A Dell Yearling Book
Random House

March 2004

$5.50US

134p pb

ISBN: 978-0440419037

fp August 2002

Girl Coming In For A Landing: a novel in poems

April Halprin Wayland

illustrated by Elaine Clayton

from the book...

One girl. One school year. All poems. From friends to first dates, school dances to family fights, this inspiring book captures the highs and lows of teen life with refreshing honesty and humor. Funny, poignant, and completely real, Girl Coming In for a Landing is just like high school: impossible to walk away from unchanged.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


As explained by April (the author) at the end of the novel, this is more a collection of thoughts than a story. Based on April Halpin Wayland’s experience of growing up as a teenager this book selects many verses from her journal, highlighting glimpses of her life. Each details an important segment of growing up, exploration and emotions. From boys to poetry, school to family and everything in between, this book covers it all. This very realistic novel sees us following April and watching her grow immensely with each turn of the page.

April portrays herself in the novel as a young teenager discovering and learning but still confused. She is a strong character in herself but to others, seems shy and unpopular. She is definitely an intellectual, at least through poetry, it seems. April takes a simple approach to writing her poems which results in them being more effective. I think these poems are great for younger teenagers, dealing as they do with light hearted issues. This book is a fun read and very interesting.

Sophie, Year 10, Canberra, Australia


Told through the voice of a sensitive teenage girl, Girl coming in for a landing by April Halprin Wayland, tells of all the problems a teenager might experience throughout the span of an entire school year. Friendship, crushes, family life and becoming a budding poet through a sequence of poems are just a few things the narrator talks about.

This book is filled with emotions and the intensity of growing up. There are creative and well thought out images on every page to match the poems. Wayland’s language in Girl coming in for a landing is simple but effective. There were both rhymed and unrhymed poetry.

The images helped me understand the poems better as some of the poems had hidden meanings. I liked the way how a broad number of events are covered in the book. There are so many different things a teenager could go through. The name of the narrator is never mentioned in the book and this gave me the feeling that the narrator may be anyone.

This book is a great way for people to get interested in poems and verse. I recommend this book to all teenagers.

Shirley, Year 10, Canberra, Australia


The verse novel Girl Coming in for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland is about an average teenage girl going through a year at school. She goes through having crushes on boys, her first kiss, issues with her family and friendship problems and has a dream of becoming a poet.

The main character’s name is never mentioned in the book; I feel that it helps the reader of the book to relate to her character because there are so many events that occurred in the book that teenage girls might go through.  I felt I had a relationship with the main character in this book, like I was her or she was a friend of mine and I felt we experienced the problems together.

The novel is simple to read and any teenage girl from the age of 12 to 15 would find this an easy and enjoyable read. There are both unrhymed and rhyming passages throughout the book. It is also every short with only 125 pages and 3 chapters.

Along the side of every page in the novel they have interesting and artistic drawings that go with the passage, drawn by Elaine Clayton. The drawings help you understand the passage and enhance the text.

This was a fantastic verse novel and I enjoyed reading it, and I give it a 8 out of 10.

Lauren, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

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