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Celebrating National Poetry Month with Teens

Create a couplet. Start a stanza. Rhyme or compose a line. April is National Poetry Month and Teen Poetry is an integral part of this amazing art form. So write a poem, express yourself and if you’re looking for some inspiration check out these teen-centric poetry titles.


Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
Amazon Says: Before the legend of Billie Holiday, there was a girl named Eleanora. In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know h more...
Amazon Says: Before the legend of Billie Holiday, there was a girl named Eleanora. In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing. Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Billie Holiday sang as if she had lived each lyric, and in many ways she had. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan's metamorphosis into Billie Holiday. The author examines the singer's young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion in this Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner. With stunning art by Floyd Cooper, this book provides a revealing look at a cultural icon. less...
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Amazon Says: WINNER OF A 2013 STONEWALL HONOR! A masterful poetic exploration of the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder on the world. On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twen more...
Amazon Says: WINNER OF A 2013 STONEWALL HONOR! A masterful poetic exploration of the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder on the world. On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. Gay Awareness Week was beginning at the University of Wyoming, and the keynote speaker was Lesléa Newman, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies. Shaken, the author addressed the large audience that gathered, but she remained haunted by Matthew’s murder. October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. More than a decade later, this stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember, and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life. less...
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Burned by Ellen Hopkins
Amazon Says: I do know things really began to spin out of control after my first sex dream. It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, more...
Amazon Says: I do know things really began to spin out of control after my first sex dream. It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation. This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it? It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know. Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same. In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn's story will have readers engrossed until the very last word. less...
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Amazon Says: This collection of original stories and poems provides rare insight into the minds of adolescent African American boys. There’s Tow-Kaye, getting married at age seventeen to more...
Amazon Says: This collection of original stories and poems provides rare insight into the minds of adolescent African American boys. There’s Tow-Kaye, getting married at age seventeen to the love of his life, who’s pregnant. James writes in his diary about his twin brother’s terrible secret, while Tyler explains what it’s like to be a player with the ladies. And Eric takes us on a tour of North Philly on the Fourth of July, when the heat could make a guy go crazy. Sharon G. Flake’s talent for telling it like it is will leave readers thinking differently, feeling deeply, and definitely wanting more. less...
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Amazon Says: They are inspiring talented stunning remarkable wiseThey are also fearless depressed hilarious impatient in love out of love pissed offAnd they want you to let them in. more...
Amazon Says: They are inspiring talented stunning remarkable wiseThey are also fearless depressed hilarious impatient in love out of love pissed offAnd they want you to let them in. less...
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The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
Amazon Says: Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility— it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the ai more...
Amazon Says: Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility— it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead. As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world’s devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us. Enter The Realm of Possibility and meet a boy whose girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield; a girl who loves the boy who wears all black; a boy with the perfect body; and a girl who writes love songs for a girl she can’t have. These are just a few of the captivating characters readers will get to know in this intensely heartfelt new novel about those ever-changing moments of love and heartbreak that go hand-in-hand with high school. David Levithan plumbs the depths of teenage emotion to create an amazing array of voices that readers won’t forget. So, enter their lives and prepare to welcome the realm of possibility open to us all. Love, joy, and these stories will linger. less...
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Amazon Says: It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. more...
Amazon Says: It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps. So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her. Black, white, Cuban, Spanish—Rosa does her best for everyone. Yet who can heal a country so torn apart by war? Acclaimed poet Margarita Engle has created another breathtaking portrait of Cuba. The Surrender Tree is a 2009 Newbery Honor Book, the winner of the 2009 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and the 2009 Bank Street - Claudia Lewis Award, and a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
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Amazon Says: From an acclaimed anthologist comes this unforgettable collection of one hundred poems by teenagers, capturing the vertigo-inducing realm of romantic love. "But what I more...
Amazon Says: From an acclaimed anthologist comes this unforgettable collection of one hundred poems by teenagers, capturing the vertigo-inducing realm of romantic love. "But what I'll really mean is are you ready to dive in? This is not falling, this is landing." — From "Gift" by Portia Carryer, age 16 The poets are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender. They live next door or across an ocean; they are innocent or experienced; their lyric explorations range from new love to stale love, obsession to ennui, ecstasy to heartbreak, and every nuance in between. Whether the romantic escapades described are touching, comical, or tragic, whether the feelings expressed are tender and sweet or brutal and biting, readers will find the love these young poets openly share to be exquisitely, excruciatingly, endlessly fascinating. Here is a collection to turn to again and again, because life and love keep on changing. less...
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Amazon Says: As a child, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon. Her daughter, Rose, thought those stories might make a good book, and the two created the belo more...
Amazon Says: As a child, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon. Her daughter, Rose, thought those stories might make a good book, and the two created the beloved Little House series. Sara Breedlove, the daughter of former slaves, wanted everything to be different for her own daughter, A’Lelia. Together they built a million-dollar beauty empire for women of color. Marie Curie became the first person in history to win two Nobel prizes in science. Inspired by her mother, Irène too became a scientist and Nobel prize winner. Borrowed Names is the story of these extraordinary mothers and daughters. Borrowed Names is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
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Amazon Says: Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you a more...
Amazon Says: Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book. Poetry can be life altering. It can be gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking. And it's meant to be experienced, so we've included a CD on which you'll hear 44 poems, 39 of which are original recordings-you'll only find them here. You'll hear poets both classic and contemporary, well-known and refreshingly new, including: --Dana Gioia expresses the hunger of a "Vampire's Serenade" --Elizabeth Alexander waits for that second kiss in "Zodiac" --Langston Hughes flings his arms wide in "Dream Variations" --Marilyn Nelson reads to her class in "How I Discovered Poetry" --Paul Muldoon's poem "Sideman," brought loudly to life by the band Rackett --And 39 more poems that are immediate and vibrant From Lucille Clifton's "Here Yet Be Dragons" to Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" to "Tia Chucha," by Luis J. Rodriguez, Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you. If you're lucky, it'll serve as a gateway to a lifetime lived with poetry. At the very least, it'll be a good time. Dive in, and happy hunting. less...
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