Poetry & Novels in Verse for Teens

Happy Poetry Month! Check out these poetry books and YA novels in verse that are written in a myriad of poetic styles.

Updated March 21, 2024
Drag items up and down to your preferred order then select the "Save Order" button.
Respect the mic : celebrating 20 years of poetry from a Chicagoland high school
Abdurraqib, Hanif
An expansive, moving poetry anthology, representing 20 years of poetry from students and alumni of Chicago's Oak Park River Forest High School Spoken Word Club. "Poets I know sometimes joke that the poetry club at Oak Park River Forest High School is the best MFA program in...
The black flamingo
Atta, Dean
Stonewall Book Award Winner * A Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All Time A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender. Michael is a mixed...
Alma presses play
Cane, Tina
A lyrical novel-in-verse that takes us through the journey of coming of age in New York during the 80s. Alma's life is a series of halfways- She's half-Chinese, half-Jewish; her parents spend half the time fighting, and the other half silent; and she's halfway through becoming a...
Spin
Caprara, Rebecca
A Chicago Public Library Teen-Approved Best Book of 2023 "A powerful feminist retelling of an ancient tale about empathy and defiance, written in beautiful verse from a truly unique viewpoint." --Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree...
Ariel crashes a train
Cole, Olivia A.
"A gorgeously kind, wonderfully gentle, and unfailingly compassionate depiction of OCD...bursting with light." -- Ashley Woodfolk, critically acclaimed author of NOTHING BURNS AS BRIGHT AS YOU Exploring the harsh reality of OCD and violent intrusive thoughts in stunning,...
Dear Medusa
Cole, Olivia A.
This searing and intimate novel in verse follows a sixteen-year-old girl coping with sexual abuse as she grapples with how to reclaim her story, her anger, and her body in a world that seems determined to punish her for the sin of surviving. "This is more than a story about sexual...
Bright red fruit
Elhillo, Safia
An unflinching, honest novel in verse about a teenager's journey into the slam poetry scene and the dangerous new relationship that could threaten all her dreams. From the award-winning poet and author of HOME IS NOT A COUNTRY. Bad girl. No matter how hard...
The seventh raven
Elliott, David
Best-selling author David Elliott examines the timeless themes of balance, transformation, and restoration in this evocative tale about a girl who will stop at nothing to reverse a curse that turned her seven brothers into ravens.  And these are the sons ...
Wings in the wild
Engle, Margarita
This gorgeously romantic contemporary novel-in-verse from award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the "inspiring and hopeful" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) love story of two teens fighting for climate action and human rights. Winged beings are meant to be free. And...
Apple : skin to the core : a memoir in words and pictures
Gansworth, Eric
NOW IN PAPERBACK! WINNER, AMERICAN INDIAN YOUTH LITERATURE AWARD HONOR, MICHAL L. PRINTZ AWARD LONGLIST, NATIONAL BOOK AWARD TIME 10 Best YA and Children's Books of the Year NPR Best of...
The hill we climb : an inaugural poem for the country
Gorman, Amanda
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller and #1 USA Today bestseller Amanda Gorman's electrifying and historic poem "The Hill We Climb," read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition. "Stunning."...
A million quiet revolutions
Gow, Robin
Robin Gow's A Million Quiet Revolutions is a modern love story, told in verse, about two teenaged trans boys who name themselves after two Revolutionary War soldiers. A lyrical, aching young adult romance perfect for fans of The Poet X, Darius the Great is Not Okay, and...
Ordinary hazards : a memoir
Grimes, Nikki
In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse. Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by...
Lawless spaces
Haydu, Corey Ann
Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this "powerful, absorbing, and beautiful" (Booklist) coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother. ...
Salt the water
Iloh, Candice
A Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book Cerulean Gene is free everywhere except school, where they're known for repeatedly challenging authority. Raised in a free-spirited home by two loving parents who encourage Cerulean to be their full self, they've got big dreams of moving cross...
How the boogeyman became a poet
Keith, Anthony R., Jr.
Poet, writer, and hip-hop educator Tony Keith Jr. makes his debut with a powerful YA memoir in verse, tracing his journey from being a closeted gay Black teen battling poverty, racism, and homophobia to becoming an openly gay first-generation college student who finds freedom in poetry. Perfect...
Switch
King, A. S.
A surreal and timely novel about the effects of isolation and what it means to be connected to the world from the Printz Award-winning author of Dig. Time has stopped. It's been June 23, 2020 for nearly a year as far as anyone can tell. Frantic adults demand...
African Town
Latham, Irene
Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse. In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria...
Concrete kids
Leo?n, Amyra
A Goddard CBC's Social Justice Prize Nominee . A YALSA Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults "I will close my eyes and disappear into the pages of this book for many years to come."--Hanif Abdurraqib (New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in The Rain- Notes to A...
Me (Moth)
McBride, Amber
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path. Moth has lost her family...
Poemhood, our black revival : history, folklore & the Black experience: a young adult poetry anthology
McBride, Amber
"A rich, thoughtful anthology exploring centuries of Black poetry." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "This deep and complex assemblage of Black poetry culminates in a joyful, painful, and emotionally rich experience." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "An eclectic mix of Black...
We are all so good at smiling
McBride, Amber
They Both Die at the End meets The Bell Jar in this haunting, beautiful young adult novel-in-verse about clinical depression and healing from trauma, from National Book Award Finalist Amber McBride. Whimsy is back in the hospital for treatment of...
Enter the body
McCullough, Joy
"At once tender, poetic and ferocious, Enter The Body breathes new life into the Bard's most tragic heroines. More than a tribute to Shakespeare, this kaleidoscopic, ambitious novel-in-verse gives Juliet, Ophelia, Cordelia, and Lavinia the chance to tell their own stories full of passion,...
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...
Ain't burned all the bright
Reynolds, Jason
A Caldecott Honor winner! Prepare yourself for something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds....
The ghosts of Rose Hill
Romero, R. M.
A brilliantly original tale for fans of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Hazel Wood about embracing your power, facing your monsters, and loving deeply enough to transcend a century. Inspired by the author's experiences restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern...
All the fighting parts
Sawyerr, Hannah V.
In the vein of Grown and The Poet X, Hannah V. Sawyerr's All the Fighting Parts is an award-winning, searing, and defiant young adult novel in verse about reclaiming agency after a sexual assault within the church community. A YALSA...
Call me Athena : girl from Detroit : a novel in verse
Smith, Colby Cedar
An enchanting novel in verse, Call Me Athena captures one young woman's struggle for independence, equality, and identity as the daughter of Greek and French immigrants in tumultuous 1930s Detroit. Mary lives in a tiny apartment in Detroit in the 1930s with her Greek and...
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.
The most dazzling girl in Berlin
Wilson, Kip
A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, an orphan who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II as she discovers her own voice and sexuality, ultimately finding a family when she gets a job at a gay cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson. On her eighteenth birthday, Hilde...
One last shot : the story of wartime photographer Gerda Taro
Wilson, Kip
"This is not just a story of the violence of fascism, but of the burning joy of freedom, and the exhilaration of shaping, with sweat and blood, a better world."** From critically acclaimed author Kip Wilson comes this gripping coming of age historical fiction novel in verse about Gerda...
Nothing burns as bright as you
Woodfolk, Ashley
Five starred reviews! From New York Times bestselling author Ashley Woodfolk, Nothing Burns as Bright as You is an impassioned stand-alone tale of queer love, grief, and the complexity of female friendship. Two girls. One wild and reckless day. Years of tumultuous...

Library staff! You can create and contribute to lists. Contact your catalog administrator or log in here.