Did you know April is National Poetry Month? To celebrate, I’m planning to pick up a novel in verse. I am quite fond of verse novels but don’t get to read them as often as I like. The last verse novel I read was Jacqueline Woodson’s stellar Brown Girl Dreaming. So, I perused Goodreads to find some great candidates to check out this month. Also, I included a few books that are out later this year to look forward to.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – This 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King honor winner is about twin brothers Josh (aka Filthy McNasty) and Jordan as they navigate the basketball court and family drama.
Audacity by Melanie Crowder – This historical fiction book is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Limlich, organizer of the Uprising of 20,000. She fought for better working conditions in garment factories in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
5 to 1 by Holly Bodger – This dystopia is written in alternating points of view, one of which is in verse. In 2054 India there are 5 boys to every girl and boys have to pass a series of tests to win the chance to be a husband.
Dating Down by Stefanie Lyons – This one just hit shelves last week and it’s about Sam, a girl who falls for a guy she calls X. He is trouble with a capital T but she can’t see her way out.
Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen – On sale June 2. This semi-autobiographical historical fiction novel is set during the height of the AIDS crisis. The crisis hits home when Mira finds her father with another man. This one is getting great reviews and I hope to fit in a read this month.
Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott – On sale Oct. 13. Based on a true story, two girls find friendship and hope during their time at Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick – Kenna is sent to the psych ward after she is found cutting herself in the school bathroom. Her 72-hour hold introduces her to others dealing with similar issues.
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Shane W. Evans – Amira is a 12-year old Sudanese girl who longs to go to school. Janjaweed attackers take her to a refugee camp, and a red pencil and a notebook help her to cope. I have this one in audiobook format but I think I need it in print to see the illustrations.
Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe – This novel is set in 1968 during the Vietnam War. Seventeen-year-old Ashe writes haikus as his own way to deal with this turbulent year. I read in the Author’s note that this novel contains one syllable for every U.S. soldier who died in 1968. (The 1968 death toll was 16,592)
Are you planning to read any novels in verse this month? What is your favorite verse novel?