Friday, October 26, 2012

Poetry Text Sets (Ages 11-14)

For our third installment on text sets, we turn our attention to poetry books for middle school (ages 11-14). Once again, we're looking at groups of three or more poetry books by the same poet that focus on a single topic or theme and are formatted to be very similar in design and appearance. This helps in guiding discussion, comparison, and analysis and can help pinpoint the use of poetic voice, stylistic choices, etc. Poets in this group include: Margarita Engle, Marilyn Singer, Paul Fleischman, Charles R. Smith, Jr., Sara Holbrook, Valerie Worth, James Stevenson, and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. Topics include:
*Historical novels in verse set in Cuba
*Earth, water, and fire
*Poetry for reading aloud with multiple voices
*Basketball
*About middle school angst
*Free verse poem collections
*Poetic memoirs
*Biographical poetry
Just a reminder that this list is drawn from my new resource book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. For more information, go here.

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL (ages 11-14)


Historical novels in verse set in Cuba

Engle, Margarita. 2006. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. New York: Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree. New York: Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2009. Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba. New York: Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2010. The Firefly Letters; A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba. New York: Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. New York: Henry Holt.

Earth, water, and fire
Singer, Marilyn. 2002. Footprints on the Roof: Poems about the Earth. New York: Knopf.
Singer, Marilyn. 2003. How to Cross a Pond: Poems about Water. New York: Knopf.
Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth. New York: Knopf.

For reading aloud with multiple voices
Fleishman, Paul. 1985. I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices. New York: Harper & Row.
Fleishman, Paul. 1988. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. New York: Harper & Row.
Fleishman, Paul. 2000. Big Talk:  Poems for Four Voices. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Basketball
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 1999. Rimshots; Basketball Pix, Rolls, and Rhythms. New York: Dutton.
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2001. Short Takes: Fast-Break Basketball Poetry. New York: Dutton.
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2003. Hoop Queens. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2004. Hoop Kings. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

About middle school angst
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. Am I Naturally This Crazy? Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. I Never Said I Wasn’t Difficult. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. The Dog Ate My Homework. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. Which Way to the Dragon! Poems for the Coming-on-strong.  Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

Free verse poem collections
Worth, Valerie. 1972. Small Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1976. More Small Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1978. Still More Small Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1985. Small Poems Again. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1994. All the Small Poems and Fourteen More. New York: Farrar,

Poetic memoirs
Stevenson, James. 1995. Sweet Corn: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Stevenson, James. 1998. Popcorn: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Stevenson, James. 2002. Corn-Fed: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Stevenson, James. 2003. Corn Chowder: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.

Biographical poetry
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2006. César; ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We can! New York: Marshall Cavendish.
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2007. Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life! New York: Marshall Cavendish.
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2009. Diego; Bigger Than Life.  New York: Marshall Cavendish.

If you know of other sets that are ideal for middle school, please let me know.

One other note-- I probably get more requests for poetry help from middle school teachers and librarians than from any other group. GOOD NEWS: Janet (Wong) and I are already working on a middle school version of our new book, The Poetry Friday Anthology. We hope to publish that in the spring. Stay tuned for details.

Meanwhile, head on over to Teacher Dance here for more Poetry Friday fun. 



Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2012. All rights reserved.

4 comments:

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

What a fantastic list, Sylvia. I hope to meet you soon. Will you be coming for the Asian Festival of Children's Content here in Singapore next year? :)

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Myra, thanks for stopping by. I would LOVE to come to your festival in Singapore!

Linda at teacherdance said...

These lists are very helpful, Sylvia. Thank you for creating them. I am excited for the coming anthology for middle school aged students. Thank you.

Ramona said...

A middle school version of Poetry Friday! Thank you! I can't wait for spring.