National Poetry Month begins with April Fools’ Day. Coincidence? Perhaps not. These three books for young readers goof, spoof and are rarely, if ever, aloof. They make poetry and reading as easy as breathing, and also a lot of fun.
Little Poems for Tiny Ears is a sweet and gentle collection of verse for babies, toddlers and parents observing their first milestones. It’s a quiet celebration of things like discovering one’s own toes, learning to walk, count and find all the ways one’s body makes noise.
BookPage Children's Top Pick, April 2014
“Work smart / Live smarter / Play hard / Practice harder / Love, Dad” The Crossover is a novel-in-verse, with long flows of prose that spill out a tale of family, love, loss and basketball.
Heather Nill is living a dead-end life in a washed-up town. Prospects are so grim that the high school kids’ best hope of escaping is through a legendary game called Panic. Everyone pays in, and there can be only one winner, but it's not just a matter of facing down your worst fears—the stakes can be life or death.
Casey Snowden lives for baseball, almost literally—his dad and granddad run a school for umpires, where Casey and his best friend Zeke spend all their time. It helps Casey forget his absent mother, who keeps calling to re-establish visitation, and provides inspiration for his future career as an award-winning sportswriter.
The Mirk and Midnight Hour blends historical romance, suspense and the paranormal into a novel that’s a Southern Gothic tale at heart.
No part of Malcolm X’s life was free from conflict and contradiction, including his childhood. Raised in a spiritual and pacifist home, Malcolm grew up to espouse a more violent philosophy in pursuit of social justice and died violently himself. Malcolm Little tells the story of his early years as part of a large, loving family whose lives were torn apart by racial aggression. This lovely, inspiring book reveals how young Malcolm was able to draw on inner resources to find himself.
Harbinger “Harry” Jones was in a childhood accident that left him externally scarred and broken inside. When he meets Johnny, their friendship leads to a spontaneous decision to form a band, which brings Harry out of his shell. Their burgeoning popularity is a pleasant surprise, but it opens up a subtle rift with his best friend. As The Scar Boys gain in popularity, their future grows ever less certain.
Here’s a neat trick: a dual-authored story about two prospective college roommates who never meet over the course of the novel. Roomies tells Elizabeth (“E.B.”) and Lauren’s stories through the emails they send during their last summers at home. For E.B., the move is cross-country, away from her single mom and soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, and toward the gay dad who abandoned...
Chasing Shadows opens with an act of violence that is startling in its realism. When Corey and his twin sister Holly are shot by a stranger, he dies and she is left in a coma, straddling the surreal Shadowlands and her real life in a hospital bed. Savitri—Corey’s girlfriend and Holly’s best friend—is racked with guilt, leading her to take more and more dangerous chances....