Novels in verse are not a new invention; if you haven’t experienced this beautiful, thriving genre — now is the time, after all, April is National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets has spear-headed what has become the largest literary celebration world-wide since April 1996. Not only are books in verse vibrant, and emotionally charged, they offer extra benefits for struggling readers presenting them the opportunity to feel the success of reading by breaking up the page in bursts of words and blank spaces. Fewer words on the page alleviate the intimidation of reading a large book from cover to cover. The stories are more intense, the plot moves faster and they draw the reader in quicker.
If you are new to the genre, you can start with the 1998 American Library Association Newbery Award winner Karen Hesse’s novel Out of the Dust. Or try a personal favorite, the 2015 award winner The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. There are plenty of other great titles to choose from, so give it a try.
I’m glad we have a Poetry Month,
But still, I wonder why
They chose a month with thirty days —
Were months in short supply?
I wish that they’d selected
A longer month, like May.
I’m certain I’d appreciate
That extra poetry day.
Of course, if they’d picked February,
I would be aghast,
For February’s very short
And passes far too fast.
But April’s not as short as that,
So I don’t hesitate
To say I’m glad it’s Poetry Month.
Hooray! Let’s celebrate.