Novels in Verse

Acevedo, Elizabeth

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people... In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance -- and Papi's secrets -- the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Alexander, Kwame

Noah and his best friend Walt want to become cool, make the baseball team, and win over Sam, the girl Noah has loved for years. When Noah finds old love letters, Walt hatches a plan to woo Sam. But as Noah's love life and Walt's baseball career begin, the letters alter everything.

Atta, Dean

Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he's navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican--but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, Michael's coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs--and the Black Flamingo is born. Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are--and allow us to shine.

Browne, Mahogany L.

Picked on at home, criticized for talking trash while beating boys at basketball, and always seen as less than her best friend, a girl struggles to like and accept herself.

Crossan, Sarah

Allison runs away and, in what she thinks is an abandoned house, finds a home with Marla, an elderly woman with dementia who believes her to be an old friend named Toffee.

Culley, Betty

Five months ago, Liv's big brother, Jonah, shot himself. It was an accident. He didn't know that the gun was loaded. But the damage was done. Now he won't ever be leaving their small mill town like he planned. Jonah can't speak, can't walk, can't take care of himself at all. Their house is full of machines and nurses working around the clock to keep Jonah alive. Liv's mom is struggling to cope with the aftermath, so Liv ends up being the one to soothe Jonah when he gets agitated, to lie with him when he can't sleep, and to see the carefree brother she's sure is still inside him somewhere. Liv hasn't spoken to Clay, Jonah's best friend, since the accident, even though he lives just across the street. The gun belonged to Clay's father, and Clay was with Jonah that terrible day. With Liv's mom suing Clay's father, there are lines Liv is not supposed to cross. As their entire community chooses sides, she feels the distance between them growing every day. Liv knows that Clay is nearly as broken as Jonah. She knows his life also changed forever the same moment as Jonah's. And she refuses to turn away from Clay, just as she refuses to give up on Jonah.

Cuthew, Lucy

After school one day, Frankie, a lover of physics and astronomy, has her first sexual experience with quiet and gorgeous Benjamin - and gets her period. It's only blood, they agree. But soon a gruesome meme goes viral, turning an intimate, affectionate afternoon into something sordid, mortifying, and damaging. In the time it takes to swipe a screen, Frankie's universe implodes. Who can she trust? Not Harriet, her suddenly cruel best friend, and certainly not Benjamin, the only one who knows about the incident. As the online shaming takes on a horrifying life of its own, Frankie begins to wonder: is her real life over?

Del Rosario, Juleah

After her mother died a few years ago, Rowena and her sister, Ariana, drifted into their own corners of the world, each figuring out in their own separate ways how to exist in a world in which their mother is no longer alive. When Ariana disappears-- at night, in the middle of a snowstorm-- Row is left to piece together the mystery behind where Ariana went and why. And she comes to realize that she might be part of the reason Ariana is gone. 

Elhillo, Safia

Nima doesn't feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her suburban town, which makes her feel too much like an outsider to fit in and not enough like an outsider to feel like that she belongs somewhere else. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself. Until she doesn't. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn't give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry. And the life Nima has, the one she keeps wishing were someone else's...she might have to fight for it with a fierceness she never knew she had.

Iloh, Candice

In this novel in verse, a mixed-heritage dancer's coming of age within the African diaspora is shaped by abuse at the hands of a cousin, her mother's descent into addiction, and her father's efforts to create a Nigerian-inspired home in America.

Myers, Lily

Fifteen-year-old Ivy, feeling a lot of stress about her expanding body, her parents' divorce, and her best friend's distance, develops an eating disorder.

Phillips, Linda Vigen

Piano prodigy Claire Fairchild, 14, has always known music would be her life. So when she has the opportunity to enter a prestigious contest, she goes all in--until she realizes she's also competing against Juan, a close childhood friend and one of the most talented musicians she knows. It doesn't help that her thoughts about him are turning romantic. When Claire and her family receive a devastating blow from Batten disease her world enters a tailspin. Claire decides her musical goals no longer seem relevant. She can't reconcile the joy that music could bring to her life while her brothers succumb to an early and ugly death. Her decision puts everything at risk: her friendship with Juan, her parents' expectations, and her own happiness. After Claire accompanies a friend on a school newspaper assignment, she meets a centenarian with a surprising musical past and only one regret in life. Claire knows something in her life has to change before it's too late, but she's not sure she has the courage to take the next step.

Reynolds, Jason

As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Zoboi, Ibi Aanu

Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he's seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy ... Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal's bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art.

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