Podcast Episode

Celebrating Poetry for Teens

6 - 12
Podcast Series
Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers
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Music Credit

Music in this podcast is courtesy of Scott Andrew.

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Episode 25 – Celebrating Poetry for Teens

In honor of National Poetry Month in April, tune in for recommendations of a variety of poetry books for teens.  Featured titles include themed collections of poetry compiled for teens as well as collections of poetry written by teens.  You’ll also hear about a poetic form that only exists in YA lit—the novel written in verse.

After listening to this episode, be sure to print out this list of recommended titles to take to the library or book seller.


Collections of Poetry for Teens

  • I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You: A Book of Her Poems and His Poems Collected in Pairs edited by Naomi Shihab Nye and Paul Janeczko (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1996)
  • What Have You Lost? Poems selected by Naomi Shihab Nye with photographs by Michael Nye (Greenwillow Books, 1999)
  • Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 selected by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow, 2010)
  • Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States edited by Lori Carlson (Henry Holt, 2005)

Collections of Poetry by Teens

  • You Hear Me? Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys edited by Betsy Franco (Candlewick, 2000)
  • Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls edited by Betsy Franco with photographs by Nina Nickles (Candlewick, 2001)
  • Tell the World: Teen Poems from WritersCorps (HarperTeen, 2008)

Verse Novels

  • Sold by Patricia McCormick (Hyperion, 2006)

  • Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge (Candlewick, 2010), sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge (Candlewick, 2003)

  • The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt, 2010) (author of last year’s Newbery Honor and Pura Belpre award-winning title The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom)

  • Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters by Jeannine Atkins (Henry Holt, 2010)

A Final Collection

  • You Don’t Even Know Me: Stories and Poems about Boys by Sharon G. Flake (Jump at the Sun, 2010)


Additional Recommended Verse Novels for Teens

  • Jump Ball: A Basketball Season in Poems by Mel Glenn (Dutton, 1997)
  • Make Lemonade (Henry Holt, 1993), This Full House (HarperTeen, 2009), and True Believer (Atheneum, 2001), all by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know (Simon & Schuster, 2001) and What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know (Simon & Schuster, 2007), both by Sonya Sones
  • Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones (HarperTeen, 2001)
  • You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir by Eireann Corrigan (Push, 2002)
  • The Brimstone Journals by Ron Koertge (Candlewick, 2001)
  • Keesha’s House by Helen Frost (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003)
  • The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005)
  • A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone (Wendy Lamb Books, 2006)
  • Crank (Margaret K. McElderry, 2004), Glass (Margaret K. McElderry, 2007), and Fallout (Margaret K. McElderry, September 2010), all by Ellen Hopkins
  • Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas (Viking, 2009)



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