Books for National Poetry Month

Roses are red

Violets are blue

April is National Poetry Month

And we’ve got recommendations for you!

 

 

Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye

  • Now in paperback!
  • Also available in eBook and digital audio
“How much have you thrown away in your lifetime already? Do you ever think about it? Where does this plethora of leavings come from? How long does it take you, even one little you, to fill the can by your desk?”

National Book Award Finalist, Young People’s Poet Laureate, and devoted trash-picker-upper Naomi Shihab Nye explores these questions and more in this original collection of poetry that features more than eighty new poems.

With poems about food wrappers, lost mittens, plastic straws, refugee children, trashy talk, the environment, connection, community, responsibility to the planet, politics, immigration, time, junk mail, trash collectors, garbage trucks, all that we carry and all that we discard, this is a rich, engaging, moving, and sometimes humorous collection for readers of all ages.

 

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The Color of my Words by Lynn Joseph

This powerful and resonant Américas Award-winning novel seemlessly weaves together poetry and prose as it tells the story of a young girl’s struggle to find her place in the world and to become a writer in a country where words are feared.

 

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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhhà Lai

  • Inspired by the author’s own childhood experience!

Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.

 

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Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Eric Beddows

From the Newbery Medal winning author of Seedfolks, Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise is a collection of irresistible poems that celebrates the insect world. Funny, sad, loud, and quiet, each of these poems resounds with a booming, boisterous, joyful noise.

The poems resound with the pulse of the cicada and the drone of the honeybee. Eric Beddows′s vibrant drawings send each insect soaring, spinning, or creeping off the page in its own unique way.

Paul Fleischman has created not only a fascinating guide to the insect world but an exultant celebration of life.

 

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Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

  • Now in paperback!
  • Also available in eBook and digital audio

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments—and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns that he does have something to say.

 

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Red, White, and Whole by Ranjani LaRocca

  • A Newbery Honor Book!
  • Also available in eBook and digital audio

Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. But Reha’s parents don’t understand why she’s conflicted—they only notice when Reha doesn’t meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names are linked—Reha means “star” and Punam means “moon”—but they are a universe apart.

Then Reha finds out that her Amma is sick. Really sick.

Reha, who dreams of becoming a doctor even though she can’t stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She’ll be the perfect daughter, if it means saving her Amma’s life.

 

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Unsettled by Reem Faruqi 

  • Love Unsettled? Check Reem’s other novel in verse, Golden Girl – on sale now!
  • Also available in eBook and digital audio

When her family moves from Pakistan to Peachtree City, all Nurah wants is to blend in, yet she stands out for all the wrong reasons. Nurah’s accent, floral-print kurtas, and tea-colored skin make her feel excluded, until she meets Stahr at swimming tryouts.

And in the water Nurah doesn’t want to blend in. She wants to win medals like her star athlete brother, Owais—who is going through struggles of his own in the U.S. Yet when sibling rivalry gets in the way, she makes a split-second decision of betrayal that changes their fates.

Ultimately Nurah slowly gains confidence in the form of strong swimming arms, and also gains the courage to stand up to bullies, fight for what she believes in, and find her place.

 

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The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

 

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The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng

When a teacher asks her class what one thing they would save in an emergency, some students know the answer right away. Others come to their decisions more slowly. And some change their minds when they hear their classmates’ responses. A lively dialog ignites as the students discover unexpected facets of one another—and themselves.

 

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Alias Anna by Susan Hood and Greg Dawson

  • A moving true story!
  • Also available in eBook and digital audio

When the Germans invade Ukraine, Zhanna, a young Jewish girl, must leave behind her friends, her freedom, and her promising musical future at the world’s top conservatory. With no time to say goodbye, Zhanna, her sister Frina, and their entire family are removed from their home by the Nazis and forced on a long, cold, death march. When a guard turns a blind eye, Zhanna flees with nothing more than her musical talent, her beloved sheet music, and her father’s final plea: “I don’t care what you do. Just live.”

 

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