April is National Poetry Month! And while young readers can still enjoy classic verses from authors like A.A. Milne, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Shel Silverstein, there are many wonderful, new poets to explore. Whether you prefer poetry collections or novels written in verse, we offer a wide range of recommended authors and titles for kids, tweens and teens!
- Up Verses Down: Poems, Paintings and Serious Nonsense by Calef Brown – Calef Brown’s rhymes and artwork are delightfully whimsical, diverse in style and great for readers of all ages.
- Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni – Nikki Giovanni writes poetry that is relevant and accessible to children of today. This anthology is a great introduction to her work and includes a CD featuring many of the original artists from the book.
- Everything Comes Next by Naomi Shihab Nye – Naomi Shihab Nye is a wonderful poet whose newest published collection is a celebration of her nomination as the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the National Poetry Foundation.
Additional Recommended Titles for Kids:
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson – An outsider in class, Angelina explores what it means to feel different and discovers beauty and courage along the way. Recommended for grades K-2.
- Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman – A lonely girl looks for friendship and finds it in lovely ways in this beautiful blend of poetry and prose about nature. Recommended for grades K-2.
- Moo by Sharon Creech – When Reena, Luke and their parents move to rural Maine, Reena opens up to new experiences and gains new friends. One of those friends just happens to be a stubborn cow named Zora. This unique novel blends poetry and prose to tell a fun and touching story. Recommended for grades 3-6.
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – This autobiography in verse chronicles the author’s remarkable life as a child of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is full of warmth and allows the reader to see some pivotal social moments through a child’s eyes. Recommended for grades 4-7.
- Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes – Garvey struggles to find his place in middle school. He’s more interested in the science club than the sports clubs his father wants him to join. Looking for another option, he ends up singing in the choir and finds a path to self-acceptance. Recommended for grades 4-8.
- Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt – Kevin goes from being a bully to being bullied. He finds comfort in writing poetry and hopes to make a change for good. Recommended for grades 5-8.
- Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai – This title is inspired by the author’s own experience fleeing the Vietnam War with her family and experiencing a new life in Alabama. Recommended for grades 4-6.
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga – Jude and her mother leave war torn Syria for Ohio. Though Jude’s life changes drastically when she moves to the U.S., she is able to form new friendships and discovers a new sense of identity. Recommended for grades 4-8.
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – 15-year-old Xiomara feels unheard at home and at school. But when she discovers the power of slam poetry, things start to make a little more sense. Grades 7-12.
- Swing by Kwame Alexander – Noah and his best friend, Will, just want to be cool, make the baseball team, and help Noah win over his longtime crush. Can they make it all happen? Grades 8-12.
- Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds – Reynold’s latest, and timely, work is a mix of art (from collaborator Jason Griffin) and poetry that captures how it feels to grow up Black in contemporary America. Grades 7-12.
- Bull by David Elliott – This title is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Grades 9-12.
- Me (Moth) by Amber McBride by Amber McBride – Moth is struggling to regain some sense of “normal” after losing her entire family in a car crash. She forms a connection with the new kid at school, Sani, and they embark on a cross country road trip to try to heal their respective wounds together. Grades 8-12.
- White Rose by Kip Wilson – This inspiring historical fiction novel is based on the life of Sophie Scholl, a courageous young German college student who challenged the Nazi regime during World War II. Grades 7-12.
- Marie de France: Between Two Worlds
- Thursday, April 21st, 6 – 7:15PM at Tuckahoe Library
- This presentation, given by Dr. Chantal Maréchal, is an introduction to the works of the first French female poet, Marie de France. It highlights significant similarities between her twelfth century world and ours, to explain how after eight centuries of neglect, her "Lays" have regained such popularity that within the last fifty years they have inspired over one thousand scholarly studies, online sites, audiobooks, and even a novel. Prof. Chantal Maréchal, Ph.D. is the author and editor of several studies on medieval literature and founding president of the International Marie de France Society. For adults and teens.
- From the Page to the Mic: A Poetry Reading Series
- Saturday, April 23rd, 4-5:30PM via Webex
- This poetry reading series is designed to provide an experience for local writers wishing to read their poems in a public setting. Join library staff and local poet and writer Kristina Hamlett virtually on Saturday afternoons in April, May, and June for the opportunity to hear the work of both novice and veteran poets read out loud. In celebration of National Poetry Month, we will also be sharing poems that have inspired us. If you would like to take the mic and share your work, you are required to register in advance. Those wishing to join as audience members may log in on the day and at the time of the event. There will be a brief Q&A discussion with participating poets after the readings. Choose one session, or plan to attend all three. For adults and mature teens.
- Open Mic: Poetry Night
- Thursday, April 28th, 7-8PM at Twin Hickory Library
- Celebrate National Poetry Month with us by sharing your original work or your favorite poem in an open mic format. If you wish to share registration is required, but if you wish to be an audience member drop in is allowed. For teens and tweens.