Hey there and welcome to Feature Shelf, a series that provides book recommendations based on theme or title suggestions. This week’s shelf was actually inspired by the historical fiction edition. I am the (book) supplier and this is Feature Shelf #26, the Novels in Verse Edition.
I found a number of titles when putting together the first Historical Fiction Edition that were historical fiction novels in verse. Because there were so many, I decided to do a separate novels in verse edition to highlight a number of those novels, as well as others written this way. So today’s Feature Shelf has five novels, whose narrative is told through a series of poems.
First on our shelf this week is Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. Kek is an African refugee whose first experience with snow leaves him hoping that the people in the US aren’t cold like the weather. He misses his family: a father and brother who died and a mother who is missing. As he waits for word about his mom, he he gradually makes friends and tries to become accustomed to his new home.
Matt Pin, the narrator of All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg is a Vietnamese boy who has been adopted by an American family. It’s been two years since he left a Vietnam ravaged by war, but he’s still haunted by what happened there and what he left behind. He’s also dealing with the hatred of those around him, those who blame him for a war he didn’t cause.
Addie on the Inside by James Howe is a companion to The Misfits which made an appearance in Feature Shelf #21, “The Conformity Edition.” In Addie on the Inside, Addie is still as outspoken and headstrong as she was in The Misfits. She’s also struggling with identity — between who she wants to be, and who she thinks other people want her to be. Addie’s poetry will draw readers into her seventh grade year and the seventh grade experience, from teasing and dating, and friendship, to caring about events in the world that are larger than she is.
Like Matt in All the Broken Pieces, Ha, the narrator of Inside Out and Back Again, is from Vietnam. But unlike All the Broken Pieces, Ha’s story begins in Vietnam, and her narrative poems describe her life there. Because of war, she and her family move to the United States. Having the juxtaposition of the Vietnam to the US helps readers empathize with the culture shock that goes along with moving from one life to another.
Last on the shelf is the sole YA title: Burned by Ellen Hopkins. Pattyn Von Stratten grew up in a religious household. A very religious household. So when she’s caught in a compromising position with a boy, she’s shipped off to rural Nevada to live with an aunt she’s never met. It’s here that she can confront the issues of growing up in the household she did, and come to the realization that she is, in fact, worthy of love.
So some great novels in verse: Home of the Brave, Addie on the Inside, All the Broken Pieces, Burned and Inside Out and Back Again.
And that’s it for this episode. For the Feature Shelf archives and show notes, both video and podcast, or to request your own Feature Shelf check out thebooksupplier.com/featureshelf. You can also send me requests on Facebook or Twitter at thebooksupplier (all one word) or an email at thebooksupplier at gmail dot com.
I’m going to leave you there now, dear readers. Thanks for listening to Feature Shelf #26: The Novels in Verse Edition. As always, I am the supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.
Thus endeth this episode of Feature Shelf. I hope you found something on it that piques your interest. If not, and you’d like to request your own Feature Shelf you can do so by leaving me a comment here, or by sending me an email through the contact page at http://thebooksupplier.com. Thanks for watching Feature Shelf #26, the Novels In Verse Edition. I am the (book) supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.