I’ve been planning a book trailer for AUDACIOUS, my verse novel that comes out this fall. Book trailers are a fairly new thing, but becoming more common, especially for young adult books. Some of them are fan made, some are professionally produced by specialists production companies and paid for by the publisher. Some are live action, some animated, some little more than a PowerPoint presentation set to evocative music. Regardless, I kind of dig them.
Here is a selection of book trailers for some of my favorite verse novels:
I’ve been a little behind in my weekly round-ups, sorry! Here’s what’s been happening in verse novels lately:
At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference there was not one but TWO sessions on verse novels. Here’s what they talked about:
Poetry Serving Story Serving Teens: Verse Novels for Young Adults. (Holly Thompson, Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, Mariko Nagai, Samantha Schutz) Writers of novels in verse and poems will discuss the craft of narrative verse and the compelling use of poetic elements to drive stories that can deeply impact the lives of young adults. This panel will elaborate on challenges of characterization, dialogue, and plotting within verse; the wide range of forms and structural approaches employed today; and the effects and appeal of distilling complex stories for teens into verse.
Staggered Tellings: Immediacy, Intimacy, and Ellipses in the Verse Novel. (Kevin Clark, Wendy Barker, Rita Dove, Kevin Young, Andrew Hudgins) Marrying intimacy of voice to the dramatic arc of a story, the verse novel continues against all odds as an engrossing genre. Our panel will offer answers to key questions, including: What does the verse novel do that the prose novel does not? What is the effect of elliptical plotting? Is narrative subordinate to character? Do authors outline before writing? Do readers find it a more intimate form? How does the poet balance interior life and exterior events?
I’m calling this as a win for verse novels. I hope someone who attended or presented can let me know how it all went.
Both an entertainment and an education, GONE FISHING is a delightful exploration of poetic forms, tied up in an exploration of family relationships. Deceptively simple language draws readers into some pretty complex forms and emotions in a story wherein our hero, Sam struggles with jealousy and ambition on a fishing trip with his dad and sister.
Here’s what Goodreads has to say:
“Using a wide variety of poetic forms – quatrains, ballads, iambic meter, rhyming lists, concrete poetry, tercets and free verse –this debut author tells the story of a nine-year-old boy’s day of fishing. Sibling rivalry, the bond between father and son, the excitement – and difficulty — of fishing all add up to a day of adventure any child would want to experience.
Matthew Cordell illuminates this novel-in-verse throughout with his energetic black-and-white line drawings.
While each poem can be read and enjoyed on its own, the poems work together to create a story arc with conflict, crisis, resolution and character growth.
The back matter of this book equips the reader with a Poet’s Tackle Box of tools and definitions for understanding the various poetic forms the author uses in this story.”
Overall I think this is a very nicely packaged poetry book for younger kids, and a brilliant introduction to the form for those new to verse novels.
Not one but TWO verse novels hit bookstores today!
GONE FISHING is about Sam, a boy who is so excited about his fishing trip with his dad that he can’t sleep the night before. When Sam’s little sister Lucy tags along at the last minute, though, Sam hopes she won’t ruin his fun. Look for a review this Thursday.
ODETTE’S SECRETS is about life for Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, where nowhere is safe. When Odette Meyer’s father is sent to a Nazi work camp, Odette’s mother takes desperate measures to protect her, sending Odette deep into the French countryside. There, Odette pretends to be a peasant girl, even posing as a Christian–and attending Catholic masses–with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets, and when the war ends Odette must figure out whether she can resume life in Paris as a Jew, or if she’s lost the connection to her former life forever. Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyer, this moving free-verse novel is a story of triumph over adversity.
What a great day for verse novels! Congratulations to both authors.