Up until this year, the only novel in verse I have ever read is Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust, which I thought was rich and engaging, but for some reason I haven’t picked up another verse novel since, until I heard about May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. May B. has been compared to the Little House on the Prairie books.
And then of course Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai won the Newbery Honor and National book award, and I drank that up as well.
Both of these stories are powerful and important in their own ways—one of a girl stranded on the prairie in winter, and the other of a girl thrown into a foreign world, where some of her challenges in America seem more painful than the war in her homeland of Saigon. It can’t be denied that part of their power comes from their format. What I find so amazing is that so much depth and and feeling can be crammed into so few words, but I suppose that is the power of poetry. The verse style makes them quick and powerful. Every word sinks in and holds meaning. Nothing is wasted. The words are few, but in the end, I think these books filled me with more power and meaning than many other books with ten times more words.
What verse novels have you enjoyed?