New Moon Girls is full of awesome poetry by girls, so it’s a great place to be during April, which is National Poetry Month! Some people celebrate poetry month by writing one poem every day during April, others attend poetry readings at local bookstores or libraries, and some just pick up a good poetry book! Below are some suggestions to get you started if you want to explore poetry books for girls this month.
- Whether you’re new to poetry or a long-time fan, you can’t go wrong with the classics. Emily Dickinson is one of the best-known and most-influential American poets. She wrote more than 1,000 poems while she was alive, although many of them remained unpublished until after her death. You can get to know her work for the first time — or in a whole new way, if you are already a fan — through Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson, illustrated by Christine Davenier. It collects 35 of Emily’s best poems and organizes them based on the seasons. Each poem is set against a beautiful watercolor illustration and includes definitions for unfamiliar or old-fashioned words. The beginning of the book includes information about Emily’s life, while the end contains a “What Emily Was Thinking” section detailing the meaning behind the selected poems.
- When Kwame Alexander wrote his book, The Crossover, which uses poetry to tell the story of two middle-school basketball players, many people told him that “sports and poetry don’t mix.” He proved them wrong when his book won the Newbery Medal in 2015. Now, he’s released The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in this Game Called Life. Once more blending poetry and sports, each of the 52 “rules” are short poems that open chapters of inspirational quotes and images about sports and life. Although “The Crossover” was about boys, “The Playbook” brings girls into the mix, too, including advice from women such as tennis star Serena Williams and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
- But poetry doesn’t have to be serious! If you’re looking for a poem to make you laugh, check out Funny Girl, edited by Betsy Bird, which includes humorous poems (including a cartoon showing a “dramatic reading” of the famous poem, “Trees”) along with funny comics and short stories by lots of different female authors. This book doesn’t release until next month, so put it on your list now and watch for it at your local libraries and book stores soon!
- If you prefer novels to poetry, consider checking out a novel-in-verse, which uses connected poems to tell a bigger story. You can find dozens of great verse novels out there, but if you’re not sure where to get started, look for Odette’s Secret by Maryann McDonald, which is based on the true story of a young Jewish girl who was sent to live in the countryside and pretend to be Catholic during World War II to escape the Nazis. Or pick up something by Sharon Creech, who has written several novels in verse, including Heartbeat and Moo.
What about you? Do you have a favorite poet or poetry book? Do you have recommendations for novels-in-verse? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Tell me about it in the comments below!