Last month Katie Dekoster from Book Love speculated that Novels in Verse (NIVs) were becoming the new vampires. I certainly hope so, since I have one coming out next year and another (the sequel) in 2014.
I’ve written about novels in verse many times on this blog, and people are becoming more familiar with this form. While most of the well-known novels in verses are aimed at YA audiences, there is a good selection of NIVs for middle grade readers too. This week I’d like to highlight three of my favorites.
All of these middle grade NIVS cleverly combine premise and form. Shakespeare Bats Clean-Up by Ron Koertge and Love That Dog by Sharon Creech both feature young male narrators who are reluctantly learning about poetry, while having an archetypal middle grade coming of age. Not that these books are derivative or banal. They are both not only great stories but great learning tools. Shakespeare Bat Clean-Up would be a great books in particular for reluctant boy readers, while if Love That Dog doesn’t make you cry, you have a heart of stone.
Another of my favorite NIVs for middle graders is Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. This is a sweet, tug on your heart strings story about a foster kid searching for capital F Family. The titular narrator is also learning about poetry, but this book tends to be less about poetics and more about the power of writing to heal.
Verse novels tend to be a bit dark and are mostly contemporary or historical realism. I’d love to see humor or even some genre novels in verse, both for middle graders and YA readers. Maybe I’ll write one someday.
More MMGMers here:
- Joanne Fritz @ My Brain on Books
- Ben Langhinrchs @ My Comfy Chair
- Sherrie Petersen @ Write About Now
- Brooke Favero @ Somewhere in the Middle
- Myrna Foster @ Night Writer
- Ally Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy
- Barbara Watson @ Novel and Nouveau
- Deb Marshall @ Just Deb!
- Anita Laydon Miller’s Middle Grade Blog
- Michael G-G @ Middle Grade Mafioso
- Natalie Aguirre @ Literary Rambles
- Ms. Yingling @ Ms. Yingling Reads
- Jennifer Rumberger
- Pam Torres @ So I’m Fifty
- Mary @ Writer’s Butt Does Not Apply to Me
- The Accidental Novelist
- Laurisa @ 1000 Wrongs