Shari Green's Favorite Verse Novels

Shari Green's Favorite Verse Novels

When I offered to write a post for verse novel week, I thought I’d review three of my favorite verse novels. Easy, right? And then … I flipped through my reading journals to choose which books I wanted to highlight, and I realized how hard it was going to be to narrow it down to three!

(Granted, this is a very good problem—so many great verse novels out there!) 

So, no top three. Maybe I could focus on a single stand-out? Or maybe go for something old and something new (something borrowed? --thanks, Vancouver Island Regional Library--something blue?).

Now, down to the deadline wire, I’ve put away my reading journal, closed my “Verse Novels I’ve Read and Loved” Word file, and decided to go with three books that came to mind for three different reasons. To all the other verse novels I’ve loved before, I’m sorry … I still love you … but today, these three:

1. HEARTBEAT, by Sharon Creech

This is one of the first verse novels I remember reading. I was struck by the great use of white space, pacing, repetition, and rhythm that was bound to pull in even reluctant readers.

2. FORGET ME NOT, by Carolee Dean

With this one, what stood out for me was the variety of poetic forms used to tell the story. It inspired me to try more structured forms myself—to spend more time playing with words and poetry.  

3. MY BOOK OF LIFE BY ANGEL, by Martine Leavitt

What came to mind with this one is how well it handled such difficult subject matter. The journal-like verse made this dark and important story accessible.

Three terrific novels that highlight three of the many reasons verse novels are so awesome! And in case you didn’t notice … I snuck in a half-dozen of the other verse novels I’ve loved reading over the past couple years. Check out the links in the intro paragraphs. If you haven’t read these ones, I hope you’ll check them out! 

Which verse novels do you love?

Shari Green writes YA and MG fiction—sometimes in verse, sometimes not. When she’s not glued to her laptop or curled up with a book, Shari can often be found wandering in a blissful daze on the beach near her home on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Visit her online at or follow her on twitter @sharigreen.

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