Poetry

Texas School Book Depository: Prose Poems

By Cathryn Hankla

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"Humorous, quirky, and spiritually meditative by turns, Cathryn Hankla's prose poems move by associative leaps and take their inspirations from cultural and personal icons. A shadow narrative moors the collection in the perspective of a woman who survives a difficult childhood to eventually comprehend the paradoxes of adult life and whose journeys into her heritage bring her to a fuller realization of her place in the world."
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A Wreath for Emmett Till

By Marilyn Nelson

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In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement.

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Carver, A Life In Poems

By Marilyn Nelson

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This collection of poems provides a lyrical account of the life of George Washington Carver, a man born into slavery who went on to head the agricultural department at the Tuskegee Institute.

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Becoming Billie Holiday

By Carole Boston Weatherford

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Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday looks back on her early years in this fictional memoir written in verse.

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The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba

By Margarita Engle

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Draws on little-known Cuban history to tell a stirring story in poetry. Based on the diaries and letters of Swedish suffragist Fredrika Bremer, who spent three months in Cuba in 1851, the story focuses on oppressed women, the privileged as well as the enslaved, in three alternating free-verse narratives.

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Hard Hit

Ann Turner

A rising high school baseball star faces his most difficult challenge when his father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

0439296803
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Middle School

Aleutian Sparrow

Karen Hesse

An Aleutian Islander recounts her suffering during World War II in American internment camps designed to "protect" the population from the invading Japanese.

0689861893
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Bronx Masquerade

Nikki Grimes

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.

0803725698
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Pieces of Georgia

Jen Bryant

In journal entries to her mother, a gifted artist who died suddenly, thirteen-year-old Georgia McCoy reveals how her life changes after she receives an anonymous gift membership to a nearby art museum.

0375832599
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Middle School

New Book List: Poetry Breaks

Summer is the perfect time to sit down and read some poetry. Grab a picnic and a blanket, and lay down under a shady tree with a few of the books in our new booklist, Poetry Breaks. You'll have a fun afternoon laughing at Lee Bennett Hopkins' poetry in "Oh No! Where are My Pants?" or musing over the "reversible verse" in Mirror, Mirror that puts a twist on familiar fairy tales. Poetry is so much more than just a haiku assignment at school. It can be hilarious, sad, clever, and profound, sometimes all at once.