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Poetry Books for Teens and Young Adults
A selection of titles for those who are dabbling, seeking inspiration or needing solace through poetry.
A smash up of art and text that viscerally captures what it means to not be able to breathe, and how the people and things you love most are actually the oxygen you most need.
Eric Gansworth tells his story, the story of his family--of Onondaga among Tuscaroras--of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.
This is for people who love Hip-Hop, for fans of the culture, for people who've never read a poem, for people who thought poems were only something done by dead white dudes who got lost in a forest, and for poetry heads. This anthology is meant to expand the idea of who a poet is and what a poem is for.
Amanda Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning.
Home Body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself - reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change.
In this inspirational book full of poetry and inspiring lessons about the rules of life, Newbery Medal-winning Kwame Alexander shares uplifting quotes from all-star athletes like Stephen Curry and Venus Williams and other wonderfully influential figures.
Kaufman--known as @poeticpoison--reflects our own experiences back at us and makes us feel less alone, one poem at a time. She writes about giving up too much of yourself to someone else, not fitting in, endlessly Googling "how to be happy," and ultimately figuring out who you are.
A contemporary poetry anthology that offers girls and young women wisdom and compassion for a vital, formative time in their lives.
This work features poems, prose, and truisms, and shines a light on the parts of ourselves we thought were lost in the dark and implores us to trust ourselves and take up the space we deserve.
Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, "Crazy Brave" is a memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary to find a voice. Harjo's tale of a hardscrabble youth, young adulthood, and transformation into an award-winning poet and musician is haunting and unique.
Looking back on her childhood in the 1950s, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson tells the story of her development as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems.
At the age of six, Nikki Grimes poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night and discovered the magic and impact of writing. This memoir in verse will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards-ordinary and extraordinary-of her life.
Engle and Qualls present a lyrical biography, in verse, of Juan Francisco Manzano, a Cuban slave who escaped his owners in 1797 to become a celebrated poet.
Capturing the unrivaled passion and candor that made him one of America's bestselling solo recording artists, this collection of poetry offers a glimpse into Shakur's enigmatic life and its intense contradictions.
Inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel "Speak" was first published in 1999, Anderson presents a searing poetic memoir in which she shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before.
For more than fifty years after the war, Syvia, like many Holocaust survivors, did not talk about her experiences in the Lodz ghetto in Poland. She buried her past in order to move forward. But finally she decided it was time to share her story, and so she told it to her niece, who has re-told it using free verse inspired by her aunt. This is the true story of Syvia Perlmutter--a story of courage, heartbreak, and finally survival despite the terrible circumstances in which she grew up.
Alma's life is a series of halfways: She's half-Chinese, half-Jewish; her parents spend half the time fighting, and the other half silent; and she's halfway through becoming a woman. As long as she can listen to her Walkman, hang out with her friends on the stoops of the Village, and ride her bike around the streets of New York, it feels like everything will be all right...until things fall apart.
A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen - then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness.
This captures one young woman's struggle for independence, equality, and identity as the daughter of Greek and French immigrants in tumultuous 1930s Detroit.
This is the story of Mildred Loving, an African American girl, and Richard Loving, a Caucasian boy, who challenge the Viriginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s.
Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. Trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces the beginning of seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart.
Moth has lost her family in an accident. She feels alone and uprooted until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
One fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy and suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal's bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words and his art.
Brilliantly narrated by multiple voices, including world-weary, taunting, and all-knowing Hunger itself, this novel-in-verse examines a notorious chapter in history from various perspectives. Unprecedented in its detail and sweep, this haunting epic raises stirring questions about moral ambiguity, hope and resilience, and hunger of all kinds.
Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance so when an accident shatters her dreams; she refuses to let her disability get in her way. Veda connects with the world around her and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.
Sarai uses verse to navigate the strain of family traumas and the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn, questioning the society around her, her Boricua identity, and the life she lives.