be experiencing the same thing.
farfromkansas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ann Turner¿s Learning to Swim is a heartbreaking portrait of sexual abuse, told artistically through a series of verse poems. The book, which portrays the author¿s own childhood experiences, recounts a young girl¿s molestation in unflinchingly honest terms; while this sounds like an incredibly uncomfortable reading experience, Turner¿s poetic retelling of her childhood memories is powerful and uplifting. Because of this twist, Learning to Swim is actually a hopeful story inspired by horrific life events.The autobiographical nature of Learning to Swim helps ground the subject of molestation in specific details that encapsulate the beginning, middle, and end of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, Turner¿s experiences are not uncommon; however, the fact that she chooses to express her memories in such a unique fashion makes her story both singular and unifying. The subject matter is horrifying and unsettling, but Turner presents her past without delving into explicitly graphic descriptions of sexual acts, and this helps the reader to understand molestation without being overwhelmed by the sheer horror of the act.There are a wide variety of texts for high school-age readers that discuss sexual abuse (Speak and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are two of the most prominent), but very few present the subject matter for younger audiences. While readers of all ages can appreciate Turner¿s book, the target audience for Learning to Swim seems to be middle-school students, many of whom will be able to use the book as a form of bibliotherapy or as a glimpse into the darker experiences of human nature. Of course, Turner¿s Learning to Swim (like Cisneros¿s House on Mango Street), functions on multiple levels: younger readers will be able to understand the basic storyline, while older readers will be able to appreciate the author¿s use of poetic devices to describe painful experiences.Any book that presents a topic as painful and disturbing as sexual abuse will undoubtedly provoke discomfort in its readers; however, with Learning to Swim, Turner has turned her own pain into a cathartic collection of poetry. Like watching the remains of a car crash, reading Turner¿s Learning to Swim is unavoidably entrancing; however, it also serves as a reminder that life is worth treasuring and that no experience (regardless of how painful it might be) can truly destroy who we are.
iecj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl is molested by a teenage neighbor during a summer trip. She is threated with even greater harm if she tells. Her mother, seeing her daughter¿s strange behavior as the summer progresses, eventually forces her to reveal the secret.This book may ne beneficial to those who have been abused and are reluctant to speak of the abuse. he book is actually very brief as its written in poetic narrative form and is appropriate for high school readers and above.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ann Turner writes such a powerful story using the most simple, yet beautiful words. There is no way for me to describe her inspiring style of writing! I COULD NOT put this book down, and I have recommended it to so many people- all of whom enjoyed it too. I urge you to read this book! It is written in prose poems- and the language is so beautiful and the emotions of her as a little girl... wow! Read it! Read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A book written in free verse poems, Ann Turner's Learning to Swim is the sad story of her as a little girl on a summer vacation being sexually abused by a boy. It is also about not giving up, failure, and the love of a family. It made me overjoyed to see a writer who writes from her heart and soul and tells truthfully just how horrible sexual abuse is. It is a thing ignored a lot in America and in the world. Especially children being abused is ignored. People are to wrapped up in their own lives to care about issues such as this. I think this book should be on the required reading list for at least high school students because it is too good of a book to not have read in your life. I am glad that the message in this book clearly says: Telling is what matters. That statement is so true if you are a victim od sexual abuse.