Don’t Like Poetry?: Our Recommendations for Novels in Verse Could Change Your Mind

25 Apr

April is National Poetry Month. If you’re like me and have never really connected with poetry, try reading one of these novels in verse instead of a traditional book of poems.

Crossover
by Kwame Alexander
Crossover

It’s a fairly common story: two brothers, a basketball team and high school drama. However, what makes Crossover stand out is the way the words move on the page to connect the reader to the emotions being described. If soccer is your sport, try Booked, also by Kwame Alexander.

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
brown girl dreaming
Brown Girl Dreaming, an autobiography in verse, won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

How I Discovered Poetry
by Marilyn Nelson
discoveredpoetry

Another autobiography in verse is How I Discovered Poetry. In this one Nelson recounts her childhood growing up during the 1950s.

Want More Recommendations?  Elbie Love, HPL’s YA Library Assistant also shared some of her suggestions with me.

The Poet X: A Novel
by Elizabeth Acevedo

PoetX
In The Poet X, Harlem sophomore Xiomara Batista is told to be quiet and do as she is told. As her body grows into a women too early, she learns that staying silent can do more harm than good when boys and men give her unwanted advice and the jealously of the girls around her turn into fist fights in the school yard. She learns to find her voice and build her belief system, despite it not being welcomed in the eyes of her strict religious mother. For Grades 7 and up.

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist
by Margarita Engle

Join Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, known as Tula in The Lightning Dreamer on a journey of rebellion against her family’s arranged marriage to becoming Cuba’s most renowned nineteenth-century abolitionist poet. She fights for woman’s rights and against slavery with her gift of poetry. Recommended for Grades 6 and up.

A Time to Dance
by Padma Venkatraman

Veda is a talented Bharatanatyam dancer, a classical form of Indian dance, in Padma Venkatraman’s A Time to Dance. She feels that she can express her true self through dance. But, when she becomes a victim in an automobile accident it seems to cripples her dream of becoming a professional dancer. How will she overcome this adversity? Recommended for Grades 12 and up.

Written by Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian

Want to Share Your Writing?
Join the Hoboken Public Library Adults Writer’s Workshop on Monday, May 14th at 6:30 PM, to discuss your writing in a friendly and constructive atmosphere with fellow writers.  Saturday, May 19 at 2 PM, HPL’s Park Bench Open-Mic provides a platform where local poets, comedians, musicians and artists can perform outdoors in the Church Square Park Gazebo.

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