My friend Emily was hunting for novels in verse; that’s poetry-style novels that don’t rely on standard sentence structure to move the story along. Of course I thought of books by Ellen Hopkins or Because I Am the Furniture by Thalia Chaltas (2010 Best Books for Young Adults), but then Emily added that these books should be ok for junior high school students. I loved Because I Am The Furniture, but this dark story of confronting an abuser who perpetrates multiple kinds of misery on his family isn’t going to be found in most school classroom collections. For this same reason, Ellen Hopkin’s novels like the Crank trilogy (2005 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults), that delve so deeply into angsty recesses, aren’t the sort of thing a teacher is just going to hand out in class; though thought provoking, I really don’t want Emily fired over my choices.
I went to a teen book review meeting and I must have been whining louder than normal about my need for books in verse because the next morning I had a booklist in my email. I compiled a list and had a books in verse reading marathon. Here are some of my favorites.