Library Blog

YA Novels in Verse

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blackout poetry contestHello, Library Lovers!  This is Miss Sarah, and I’m going to give you some recommendations for YA novels in verse.  April is National Poetry Month, after all!  So whether you’re new to poetry or consider it a favorite, you’re sure to enjoy these poetic books!

And speaking of poetry, the Library is running a contest throughout April for blackout poetry.  Get all the details here!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista is torn between two worlds.  There’s the world where her mother’s rules, which happen to be the church’s rules, dictate who she is and who she should become.  Then there’s the world where Xiomara joins a slam poetry club.  In this world, she is able to give her inner thoughts and desires a voice.  And maybe that will help Xiomara find the voice she needs to stand up to her mother and allow herself to get close to Aman.  Available as an e-book on Hoopla and as an e-audiobook (narrated by Acevedo) on Hoopla and Overdrive.  FUN FACT: Elizabeth Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion!

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

This emotional roller coaster follows four teens, all of whom have very different ideas of what it means to be perfect.  For Cara, it’s not following her parents’ ideas for her and taking a chance on love.  Kendra wants to have the perfect body and perfect face, and she doesn’t care about the cost of surgeries or drugs she’ll need to pay.  Sean needs to be perfect on the field and off, and his home run might cost him more than he expected.  And Andre has to decide if perfection means leaving behind the ways of his ancestors.  Available an e-audiobook on Hoopla.  BONUS: Many of Ellen Hopkins’ novels are written in verse, and you can find more on Overdrive and Hoopla.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Will has one thing on his mind when he steps on the elevator: revenge.  His older brother has just been shot, and in their neighborhood, Will has to follow three rules.  First, no crying.  Second, no snitching.  Finally, get revenge.  So that’s what he’s going to do.  But when Will gets on the elevator, he sees someone else.  Someone who shouldn’t be there…because they’re dead.  And each stop of the elevator brings a new ghost from Will’s past.  And they’re going to force Will to make a decision.  Available as an e-audiobook on Overdrive. FUN FACT: Jason Reynolds was named this year’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.  Find more of his books on Overdrive.

Bull by David Elliott

So you think you know the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur?  Think again.  This novel in verse tells the famous myth from the point of view of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea.  What does he have to do with this story?  Well, you’ll have to read it to find out!  This dark comedy will take what you know of mythology and bury it deep within a maze.  Available as an e-book on Overdrive and Hoopla.

Happy reading!


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”