Free Verse

This category contains 18 posts


When we first meet 12-year-old Jude she is living in Syria with her parents and her older brother, Issa. Jude and her friend Fatima love to watch older American rom-com movies and act them out at home. Jude dreams of being a famous actress like Julia Roberts. As the unrest in Syria builds (mid-2010s), Issa … Continue reading


The You I’ve Never Known is a novel written in free verse by Ellen Hopkins. Our main characters are Ariel and Maya, both sixteen at the beginning of the book. Ariel’s story is told completely in free verse and Maya’s story is told through prose journal entries. (The reason for these two different approaches becomes … Continue reading

A TIME TO DANCE by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman was a 4.5/5 star read for me! After reading Venkatraman’s most recent work–the middle grade novel The Bridge Home–I was curious about her backlist.  A Time to Dance was originally published in 2014.  The main character is Veda Venkat, a young, Indian girl who is extremely talented and skilled … Continue reading

THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevado

Having read Elizabeth Acevado’s With the Fire on High, I was excited to go back and read The Poet X.  I was not disappointed.  Acevado creates some of the strongest, most completely developed young female characters I have ever encountered.  Xiomara Batista from The Poet X is no exception. Xiomara’s mother is extremely religious and has raised … Continue reading

FORGET ME NOT by Ellie Terry

I just finished Forget Me Not, read it in one sitting and couldn’t wait to share it! Forget Me Not is a brilliant debut from new author Ellie Terry.  The story is written from the perspectives of Calliope (Calli), a young girl who loves astronomy, has moved to new towns (and schools)many more times than … Continue reading


Jason Parker lives in Japan with his parents, who teach at a university, and his younger sister, Cora.  He is in the 6th grade although he’s a year older than his Japanese classmates, having had to repeat a grade when his family moved to Japan. When I started Falling Into the Dragon’s Mouth I thought … Continue reading

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a remarkably accessible autobiographical account of the author’s childhood written in free verse that flows easily from page to page, smoothly linking each moment to the next in the story. Told through free verse, Jacqueline’s story from her earliest memories of her parents, her grandparents and her brothers and sisters … Continue reading


Rhyme Schemer is the story of 7th grader Kevin Jamison.  And it is not a pretty one.  Kevin is a bully with all the low self-esteem and cruelty toward others that go with it. Kevin is also a writer.  He carries a notebook and writes in it about his feelings and the events of his … Continue reading

THE RED PENCIL by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Red Pencil is Amira’s story.  Amira lives in the Sudan in northeastern Africa.  The story takes place between 2000 and 2004 during the Sudanese uprising.  Many Sudanese like Amira and her family were forced to flee from their homes to refugee camps to be safe from roving bands of militia. Amira has been warned … Continue reading

WORDS WITH WINGS by Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes has become one of my favorite authors over the last three years.  I first discovered her work when the first book in her brilliant young Dyamonde Daniels series appeared as a Division I nominee for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award.  The way she easily slips into the dialogue and behavior of her young … Continue reading