Friday, February 17, 2017

Poetry Award-a-rama

All of a sudden, I've seen a pile up of poetry awards announcements and it's time to pause and celebrate each one of them. It's always nice to see poets and poetry books get recognition. I hope these awards also help teachers and librarians add to their poetry book collections and cast a wider net in reading and choosing new books to share with students. So please indulge me as I share the latest installments for several recent awards. 

The Cybils Award for Poetry went to The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan (Random House, 2016). All the Cybils winners are listed HERE and you can find a teaching guide for Laura's lovely novel in verse HERE (created by yours truly). 

The Claudia Lewis Poetry Award this year went to When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano (Roaring Brook Press, 2016). You can find more info about this award at a "toolbox" I created several years ago that shows all the winners and honor books and provides some mini-lessons and digital trailers created by my wonderful students. Click HERE for the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award went to Somos como las nubes/ We are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2016). Once again, you can find more info about this award at a "toolbox" I created several years ago that shows all the winners and honor books and provides some mini-lessons and digital trailers created by students. Click HERE for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.

The Lion and Unicorn  Award for Excellence in North American Poetry went to TWO books, Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything by Calef Brown (Henry Holt, 2015) and My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (nameless, 2015). I also created a Teaching Toolbox for this award with the assistance of my graduate students. You can find the Lion and Unicorn Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox HERE

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for a "substantial and lasting contribution to children's literature" is poet Nikki Grimes. You can find more information about this year's Wilder award HERE.

And finally, ALA also announced that the person who will deliver the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Now that she has been selected, libraries and universities can apply to host Naomi's lecture. You can find more information about the Arbuthnot lecture HERE

Did you notice how each of these awards recognized a DIFFERENT book or poet? I love that! Poetry offers such richness and diversity that it's wonderful seeing many, many books get lots of love and support. Be sure to check them ALL out!

Now head on over to Jone's place at Check It Out for more Poetry Friday goodness. 

Friday, February 03, 2017

HERE WE GO: Teaching poetry skills

I have recently been tooting the horn about my latest book with Janet Wong, Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. This is the second book in the Poetry Friday Power Book series. Book 1 in the series, You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book, was published in September 2016 and was recently selected as a 2017 NCTE Poetry Notable.  Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book for children, tweens, and teens, features 12 PowerPack sets that combine: 1) diverse anchor poems; 2) new original response poems and mentor poems by Janet Wong; 3) PowerPlay prewriting activities; and 4) Power2You writing prompts. 

The twelve anchor poems for HERE WE GO were written by: Naomi Shihab Nye, Ibtisam Barakat, Joseph Bruchac, David Bowles, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison, Kate Coombs, Robyn Hood Black, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Renée M. LaTulippe, Margaret Simon, and Carole Boston Weatherford. Their poems are joined together with twenty-four new poems by Janet (Wong) that form a story featuring a diverse group of kids who are concerned about social justice. In addition, I created PowerPlay activities to launch each PowerPack and Power2You writing prompts to conclude. There is also extensive back matter resources for readers and writers. 

Several of my favorite bloggers have been kind enough to write their own posts about Here We Go and what they like about it. (Thank you, friends!)

What is NOT obvious is that Janet (Wong) and I also incorporated skill instruction and modeled 12 skills in each of the PowerPacks (based on frequently taught poetry skills and CCSS). I'd like to demonstrate what that looks like. But first...

Here's one example PowerPack to demonstrate how this works. This is PowerPack 10.   

The skill focus for PowerPack 10 is alliteration. 

There are 11 different skills woven through the poems in this book with one skill focus for each PowerPack. Each PowerPack infuses that skill through each component of the PowerPack-- from the PowerPlay activity, through the three poems, to the final Power2You writing activity.
First, students "play" with language. In PowerPack 10, they choose one of these letters: P M N S T F W and then circle all the words that begin with their chosen letter-- setting the stage for pointing out what alliteration is. PLUS, all the words come from the poems in the book. "P" words are highlighted here.

After students have read the poems and talked about them, you can go back and read them together and look for examples of alliteration-- the repeated use of initial consonants. There are examples in each of the three poems in this PowerPack highlighted here.

Finally, students also have the opportunity to write a poem and experiment with alliteration in their own poems in the final Power2You activity page. 

Now head on over to Penny's place for the Poetry Friday gathering. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

BOOK LINKS: Pushing Boundaries with Diverse Poetry

Once again I'm so happy that ALA's Book Links magazine continues to highlight poetry and poets in their pages on a regular basis. For January, I corralled 11 poets about their forthcoming poetry books in 2017 and asked them to share a bit of "back story" about each of their books in this article, Pushing Boundaries with Diverse Poetry. 

This includes Jeannine Atkins, Patricia Hruby Powell, Nikki Grimes, Pat Mora, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marilyn Singer, Margarita Engle, Irene Latham, Charles Waters, Kwame Alexander, and Carrie Clickard. They write about their new books: Stone Mirrors (Atkins), Loving vs. Virginia (Powell), One Last Word (Grimes), Bookjoy (Mora), I Remember (Hopkins), Every Month's a New Year (Singer), Bravo! Poems about Amazing Latinos (Engle), Can I Touch Your Hair? (Latham and Waters), Out of Wonder (Alexander) and Dumpling Dreams (Clickard). Here's the link to the piece onlineAnd just in case, here are a few excerpts:

Every January I love anticipating all the new books that will be published in the coming year. In fact, I post a “sneak peek” list of poetry for young people on my blog ( every January and then update it all year long. What can we look forward to in 2017? So much wonderfulness! Here we highlight 10 titles that show the amazing variety that poets create for us, a diverse rainbow of writers and forms, from picture book biographies to edgy anthologies to fact-based verse novels to historical homages to celebrations of culture—all poetry! To whet your appetite, I asked these poets to give us a “behind the scenes” glimpse into their new books, sharing the biggest surprise or challenge they encountered while creating these wonderful works.

As you choose new books to read, share, and add to the library, be sure you include new poetry in the mix, especially poetry that reflects the diverse experiences that make our lives and communities so interesting. 


*Make crossover connections to social studies or history and invite students to choose people from the past who have made a difference in the world and who represent diverse cultures and experiences. Students can gather facts and details about these individuals, but instead of writing a report, encourage them to try shaping those facts and details into a free verse poem describing their subjects.

*Invite students to try The Golden Shovel” poetic form that Nikki Grimes employs in One Last Word. They begin by selecting a favorite, familiar poem and choosing one line from that poem to incorporate into a new original poem they create. Each line of their new poem must end with one of the words from that line of the original, “borrowed” poem.

*Students can work with a partner to collaborate on back-and-forth poetry like Irene Latham and Charles Waters do in Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship. Start by allowing them to write notes back and forth and then challenge them to turn those notes into poems that are linked to one another.

  1. Alexander, Kwame. 2017. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Ill. by Ekua Holmes. Candlewick.
  2. Atkins, Jeannine. 2017. Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis. Simon & Schuster.
  3. Clickard, Carrie. 2017. Dumpling Dreams: Joyce Chen and Her Peking Ravioli. Ill. by Katy Wu. Simon & Schuster.
  4. Engle, Margarita. 2017. Bravo! Poems About Amazing Latinos. Ill. by Rafael López. Macmillan/Henry Holt.
  5. Grimes, Nikki. 2017. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomsbury.
  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2017. I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage. Lee & Low.
  7. Latham, Irene and Waters, Charles. 2017. Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. Ill. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Millbrook Press.
  8. Mora, Pat. 2017. Bookjoy, Wordjoy. Ill. by Raúl Colón. Lee & Low. 
  9. Powell, Patricia Hruby. 2017. Loving Vs. Virginia. Chronicle.
  10. Singer, Marilyn. 2017. Every Month’s New Year. Ill. by Susan Roth. Lee & Low.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Poetry Friday posts over at Violet Nesdoly's blog here

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sneak Peek list for 2017

It's time again to post my annual "sneak peek" list of all the poetry for young people that will be published in the coming year. This includes poetry collections,  anthologies and novels in verse. In addition, I plan to talk with publishers at the ALA Midwinter conference next week and update with more titles I learn about there. So, these are the titles that I know about thus far. If you know about other poetry for young readers set to be published this year (or have changes to suggest about these titles below), please let me know (in the comments). I'll be updating this list all year long, so it becomes a resource as you look for the latest poetry books for young people. There's a quick link to this post in the menu on the right-hand side of this blog, too, where I have links to all my previous "sneak peek" lists. As always, I'm so excited to find, get, and read all of these books! Congrats poets and yay for poetry readers! 
  1. Alene, Catherine. 2017. The Sky Between You and Me. Sourcebooks.
  2. Alexander, Kwame. 2017. Animal Ark. National Geographic.
  3. Alexander, Kwame. 2017. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Candlewick.
  4. Alexander, Kwame. 2017. Swish!: Aim, Shoot, Rebound, and Score in This Game Called Life. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  5. Atkins, Jeannine. 2017. Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis. Simon & Schuster.
  6. Cartaya, Pablo. 2017. The Epic Fall of Arturo Zamora. Penguin/Viking.
  7. Clickard, Carrie. 2017. Dumpling Dreams: Joyce Chen and Her Peking Ravioli. Simon & Schuster.
  8. Colby, Rebecca. 2017. Motor Goose: Rhymes That Go! Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan.
  9. Dalton, Pamela. 2017. Under the Silver Moon. Chronicle/Handprint.
  10. Derby, Sally. 2017. A New School Year. Charlesbridge.
  11. Elliott, David. 2017. Bull. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  12. Engle, Margarita. 2017. Bravo! Poems About Amazing Latinos. Ill. by Rafael Lopez. Macmillan/Henry Holt.
  13. Engle, Margarita. 2017. All the Way to Havana. Ill. by Mike Curato. Holt.
  14. Engle, Margarita. 2017. Forest World. Atheneum.
  15. Engle, Margarita. 2017. Morning Star Horse/ El Caballo Lucero. HBE Publishers. 
  16. Engle, Margarita. 2017. Miguel’s Brave Knight. Ill. by Raul Colon. Peachtree. 
  17. Frost, Helen. 2017. When My Sister Started Kissing. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  18. Frost, Helen. 2017. Wake Up. Ill. by Rick Lieder. Candlewick.
  19. Green, Shari. 2017. Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess. Pajama Press.
  20. Grimes, Nikki. 2017. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomsbury.
  21. Grimes, Nikki. 2017. The Watcher. Ill. by Bryan Collier. Eerdmans.
  22. Hopkins, Ellen. 2017. The You I've Never Known. McElderry Books.
  23. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2017. I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage. Lee & Low.
  24. Hughes, Langston. 2017. That Is My Dream! Ill. by Daniel Miyares. Random House/ Schwartz & Wade. 
  25. Jensen, Kelly. 2017. Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World. Algonquin. 
  26. Keats, John. 2017. A Song About Myself. Ill. by Chris Raschka. Candlewick. 
  27. Latham, Irene and Waters, Charles. 2017. Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. Millbrook Press.
  28. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2017. Keep a Pocket in Your Poem. Ill. by Johanna Wright. Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong.
  29. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2017. Make the Earth Your Companion. Ill. by Anna and Elena Balbusso. Creative Editions.
  30. Llanos, Mariana. 2017. Poesia Alada. Purple Corn Press.
  31. Magliaro, Elaine. 2017. Things to Do. Ill. by Catia Chien. Chronicle.
  32. McKissack, Patricia. 2017. Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing and Shout; Dance, Spin, and Turn it Out! Ill. by Brian Pinkney. Random House Schwartz & Wade. 
  33. Mercado-López. 2017. Esteban de Luna, Baby Rescuer!/Esteban de Luna, Rescatador de Bebés! Arte Público Press.
  34. Mora, Pat. 2017. Bookjoy, Wordjoy. Lee & Low.
  35. Murray, Carol. 2017. Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs. Ill. by Melissa Sweet. Holt.
  36. Oliver, Lin. 2017. Steppin’ Out: Playful Rhymes for Toddler Times. Ill. by Tomie de Paola. Penguin/Paulsen.
  37. Otheguy, Emma. 2017. Martí's Song for Freedom. Lee & Low.
  38. Perkins, Useni Eugene. 2017. Hey Black Child. Ill. by Bryan Collier. Little, Brown. 
  39. Powell, Patricia Hruby. 2017. Loving Vs. Virginia. Chronicle.
  40. Powell, Patricia Hruby. 2017. Struttin’ with Some Barbecue. Charlesbridge.
  41. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2017. If You Were the Moon. Ill. by Jaime Kim. Lerner/Millbrook.
  42. Schaub, Michelle. 2017. Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market. Ill. by Amy Huntington. Charlesbridge.
  43. Sidman, Joyce. 2017. Round. Ill. by Taeeun Yoo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  44. Silverstein, Shel. 2017. [Untitled thus far]. HarperCollins.
  45. Singer, Marilyn. 2017. Every Month’s New Year. Ill. by Susan Roth. Lee & Low.
  46. Singer, Marilyn. 2017. Feel the Beat:  Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing.  Dial.
  47. Stevenson, Robert Louis. 2016. The Land of Nod. Ill. by Robert Hunter. Flying Eye Books.
  48. Terry, Ellie. 2016. Forget Me Not. Feiwel & Friends.
  49. Toht, Patricia. 2017. All Aboard the London Bus. Frances Lincoln/Quarto.
  50. VanDerwater, Amy. 2017. Read! Read! Read! Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  51. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. 2017. Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. Pomelo Books.
  52. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. 2017. Pet Crazy: A Poetry Friday Power Book. Pomelo Books. 
  53. Weatherford, Carole. 2017. Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Ill. by Eric Velazquez. Candlewick Press. 
  54. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2017. In Your Hands. Ill. by Brian Pinkney.  Athenuem.
  55. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2017.The Legendary Miss Lena Horne. Ill. by Elizabeth Zunon. Athenuem.
  56. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2017. Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression. Ill. by Jane Green. Albert Whitman. 
  57. Weston, Robert Paul. 2017. Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms. Ill. by Misa Saburi. Random House Canada.
  58. Wilson, Karma. 2017. Dormouse Dreams. Ill. by Renata Liwska. Disney-Hyperion.
  59. Wissinger, Tamera Will. 2017. Gone Camping. Ill. by Matthew Cordell. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  60. Wolf, Allan. 2017. Who Killed Christopher Goodman? Based on a True Crime. Candlewick.
  61. Yolen, Jane and Lewis, J. Patrick. 2017. Prehistoric Last Laughs. Ill. by Charlesbridge.
  62. Yolen, Jane. 2017. Thunder Underground. Ill. by Josée Masse. Boyds Mills Press.
BTW, this list includes books that have SOME poetry, but may not be entirely poetry. And I'll keep updating this list as I hear of new titles to add.

I'm also so proud to have two books coming out this year as part of the Poetry Friday Power Book series with Janet Wong. Our first in this series, You Just Wait, came out last year and has earned an "NCTE Notable Poetry Book" distinction. So excited about that! Our second book in the series officially launches on Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. That book is entitled, Here We Go and is a story in poems about four young friends who are coping with challenges at home and at school and muster their energies to become gardening activists! Plus, the book includes activities for young people to inspire creativity, critical thinking, and poetry writing. 

Meanwhile, head over to Keri Recommends, to see what else is going on this Poetry Friday!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Cybils Poetry Shortlist 2016

Happy new year, everyone! 

Time to celebrate the best of the poetry published in 2016. I'll be looking for announcements of all the awards and posting information about any poetry books that are recognized as it becomes available. I'm hoping there will be many poetry books recognized in all kinds of ways because there were many, wonderful poetry books published in 2016. Just look...

FIRST, I was lucky enough to serve as a judge for the Cybils Award in Poetry and we are proud of our "shortlist" too. Here are our choices:

Here is the annotated list of these titles at the Cybils site. You can find the list of ALL the nominated books here. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day!

Thanks to my fellow Round 1 Judges who were a lovely, thoughtful group. Be sure and check out each of their excellent blogs:

Jone MacCulloch, Chair, Check It Out 
Carol Wilcox, Carol’s Corner
Joy Acey, Poetry for Kids Joy 
Linda Baie, Teacher Dance 
Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Miss Rumphius Effect 
Kortney Garrison, One Deep Drawer

The Nerdy Book Club also announced their choices for the 2016 "Nerdies" for Poetry and Novels in Verse posted by Mary Lee Hahn here. Their list includes:

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Booked by Kwame Alexander
Moo by Sharon Creech
Applesauce Weather by Helen Frost
Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka
Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins
Before Morning by Joyce Sidman
When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano
Saving Red by Sonya Sones
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes
To Stay Alive by Skila Brown
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford
American Ace by Marilyn Nelson
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford (TWO for Carole!)
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
Lion Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle

The ALA Midwinter conference is coming up in two weeks and I'm hoping there will be poetry books among their choices too. And I'll be posting my "sneak peek" list for forthcoming poetry set to be published in 2017 very soon. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, head on over to Linda's place (my fellow Cybils Poetry Judge) at Teacher Dance for our Poetry Friday postings. 

Friday, December 09, 2016

Celebrating libraries and Dewey Decimal Day in December

December is full of holidays, but I'll bet you didn't know Dewey Decimal Day was one of them! Yes, December 10 is Dewey Decimal Day, the birthday of Melvil Dewey (1851-1931), the inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification, the most widely used system in the world since 1876. Time to celebrate with this poem by Liz Steinglass from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations:

And you'll find these Take 5 activities for this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations too:

And for more poems about libraries, books, and reading, look for my list in The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. Here's an excerpt:

Poems about Libraries, Books, and Reading 
  1. Alarcón, Francisco X. 1999. “Books” from Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems/ Los Angeles Andan en Bicicleta: Y Otros Poemas de Otoño. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press. 
  2. Appelt, Kathi. 1997. “Javier” from Just People and Paper/Pen/Poem: A Young Writer’s Way to Begin. Spring, TX: Absey & Co.
  3. Bagert, Brod. 1999. “Library-Gold” from Rainbows, Head Lice and Pea-Green Tile; Poems in the Voice of the Classroom Teacher. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.
  4. Dakos, Kalli. 2003. “When the Librarian Reads to Us” from Put Your Eyes Up Here: And Other School Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  5. Frost, Helen. 2003. “Do Not Leave Children Unattended” from Keesha’s House. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  6. George, Kristine O’Connell. 2002. “School Librarian” from Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems. New York: Clarion Books. 
  7. Giovanni, Nikki. 1971. “ten years old” from Spin a Soft Black Song. New York: Hill & Wang. 
  8. Glenn, Mel. 2000. “Eddie Sabinsky” from Split Image. New York: HarperCollins.
  9. Greenfield. Eloise. 2006. “At the Library” from The Friendly Four. New York: HarperCollins.
  10. Grimes, Nikki. 1997. “At the Library” from It’s Raining Laughter. New York: Dial.
  11. Grimes, Nikki. 1998. “42nd Street Library” form Jazmin’s Notebook. New York: Dial.
  12. Gunning, Monica. 2004. “The Library” from America, My New Home. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. 
  13. Herrick, Steven. 2004. “Lord of the Lounge” from The Simple Gift. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  14. Hopkins, Ellen. 2006. “See, the Library” from burned.  New York: McElderry.
  15. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2000. “Good Books, Good Times” from Good Books, Good Times! New York: HarperTrophy.
  16. Katz, Alan. 2001. “Give Me a Break” from Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs. New York: Scholastic.
  17. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. “Please Bury Me in the Library” and “Necessary Gardens” from Please Bury Me in the Library. San Diego, Harcourt.
  18. Lewis, J. Patrick. 1999. “Read… Think… Dream” from: The Bookworm's Feast: A Potluck of Poems. New York: Dial.
  19. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. “#66 The Hippopotabus,” “#174 The Librarian,” “#116 Library Fine,” and “#89 New York Public Library” from Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year. New York: Little, Brown.
  20. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. “Librarian” from The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse. New York: Simon & Schuster/Atheneum.
  21. Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1994. “Quiet” in Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. April Bubbles Chocolate; An ABC of Poetry. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  22. Lottridge, Celia Barker. 2002. “Anna Marie’s Library Book and What Happened’ in Pearson, Deborah. Ed. When I Went to the Library. Toronto: Groundwood Books. 
  23. McLoughland, Beverly. 1990. “Surprise” in Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1990. Good Books, Good Times! New York: HarperTrophy. 
  24. Medina, Jane. 1999. “The Library Card” from My Name is Jorge on Both Sides of the River: Poems. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  25. Merriam, Eve. 1998. “Reach for a Book” in Rich, Mary Perrotta, Ed. 1998. Book Poems:  Poems from National Children’s Book Week, 1959-1998. New York: Children’s Book Council.
  26. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 1998. “Because of Libraries We Can Say These Things” from Fuel. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions.
  27. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2005. “The List” from A Maze Me; Poems for Girls. New York: Greenwillow.
  28. Prelutsky, Jack. 2006. “It’s Library Time” from What a Day It Was at School! New York: Greenwillow. 
  29. Sidman, Joyce. “This Book” from:
  30. Silverstein, Shel. 1981. “Overdues” from A Light in the Attic. New York: HarperCollins. 
  31. Soto, Gary. 1992. “Ode To My Library” from Neighborhood Odes. San Diego: Harcourt.
  32. Worth, Valerie. 1994. “Library” from All the Small Poems and Fourteen More. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  33. Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 2009. “Librarian” from Steady Hands: Poems About Work. New York: Clarion.

Based on: Vardell, Sylvia M. (2006). A place for poetry: Celebrating the library in poetry. Children and Libraries. 4, (2), 35-41 and Vardell, S. M. (2007). Everyday poetry: Celebrating Children’s Book Week with book-themed poetry. Book Links. 17, (2), 14-15.

Also look for the following poetry books:
  • Rich, Mary Perrotta. Ed. 1998. Book Poems:  Poems from National Children’s Book Week, 1959-1998. New York: Children’s Book Council.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Wonderful Words: Poems about Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2011. I am the Book. Holiday House.
  • Salas, Laura Purdie. 2011. BookSpeak!. Ill. by Josee Bisaillon. Clarion.

Jone is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering this week, so don't forget to check out those posts over at Check it Out!

Friday, December 02, 2016

NCTE 2016

I'm sure you've read posts by many others who attended the recent NCTE conference (National Council of Teachers of English) in Atlanta. It's always a great event, but this year's conference had an amazing richness of poets present! Look at all the poets who were there! And I'm probably forgetting some other names. But, WOW, right? 
I believe you can search the program for sessions by these poets here and then look for any handouts from those amazing sessions at the NCTE GoogleDoc here. On Twitter, use #NCTE16 to see what people were tweeting at the conference.

Plus, they announced the newest recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children: 
Marilyn Nelson! 

I also attended a session presented by the committee for the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children during which they present their annual list of "Notable" poetry books. That list is published annually in School Library Journal and you can find the 2016 list here. However, this year I learned that they also generate a list of "Notable Verse Novels" and somehow I had missed that previously. Apparently, they've been making that list for a few years and it is published in the New England Reading Association (NERA) Journal, but I can't find a link for that. (Please let me know if you find the link!) I was very excited to hear they were singling out verse novels for a separate "notable" list! The 2016 list of notable verse novels includes:
  • Crowder, Melanie. 2015. Audacity. New York: Philomel.
  • Engle, Margarita. 2015. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir. New York: Atheneum.
  • Hilton, Marilyn. 2015. Full Cicada Moon. New York: Dial.
  • Holt, K. A. 2015. House Arrest. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  • Jensen, Cordelia. 2015. Skyscraping. New York: Philomel.
  • Rose, Caroline Starr. 2015. Blue Birds. New York: Putnam.
  • Sonnichsen, A. L. 2015. Red Butterfly. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
Look for the article because it includes reviews, curriculum connections, and related titles.
>>> I was lucky enough to present a panel on verse novels with Jeannine Atkins, Patricia Hruby Powell, Margarita Engle, and Janet Wong. 

I spoke first about the roots of the verse novel-- some say as back as far as Homer, and certainly many credit Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology as a seminal work in this form. 
I pointed out these groundbreaking books helped shape the form and build an audience for verse novels-- and it didn't hurt to win a Newbery Medal (Karen Hesse for Out of the Dust).
And that even more recent award winners (Newbery, Newbery honor, National Book Award) were novels (or memoirs) in verse.
I reminded our audience of the many pedagogical advantages of the novel in verse form and how that serves as a motivating advantage for teen and tween readers and as a natural form for performance as readers theater. 
Then we involved volunteers from the audience in performing excerpts from each of our authors' recent works, starting with Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins. Jeannine spoke about her process in researching and capturing these women's voices and persona from the past.   
More volunteers helped bring to life an excerpt from Patricia Hruby Powell's Loving vs. Virginia-- complete with a gum-smacking sheriff reader! And Patricia spoke about how this book came to be and about her path from dancer to storyteller to author and poet. 
Another small troop performed several passages from Margarita Engle's book, Lion Island, reflecting multiple characters and inviting the whole audience to chime in on the repeated word, "power!" Margarita spoke about the true story behind her work and the power of language to speak for freedom. 
Finally, we performed "Dracula" by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand from You Just Wait with the whole audience joining in on "shushing" where the poem requires it while two volunteers read the dialogue for Carmen and her sister. 
Janet spoke about her work in writing response poems to the poetry of others and weaving those poems all together to create a mini novel in verse-- or verse novella-- in You Just Wait.

She shared her poem in response to the "Dracula" poem here:

Then she shared two other examples of poems + response poems. Here's "Black Ice" by Joseph Bruchac (who was also at the conference):
Here's Janet's poem in response to "Black Ice."
Here's "Future Hoopsters" by Avis Harley, an acrostic poem.
Here's Janet's poem in response to "Future Hoopsters"-- also an acrostic poem, but one in which each initial WORD in each line (rather than the initial letter) creates a new sentence.
Now she's working on new poems in response to other poems for a new book we have in the works. (More on that later.) Janet shared one example of a poem-in-progress with the audience. Here's the initial poem, "'Break-Fast' at Night" by Ibtisam Barakat (who was also at the conference):
 Here's a draft of Janet's response poem:
Finally, we ended with this beautiful quote from First Lady, Michelle Obama, one of my favorites for wrapping things up:
What a great panel and responsive audience! You can find our complete handouts, including a comprehensive bibliography of novels in verse at the NCTE link hereThey're already soliciting proposals for next year's NCTE conference in St. Louis. Here's the link for submitting proposals (by Jan. 5).

Now head on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones where Bridget is hosting Poetry Friday! Enjoy!