Books in Verse for 3rd-6th Grade

Alexander, Kwame

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Atkins, Jeannine

A biographical novel in verse of three different girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.

Baron, Chris

Etan has stopped speaking since his mother left. His father and grandfather don't know how to help him. His friends have given up on him. When Etan is asked to deliver a grocery order to the outskirts of town, he realizes he's at the home of Malia Agbayani, also known as the creature. Malia stopped going to school when her acute eczema spread to her face, and the bullying became too much. Soon, other kids tease Etan for being friends with the creature. But he believes he might have a cure for Malia's condition, if only he can convince his family and hers to believe it, too. Even if it works, will these two outcasts find where they fit in?

Bruchac, Joseph

Twelve-year-old Malian lives with her grandparents on a Wabanaki reservation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creech, Sharon

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

Dimopoulos, Elaine

The Laskarises' relocation to Wilford Island, Florida, is a big key change for Mimi ... Then her science teacher, Ms. Miller, shows her class a TED Talk by Melati and Isabel Wijsen. At ages twelve and ten, they lobbied to ban single-use plastic bags on their home island of Bali--and won. Their story strikes a chord for Mimi. She's twelve. Could a kid like her make such a big change in a place that she's not yet sure feels like home?

Engle, Margarita

Lonely Cuban-born eleven-year-old Oriol lives in Santa Barbara, California, where she enjoys caring for injured animals, but her budding friendship with Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature, emboldens Oriol, an aspiring writer, to open up and create a world of words for herself.

Everman, Cookie Hiponia

Through a bedtime story to her daughters, a woman weaves together her immigration story and Pilipino mythology. Includes glossary, songs, and author's note.

Faruqi, Reem

Young Nurah reluctantly moves with her family from Karachi, Pakistan, to Peachtree City, Georgia, but, after some ups and downs, begins to feel at home.

Fipps, Lisa

Bullied and shamed her whole life for being fat, twelve-year-old Ellie finally gains the confidence to stand up for herself, with the help of some wonderful new allies.

Fritz, Joanne Rossmassler

Twelve-year-old Maddie, who suffers from anxiety, loves music, math, and everything in its place, but when her older brother Strum disappears from his college campus, her family starts slipping away from her.

Grehan, Meg

Struggling with her feelings for a female classmate, an eleven-year-old Irish girl tries to confide in her mother, the person she trusts most in the world.

Grimes, Nikki

Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading--anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also obese, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey's life changes.

Hesse, Karen

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

Hilton, Marilyn

In 1969 twelve-year-old Mimi and her family move to an all-white town in Vermont, where Mimi's mixed-race background and interest in "boyish" topics like astronomy make her feel like an outsider.

Holt, K. A.

A novel in verse about Kevin's journey from bully to being bullied, as he learns about friendship, family, and his talent for poetry.

Hood, Susan

In 1940, a group of British children, their escorts, and some sailors struggle to survive in a lifeboat when the ship taking them to safety in Canada is torpedoed.

Lai, Thanhha

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

LaRocca, Rajani

A heartbreakingly hopeful #ownvoices novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia.

Latham, Irene

A robodog, D-39, and his human friends discover challenges, danger, and the strength to persevere in this war and survival dystopian novel in verse about friendship and family.

Mills, Claudia

Best friends and sixth-graders Bumble and Lizard go on a quest to save the severely endangered language, Guernésiais, partly to impress Bumble's linguist mother.

Orgill, Roxane

It is the summer of 1775. The British occupy Boston and its busy harbor, holding residents captive and keeping a strong military foothold. The threat of smallpox looms, and the town is cut off, even from food supplies. Following the battles of Lexington and Concord, Congress unanimously elects George Washington commander in chief of the American armed forces, and he is sent to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to transform the ragtag collection of volunteer militiamen into America's first army. The war has so far been little more than a series of intermittent skirmishes, but Washington is in constant fear of attack--until he takes the offensive with results that surprise everyone, the British most of all.

Patterson, James

Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to ... [imagine] his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing.

Ross, Gary

Bartholomew Biddle's life has always been pretty ordinary, but when a huge wind blows past his window one night, he feels the call of adventure, grabs his bedsheet and starts flying. Soon he's soaring far above his little town, heading wherever the wind takes him. But will he be able to find his way home again?

Salazar, Aida

Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican Indian is uncomfortable about her approaching period, and the changes that are happening to her body; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion--until she finds out that her best friend Magda is contemplating an even more profound change of life.

Schlitz, Laura Amy

In a warlike land of wind and sunlight, "ringed by a restless sea," live Rhaskos and Melisto, spiritual twins with little in common beyond the violent and mysterious forces that dictate their lives. A Thracian slave in a Greek household, Rhaskos is as common as clay, a stable boy worth less than a donkey, much less a horse. Wrenched from his mother at a tender age, he nurtures in secret, aided by Socrates, his passions for art and philosophy. Melisto is a spoiled aristocrat, a girl as precious as amber but willful and wild. She'll marry and be tamed--the curse of all highborn girls--but risk her life for a season first to serve Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Bound by destiny, Melisto and Rhaskos--Amber and Clay--never meet in the flesh. By the time they do, one of them is a ghost. But the thin line between life and death is just one boundary their unlikely friendship crosses.

Solter, Sonja

Over the course of a year, ten-year-old Tori endures a difficult and emotional journey after revealing that she has been sexually abused by her uncle.

Spinelli, Eileen

Twelve-year-old Birdie Briggs loves birds. They bring her comfort when she thinks about her dad, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Life without her dad isn't easy, but at least Birdie still has Mom and Maymee, and her friends Nina and Martin. But then Maymee gets a boyfriend, Nina and Martin start dating, and Birdie's mom starts seeing a police officer. And suddenly not even her beloved birds can lift Birdie's spirits. Her world is changing, and Birdie wishes things would go back to how they were before. But maybe change, painful as it is, can be beautiful too.

Warga, Jasmine

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

Weatherford, Carole

I WANT YOU! says the poster of Uncle Sam. But if you're a young black man in 1940, he doesn't want you in the cockpit of a war plane. Yet you are determined not to let that stop your dream of flying.

So when you hear of a civilian pilot training program at Tuskegee Institute, you leap at the chance. Soon you are learning engineering and mechanics, how to communicate in code, how to read a map. At last the day you've longed for is here: you are flying!

From training days in Alabama to combat on the front lines in Europe, this is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the groundbreaking African-American pilots of World War II. In vibrant second-person poems, Carole Boston Weatherford teams up for the first time with her son, artist Jeffery Weatherford, in a powerful and inspiring book that allows readers to fly, too. 

Woodson, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.