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Quick Picks Booklists

NOVELS IN VERSE

All the Broken Pieces book cover

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg

Haunted by memories of war and the family he left behind, Matt Pin struggles to adapt to life in America two years after he is airlifted out of Vietnam and adopted by a loving American family.



A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl book cover

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone*

Through energetic free verse, three very different girls relate their experiences with the same sexy, popular bad boy. Definitely best for mature readers.



Because I Am Furniture

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

The youngest of three siblings, fourteen-year-old Anke feels both relieved and neglected that her father abuses her brother and sister but ignores her, but when she catches him with one of her friends, she finally becomes angry enough to take action.  


Bronx Masquerade cover

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates

 

Crank cover

Crank by Ellen Hopkins*

Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter—until he meets Adam, who introduces her to “the monster.” As she becomes increasingly addicted to crystal meth, Kristina becomes a very different person, constantly struggling to control her life and her mind. This is the first in a trilogy that follows Kristina as she grows up and has children of her own. Followed by Glass and Fallout.

The Death of Jayson Porter book cover

The Death of Jayson Porter by Jaime Adoff

Struggling to cope with the death of a friend and the harsh realities of living in the projects with his abusive mother and drug-addicted father, a sixteen-year-old boy considers suicide.  


Exposed

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

High school senior Liz, a gifted photographer, can no longer see things clearly after her best friend accuses Liz's older brother of a terrible crime.  


Far From You book cover

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

Sixteen-year-old Ali, who is resentful of her stepmother and new baby sister, is trapped in the car wither her family (minus dad) during a blizzard.   


Girl Coming in for a Landing book cover

Girl Coming in for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland

Through a sequence of over 100 brief poems, a young teen recounts the ups and downs of a single school year, from first dates to family fights.


 
Glimpse

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Living with their mother who earns money as a prostitute, two sisters take care of each other and when the older one attempts suicide, the younger one tries to uncover the reason. 


Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass

When high school junior Tessa Reynolds falls into a coma after getting hit in the head during gym class, she experiences heaven as the mall where her parents work, and she revisits key events from her life, causing her to reevaluate herself and how she wants to live.
Jump Ball by Mel Glenn

Jump Ball: A Basketball Season in Poems by Mel Glenn

Tells the story of a high school basketball team's season through a series of poems reflecting the feelings of students plus their families, teachers, and coaches.



Keesha's House

Keesha's House by Helen Frost

Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.


Love and Leftovers book cover

Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

After her father leaves her mother for a man, Marcie and her mom go to New Hampshire, where she falls for the perfect guy. The only problem? When they eventually return to Idaho, Marcie must again face the relationships she left behind, including her father and her boyfriend.


Make Lemonade 

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Determined to escape the crushing hopelessness and poverty she sees every day in her neighborhood, LaVaughn vowed at an early age that she would find a way to attend college. Now fourteen and looking to build up her college fund, she agrees to babysit for Jolly, an overwhelmed 17-year-old mother of two. Followed by True Believer and This Full House.

Orchards cover

Orchards by Holly Thompson

Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home.


Three Rivers Rising

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

In 1889, a wealthy young woman falls for a hired hand and, after being disowned by her parents, decides to stay with him in Johnstown, where torrential rains create imminent danger in the valley.


The Realm of Possibility book cover

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

A variety of students at the same high school—popular “mean girls,” body-obsessed jocks, quiet loners, and gay teens in the throes of first love—describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories. 


Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge

In this humorous, lighthearted novel in verse, a fourteen-year-poet and first baseman is torn between two girls—his cute girlfriend Mira and Amy, who is funny and is also a poet.
Followed by Shakespeare Bats Cleanup.


Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

After a shark attack causes the amputation of her right arm, fifteen-year-old Jane struggles to come to terms with her loss and the changes it imposes on her day-to-day life and her plans for the future.



Split Image by Mel Glenn

Split Image by Mel Glenn

A series of poems reflect the thoughts and feelings of various peoplestudents, the librarian, parents, the principal, and othersabout the seemingly perfect Laura Li and her life inside and out of Tower High School.


Waiting

Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

Almost a year after her older brother's tragic death, London's family is still devastated. Eventually, London reaches outside her self-imposed isolation and finds herself torn between two guys, her brother's best friend (also London's ex) and a handsome new boy in town.

What My Mother Doesn't Know

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

In a fast, funny, and frequently touching series of poems, fifteen-year-old Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys and as she searches for Mr. Right. Followed by What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know.


Wicked Girls 

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

This fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials is related in verse from the perspective of three of the real young women living in 1692 Salem.




Interested in true stories?
Try MEMOIRS IN VERSE!

I Don't Want to Be Crazy pic

I Don't Want to Be Crazy by Samantha Schultz*

After going away to college and finally getting the independence she always wanted, the author begins to suffer from incapacitating anxiety attacks that change all her plans.



Learning to Swim

Learning to Swim by Ann Warren Turner

In episodic free verse, the author relates the summer when she was six, when an older boy sexually abused her, shattering her sense of joy and security.



*Recommended for older teens.

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Last Updated 4/3/13