If you’ve ever wondered what type of book I will absolutely pick up every single time then this post is for you! Novels written in verse are my weakness and even if the synopsis doesn’t completely capture my attention this writing style will. Here are eight of my favorites if you’re wanting to give books in verse a try.
Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess is a recent discovery of mine. I’ve found that verse novels tend to convey a great deal of emotion but I was floored at the amount in this one. Alexander and Hess write beautifully together and I was entranced from the very first page. Read my full review to see the other countless reasons why I love this one!
Ellen Hopkins is the author I remember introducing me to this type of writing with her novel Crank. I’ve since read everything she’s written and my favorite has definitely been Impulse. I first read it in high school when I was struggling with self-harm and it was the first time I had ever seen what I was going through reflected back at me.
Laurie Halse Anderson is a powerful and important voice in our world today. She speaks so many messages of hope and calls to action that inspire countless people. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of the tour stops for her poetic memoir, Shout, and left feeling less along in the world. Shout is difficult to read at times but so important and necessary.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo was my first read of the year and it was truly the best way to kick things off. It was more than incredible and eight months later I still haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. My only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner. The main character, Xiomara, is inspiring and such an important voice unlike any I had read before which shows how underrepresented so many readers are.
Patricia McCormick really opened my eyes with Sold. I was fairly young when I first read this and though I knew that children were at times sold into prostitution I had never read any of their stories. Sold is beautifully written and will haunt you long after you finish the last page.
There are so many incredible diverse stories that have been written in verse and Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai is one of them. The author based this book on situations she had been in which makes the emotion in these pages jump out and wrap itself around you. Though it focuses on a young girl who has to flee Saigon and come to America during the Vietnam War, readers of all backgrounds are able to find things they relate to.
It can at times be difficult to get kids to read nonfiction which is why the poetic memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, is even more important. Woodson tells what it was like to be a young black girl during the Civil Rights movement. This is such an important part of history and the author shared her story in a way that makes it instantly capture the attention of anybody that picks it up.
Carol Lynch Williams is an author that never shies away from difficult topics. Glimpse tells the story of Hope who learns to navigate life after her sister attempts suicide. It’s been six years since I first read it, and I’ve learned and changed a lot during that time, but I remember it being a really great examination of mental health. The ending was also realistic and I loved that the author didn’t try to force a perfect ending on the characters.
Do you enjoy novels written in verse? Let me know in the comments what your favorite book in this style is! I’m always looking for recommendations.