Redwood and Ponytail / K.A. Holt.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Told in verse in two voices, with a chorus of fellow students, this is a story of two girls, opposites in many ways, who are drawn to each other; Kate appears to be a stereotypical cheerleader with a sleek ponytail and a perfectly polished persona, Tam is tall, athletic and frequently mistaken for a boy, but their deepening friendship inevitably changes and reveals them in ways they did not anticipate.
    • ISBN:
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      HOLT, K. A. Redwood and Ponytail. [s. l.]: Chronicle Books, 2019. ISBN 9781452172880. Disponível em: Acesso em: 13 ago. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Holt KA. Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle Books; 2019. Accessed August 13, 2020.
    • APA:
      Holt, K. A. (2019). Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle Books.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Holt, K. A. 2019. Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle Books.
    • Harvard:
      Holt, K. A. (2019) Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle Books. Available at: (Accessed: 13 August 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Holt, KA 2019, Redwood and Ponytail, Chronicle Books, viewed 13 August 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Holt, K. A. Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle Books, 2019. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Holt, K. A. Redwood and Ponytail. Chronicle Books, 2019.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Holt KA. Redwood and Ponytail [Internet]. Chronicle Books; 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 13]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2019 July #1

*Starred Review* With her latest novel in verse, Holt returns to the world of House Arrest (2015) and Knockout (2018), this time turning her focus to the story of Kate and Tam. Kate, with her "perfect swinging" ponytail, is next in line to be cheerleading captain, much to the satisfaction of her demanding, ex-cheerleader mother. Tam, tall as a redwood, is a popular volleyball jock whose "hippie" mother and elderly lesbian neighbors help her feel free to be herself. When the new school year brings the two girls together, they form an immediate bond, but it's a friendship that soon feels like something more, and each of them must make sense of their feelings in the face of first love and the pressure of outside expectations. The free verse narration is totally accessible, flowing quick and clear, and Holt plays with form, beautifully highlighting the parallel internal journeys, often achieving something akin to a musical duet. Ultimately, this is a middle-school romance concerned with the thrilling, confusing, world-shifting emotions of that age. In an afterword, Holt writes that this was the book she needed when she was a kid, and all kinds of children will find hope in what, more than anything, is a moving story well-told. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2020 #1

Seventh grader Kate’s (“Ponytail”) life is largely defined by pressure from her mom to become captain of the cheerleading squad and by her friends’ similar expectations; less popular, gangly girl Tam (“Redwood”) has had a freer upbringing. A friendship with a tinge of rebellion (Kate breaks cheerleader tradition by sitting with Tam at lunch) leads to their holding pinkies but not, for a while, being able to talk about what that means, as Kate struggles with whether or not to claim lesbian identity. The verse novel’s narration, with mostly short lines that emphasize the characters’ emotions, alternates between Kate and Tam, with some poems juxtaposing their concurrent thoughts or showing conversations between them. Interspersed observations from the gossipy Greek chorus of Alex, Alyx, and Alexx underscore the constant scrutiny Kate and Tam face from their fellow middle-schoolersâ€"though a late exchange with cheerleader friend Becca suggests that their classmates might be more understanding than they’d thought. The format contributes to an air of drama; Holt takes the girls’ seemingly small-scale concerns, and their larger implications, seriously. Shoshana Flax January/February 2020 p.90 Copyright 2020 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

PW Reviews 2019 August #1

Holt (Knockout) once again offers keen insight into the social pressures and vulnerabilities of middle schoolers in this novel in verse, which traces the mutual attraction between two seventh grade girls. "Tall as a palm tree" Tam, a jock, is sometimes mistaken for a boy; "with her "perfect/ swinging/ ponytail," Kate resembles "every clichéd cheerleader." Despite their differences, though, they establish a friendship that evolves into something deeper. Conflicts arise when Kate's friends and social-status-obsessed mother disapprove of Tam, and she fears that people will see her as "twisted up,/ not right" because she is gay. Ultimately, she must choose between molding herself into the girl her mother wants her to be and following her own path. The girls' interior monologues, sometimes merging on the page, sometimes visually set apart, effectively show their shared feelings and contrasting perspectives, and the voices of three onlooking students function as a Greek chorus, highlighting transitions in the girls' relationship. In a story thoughtfully formed and eloquently executed, Holt offers affirmation and hope to readers struggling to fit in. Ages 10–14. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Oct.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.