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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Author's Works

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Featured Poems of Janet S. Wong

Most Popular Books by Janet S. Wong at the Olean Public Library




Information about the Most Popular Janet S. Wong Titles
at the Olean Public Library

Wong, Janet S. 1996. A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689807880

An outstanding collection of poetry divided into three sections based on Janet Wong’s ethnic and cultural background; Korean, Chinese and American, it includes personal information explaining how she wrote the poems from experiences in her own life. The poetry is mainly free verse and embodies the meaning of being an American. This is an excellent book for a library collection. Children seeking to identify with feelings of not quite fitting in will find comfort and understanding in Janet Wong’s poetry.

Wong, Janet. 2000. Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams. Ill. by Julie Paschkis. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689826176

In this collection of 15 poems, Janet Wong uses repetition, alliteration, and rhyme to capture the mystery and wonder of dreams. Janet Wong makes dreaming seem wondrous for children. My daughter has always been a vivid dreamer, in the past she would often wake confused or frightened. This book has allowed her to think of dreams as magical stories and adventures.
Wong, Janet. 2003. Knock on Wood : Poems About Superstitions. Ill. by Julie Paschkis. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689855125

My grandmother grew up in the remote hills of Pennsylvania, and is very superstitious. Even now, there is only one stoplight in the entire county! I enjoyed this book because it was a refreshing look at superstitions and is not scary at all. I plan to tell my grandmother about the potato superstition. If you put a potato in your pocket, as it wrinkles and hardens it will pull the aches and pains from your bones. As she is nearing 90 years old and refuses to even take aspirin for stiffness and pain, I think this is something she will do. And who knows, maybe it will help.

Wong, Janet. 1999. Behind the Wheel: Poems about Driving. Ill. by Janet Wong. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689825315

A collection of  thirty-six poems that vary in topic from passing the driver's test to being pulled over by a cop, to parents' anxieties and car accidents. Janet Wong touches on all the subjects of concern for teenagers -- love, death, hopes and dreams. I bought this book for my son who is learning to drive and will take driver’s education this summer. He normally doesn’t read poetry but liked this book.


Wong, Janet. 1994. Good Luck Gold and Other Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689506171

This collection of 42 poems, is about the importance of grandparents and holidays, and also explores feelings of racism and being different. The poems, even though they are written from the perspective of a young Asian-American girl represent universal life experiences. A variety of poetic forms are used, including rhymed poetry and free verse,  haiku, cinquains, a dialogue, and a question-and-answer poem. I enjoyed this book because while focusing on the differences in people and their traditions, it raises the point that we are more alike than different.


Wong, Janet. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. Ill. by Jennifer Hewitson. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689821484

Seen through the eyes of a adoring child, a rebellious teen and an appreciative adult, these eighteen poems cover many emotions dealing with mothers. The poem that speaks to me is entitled, Hope and asks for the strength, courage, calmness and hope to guide her child through life.


“...I will need the softness of a deer, to nudge my child down the right path...I will need the calm of a tree, knowing fires will happen, and I will need to keep the hope I hold inside myself, knowing that after the fires, things grow again.


This year, parenting teenage children solo while my husband is stationed in Iraq, I have found that staying calm while gently nudging is the most effective way to reach my children and encourage them to stay on the right path.



“Many of my stories and poems are inspired from personal memories and observation. Some are inspired by the stories of friends, and still others are completely made up!”

----Janet S. Wong