Novels In Verse

The Best Novels in Verse to Read Right Now

If the energy and flow of poetry steals your heart, but you also long for the narrative and pacing of a novel, there is a perfect book for you! Novels in verse hit all the right notes. These often powerful and passionate stories come alive in a completely different way when told through the intensity and rhythm of poetry. These are the types of stories that wake you up, take your breath away, linger in your mind — and we just can’t get enough of them! If you’re looking for a vivid literary experience, check out our list of must-read verse novels.

Starfish

Starfish

Hardcover $15.49 $17.99

Starfish

Lisa Fipps

In Stock Online

Hardcover $15.49 $17.99

Starfish 
Lisa Fipps 
Written in free verse, Starfish follows Ellie, a Texas girl who has been bullied relentlessly for her weight, even by her own mother. With the help of a therapist, a new friend, and her loving father, Ellie learns to stand up for herself and be unapologetically her. Starfish is a much-needed story for young people about the power of kindness and self-love. “Lisa Fipps’s spot-on verse gives Ellie a wrenchingly real voice that sings with humor, pain, and hope. Prepare yourself: Once you read this book, your heart will never be the same.” —K. A. Holt, author of House Arrest

Starfish 
Lisa Fipps 
Written in free verse, Starfish follows Ellie, a Texas girl who has been bullied relentlessly for her weight, even by her own mother. With the help of a therapist, a new friend, and her loving father, Ellie learns to stand up for herself and be unapologetically her. Starfish is a much-needed story for young people about the power of kindness and self-love. “Lisa Fipps’s spot-on verse gives Ellie a wrenchingly real voice that sings with humor, pain, and hope. Prepare yourself: Once you read this book, your heart will never be the same.” —K. A. Holt, author of House Arrest

Other Words for Home

Other Words for Home

Paperback $7.99

Other Words for Home

Jasmine Warga

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Paperback $7.99

Other Words for Home 
Jasmine Warga 
Other Words for Home is a sweet and hopeful story about a young girl named Jude who is separated from her father and brother when she moves from Syria to the U.S. with her pregnant mother. This stunning portrayal of a young girl’s contemporary immigration experience is relatable, thought-provoking and completely deserving of its Newbery Honor status. “Readers will laugh with Jude, cry with her, and root for her every step of the way. A beautiful, powerful, and necessary book.” —Aisha Saeed, author of Amal Unbound 

Other Words for Home 
Jasmine Warga 
Other Words for Home is a sweet and hopeful story about a young girl named Jude who is separated from her father and brother when she moves from Syria to the U.S. with her pregnant mother. This stunning portrayal of a young girl’s contemporary immigration experience is relatable, thought-provoking and completely deserving of its Newbery Honor status. “Readers will laugh with Jude, cry with her, and root for her every step of the way. A beautiful, powerful, and necessary book.” —Aisha Saeed, author of Amal Unbound 

The Black Flamingo

The Black Flamingo

Hardcover $16.99 $18.99

The Black Flamingo

Dean Atta

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Hardcover $16.99 $18.99

The Black Flamingo 
Dean Atta
The Black Flamingo is a fierce coming-of-age story told in verse about identity and the power of drag. Michael, the main character of the story, is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London and navigating what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs — and the Black Flamingo is born. We were simply in awe of this beautifully crafted and inspiring work on so many levels. This Stonewall Book Award-winner is powerful and life-affirming and one of those books you can devour in one sitting.

The Black Flamingo 
Dean Atta
The Black Flamingo is a fierce coming-of-age story told in verse about identity and the power of drag. Michael, the main character of the story, is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London and navigating what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs — and the Black Flamingo is born. We were simply in awe of this beautifully crafted and inspiring work on so many levels. This Stonewall Book Award-winner is powerful and life-affirming and one of those books you can devour in one sitting.

Punching the Air

Punching the Air

Hardcover $17.99 $19.99

Punching the Air

Ibi Zoboi , Yusef Salaam

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Punching the Air
Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
An unflinching look inside the American criminal justice system told from the perspective of a boy incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit and working to communicate his truth through art. Honest, raw and profoundly eye-opening, this is a must-read for teens and adults alike. “With lyrical arms big enough to cradle the oppressed, and metaphoric teeth sharp enough to chomp on the bitter bones of racism. This is more than a story. This is a necessary exploration of anger, and a radical reflection of love.” —Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down

Punching the Air
Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
An unflinching look inside the American criminal justice system told from the perspective of a boy incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit and working to communicate his truth through art. Honest, raw and profoundly eye-opening, this is a must-read for teens and adults alike. “With lyrical arms big enough to cradle the oppressed, and metaphoric teeth sharp enough to chomp on the bitter bones of racism. This is more than a story. This is a necessary exploration of anger, and a radical reflection of love.” —Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down

Home Is Not a Country

Home Is Not a Country

Hardcover $14.99 $17.99

Home Is Not a Country

Safia Elhillo

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Hardcover $14.99 $17.99

Home Is Not a Country
Safia Elhillo
This beautiful novel in verse follows Nima, a Muslim American teenager who feels like an outsider in every aspect of her life. Vivid language captures Nima’s feelings in an authentic and meaningful way, and elements of magical realism make this book a true standout. “A love letter to anyone who has ever been an outsider, or searched to understand their history, no matter where they come from.” —NPR

Home Is Not a Country
Safia Elhillo
This beautiful novel in verse follows Nima, a Muslim American teenager who feels like an outsider in every aspect of her life. Vivid language captures Nima’s feelings in an authentic and meaningful way, and elements of magical realism make this book a true standout. “A love letter to anyone who has ever been an outsider, or searched to understand their history, no matter where they come from.” —NPR

Muted

Muted

Hardcover $15.99 $18.99

Muted

Tami Charles

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Muted
Tami Charles
Seventeen-year-old Denver’s life is music, and she dreams of escaping her small rural town and hitting it big with her two best friends. When they catch the attention of a big-time R&B star, Sean “Mercury” Ellis, Denver sees their dreams finally coming true. However, they soon get caught in the dark underbelly of the music industry, and their dreams quickly turn into nightmares. Charles’ writing is captivating and lyrical, with her words flowing seamlessly across each page in this impossible to put down novel about muting the monsters.

Muted
Tami Charles
Seventeen-year-old Denver’s life is music, and she dreams of escaping her small rural town and hitting it big with her two best friends. When they catch the attention of a big-time R&B star, Sean “Mercury” Ellis, Denver sees their dreams finally coming true. However, they soon get caught in the dark underbelly of the music industry, and their dreams quickly turn into nightmares. Charles’ writing is captivating and lyrical, with her words flowing seamlessly across each page in this impossible to put down novel about muting the monsters.

The Crossover (Newbery Medal Winner)

The Crossover (Newbery Medal Winner)

Paperback $8.99

The Crossover (Newbery Medal Winner)

Kwame Alexander , Dawud Anyabwile

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Crossover (Newbery Medal Winner)
Kwame Alexander
Poetry and basketball collide in this powerful middle-grade novel in verse about 13-year-old twin brothers Josh and Jordan. Rich with imagery, emotion and heart, The Crossover packs a serious punch that will appeal to readers of all ages and reading levels. “Kwame Alexander’s sizzling, heartfelt story-in-verse gives readers that rich sense of SWISH! we feel when a basketball drops perfectly through a net. Quick timing, snazzy cadence, a wealth of energy and deep affection for sports, family and life in general — it’s all here, in these gripping scenes.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Cast Away: Poems of Our Time 

Crossover (Newbery Medal Winner)
Kwame Alexander
Poetry and basketball collide in this powerful middle-grade novel in verse about 13-year-old twin brothers Josh and Jordan. Rich with imagery, emotion and heart, The Crossover packs a serious punch that will appeal to readers of all ages and reading levels. “Kwame Alexander’s sizzling, heartfelt story-in-verse gives readers that rich sense of SWISH! we feel when a basketball drops perfectly through a net. Quick timing, snazzy cadence, a wealth of energy and deep affection for sports, family and life in general — it’s all here, in these gripping scenes.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Cast Away: Poems of Our Time 

Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again

Paperback $7.99 $8.99

Inside Out and Back Again

Thanhhà Lai

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Inside Out and Back Again
Thanhhà Lai
A Newbery Honor Book and a winner of the National Book Award, Inside Out and Back Again is a touching coming-of-age debut that offers a child’s-eye view of family and immigration. When Hà and her family flee Saigon and immigrate to Alabama, their lives are irrevocably changed. Hà’s story is a moving depiction of immigration, written in flowing verse. A heartfelt and humorous story based on the author’s own childhood experience.

Inside Out and Back Again
Thanhhà Lai
A Newbery Honor Book and a winner of the National Book Award, Inside Out and Back Again is a touching coming-of-age debut that offers a child’s-eye view of family and immigration. When Hà and her family flee Saigon and immigrate to Alabama, their lives are irrevocably changed. Hà’s story is a moving depiction of immigration, written in flowing verse. A heartfelt and humorous story based on the author’s own childhood experience.

The Poet X

The Poet X

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The Poet X

Elizabeth Acevedo

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The Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo
By award-winning slam poet and author of With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land is an astonishing novel-in-verse about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Focusing on struggles with faith, identity, relationships and sexuality, Acevedo pulls from her own experiences growing up Dominicana in Harlem. “In The Poet X, Acevedo skillfully sculpts powerful, self-contained poems into a masterpiece of a story, and has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street 

The Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo
By award-winning slam poet and author of With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land is an astonishing novel-in-verse about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Focusing on struggles with faith, identity, relationships and sexuality, Acevedo pulls from her own experiences growing up Dominicana in Harlem. “In The Poet X, Acevedo skillfully sculpts powerful, self-contained poems into a masterpiece of a story, and has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street 

Before the Ever After

Before the Ever After

Hardcover $17.99

Before the Ever After

Jacqueline Woodson

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Before the Ever After
Jacqueline Woodson
ZJ’s dad has always been a hero. As a beloved pro football star, he has been a source of pride and inspiration to his neighborhood and adoring fans — but now he is having trouble remembering it all. As old head injuries start to change the man and father he has always known, ZJ grapples to hold on to the past and what it means for the future. A heartfelt story of loss and longing, award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s captivating novel-in-verse explores the consequences and true cost of injury on Black bodies.

Before the Ever After
Jacqueline Woodson
ZJ’s dad has always been a hero. As a beloved pro football star, he has been a source of pride and inspiration to his neighborhood and adoring fans — but now he is having trouble remembering it all. As old head injuries start to change the man and father he has always known, ZJ grapples to hold on to the past and what it means for the future. A heartfelt story of loss and longing, award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s captivating novel-in-verse explores the consequences and true cost of injury on Black bodies.