Omaha Picks: Books in Verse
Annotation:Believing he has killed his grandfather, Zane Guesswind heads for his mother's Zanesville, Ohio, grave to kill himself, driving the 1969 Plymouth Barracuda his long-gone father left behind, and meeting along the way assorted characters who help him discover who he really is.
Annotation:After his father's tragic death, twelve-year-old Keith James moves from Brooklyn to a small midwestern town where his mixed race heritage is not accepted, but he finds comfort in the music of Jimi Hendrix and the friendship of a white classmate.
Annotation:Poems describe how thirteen-year-old Allie, living with her grandparents in a small Minnesota town in the 1960s, struggles to cope with her father's recent death, being abandoned by her mother, and trying to fit in at school.
Annotation:scaping from Nazi Germany to Cuba in 1939, a young Jewish refugee dreams of finding his parents again, befriends a local girl with painful secrets of her own, and discovers that the Nazi darkness is never far away.
Annotation:A teenage boy recounts, in a free verse journal, his attempts to come to terms with the realities of his mother's near-death coma. Told in the form of a free-verse poem.
Annotation:While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.
Annotation:In this novel written in free verse, Clare and her grandfather must deal with changes in their lives when Clare's summer growth spurt threatens to end her dream of becoming a ballet dancer and her grandfather suffers a stroke.
Annotation:When high school junior Tessa Reynolds falls into a coma after getting hit in the head during gym class, she experiences heaven as the mall where her parents work, and she revisits key events from her life, causing her to reevaluate herself and how she wants to live. Note "Told in the form of a free verse poem".
Annotation:Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother and has cerebral palsy, befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse.
Annotation:Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt, each girl struggles with how much to give up and what ultimately to keep for herself.
Annotation:While trying to impress a beautiful, unattainable classmate, fourteen-year-old Andy discovers that a fellow social outcast may be planning an act of school violence.
Annotation:Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home.
Annotation:Outspoken thirteen-year-old Addie Carle learns about love, loss, and staying true to herself as she navigates seventh grade, enjoys a visit from her grandmother, fights with her boyfriend, and endures gossip and meanness from her former best friend.