• Renee

5 Books of Verse for Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, which seems like a good time to share my journey with poetry.

In middle school, I had a fantastic English teacher that took roll every morning with poetry. Such a unique idea that I still remember it all these years later. Each month a new poem would be assigned. Each student would have a line in the assigned poem and every morning we would take roll by saying our line of the poem. We each had to follow along to be ready for our poetry line to come up. One of the few poems I remember memorizing was The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Do I still have it memorized - nope. Despite memorizing many lines of poetry as a teenager, I didn’t actually love poetry. Maybe it was all the different types of poems or the rules for each certain poem. Who knows.

With all the poetry memorizing in my youth, I don’t recall reading any poetry books or books written in verse. However, I have since discovered that I like and enjoy books written in verse. Here are five!

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga: Winner of the 2020 Newbery Honor, it is a fast paced middle grade book written in verse, told by a 12 year old girl who leaves Syria and comes to America.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai: A 2012 Newbery Honor, this middle grade novel recounts having to flee Vietnam and later settles in Alabama.

Come, Sweet Day: Holding on to Hope in Dark Times by Julianne Donaldson: A collection of poems and short stories that help remind all of us that we are not alone.

The Places we Sleep by Caroline Brooks DuBois: A middle grade novel written in verse. The poems are numbered and centers around a middle school girl during 9/11.

Clap When you Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: A young adult novel written in verse from 2 points of views - both young girls who lost their father, and later meet each other.



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