Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorites of 2014

As the year ends, I like to revisit the poetry for young people that has been published this year and celebrate my favorites. It's always great to see new poets emerge (like Kwame Alexander, Skila Brown, and Mariko Nagai) and other established authors take interesting risks (like the haiku novel in verse of Chris Crowe, Ashley Bryan's truly creative puppets plus poems, Jacqueline Woodson's moving memoir, and Pat Lewis's collaboration with George Ella Lyon). The novel in verse continues to be a powerful form (check out The Crossover, Caminar, Death Coming Up the Hill, Silver People, Rhyme Schemer, Voices from the March, Dust of Eden, Brown Girl Dreaming), but a few lovely anthologies have been published too (Manger, Firefly July, and if I may be so bold, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science which features new poems by 78 poets). The illustrations are also compelling and appealing in many of this year's poetry featuring the art of Ashley Bryan, Douglas Florian, Melissa Sweet, Meilo So, Jon Muth, and Rick Allen. And flying under my radar (till the end of the year), is a wonderful collection of poetry by Haitian children illustrated with portraits by Rogé. Such a range of voices, subjects, forms, and styles-- wonderful for sharing with children and teens of all ages. Check 'em out!
  1. Alexander, Kwame. 2014. The Crossover. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  2. Brown, Skila. 2014. Caminar. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  3. Bryan, Ashley. 2014. Ashley Bryan's Puppets: Making Something from Everything. New York: Atheneum.
  4. Cleary, Brian. 2014. Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems. Ill. by Andy Rowland. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
  5. Crowe, Chris. 2014. Death Coming Up the Hill. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  6. Elliott, David. 2014. On the Wing. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

  7. Engle, Margarita. 2014. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  8. Florian, Douglas. 2014. Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles. NY: Dial.
  9. Heppermann, Christine. 2013. Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty. New York: HarperCollins/Greenwillow.
  10. Holt, K. A. 2014. Rhyme Schemer. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  11. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2014. Manger. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  12. Janeczko, Paul. Ed. 2014. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems. Ill. by Melissa Sweet. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  13. Latham, Irene. 2014. Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook/Lerner. 
  14. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2014. Harlem Hellfighters. Ill. by Gary Kelley. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
  15. Lewis, J. Patrick and Lyon, George Ella. 2014. Voices from the March: Washington, D.C., 1963. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  16. Mora, Pat. 2014. Water Rolls, Water Rises/ El agua rueda, el agua sube. Ill. by Meilo So. San Francisco: Children's Book Press.
  17. Muth, Jon. J. 2014. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons. New York: Scholastic.
  18. Nagai, Mariko. 2014. Dust of Eden. Chicago: Whitman.
  19. Nelson, Marilyn. 2014. How I Discovered Poetry. New York: Dial.
  20. Raczka, Bob. 2014. Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole.  Minneapolis: Carolrhoda (Lerner).
  21. Rogé. 2014. Haiti My Country: Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren. Ill. by Rogé. Fifth House. Markham, Ontario.
  22. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2014. Water Can Be. Ill. by Violeta Dabija. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.
  23. Sidman, Joyce. 2014. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold. Ill. by Rick Allen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  24. Woodson, Jacqueline. 2014. Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin.

And if I may plug my own book (since I don't write any of the poems):
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2014. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.

I'm excited to see what 2015 will bring! 
Stay tuned for my "sneak peek" list coming later in January.
Happy new year of poetry, everyone!


Jeannine Atkins said...

Thanks for reminding us of how much there is to celebrate from 2014! Some of these books I'm starting to read again -- just got The Crossover and Brown Girl Reading on audio for my second, happy go-rounds. Have a great 2015, Sylvia, with many thanks for all you do to bring great poetry to all of us!

Jeannine Atkins said...

sorry -- of course Jacqueline Woodson's title is dreaming not reading.

LInda Baie said...

Thank you for this lovely list, so many to be grateful for, and for all the other lists you've shared this year. Happy New Year!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks so much, Jeannine and Linda. Wishing you a very happy new year full of fun poetry!

Mrs.Alaniz said...

What a great list! Thank you for sharing it! How I love BROWN GIRL DREAMING!

Paul B. Janeczko said...

Thanks so much for including our book on your list, Sylvia.

Julie Larios said...

WONDERFUL list, Sylvia, and I see some that Are new to me - time to head to the library to check them out. Happy New Year!!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

SO many wonderful books from 2014. Thanks for the round up. Can't wait for your sneak peak list later this month!

Renee LaTulippe said...

I'm always so thankful for your lists, Sylvia! We (and poetry) are lucky to have you!

Rosi said...

Thanks for this list. I have read many of these, but have many left to add to my TBR list.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hey, friends, thanks a bunch for stopping by and for your kind comments. So many great titles to love this year and to share with kids. I do hope you'll check these out. And I'll be posting what I know about 2015 titles very soon too. Let's keep the poetry momentum (po-mentum?) going!

laurasalas said...

Honored to be on this list, Sylvia. Thanks for recommending your favorites. I see several here I still haven't gotten to. I needed the nudge:>)

Buffy Silverman said...

Terrific list, Sylvia--I'm bringing it with me to the library. Thank you!