Click on a grade below to see a list of suggested novels written in poetry for that level.
New Novels in Poems
Reading Level: ages 10 - 14
In this novel in verse, Kevin, who feel he's "king of seventh grade" enjoys being a bully at school. Home is a different matter. His physician parents are too busy to pay attention to their five sons. Kevin is himself bullied by his next oldest brother. When one of the school victims finds a notebook of poetry that Kevin has written, he uses the discovery to humiliate and bully Kevin in turn.
Reading Level: Grades 6 -9
Told in free verse, this is the story of Kasienka, who has just left her native Poland for a tenament in England. Her mother was determined to follow her father who left the family two years before and hasn't been heard from since. Kasienka is miserable in her new life. At her middle school the popular girls bully her and at home her mother is determined to continue the exhausting, fruitless search for her father. Only when she's swimming does Kasienka feel good and empowered.
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
This inspiring free verse novel is the fictionalized story of the early teen years of Cuban poet/abollitionist Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (1814-1873.) At thirteen, Tula uses her poetry and plays to express her views about freedom, both for the slaves of Cuba and for the young girls who are sold into arranged marriages to the highest bidder. In defiance of her family's wishes Tula is determined to live a free life. Other poems give added dimension as the reader hear from her supportive brother, the nuns who nuture Tula, her disgusted mother, and the freed slave who has not had the courage to leave. Tula's is a beautiful and powerful story.
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
It's obvious just from the cover that this book is going to be fun to read. And it's all in poems so you can impress your teacher or your parents with your knowledge of different types of poems. (Each one is labeled with the type of poem and at the back there's an explanation of what each type is.) The story is simple. Sam has been looking forward to a father-son fishing trip, but then his pesky little sister horns in. Tamera Will Wissinger's first book will have you hooked.
Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.
Stella, an aging elephant with a bad foot, dies from lack of treatment after Ruby, a baby elephant purchased from a defunct circus, arrives at the mall. The owner hopes Ruby will jumpstart visitor attendance again. Before Stella dies, she asks Ivan to promise that he will bring Ruby somewhere safe, knowing his devotion to protection of his friends is paramount.
Ivan's poetic narration is honest, painful, and heartbreaking; Applegate's insight into captive animal life is powerful. Don't miss this book, no matter how old you are.