Category Archives: Poetry

When My Sister Started Kissing

Helen Frost‘s masterful novel-in-poems When My Sister Started Kissing features Claire and Abigail at their summer cottage on the lake, where they navigate a new stepmother, boys, kissing, and memories. Claire, the younger of the two, is the main narrator, and can’t … Continue reading

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Loving Vs. Virginia

Loving Vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland is a large, beautifully made historical novel-in-verse. Well-researched (there are lists of the author’s interviews and sources in the back) … Continue reading

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Before Morning

Luscious verse invokes a snow day while illustrations show a pilot going to work in the wee hours, the snow clogging her commute and the flights at the airport are all cancelled. She flags down a snowplow driver, who brings … Continue reading

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Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

This collection of poems is as fun as it looks, full of clever word play and concrete poetry. Even typography works to make the poems fun, with just the half-circle of the e showing in “Sunset” and one of the … Continue reading

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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement is that rare book that packs nonfiction, biography, poetry and gorgeous layered artwork to tell the story of Fannie, whose community activism and singing earned her “the voice of … Continue reading

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Forest Has a Song

I’m ready for spring, and while I can’t move to a warmer climate or force my tulips to bloom outside, I can read this lovely book of poems about the forest. Today I heard a pinecone fall (from “Invitation”) are the … Continue reading

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The Crossover

I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel-in-verse with this sort of pace and feel to it. Usually novels-in-verse are on the quieter side, but this book changes the whole genre. There’s movement and depth. After reading it, I know exactly why Kwame … Continue reading

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Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

Michigan is in the midst of winter, but I want to read about spring and summer. Enter Firefly July, a picture book of poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Each poem is very short, some only three … Continue reading

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The Lightning Dreamer

Margarita Engle‘s biographical and historical novel-in-verse (it is a fictionalized account of the young Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda) dives into the heart and soul of a young poet who is not allowed to read books because “girls who read too much are unladylike”. Tula … Continue reading

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Heartbeat

Annie runs barefoot with Max, her neighbour, and sits with her grandfather who doesn’t leave the house much anymore. She jokes with her mom and dad about the alien baby which grows into a pumpkin baby which grows into the baby … Continue reading

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