Did you know that there are entire novels written in poetic verse? Like so many poems, they tend read quick but carry quite the emotional punch.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
“So, I have to know,” he says, “what are you?”
But just because he has to know doesn’t mean I have to tell him anything.
It’s 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.
Written by a Middlebury College Alumn!
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
And I know now that all the time I was trying to get
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.
Billie Jo is just a fourteen year old farm girl trying to survive unspeakable loss while living in the dust bowl during the Great Depression.
Hesse currently lives in Vermont!
brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Even the silence
has a story to tell you.
Just listen. Listen.
Growing up both in her Grandparents’ South Carolina and her mother’s New York City, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. This is the true story of how she grew up in limbo between the two places, and how she discovered she wanted to be a writer no matter how hard it was for her to read.
Love that Dog / Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech
when you are trying
not to think about something
it keeps popping back in your head
you can’t help it
you think about it
think about it
think about it
until your brain
a squashed pea.
Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments — and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say.
Especially about the dog he loves that isn’t with him anymore. And that stupid cat his parents got him afterwards.
Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
You ever laughed so hard
nobody in the world could hurt you for a minute,
no matter what they tried to do to you?
Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn is determined to go to college–she just needs the money to get there.
When she answers a babysitting ad, LaVaughn meets Jolly, a seventeen-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. As she helps Jolly make lemonade out of the lemons her life has given her, LaVaughn learns some lessons outside the classroom.