Wednesday, April 24, 2013

a book of poetry.

As poetry month draws to a close I wanted to feature a few of my favorite books written in verse.  Often we think of poems as a series of short stanzas or maybe an epic narrative (generally translate from Greek or something!) but there's a relatively modern trend of using a series of shorter verses (often confined to one or two pages) that build on each other to tell a complete story. I've read some that follow very strict formatting rules (each character 'speaking' in a different poetic form, for example) though most tend to lean toward free verse. The great thing about these books is they tend to be very quick reads. So, take a half hour or so and dive into one of these fun books in verse.

Three Rivers Rising
A novel of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood of 1889. (Ages 12 and up)

Your Own Sylvia
A biographical glimpse into the life of Sylvia Plath. (Ages 12 and up)

Odette's Secrets
A young Jewish girl is forced to leave her home in Paris when the Nazis invade. Based on a true story. (Ages 10 and up)

May B
A young girl is separated from her family by a snowstorm on the Kansas prairie in the 1870s and must use all her wits to survive. (Ages 9 and up)

Kaleidoscope Eyes
During the Vietnam War era, a girl enlists the help of her friends in searching search for pirate treasure after finding clues in her grandfather's attic. (Ages 10 and up)

All the Broken Pieces
After leaving his home in Vietnam during the war, a young boy, now living in America, struggles to find his place in the world. (Ages 9 and up)

Inside Out and Back Again
Forced to flee her home in Saigon, a young girl and her family fight to make a new life for themselves in America.  (Ages 9 and up, Newbery Honor)

Love That Dog  and its sequel Hate That Cat
Forced to compile a poetry notebook for a class assignment, Jack concedes that even boys can write poetry as he discovers other truths about himself and mourns his faithful companion.  (Ages 9 and up)

And as a bonus, here are a couple of books that feature poetry throughout the plot

Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook
When the class fish disappears and a poem is left in his place, Edgar Allan is on the case to find out who fishnapped Slurpy.  (Ages 9 and up)

Destiny, Rewritten
A young girl, named after Emily Dickinson, fights against a future that was fated to her at birth and learns a few things about herself along the way. (Ages 9 and up)

Most, as you can see, hit the middle grade reading range with only a few reaching into the young adult level but I'll vouch for them all as being delightful enough to keep older readers (and even adults) entertained. I'd love to hear about others you may have read, specifically those written just for adults. Any suggestions or recommendations?

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