First Chapter Plus May 2023 Issue

Before there were graphic novels, there were books in verse, and those were my go-to recommendation for reluctant readers. Books in verse have a lot of white space, so reluctant readers are not faced with a daunting page of text. As with a picture book, every word carries so much weight and must be painstakingly chosen, taking talent and discipline. These sparse words pack a punch, and the books are fast reads. Let’s start with the definition of a book in verse. “Novels in verse are a hybrid genre. A marriage between the brevity of a singular poem; and the narrative arc of a novel.” It reads like a novel but carries the emotional resonance of a collection of poems.” * Although The Illiad could qualify as a novel in verse, this genre began in earnest in more recent history during the 1800s. For example, Lord Byron’s Don Juan, made of 16 cantos, was published in 1823, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh was published in 1856.** But the novel in verse in the children’s, middle grade, and YA categories began much later, starting in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The first novel in verse that I read was, Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse winner of the Newberry Medal 1997), the harrowing story of a young girl who lived in the Dust Bowl during the 1930s. I was blown away by this book (pun intended). Books in Verse: More than Just a Collection of Poems THE BAREFOOT LIBRARIAN

Out of the Dust

Author: Karen Hesse This is the tale of the harrowing life of a young girl living through the Dust Bowl during the 1930s. The story is related through narrative verses expertly crafted by the author, who balances the depths of despair and the heights of hope through sparse but well-chosen words. Yet, amidst the tragedies of her life, she comes to peace with her situation and herself.

www. firstchapterplus com


Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker