Soda Jerk

by Cynthia Rylant

read aloud grade 8, readability grade 8

A young man gets a job as a soda jerk at Maywell’s drugstore, which leads him into a world of watching and listening. The events and people that he encounters in his work day result in personal growth and self knowledge. Each poem in this book is a wonderful, lyrical snapshot told through the eyes of a young adult. The realism of every story rings clearly, which can pull readers into their own road to discovering themselves.

Think of all the strange people and events that you have encountered. Write a poem describing it as though you were actually looking at the person or living through the event. Take into consideration the age you were when you saw this person or when this event occurred.