Top 3 Right Now: Sarah’s Favorite Novels in Verse

This week Sarah, the youth services librarian from our Lynnwood community library, has a fabulous list of her top 3 novels written in verse. Novels in verse use poetic ways of writing with meter, rhyme, and format to tell a story, and when they are done well they can make the story even more deeply meaningful.  Take it away, Sarah!

“They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, but it happens over and over again in these novels in verse. Since they’re written in poetry, they tend to read fast, but try to savor them – even when they wrench at your stomach or your heart. When I get to the end, I always wish I’d taken more time.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Meet Will. He is armed with his dead brother’s gun, riding the elevator down to seek revenge – because that’s what he’s supposed to do. How did he get to this terrible moment? How did his family get here? The neighborhood? Our country? This book is heart breaking and eye opening. It is a window into a life I’ve had the privilege to never know – one that I need to hear about and understand. I highly recommend the audio version – Jason Reynold’s voice is powerful!

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
Meet Elaine. She is 16 years old, living in the world of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, on the outskirts of their battlegrounds. She is not a typical young woman of the time – she is outspoken, daring, and skilled. Her character is an inspiration to rise above the status quo and challenge the norms and expectations of the world we live in. Oh, and there’s some romance, adventure, and humor, too.

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman
Meet Matthew. He is a 21 year-old college student killed in Laramie, Wyoming on October 7, 1998. He is brutally attacked, and forever silenced, for being gay. The words are spare and powerful in this accounting of a real life tragedy. The author gives voice to the road, the rope, the fence – all witnesses to his death. By reading it, you too will be a witness, and give voice to those who have none.”

Want more novels in verse? We’ve got more if you check out our list here.”

Thanks for the excellent suggestions, Sarah!  Readers, have you read any of these titles? Are there any others you’d add to this list?

Stay tuned next week, when Marina from Marysville will give us her top 3 fairy tale/folk tale retellings.

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