4 Awe-Inspiring Middle Grade Verse Novels for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! These inspiring middle-grade books are written in verse, meaning that, unlike traditional novels, these stories are written in the form of poetry. This month, try something different and pick up one of these excellent reads!

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Winner of the Printz Honor, Starfish by Lisa Fipps follows Ellie, a young girl who is bullied about her weight. She's so tired of being bullied that she makes up the "Fat Girl Rules" that she lives by in order to avoid being judged by others. The only time she feels safe and free from judgment is when she's in her swimming pool, when she can spread out like a starfish and feel weightless. The story follows Ellie's journey of self-growth as she learns to rely on the people who love her, including her dad, therapist, and new neighbor, Catalina. (Ages 10+)

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

From award-winning author Reem Faruqi comes Golden Girl, the story of Aafiyah Qamar, a Pakistani-American seventh-grader who has a habit she can't break- "borrowing" pretty things. When Aafiyah's father is falsely accused of a crime, she devises a plan to help, but her plan means giving into the habit she's trying to break. In this heartfelt coming-of-age story, Aafiyah learns that the right thing to do isn't always the easy thing. (Ages 8-12)

Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo

In the Beautiful Country- inspired by author Jane Kuo's own experiences- follows Anna, a young Taiwanese girl who can't wait to move to America. When she arrives, however, nothing is what she thought it would be: she's being bullied at school, her family's apartment is small and cramped, and their restaurant is at risk of closing. As Anna comes to terms with her new reality, she wonders how she'll make this new country truly feel like home. (Ages 8-12)

Eb and Flow by Kelly J. Baptist

Eb and Flow, from award-winning author Kelly J. Baptist, tells the story of tweens Ebony (a.k.a. Eb) and De'Kari (a.k.a. Flow), who absolutely do not get along. When the two get into a fight at school that ends with an at-home suspension, they're given two weeks to think about their behavior and explain themselves. As they take this time to reflect on their home lives, Eb and Flow realize that they may have more in common than they thought. (Ages 8-12)