A selection of the many new and forthcoming YA and middle grade works in verse.
Ain’t Burned All the Bright
Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin. Atheneum/Dlouhy, out now, ages 12–up
“Author Reynolds and artist Griffin, friends and previous collaborators, explore recent events in America through a poetic multimedia partnership,” our starred review said, noting Reynolds’s “spare lines” and Griffin’s “captivating collages.”
Marilyn Nelson. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, out now, ages 14–up
“Nelson gives voice to the Black sculptor Augusta Savage (1892–1962), a key Harlem Renaissance figure,” PW’s starred review said. “Written primarily in the first person, moving poems convey Savage’s artistic ‘hunger/ to pull something out of yourself.’ ”
Meg Grehan. Little Island, May, ages 14–up
Grehan, author of the YA verse novels The Space Between and The Deepest Breath, explores LGBTQ identity and desire in the story of a vampire, Imma, who falls in love with Claudia, who is human.
Reem Faruqi. HarperCollins, Feb., ages 8–12
“A teen of Pakistani descent faces her penchant for ‘borrowing’ things and navigates puberty-related changes,” per PW’s review, which praised the novel for having “a well-characterized, flawed heroine and a lot of heart.”
Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr., ages 10–14
A punk rock–loving white boy with autism and an artistic Afro-Latinx kid befriend each other in 1980s Brooklyn in this verse novel by Elliott, author of the Caldecott Honor title A Place Inside of Me, and Miller-Lachmann, coauthor of the forthcoming She Persisted: Temple Grandin.
The Name She Gave Me
Betty Culley. HarperTeen, June, ages 13–up
An adopted teenager seeks out her birth family and learns she has a biological sister in foster care two towns away. Culley’s previous books include the YA novel in verse Three Things I Know Are True.
Singing with Elephants
Margarita Engle. Viking, June, ages 8–12
Pura Belpré Award winner Engle imagines a friendship between an 11-year-old Cuban American girl in Santa Barbara, Calif., and poet Gabriela Mistral, who lived in the beach town in the 1940s and was the first Latin American winner of a Nobel Prize for Literature.
Turn the Tide
Elaine Dimopoulos. Clarion, Mar., ages 8–12
When 12-year-old Mimi’s family moves from Massachusetts to Florida, she’s alarmed by the pollution she sees on the beaches. She takes inspiration from the real-life Wijsen sisters, young climate activists in Bali, and forms a kid-led movement to ban plastic bags.
Mahogany L. Browne. Crown, out now, 14–up
After a violent incident with her boyfriend, Angel is sent from her California home to live with her uncle in New York, where she finds a new group of friends and a passion for Black literature. Our starred review said Browne “portray[s] with nuance a group of Brooklyn teens unpacking their traumas and finding their joy.”