By Saia Glendale Branch
April is Poetry month! I wanted to share some of the books in verse that I have found and enjoyed. Poetry is important to me because it allows the reader and author to dive deeper into complex emotions and thoughts. Through this process we can have a better understanding of ourselves and the people around us. I encourage teens who don’t necessarily like to read to give these titles a try! The formatting is different from your average novel. Due to this, books are actually easier and faster to read.
I hope you enjoy this short list. What would you add?
Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice. Edited by Gail Bush & Randy Meyer
This book is arranged to lead you, the reader, on a journey of social change. Each poet writes from their own perspective and experiences living in the United States. All together, the poems are woven together to tell the diverse story of what it means to be (or not to be) an American when you are seen as the other. -Source
Long Way Down. By Jason Reynolds
Determined to avenge his 19-year-old brother's death, Will, age 15, takes his brother's gun out of their shared bedroom to kill the person he's certain is the murderer, but it's a long way down in the elevator. Almost the whole novel takes place in the span of the 60-second ride from the seventh floor to the lobby, as Will's past and "The Rules" he's learned about being tough flash before him, aided by conversations with the ghosts of friends and relatives who were victims of gun violence.
The Poet X. By Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers---especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomaara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.
So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can't stop thinking about performing her poetry.
Clap When You Land. By Elizabeth Acevedo
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. When it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. -Source
Muted. By Tami Charles
Seventeen-year-old Denver’s whole life is music. And she hopes it’s her future, too: along with her bffs Dali and Shak, Denver is determined to write and sing her way to a better life. So when the girls find their way into the sights of R&B legend Sean “Mercury” Jones, a man with the power to make that dream come true — and then some — Denver doesn’t think twice, or look back.
Merc offers them everything, but everything comes with a price. Parties, perks, wild nights — they’re going to live and look like stars. And it’s all worth it, even the pain and the lies. It’s all part of the game. Until it’s not. -Source
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