YA Friday: National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!  Enjoy one of these novels-in-verse or collections of poetry today!  Novels-in-verse span a wide variety of genres, and the collections cover a variety of topics, so you'll be sure to find one that appeals to you.  For even more titles, check out our SJPL Picks list.  Who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to write your own poem!  If you do try your hand at poetry, enter our poetry contest.


Call Me Athena, Girl From Detroit, book cover

Call Me Athena, Girl From Detroit by Colby Cedar Smith

Detroit, 1930s. Mary, the American-born daughter of Greek and French immigrants, lives in a tiny apartment with her parents, her brothers, and her twin sister. She questions why her parents ever came to America, while yearning for true love, to own her own business, and to be an independent, modern American woman. Flashbacks to her parents' childhoods connect their stories with Mary's: issues of arranged marriage, learning about independence, and yearning to grow beyond one's own culture.

Call Us What We Carry, book cover

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

The presidential inaugural poet--and unforgettable new voice in American poetry--presents a collection of poems that includes the stirring poem read at the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States.

Lawless Spaces, book cover

Lawless Spaces by Corey Ann Haydu

Lately Mimi's mother has been acting more withdrawn than usual, leaving her to navigate the tricky world of turning sixteen alone. Her mother advises Mimi to start journaling, like all the woman in her family before her. Mimi takes to poetry, and with it a way to write down the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experiences of having a boyfriend. And all in the shadows of a sexual assault case that is everywhere on the news-- a case that seems to specifically rattle her mother. As Mimi immerses herself into the journals of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and beyond, she learns of their painful stories and their beautiful spirits.

African Tow: Inspired by the True Story of the Last American Slave Ship, book cover

African Tow: Inspired by the True Story of the Last American Slave Ship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters

Chronicles the story of the last Africans brought illegally to the United States on the Clotilda in 1860.

Me (Moth), book cover

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

Moth, who lost her family in an accident, and Sani, who is battling ongoing depression, take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors, which helps them move forward in surprising, powerful and unforgettable ways.

The Seventh Raven, book cover

The Seventh Raven by David Elliott

When Robyn and his brothers are turned into ravens through the work of a curse, their younger sister is their only hope for them to become human again. Though she's never met them, April is determined to restore her brothers' humanity. But what will become of Robyn, who has discovered a much greater affinity to the air than to the earth-bound lives of his family?

Finding Baba Yaga, book cover

Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen

In this contemporary poetic retelling of the iconic myth, a teenage girl fleeing an abusive home takes refuge in the woods with a fairy-tale witch.

A harsh, controlling father. A quiescent mother. A house that feels like anything but a home. Natasha gathers the strength to leave, and comes upon a little house in the wood: a house that walks about on chicken feet and is inhabited by a fairy tale witch. In finding Baba Yaga, Natasha finds her voice, her power, herself.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete, book cover

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Amaru Shakur

His talent was unbounded, a raw force that commanded attention and respect. His death was tragic -- a violent homage to the power of his voice. His legacy is indomitable -- remaining vibrant and alive. Here now, newly discovered, are Tupac's most honest and intimate thoughts conveyed through the pure art of poetry -- a mirror into his enigmatic life and its many contradictions. Written in his own hand at the age of nineteen, they embrace his spirit, his energy ... and his ultimate message of hope.

Shout: a Poetry Memoir, book cover

Shout: a Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults, 1984-1999, book cover

My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults, 1984-1999 by Pat Mora

More than sixty poems, some with Spanish translations, include such titles as "The Young Sor Juana," "Graduation Morning," "Border Town 1938," "Legal Alien," "Abuelita Magic," and "In the Blood."