Some Novels-In-Verse for Kids

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Some Novels-In-Verse for Kids

Enjoying poetry in a novel format

There’s finally a format that combines poetry and novels. For anyone who loves the lyrical quality of verse, you can now enjoy it in a full length story. The following are some picks that really utilize the format of poetry to its highest ability.

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle
Engle has written several novels-in-verse ranging from slavery in Cuba to Mountain Dogs in the Alps. In my opinion, Silver People is one of her best. Following the various workers involved in digging the Panama Canal, it draws a stark contrast in the working conditions for workers split by the color of their skin. The forest also becomes a character, explaining the effects the digging has on its lush landscape.

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
For any child that’s ever struggled in school, this book is for you. Grimes shows the struggle to discover yourself and your own wings, as one girl uses the power of daydreams to uncover her real self and work through her parent’s divorce.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
There are many stories about the Vietnam War and American’s experiences living through it. Lai tells the other side of the coin—what it’s like to be a young Vietnamese trying to escape to the United States during the war. Through vivid details, Lai paints a portrait of the beautiful culture she left behind and the challenges that lay ahead for her in the states with bullying.

Crossover by Kwame Alexander
This one is hard to miss as it just won a Newbery Honor. Alexander employs the full force of the English language to convey the beat of basketball. Josh Bell is a basketball prodigy and it looks like his future is well assured until a fight with his brother gets in the way. Can Josh find the magic on court and off court again?

Heartbeat by Sharon Creech
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least one of Creech’s books. It’s a book about running, and the comfort you can find in the steady pace of running when everything around you is changing. Annie’s mom is getting ready to have a baby, her best friend, Max is acting weird and things are changing with her grandpa. Can running give her the strength to adapt?