You Asked, We Answered: Poetry

December 11th, 2016 by

On October 30, 2016, Kidsmomo reader Aaron asked us for book recommendations based on his interests:

Is poetry nonfiction and fiction ? What is a good poetry book ?

Aaron, thank you for sending in your questions! Let’s go in order:

Is poetry nonfiction and fiction? Yes, it can be either! Poetry is really just a form for telling a story or sharing a message. In other words, it’s the content of the poem that determines whether it’s nonfiction or fiction. For example, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai are both books written in verse, both about girls growing up in the United States in the past. But Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir about the author’s real life, while Inside Out and Back Again tells a fictional story. That makes Brown Girl Dreaming nonfiction and Inside Out and Back Again fiction, even though both books are in verse.

Brown Girl Dreaming_ Jacqueline Woodson     inside-out-and-back-again

But if you’re just trying to figure out where to find poetry books at the library or bookstore, there’s usually a section specifically for books that are collections of poems, like Laugh-eteria and Bing Bang Boing by Douglas Florian.


Of course, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, we can help with that too! That leads us to your second question: What is a good poetry book?

To start, check out our Books for Poetry Month blog post, which includes our personal picks:

  • A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka (Karen’s pick)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (Nancy’s pick)


a-kick-in-the-head   where-the-sidewalk-ends

You can also hear us talking about these books in the podcast episode, “Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue.”

Of course, Kidsmomo is all about connecting young readers with each other. So instead of just getting book recommendations from old fogeys like Karen and Nancy, check out these Reviews by You(th):

LoveThatDog-SharonCreech  hate-that-cat  A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Aaron, we hope that gives you some good ideas for your next read!

To the rest of you: If you’re like Aaron and want some customized book recommendations just for you, submit an Ask Kidsmomo question in the form below!

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