#BookReview: Pens, Pads and Poets: Words of Hope by Karina Guardiola-Lopez #Poetry #SocialCommentary

Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from a poetry anthology written by teens of colour. The writing is raw and left largely as it was written, which makes this more authentic than if it were highly polished. With that in mind, here’s my review >>>

About the Book:

Pens, Pads and Poets: Words of Hope, is a collection of poems based on The Pen, The Pad and The Poet workshop, mentoring and open mic series founded and facilitated by Karina Guardiola-Lopez. The workshops took place at the Children’s Aid Society’s Hope Leadership Academy.


My Review:


Raw, Real, Relatable, and Remarkable

I came across this wonderful book of poetry while browsing on Amazon. When I picked up this copy it was free (May 2023), but I have to say the content is priceless. I read this short collection in one sitting but will go back and take my time to savour these heartfelt and vital words.

Yes, some areas could do with an edit and/or a proofread, but I love and prefer that this collection has been published as it was written by the young attendees of various The Pen, The Pad, and The Poet workshops as part of this Collection of poems by The Children’s Aid Society‘s Hope Leadership Academy Program. These unique and brave voices need to remain intact.

Below, I list some of the poems/lines which stood out for me. However, I commend each and every entry.

‘Made me understand that my mind was | The most important part of my entity | That my mind had a density greater | Than that of my hips | I am absolutely content being the unique individual Me.’ written by Aaliyah Corke, Untitled.

And …

‘Life… is like a mouse trying to find its way through a maze.’ written by Angel Jackson, Life.

And …

‘I don’t look into your eyes, I look into you.’

I highlighted so many more and found it difficult to choose just these three. I cannot recommend this book of poetry highly enough, especially for those who care about the disparities of our world and societies. Pens, Pads and Poets: Words of Hope’ gets a resounding 5 stars from me. A must read collection.


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

For anyone interested, here is the universal Amazon link …


I’ve tried a new way of doing an easy universal amazon link, so if it doesn’t work for you, please let me know. Thanks!

[I have to thank Jacqui Murray for her wonderful tip on an easy universal Amazon link. Here’s Jacqui’s instructions:

1. Type in the Amazon Universal link URL … http://a-fwd.com/asin=
2. Add your book ASIN after the =. For example, Jacqui’s book is: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B9KPM5BW]

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Quick note: I’m changing internet provider today, so I may or may not be able to respond quickly, depending on how smoothly or otherwise the process goes! 🫣 Thanks for understanding 🤗


20 Comments on “#BookReview: Pens, Pads and Poets: Words of Hope by Karina Guardiola-Lopez #Poetry #SocialCommentary

  1. Hi Harmony, thanks for sharing about this book. It sounds very powerful.

  2. Wonderful review Harmony. I can see why this book grabbed you just by the examples you’ve shown. I love that the younger ones are writing poetry. I will also check out this book. Thank you. <3

    • I loved to see younger poets too, and so honest! Thanks, Debby 💕🙂

  3. Seems like a very interesting book. Great review, Harmony. 🙂❤️

  4. The book sounds delightful, Harmony. What a wonderful outcome from the workshop. I love seeing that young people are writing poetry. Thanks for sharing your insights and recommendation. 🙂

    • I loved the focus and ideals of these workshops. Thanks, Diana 💕😊

  5. Your usual kind and very fair Review oif a book that wouldn’t make it past most reviewers blogs given that editting might be needed. I think you have a fairly unique perspective on the problems besettiing our world and your review , for me, reflects this. Best of luck changing your Internet Provider, I hope all goes well. Massive Hugs as always.

    • Once you get into the rhythm, it’s an eye-opening read. Thanks, Toni 💕🙂