Stories in Verse


Brown, Skila. Caminar.

Creech, Sharon. Hate That Cat. Joanna Cotler Books, 2008.

Creech, Sharon. Heartbeat. HarperTrophy, 2005, c2004.

Creech, Sharon. Love That Dog. HarperTrophy, 2008, c2001.

Hesse, Karen. Aleutian Sparrow. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003.

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. Scholastic Press, 1997.

Hesse, Karen. Witness. Scholastic Signature, 2003.

Lai, Thankha. Inside Out and Back Again. HarperCollins, 2011.
A ten-year-old girl tells of the journey she, her three brothers and her mother make from Vietnam to their new home in Alabama in 1975.

Odette's Secrets

Macdonald, Maryann. Odette’s Secrets. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2013. 
“When Odette’s father becomes a Nazi prisoner of war and the Paris police begin arresting Jews, her mother sends Odette to hide in the Catholic French countryside where she must keep many secrets to survive.” – CIP. Based on a true story and recommended for readers 11 to 14 years old.  [France; Holocaust; Identity; World War II]

Myers, Walter Dean. Amiri & Odette: A Love Story. Scholastic Press, 2009. (Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.)

Myers, Walter Dean. Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam. HarperCollins Publishers, 2002. (Collages by Ann Grifalconi.)

Pendziwol, Jean E. Me and You and the Red Canoe. Toronto: Groundwood, 2017.
Early in the morning, two siblings make a fire and sit together, sipping hot chocolate. Leaving everyone else still asleep, they gather their fishing gear and set off in a red canoe. Told in free verse and illustrated in acrylic on panel, this picture book is recommended for readers 7 to 14 years old. Teachers might enjoy using it to show students how to turn their own experiences into stories.  [Camping; Fishing; Summer] 

Porter, Pamela. The Crazy Man. Groundwood Books, 2005.

Spinelli, Eileen. The Dancing Pancake. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Eleven-year-old Bindi’s parents have separated. Life is falling apart. But maybe her family’s restaurant, The Dancing Pancake, can help keep everyone together.

Wardlaw, Lee. Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. New York : Henry Holt, 2011.

Wong, Jack. When You Can Swim. New York: Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2023.
When you can swim, a whole new world opens up. Treetops drift overhead as you float on your back. Fields of reeds appear as you dive down under the water. Fish feast on insects as you tread water in the twilight. Amazing wonders, exciting adventures, all await you once you can swim. Evocative full-page illustrations help to tell this story written as poetry. Told from the second person point of view and accompanied by an afterword explaining how the author learned to overcome his fear of swimming when he came to Canada as an immigrant child, this beautiful picture book is highly recommended for readers of all ages. (P.S. Teachers will find it invaluable for showing students how to write powerfully without using the rules of punctuation.)

Wong, Janet S. Minn and Jake. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.


Zetta, Elliott. Bird. New York: Lee & Low Books, 2008.

“Bird, an artistic young African American boy, expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother’s drug addiction and death, while a family friend, Uncle Son, provides guidance and understanding.” – CIP

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