Novel in Verse

Novels in Verse, or Verse Novels, are narratives told exclusively through the medium of poetry.  Granted, there are novels with beautiful and lyrical prose that borders on the verge of poetry, but the entirety of the novel is told through either one long epic poem or through a series of poems, with each varying in style and stanzas.

Originating in the oral traditions of the ancient Greeks, Novels in Verse, are excellent for read-alouds for usually there are many characters and points-of-view, as well as, copious amounts of description and dialogue.  Ellen Hopkins is a very prolific author in the Verse Novel genre.


Out of This Place by Emma CameronOut of This Place by Emma Cameron

Follows three teens who struggle with hardscrabble realities, from Luke, who works at the local supermarket and tries to stay out of trouble; to Bongo, who drinks to avoid his abusive family; to Casey, who longs to escape her controlling father.



Because I am Furniture by Thalia ChaltasBecause I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

The youngest of three siblings, fourteen-year-old Anke feels both relieved and neglected that her father abuses her brother and sister but ignores her, but when she catches him with one of her friends, she finally becomes angry enough to take action.



Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth ClarkFreakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Told from 3 viewpoints, 17-year-old Brendan, a wrestler, struggles to come to terms with his place on the transgender spectrum while Vanessa, the girl he loves, and Angel, a transgender acquaintance, try to help.



One by Sarah CrossanOne by Sarah Crossan

Despite problems at home, sixteen-year-old conjoined twins Tippi and Grace are loving going to school for the first time and making real friends when they learn that a cardiac problem will force them to have separation surgery, which they have never before considered.



Audacity by Melanie CrowderAudacity by Melanie Crowder

A historical fiction novel in verse detailing the life of Clara Lemlich and her struggle for women’s labor rights in the early 20th century in New York.




Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris CroweDeath Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe

Douglas Ashe keeps a weekly record of historical and personal events in 1968, the year he turns seventeen, including the escalating war in Vietnam, assassinations, rampant racism, and rioting; his first girlfriend, his parents’ separation, and a longed-for sister.



Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy FrankTwo Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank

In this novel in verse, two very different girls bond while hospitalized for Crohn’s disease.  Chess is sick, and to make matters worse, she must share a hospital room with Shannon, her polar opposite. Where Chess is polite, Shannon is rude. Where Chess tolerates pain silently, Shannon screams bloody murder. Where Chess seems to be getting slowly better, Shannon seems to be getting worse. Despite their difference they become friends, helping each other come to terms with their illness.



Teeny Little Grief Machines by Linda Oatman HighTeeny Little Grief Machines by Linda Oatman High

In a novel in verse, Lexi, a year after her baby half-sister’s death, attempts to cope with the problems of everyday life as well as with her alcoholic father, now in jail, her anorexic, bipolar stepmother, and her autistic half-brother.



A Time to Dance by Padma VenkatramanA Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.




Like Water on Stone by Dana WalrathLike Water on Stone by Dana Walrath

Inspired by a true story, this relates the tale of siblings Sosi, Shahen, and Mariam who survive the Armenian genocide of 1915 by escaping from Turkey alone over the mountains.



last updated: February 2016

About Princess Leia

I am the Teen Services Librarian at the Grayslake Area Public Library.
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