Readers Advisory: Poetry and Short Stories

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Surprise! Poetry. It's kind of forgotten in the world of YA and MG book suggestions except for when a teacher has assigned homework. I few years ago I went to a workshops on Conversational Read with a woman names Diane Frankenstein. She spoke about not only the importance of reading but the importance of the conversation that take place after reading. We librarians know all about that. If a kid wants to shout out all the yellow things they see in Bear Sees Colors, we let them, as long as things don't cross a line and destroy storytime. However, conversational read gets a bit murky as kids get older. We don't read bedtime stories to our 12 year old. What's to be done? Diane suggested poetry and short stories. They're short, sweet, and NEVER to the point which provides a lot of opportunities for conversation over dinner or in the car on the way to soccer practice.

I bestow to you lovely readers, after a LONG absence due to commitments to my book award committee, readers advisory for poetry and short story readers, and parents hoping to communicate with children through literature. 

I felt a lot of obligation to add this. TeeHeeHee
Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. There you'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is one of Parent & Child magazine's 100 Greatest Books for Kids. School Library Journal said, "Silverstein has an excellent sense of rhythm and rhyme and a good ear for alliteration and assonance that make these poems a pleasure to read aloud."

The illustrations are so beautiful and so full of hope and life!
ncluded in's 2017 list of recommended diverse poetry picture books for kids. "Highly recommended for home and school libraries," commented Brightly's Charnaie Gordon. "Each melodic poem eloquently conveys the beauty of different skin tones and complexions. There are also themes of family, traditions, feelings, self-love, and acceptance echoed throughout this book."

We are color struck 

The way an artist strikes

His canvas with his brush of many hues

Look closely at these mirrors

these palettes of skin

Each color is rich

in its own right


Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful--you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written--whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

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