Novels in Verse for Teens

A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians

by Lisa Krok


A comprehensive resource for using novels in verse in classrooms and libraries.

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Cover image for Novels in Verse for Teens

February 2020

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 190
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Children's and Young Adult Services/Readers' Advisory Services
  Children's and Young Adult Collection Management/Literature, Lists and Special Collections
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This valuable guide advises teachers and librarians how to use novels in verse in functional, hands-on ways with teens, including reluctant readers.

Novels in verse are popular and have recently won some important awards. They are of great value to teachers and librarians as a way of reaching all teens, including marginalized teens and those who may be struggling or reluctant readers. This guide shows readers how to pair books with teens based on their needs, interests, and specific situations. After teens are paired with books, this guide suggests activities to further engage them with the poetry. Activities are tied to Common Core and AASL standards for ease of lesson planning for teachers.

Verse novels address a widely diverse demographic and a variety of topics, including various cultures, religions, racism, LGBTQ+ themes, mental illness, poverty, homelessness, sexual assault, self-harm/suicide, domestic violence, family dynamics, disabilities, refugees, English language learners, and more.

Novels in verse provide a more modern, practical alternative to some older classics that may not appeal to many teens or that may intimidate them by their sheer number of words per page. This book provides a one-stop resource for choosing and using novels in verse with teen readers.


  • Helps librarians reach struggling and/or reluctant readers across a broad demographic
  • Provides a way for librarian to engage and empower teens with literature
  • Offers an alternative to using traditional classics that may not hold appeal for many teens
  • Connects to Common Core and AASL standards for ease of lesson planning
Author Info

Lisa Krok, MLIS, MEd, is adult and teen services manager at Morley Library in the Cleveland, Ohio, area and a former teacher. She is a regular presenter at the Virginia Hamilton Multicultural Literature Conference, and her passion is reaching marginalized teens and reluctant readers through young adult literature. She is proud to be a part of the #DiversityJedi. Krok was appointed to the 2018 and 2019 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers teams, which earned her a 2018 YALSA Volunteer of the Year Award. She writes for School Library Journal's Teen Librarian Toolbox and has also blogged for American Libraries magazine and YALSA's The Hub.

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Tech-Savvy Reading Promotion cover imagePromoting Great Reads to Improve Teen Reading cover imageEncountering Enchantment cover image

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