Archive | March 2013

Verse Novel Book Trailers

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:

FORGET ME NOT  by Carolee Dean:

FALLOUT by Ellen Hopkins:

CHASING BROOKLYN by Lisa Schroeder

AUDITION by Stasia Ward Kehoe


This entry was posted on March 18, 2013. 2 Comments

March Verse Novels News and Reviews: Week 2

Last week I wished someone would review the verse novel sessions at AWP and my wish came true. Holly Thompson fills us in on her blog.

Ros Barber’s THE MARLOWE PAPERS was longlisted for the Orange Prize

Tweeps discovered tweeting in verse:

tweetverse copy

Okay, not really verse novel news but still…TWEETING IN VERSE!

Sarah Crossan’s THE WEIGHT OF WATER is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal!

NIX MINUS ONE by Jill McLean is still getting great reviews. Here’s one on video:

Book Bookish interviews Cathy Ostlere about KARMA


Born Bookish reviews THE LANGUAGE INSIDE by Holly Thompson

GONE FISHING by Tamera Will Wissinger is reviewed by School Library Journal

Gone Fishing 212x300 Review: Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger

Waking Brain Cells reviews THE LIGHTNING DREAMER by Margarita Engle

lightning dreamer

The Globe & Mail reviews Anne Carson’s RED DOC>


March Verse Novel Reviews etc: Week 1

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.

Tamera Will Wissinger was interviewed  about her new book GONE FISHING by One Four Kid Lit and The Lucky 13s.

Gone Fishing

Here’s a bit of translation from Death on Rúa Augusta, a Verse Novel by Tedi López Mills courtesy of Intranslation

Muerte en la rúa Augusta

LOCOMOTION by Jacqueline Woodson is reviewed by For the Love of Books.


THE LIGHTNING DREAMER by Margarita Engle is reviewed by Books 4 Fun.

ONE OF US by Gilbert Frankau is reviewed by Reading 1900-1950

This entry was posted on March 10, 2013. 1 Comment

VerseDay #9 : GONE FISHING by Tamera Will Wissinger

Gone FishingThis week VerseDay is delighted to wish a slightly belated HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to GONE FISHING by Tamera Will Wissinger, published Tuesday from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

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.

Congratulations Tamera!

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY – GONE FISHING by Tamera Will Wissinger and ODETTE’S SECRETS by Maryann MacDonald

Not one but TWO verse novels hit bookstores today!Odette's Secrets

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.


Verse Novel Reviews etc: February Week 4

Some fun things this week, like the cover reveal for Ellen Hopkins’ SMOKE. Here it is again, in case you missed it.

Smoke (Burned, #2)

And Nikki Grimes sounding off about poetry naysayers. Go Nikki!


On to reviews:

INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai seems to be the real winner this week with reviews on LaCaze’s Library, Children’s Books Rock and Brenda’s Book Blog.

Inside Out & Back Again

Quill & Quire reviews NIX MINUS ONE by Jill McLean

Waking Brain Cells reviews ODETTE’S SECRETS by Maryann MacDonald

odettes secrets

For the Love of Books reviews LOCOMOTION by Jacqueline Woodson


The Spectator reviews LOSING IT  by Ranjit Bolt