Friday, January 9, 2009

Verse Novels for Teens, Plus W.B.

Libraries can be wonderful resources! The Sacramento Public Library has a list of novels for teens which are written in verse:

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes:
After studying the Harlem Renaissance, eighteen high school students begin to share their own poetry aloud, revealing hidden truths and showing that each one of the classmates is not who he or she seems to be. Through "open mike" poetry and journal-like entries, the teens start to share their real lives and to form true bonds.

CrashBoomLove: a novel in verse by Juan Felipe Herrera:
"Don't know how it all started. The frozen feeling, / this fender inside me wanting to crash against everything." This is how Cesar Garcia begins describing his struggle to fit in at a new California high school and to deal with the fact that his dad has left to live with a new family.

Jump Ball: A Basketball Season in Poems by Mel Glenn:
The voices of players, fans, coach and teachers tell the story of the Tower High Tigers in their championship season, from its glorious beginnings through all of the real-life issues that come up along the way.

Keesha's House by Helen Frost:
For six high school classmates, this house where Keesha stays becomes a safe place to weather the storms of their lives: unexpected teen parenthood, foster families, coming out to unsupportive parents, and abuse. Their stories are told in the traditional poetic forms of sonnets and sestinas, defined by the author at the end of the book.

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff:
When LaVaughn finds a sign on the school bulletin board announcing "BABYSITTER NEEDED BAD," she takes the job to save some money for college. But as she gets to know her employer, who is a struggling single teen mom with two young children, LaVaughn ends up giving (and getting) more than she bargained for.

Witness by Karen Hesse:
When the Ku Klux Klan comes to a small Vermont town in the 1920s, people of all creeds, races and ages become involved - as onlookers, victims, participants and opponents. This story, told through the voices of eleven townspeople, explores love and hate and the effects of both.

excerpt of VII
by Wendell Berry

I would not have been a poet
except that I have been in love
alive in this mortal world,
or an essayist except that I
have been bewildered and afraid,
or a storyteller had I not heard
stories passing to me through the air,
or a writer at all except
I have been wakeful at night
and words have come to me
out of their deep caves
needing to be remembered.

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