I was reminded as I finished up Kate Messner's upcoming middle grade novel, All the Answers, that I love when poetry is featured in intermediate or young adult novels. Here are some of my favorites (I didn't include novels in verse since I did a post on that previously):
Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera
2014-book, allusion, character-traits, character-who-reads, character-who-writes, divorce-or-separation, family, gifted-girls, home, intermediate-kids-book, metaphor, mock-newbery-2015, poetry, poverty, sisters, strong-girl-character, vocabulary, weneeddiversebooks, young-adult-book
As you can see, I loved this book for a lot of reasons besides poetry, but Star Mackey's involvement in the Emily Dickinson club is a strong part of what shapes her character. I think it is a beautiful story about an endearing fifth grader who lives up to her name, Star. She IS a star and gives me hope that kids can dream big, no matter what their circumstances.
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
2013-book, audio-book, character-who-writes, friendship, historical-fiction, holocaust, mock-printz-2014, poetry, story-within-a-story, strong-girl-character, survival, symbolism, war
Flora & Ulysses by Kate Dicamillo
-book, adage-proverb-aphorism, adventure, animals, character-who-writes, comics, divorce-or-separation, family, friendship, gifted-character, humor, intermediate-kids-book, mock-newbery-2014, poetry, vocabulary, writing-connections
"Holy bagumba!" I loved this book! Kate DiCamillo is a magician with words and stories. I love how she combines fantasy, friendship, and quirkiness in all her books to make unforgettable characters. This one involves a squirrel who gains superhero powers after being sucked into the Ulysses 2000X vacuum cleaner (weird, I know, but somehow this story element works) and captures the heart of Flora who names him Ulysses, of course. He is a poet and valiant friend, keeping Flora company in her self-p...more "Holy bagumba!" I loved this book! Kate DiCamillo is a magician with words and stories. I love how she combines fantasy, friendship, and quirkiness in all her books to make unforgettable characters. This one involves a squirrel who gains superhero powers after being sucked into the Ulysses 2000X vacuum cleaner and captures the heart of Flora who names him Ulysses, of course. He is a poet and valiant friend, keeping Flora company in her self-professed cynical world.
Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
2013-book, audio-book, character-who-reads, family, homelessness, intermediate-kids-book, mock-newbery-2014, mystery, paired-texts, poetry, strong-girl-character, vocabulary
I love Blue Balliett's books. I think she does an amazing job of creating smart, resourceful children as her main characters, an intriguing mystery intertwined with art, and in this book, important issues. Early Pearl and her brother love their father's poetic rhythms and good humor. The Early family live in Chicago and love each other very much. Their father loves books and the poet Langston Hughes and has a job delivering books for the public library. One mysterious day, though, he disappears without a trace.
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner
art, award-winner, bullying, character-development, grandparents, intermediate-kids-book, metaphor, nature, poetry, realistic-fiction, sensory-details, sports, theme
Back to Kate Messner! You'll love this story of Gianna, a seventh-grader who loves to run and draw, but can't seem to get herself together at school. I love the metaphors of people and trees, Robert Frost's "Birches" as a touchstone poem throughout the story, and the complex layers of character and plot here.
Do you have favorite middle grade and young adult novels that contain poetry (besides novels in verse)? Laura has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Author Amok.