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Kid Tested, Librarian Approved: Novels in verse

I love a novel in verse! Poets really pay attention to the power of language and focus on what's most important. Plus, you can read them quickly and you get to feel that sense of accomplishment from moving another book to the "finished" list. Here are a few novels in verse I wholeheartedly recommend.

Forest World by Margarita Engle

This is a great story for anyone who loves nature or likes learning about parts of history that don't really get covered in school. This book tells the story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family's village in Cuba for the first time.

Engle doesn't shy away from the complicated history of Cuban-American relations and the challenges faced by those who left and those who stayed on the island. The story is also full of interesting animals, insects and fossils.


Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Since Alone is on this year's William Allen White master list, lots of kids will be reading this book. Pushcart Prize–nominated poet Freeman tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town.

It's a thrilling survival story where you can imagine yourself in the main character's shoes. Don't miss this one!


The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The way Alexander mashes up vivid details about the game of basketball with intense human emotion is really special. So whether you're drawn in because you love basketball or because you love a good dramatic story, you'll be compelled to finish the story.

"'With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,' announces dreadlocked, 12-year old Josh Bell."


Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Anyone who knows what it's like to feel like you don't fit in will appreciate reading about Reha's challenges as she tries to find true friends and grapples with her mother's serious illness.

Reha dreams of becoming a doctor even though she can’t stomach the sight of blood. She is determined to make her mom well again. Reha will be the perfect daughter, if it means saving her mom’s life.

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