Best Novels in Verse for Kids and Teens
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ReadInASingleSitting has a great list of Young Adult Novels in Verse and she was kind enough to let me repost it. I’m still just beginning the descent into Young Adult literature as I read ahead for my oldest and she is a little shy of 11. I’ve actually only read the Sharon Creech book, Hate That Cat (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), and Call Me Maria. But here is the thing about poetry: all kids love to write poetry yet they shy away from reading it. Some of the best work that my kids have brought home have been their original, illustrated poems. AND, if you read a novel in verse, you can actually start hearing poetry in your head. Yes, really, it makes you become a poet! Or at least that was my experience after I read Hate That Cat.
If poetry seems intimidating or out of reach, try these YA novels that just happen to be in verse. I bet it will make you rethink poetry as that torturous unit you had to do in high school when the poems were confusing and you were forced to “discuss” what the poem means. And if you leave a couple of these books lying around the house, perhaps your child will pick it up and read it too!
Here is the link for the full post. Here is the beginning of the post plus her list of books. I have her first 10 authors listed with about 15 books, but the list is not in her order of recommendation so there are even more books if you check out her full post. For example, you can find her review of Call Me Maria there
I came across this gem from a great blog called Paper Tigers:
One more! The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli
The Divine Comedy, The Iliad and The Odyssey, and Paradise Lost come to mind), but young adult novels in verse are a relatively new phenomenon. And what a phenomenon they are: many of them have won prestigious awards such as the National Book Award, the Prinz Honor Award, or the Newbery, or in some cases, a combination of these. Below is a brief list of some of the novels in verse, both recent and older, that can be found around the traps. As always, the list is in no way exhaustive, so feel free to contribute any books that you feel should be featured.
1. Crank by Ellen Hopkins (and also Glass and Fallout)
2. I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder (and also Far From You)
4. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (see also Aleutian Sparrow and Witness)
5. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Somes (also What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know and One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies)
My name is Sophie. This book is about me. It tells the heart-stoppingly riveting story of my first love. And also of my second. And, okay, my third love too. It’s not that I’m boy crazy. It’s just that even though I’m almost fifteen it’s like my mind and my body and my heart just don’t seem to be able to agree on anything.
6. Keesha’s House by Helen Frost
Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.
7. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy, a cool, slick, sexy boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt, each girl struggles with how much to give up and what ultimately to keep for herself. How do girls handle themselves? How much can a boy get away with? And in the end, who comes out on top? A bad boy may always be a bad boy. But this bad boy is about to meet three girls who won’t back down.
8. You Are Not Here by Samantha Schultz
Annaleah and Brian shared something special – Annaleah is sure of it. When they were together, they didn’t need anyone else. It didn’t matter that their relationship was secret. All that mattered was what they had with each other. And then, out of nowhere, Brian dies. And while everyone else has their role in the grieving process, Annaleah finds herself living outside of it, unacknowledged and lonely. How can you recover from a loss that no one will let you have?
9. Sold by Patricia McCormick (National Book Award Finalist)
Sold into prostitution, Lakshmi lives a nightmare and gradually forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision to risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life.
10. Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
In 1939, the Germans invaded the town of Lodz, Poland, and moved the Jewish population into a small part of the city called a ghetto. As the war progressed, 270,000 people were forced to settle in the ghetto under impossible conditions. At the end of the war, there were about 800 survivors. Of those who survived, only twelve were children. This is the story of one of the twelve.
For the rest of her excellent list, please click here. She has 20 more books on her list that are not listed here. If you want me to expand my post to include the rest, please leave me a comment and I’ll do it for you. Thanks!