12 Terrific Novels in Verse for Your Classroom


Incorporating novels in verse into your classroom curriculum can be a great way to engage students in reading and explore the power of poetic language. These books, written in poetic form, offer a unique and captivating reading experience. Here are 12 terrific novels in verse that are perfect for your classroom:

1. “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse:

Set in the 1930s Dust Bowl, this novel follows the story of Billie Jo, a young girl who finds strength and hope through her love for music and poetry.

2. “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanhha Lai:

Based on the author’s personal experiences, this touching novel tells the story of a young Vietnamese girl’s journey from war-torn Saigon to a new life in Alabama.

3. “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson:

This autobiographical novel takes readers on a lyrical journey through the author’s childhood, exploring themes of identity, family, and racial inequality.

4. “Love That Dog” by Sharon Creech:

Told through a series of poems, this heartwarming story delves into the power of poetry itself, as a young boy discovers his own voice through writing.

5. “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander:

Combining basketball and poetry, this novel follows the lives of twin brothers and their love for the game, as they navigate family, friendship, and personal growth.

6. “Inside Out” by Terry Trueman:

Exploring the challenges of mental illness, this powerful novel in verse takes readers on a journey of a young boy struggling with schizophrenia and his search for understanding.

7. “The Red Pencil” by Andrea Davis Pinkney:

Set in Sudan, this novel tells the story of Amira, a young girl who finds solace and empowerment through art and her ability to express herself in verse.

8. “Planet Middle School” by Nikki Grimes:

With humor and relatability, this novel follows 12-year-old Joylin as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school through her passion for writing poetry.

 9. “A Time to Dance” by Padma Venkatraman:

This novel explores the power of resilience and determination as it follows the journey of a young Indian classical dancer who must learn to adapt after losing a leg.

10. “House Arrest” by K.A. Holt:

Written in verse, this emotional novel tells the story of Timothy, a young boy dealing with his brother’s illness and the impact it has on his own life.

11. “May B.” by Caroline Starr Rose

Set on the Kansas prairie in the late 1800s, this historical novel follows the survival journey of May, a young girl trapped in a snowstorm, as she finds strength through her love of words.

12. “Words with Wings” by Nikki Grimes:

This captivating novel explores the power of imagination and the struggles of a young girl named Gabby as she copes with a chaotic home life through her vivid daydreams.


Incorporating these 12 terrific novels in verse into your classroom can not only foster a love for reading but also help students explore themes of identity, resilience, and self-expression. Whether through personal narratives, historical fiction, or stories of triumph, these books offer an engaging and unique reading experience that will captivate your students and open up discussions on important topics. So, get ready to embark on a poetic journey with these novels in verse and create a classroom that celebrates the beauty of language and storytelling.