Poetry & Novels in Verse for Young Teens

Updated March 30, 2024
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The door of no return
Alexander, Kwame
From the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning author Kwame Alexander, comes the first book in a searing, breathtaking trilogy that tells the story of a boy, a village, and the epic odyssey of an African family. In his village in Upper...
The crossover
Alexander, Kwame.
Series streaming now on Disney+, with executive producers including NBA great LeBron James! The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning middle grade bestseller! Basketball and heartache share the court in this slam-dunk novel in verse. "With a bolt of lightning on my...
Iveliz explains it all
Arango, Andrea Beatriz
NEWBERY HONOR AWARD WINNER * In this timely and moving novel in verse, a preteen girl navigates seventh grade while facing mental health challenges. A hopeful, poetic story about learning to advocate for the help and understanding you deserve. "Powerful." --Lisa Fipps,...
Hidden powers : Lise Meitner's call to science
Atkins, Jeannine
From the acclaimed author of Finding Wonders and Grasping Mysteries comes a gorgeously written biography in "deliberate, delicate verse" (Kirkus Reviews) about the pioneering Jewish woman physicist whose scientific prowess changed the course of World War II. ...
Eb & Flow
Baptist, Kelly J.
A ten-day suspension has tweens De'Kari and Ebony seeing the world with a fresh perspective. Don't miss this poignant novel in verse from the award-winning author of Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero. Two kids. One fight. No one thinks they're wrong.   ...
They call me Güero : a border kid's poems
Bowles, David
Bluebonnet Award Master List 2020-2021 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book, 2019 ALSC Notable Children's Book, 2019 Walter Award Honor Book, 2019 This collection of narrative poetry explores a year in the life of a Mexican-American boy: caring, talented, and irrepressibly...
Force of nature : a novel of Rachel Carson
Burg, Ann E.
A beautiful and hopeful story of how a young impassioned naturalist grows up to change the world. For everyone who cares about our fragile planet. "An absolute joy to read." --Book Riot "Gracefully written...pleasing to the eye and ear." --Kirkus Reviews<...
Rain rising
Comrie, Courtne
An inspiring debut middle grade novel-in-verse about Rain, who must overcome sadness after her all-star brother is badly beaten up at a frat party. Genesis Begins Again meets Brown Girl Dreaming in this powerful story of perseverance, family, and hope. "A gorgeous debut: a necessary,...
Moonwalking
Elliott, Zetta
"This novel in verse, alternately narrated by two boys in 1980s Greenpoint, Brooklyn, one channeled by Elliott and one by Miller-Lachmann, eloquently tackles race, culture and life on the spectrum." -- The New York Times For fans of Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson,...
Rima's rebellion : courage in a time of tyranny
Engle, Margarita
An inspiring coming-of-age story told in prose and "spare, lyrical" verse (The Horn Book Magazine) from award-winning author Margarita Engle about a girl falling in love for the first time while finding the courage to protest for women's right to vote in 1920s Cuba. Rima...
Wave
Farid, Diana
Winner of the Cybils Award for Poetry Novel, Diana Farid's Wave is a coming-of-age novel in verse set in 1980s Southern California, about a Persian American girl who rides the waves, falls, and finds her way back to the shore, illustrated by Kris Goto.   ...
Golden girl
Faruqi, Reem
From the award-winning, ALA Notable author of Unsettled and Lailah's Lunchbox, this is a captivating coming-of-age middle grade novel in verse about seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar, a Pakistani American girl who hatches a special plan to help her family but finds that doing what...
Starfish
Fipps, Lisa
A Printz Honor winner! Ellie is tired of being fat-shamed and does something about it in this poignant debut novel-in-verse. Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she's been bullied about her weight. To cope, she...
Dear Mothman
Gow, Robin
Poet and author Robin Gow's moving middle-grade novel in verse Dear Mothman is about a young trans boy dealing with the loss of his friend by writing to his favorite cryptid. Halfway through sixth grade, Noah's best friend and the only other trans boy in his...
Legacy : women poets of the Harlem Renaissance
Grimes, Nikki
From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators.
BenBee and the teacher griefer
Holt, K. A.
From the author of Rhyme Schemer, House Arrest, and Knockout! The Kids Under the Stairs: BenBee and the Teacher Griefer is a funny, clever novel-in-verse series about Ben Bellows--who failed the Language Arts section of the Florida State test--and...
Redwood and Ponytail
Holt, K. A.
Eleanor & Park with a girl-meets-girl romance in this novel in verse about two girls falling in like.
Alias Anna : Zhanna Arshanskaya: a biography in verse : a true story of outwitting the Nazis
Hood, Susan
A Sydney Taylor Book Award 2023 Middle Grade Notable! A Jewish Book Council Award Middle Grade Finalist! The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias "Anna") and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight...
Lifeboat 12
Hood, Susan
"This page-turning true-life adventure is filled with rich and riveting details and a timeless understanding of the things that matter most."--Dashka Slater, author of The 57 Bus "Brilliantly told in verse, readers will love Ken Sparks." --Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor...
Good different
Kuyatt, Meg Eden
A Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book An extraordinary novel-in-verse for fans of Starfish and A Kind of Spark about a neurodivergent girl who comes to understand and celebrate her difference. Selah knows her rules for being normal. She always, always...
When clouds touch us
Lai, Thanhha
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award finalist! Inspired by the author's own childhood, this stunning novel in verse, the sequel to the award-winning #1 bestseller Inside Out and Back Again, picks up two years after Hà and her family arrive in Alabama as refugees from the Việt Nam War....
The order of things
Langley, Kaija
A heart-rending novel-in-verse about a girl beginning to learn it is possible to go on even after a great loss. Eleven-year-old April Jackson loves playing the drums, almost as much as she loves her best friend, Zee, a violin prodigy. They both dream of becoming professional...
The road to after
Lowell, Rebekah
This poignant debut novel in verse is a portrait of healing, as a young girl rediscovers life and the soothing power of nature after being freed from her abusive father. For most of her life, Lacey has been a prisoner without even realizing it. Her dad rarely let her, her...
Aniana del Mar jumps in
Méndez, Jasminne
Pura Belpre Author Honor Award ** Four starred reviews!** A powerful and expertly told novel in verse about a twelve-year-old Dominican American swimmer who is diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis by an award-winning poet. Aniana del Mar belongs in the water like...
Cast away : poems for our time
Nye, Naomi Shihab
"Nye at her engaging, insightful best." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Acclaimed poet and Young People's Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye shines a spotlight on the things we cast away, from plastic water bottles to those less fortunate, in this collection of more than eighty...
A seed in the sun
Salazar, Aida
**Four starred reviews!** A farm-working girl with big dreams meets activist Dolores Huerta and joins the 1965 protest for workers' rights in this tender-hearted novel in verse, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Pam Muñoz Ryan. Lula Viramontes aches to one...
Amber & Clay
Schlitz, Laura Amy
The Newbery Medal-winning author of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! gives readers a virtuoso performance in verse in this profoundly original epic pitched just right for fans of poetry, history, mythology, and fantasy. Welcome to ancient Greece as only genius storyteller Laura...
Louder Than Hunger
Schu, John
The instant New York Times bestseller! "Every so often a book comes along that is so brave and necessary, it extends a lifeline when it's needed most. This is one of those books." --Katherine Applegate, author of the Newbery Medal-winning, The One and Only Ivan<...
Warrior girl
Tafolla, Carmen
An insightful novel in verse about the joys and struggles of a Chicana girl who is a warrior for her name, her history, and her right to choose what she celebrates in life. Celina and her family are bilingual and follow both Mexican and American traditions. Celina revels in her...
Other words for home
Warga, Jasmine
New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book! A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. Jude never thought she'd be...
Black girl you are Atlas
Watson, Renaee
A thoughtful celebration of Black girlhood by award-winning author and poet Renée Watson. In this semi-autobiographical collection of poems, Renée Watson writes about her experience growing up as a young Black girl at the intersections of race, class, and gender.
Star child : a biographical constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler
Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
A Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book A Walter Dean Myers Honor Book From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler, author of Parable of the Sower and...

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