A Handful of Verse Novels

I love verse novels. Verse novels use poetry, rather than prose, to tell their stories, and like graphic novels (and plain old prose novels, for that matter) they can tell just about any story imaginable, crossing genres, styles, tones and levels. Here are just a few of my favourite verse novels, which might serve as a good starting point for readers that are new to the format.

Enjoy!

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Booked by Kwame Alexander

I’ve recently written a full review of this fantastic verse novel on my own blog so I’ll keep this brief – Kwame Alexander writes verse novels for readers who think that poetry is stuffy, boring, or, worst of all “girly”. His stories weave together rap, sports, urban settings and real, likeable characters to create verse novels that just might turn sceptics into believers.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

This beautiful, profound, deeply moving novel tells the story of a young girl Vietnamese girl as she adjusts to her new life after both a traumatic move to a new country, and the potential loss of a beloved family member. Inside Out & Back Again is the first verse novel I read, and I can thank it for providing such an elegant introduction to this versatile genre.

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brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This is another title that I’ve written about previously, but I simply couldn’t create a list of verse novels without including this breathtaking title. Woodson reflects on her childhood growing up first in the American South, and later in New York City, and presents a moving, inspiring account of strength, growth, identity and self-discovery. A must, must read.

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Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Love That Dog is a perfect choice for young readers who think they hate poetry, because Jack, our young protagonist, hates poetry too! But when he’s forced by his teacher to write poetry, Jack realises that poetry might just help him express himself in an entirely new way. A sweet, gentle story that you just can’t help but love.

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Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins

Who knew that poetry and nonfiction could blend so beautifully together? This verse novel introduces Maria Merian, Mary Anning and Maria Mitchell, three women who broke with social norms and expectations and helped further scientific knowledge and understanding.

This is absolutely just the tip of the verse novel iceberg, and there is likely a perfect title out there for just about anyone! What are some of your favourite verse novels for young people?

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Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures by Kwame Alexander, Joel Sartore (Photographs)

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures by Kwame Alexander, Joel Sartore (Photographs)

Hardcover, 48 pages Published February 14th 2017 by National Geographic Society Source: Publisher With the way the world is going, it might not be an exaggeration to say that the only glimpses future generations will have of wild animals will be in books and recordings or perhaps highly exclusive zoos. National Geographic kids has used […]

Blog Tour: The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander, Thai Neave (Photographs)

Blog Tour: The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander, Thai Neave (Photographs)

Hardcover, 176 pages Expected publication: February 14th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers Source: ARC from Raincoast Books Rule #9 Don’t let others run over you. Always stand your ground. Defend your position. Kwame Alexander is one of my favourite poets/writers because his words are always so dynamic, so filled with movement and passion. […]

TTT: Most Recent 5 Star Reads

TTT: Most Recent 5 Star Reads

TTT is a meme by The Broke And The Bookish and this week we’re going to be gushing about the best books we’ve recently had the pleasure of reading. Join us in the comments! 🙂 Nafiza I’ve been lucky in my reading choices recently. Here are the books I’ve loved enough to give 5-stars to […]