You know I always love lists and awards that highlight poetry. It's so helpful to see which poetry books are featured on any "best" list, but a whole list of poetry is the best of all! The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) presents an award for excellence in poetry for children every other year. (Link here.) The lovely Marilyn Nelson was the most recent recipient in 2017. (Don't miss Renee La Tulippe's video series on ALL the award recipients available here.)
But this same award committee decides a list of Notable Poetry Books every year. You can find a pdf file of the 2018 list of Notable Poetry Books here and below. On top of that, the committee often issues a separate list of notable VERSE NOVELS (see links below). I think NCTE has the only such list-- another great resource!
2018 Notable Poetry Books Selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee
Before She Was Harriet. Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illus. by James E. Ransome. 2017. Holiday House.
Blue Sky White Star. Sarvinder Naberhaus. Illus. by Kadir Nelson. 2017. Dial Books for Young Readers.
Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs. Carol Murray. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. 2017. Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt and Company.
Family Poems for Every Day of the Week. Fransisco Alarcón. Illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez. 2017. Children’s Book Press / Lee & Low Books.
Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Illus. by Franzi Paetzold. 2017. Pomelo Books.
I Carry Your Heart with Me. E. E. Cumings. Illus. by Mati McDonough. 2017. Cameron Kids / Cameron + Company.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming. Chris Harris. Illus. by Lane Smith. 2017. Little, Brown and Company.
My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads. Hope Anita Smith. 2017. Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt & Company.
Nothing Rhymes with Orange. Adam Rex. 2017. Chronicle Books.
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. Nikki Grimes. Illus. by Cozbi A. Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, Nikki Grimes, E. B. Lewis, Frank Morrison, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon. 2017. Bloomsbury.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Kwame Alexander. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. 2017. Candlewick Press.
Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg. Edited by Kathryn Benzel. Illus. by Robert Crawford. 2017. MoonDance Press.
Poetry for Kids: Robert Frost. Edited by Jay Parini. Illus. by Michael Paraskevas. 2017. MoonDance Press.
Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman. Edited by Karen Karbiener. Illus. by Kate Evans. 2017. MoonDance Press.
Read! Read! Read. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Illus. by Ryan O’Rourke. 2017. WordSong / Highlights.
Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals. Nicola Davies. Illus. by Petr Horáček. 2017. Candlewick Press.
That is My Dream!. Langston Hughes. Ill. By Daniel Miyares. 2017. Schwartz & Wade Books.
Tony. Ed Galing. Illus. by Erin Stead. 2017. Neal Porter / Roaring Brook Press.
Traveling the Blue Road: Poems of the Sea. Lee Bennett Hopkins. Illus. by Bob Hansman & Jovan Hansman. 2017. Seagrass Press.
Wake Up. Helen Frost. Photographs by Rick Lieder. 2017. Candlewick Press.
Watersong. Tim McCanna. Illus. by Richard Smythe. 2017. Paula Wiseman / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
The Watcher: Inspired by Psalm 121. Nikki Grimes. Illus. by Bryan Collier. 2017. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
2018 Notable Verse Novels
Gone Camping: A Novel in Verse. Tamera Will Wissinger. Illus. by Matthew Cordell. 2017. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
When My Sister Started Kissing. Helen Frost. 2017. Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux.
NCTE Poetry Committee Members:
Karen Hildebrand, Chair, Delaware City Schools, Ohio
Dr. Trish Bandré, USD 305, Salina, Kansas
Dr. Lesley Colabucci, Millersville University, Pennsylvania
Dr. Laretta Henderson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Lisa Muller, Castle High School, Newburgh, Indiana
Dr. Lisa Pinkerton, Ohio State University, Columbus
PREVIOUS NOTABLE POETRY LISTS
Also, here are links to previous lists: