Diverse Novels in Verse

by Ellen Peterson | Apr 30, 2021

These Young Adult and Children's books are written in verse, which makes them quick reads, but their diverse characters and emotional topics will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Punching the Air
by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated.

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Other Words for Home
by Jasmine Warga

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

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Bonus: listen to the eAudio!

 

Forget Me Not
by Ellie Terry

When her mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend, Calliope meets Jinsong at her latest middle school, who becomes her friend despite her Tourette Syndrome and the embarrassment it can cause.

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Bonus: listen to the eAudio!

Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

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Bonus: read the eBook!

 

The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo

When Xiomara Batista, who pours all her frustrations and passion into poetry, is invited to join the school slam poetry club, she struggles with her mother's expectations and her need to be heard.

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The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

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Bonus: read the eBook or Graphic Novel!

 

Your Heart, My Sky
by Margarita Engle

In Cuba's "special period in times of peace" of 1991, Liana and Amado find love after their severe hunger gives both courage to risk government retribution by skipping a summer of labor to seek food.

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Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

In vivid poems, one of today's finest writers, tells her moving story of growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights Movement.

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The Black Flamingo
by Dean Atta

Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs--and the Black Flamingo is born.

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The Red Pencil
by Andrea Pinkney

After her tribal village is attacked by militants, Amira, a young Sudanese girl, must flee to safety at a refugee camp, where she finds hope and the chance to pursue an education in the form of a single red pencil and the friendship and encouragement of a wise elder.

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Bonus: listen to the eAudio!

Bonus: read the eBook!

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