Free Verse

This category contains 22 posts

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

ANOTHER DAY AS EMILY by Eileen Spinelli

Another Day as Emily is a new work in free verse by Eileen Spinelli.  I fell in love with Spinelli’s work when I read Where I Live and The Dancing Pancake and I was excited to see a new book by this author on the shelf at the library.  I was not disappointed. Another Day … Continue reading

T4 by Ann Clare LeZotte

T4 is the sometimes touching, sometimes horrifying story of Paula. I was born In a little house On a street With tall poplar trees.   I could see Bluish hills In the distance.   That was my home. But my country, Germany, Was not my home.   Our leader, Adolf Hitler, And the Nazi Party … Continue reading

THE LIGHTNING DREAMER: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle

Written in free verse, The Lightning Dreamer is the story of Tula, a young girl growing up in Cuba in the mid-1800’s. Her full name was Gertrude Gomez de Avellaneda and we meet her in 1827 at age 13.  Margarita Engle writes from Tula’s perspective, revealing her love of books and words.  Tula’s father encouraged … Continue reading

THE DANCING PANCAKE by Eileen Spinelli

The Dancing Pancake is the restaurant Bindi’s mother and aunt open after her parents separate and her father has left the house.  It requires Bindi and her mother to move into the apartment above the new restaurant; the restaurant, however, is still in their town so it doesn’t require Bindi to change schools or move … Continue reading

MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose

May B. is the story of twelve-year-old May Betterly.  May lives with her parents and older brother, Hiram, in a sparsely populated area of Kansas in the late nineteenth century.  (Readers of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books will recognize the setting, as it is very similar to those described in those books of the … Continue reading

DIAMOND WILLOW by Helen Frost…a LOVELACE nominee 2012-13

Diamond Willow tells the story of twelve-year-old Willow who lives in Old Fork (a fictional town), Alaska.  She feels as if she doesn’t belong at school.  She wants to be noticed and have friends but is, at the same time, terrified of being with other people.  This fear makes it hard for others to get … Continue reading