By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian
It’s April, and know that April showers bring May flowers, but did you know it’s also National Poetry Month? To celebrate, I have gathered a list of stories told in verse that you should totally pick up. Sure, stories in verse doesn’t necessarily mean poetry in its truest sense, but if you’re looking for pure poetry, you can always check out the nonfiction section. These books and other great works of poetry are also available on our poetry display at the front of the Youth Department.
by Helen Frost
When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra’s father steals a minivan. He doesn’t know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth — that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they’ve hidden for so long.
Planet Middle School
by Nikki Grimes
For twelve years, Joylin Johnson’s life has been just fine, thank you very much. A game of basketball with the boys — especially her friend Jake — was all it took to put a smile on her face. Then, suddenly, the world seemed to turn upside down, and everything changed at once. Her best girl friend is now flirting with her best guy friend. Her clothes seem all wrong. And this guy, Santiago, appears from . . . where? What lengths will Joy go to — and whom will she become — to attract his attention?
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
by Julie Sternberg
When Eleanor’s beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn’t up to snuff, and she doesn’t take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it’s time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is.
by K.A. Holt
Kevin has a bad attitude. He’s the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way — and he’s even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on?
by Skila Brown
Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet — he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mama tells Carlos to run and hide. Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then?
Words with Wings
by Nikki Grimes
Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents’ arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her…until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day.
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War
by Helen Frost
Anikwa and James, twelve years old in 1812, spend their days fishing, trapping, and exploring together in the forests of the Indiana Territory. Tensions rise — the British and American armies prepare to meet at Fort Wayne for a crucial battle. Native Americans from surrounding tribes gather in Kekionga to protect their homeland. After trading stops and precious commodities, like salt, are withheld, the fort comes under siege, and war ravages the land. James and Anikwa, like everyone around them, must decide where their deepest loyalties lie. Can their families — and their friendship — survive?
Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai
For all ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food . . . and the strength of her very own family.