YA Novels in Verse

Books written in new and different ways: verse and poetry, as well as music-themed stories, across genres and interest levels. 

Compiled by:
Tyana H. & Fern S.
Abuela, Don't Forget Me

Rex Ogle
(Teen Nonfiction - 921 Ogle Ogl)

In this novel-in-verse, Ogle captures and celebrates the powerful presence a woman he could always count on—to give him warm hugs and ear kisses, to teach him precious words in Spanish, to bring him to the library where he could take out as many books as he wanted, and to offer safety when darkness closed in.

An Appetite for Miracles

Laekan Zea Kemp
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Kemp)

Danna's grandfather is slowly losing himself as his memories fade, and she's not sure her plan to help him remember will be enough to bring him back. Raúl has been lost ever since his mother was wrongly incarcerated, playing guitar for the elderly has been his only escape. When Danna and Raúl meet, sparks fly immediately and they embark on a mission to heal her grandfather and themselves.

Ariel Crashes a Train

Olivia A. Cole
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Cole)

Ariel grapples with her fear of her own mind and violent fantasies, driven by her desire to meet her parents' expectations and societal norms, until a summer job at a carnival leads her to new friends who help her discover her struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and find acceptance and support for her true self.

Baby Teeth

Meg Grehan
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Grehan)

It starts when Claudia offers Immy a yellow rose. Immy has been in love before—many times, across many lifetimes. But never as deeply, as intensely as this. Claudia has never been in love this before either. But then, this is her first time with a vampire.

The Black Flamingo

Dean Atta
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Atta)

Michael has navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican, but never quite feels Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, his coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in.

The Boy Lost in the Maze

Joseph Coelho
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Coelho)

In Ancient Greece, Theseus makes a dangerous and courageous journey to find his father, finally meeting the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. While Theo, a modern-day teenage boy, finds himself on a maze-like quest to find his own father.

Clap When You Land

Elizabeth Acevedo
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Acevedo)

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.

Enter the Body

Joy McCullough
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mccullo)

In the room beneath a theater stage, the ghosts of Juliet, Ophelia, Cordelia, and other teenage girls who died tragically in Shakespeare's plays, share their experiences and trauma and get the chance to retell the stories of their lives in their own terms.

Every Body Looking

Candice Iloh
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Iloh)

A multi-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. Will she find the courage to shape a life of her own?

Forever is Now

Mariama J. Lockington
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Locking)

When Sadie, a Black bisexual recluse, develops agoraphobia the summer before her junior year, she relies on her best friend, family, and therapist to overcome her fears.

Lawless Spaces

Corey Ann Haydu
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Haydu)

While a highly publicized sexual assault case threatens to destroy her and her mother, Mimi tries to understand their tense relationship by reaching out to the women of her maternal line through the journals they all kept.

Louder Than Hunger

John Schu
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Schu)

Jake volunteers at a nursing home because he likes helping people. He also likes avoiding people his own age, and the cruelty of mirrors, and food. But the less he eats, the bigger he feels. How long can Jake punish himself before he truly disappears?

A Million Quiet Revolutions

Robin Gow
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Gow)

Two trans boys in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, struggling to understand themselves and their love for each other, are inspired by an online story about trans soldiers who fell in love during the American Revolution.

The Name She Gave Me

Betty Culley
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Culley)

Rynn was born with a hole in her heart--literally. Although it was fixed long ago, she still feels an emptiness there when she wonders about her birth family. As her relationship with her adoptive mother fractures, Rynn finally decides she needs to know more about the rest of her family.

Nothing Burns as Bright as You

Ashley Woodfolk
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Woodfol)

A novel in verse that captures the unbalanced experience of an all-consuming love between two unnamed, queer, Black teen girls who move rapidly from strangerhood into a protective best friendship before becoming dysfunctional lovers and mutually destructive partners in crime.

Other Words for Home

Jasmine Warga
(Juvenile Fiction – J Warga)

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.

Poisoned Apples

Christine Heppermann
(Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Hep)

Christine Heppermann's powerful collection of free verse poems explore how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends–as consumers, objects, and competitors. Based on classic fairy tale characters and tropes.

Punching the Air

Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Zoboi)

At just 16 years old, Amal's bright future is upended; he's 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 art. This never should have been his story. But, can he change it?

Saints of the Household

Ari Tison
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Tison)

When brothers Max and Jay help a classmate in trouble, they struggle with the consequences of their violent actions and worry they may be more like their abusive father than they thought, so the brothers turn to their Bribri roots to find their way forward.

Saving Red

Sonya Sones
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Sones)

Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica's annual homeless count. But when she ends up meeting Red, a homeless girl, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for Christmas.


Laurie Halse Anderson
(Adult Nonfiction - 811.54 And)

Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts.


Kwame Alexander
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Alexand)

Seventeen-year-old Blade endeavors to resolve painful issues from his past and navigate the challenges of his former rock star father's addictions, scathing tabloid rumors, and a protected secret that threatens his own identity.


Rebecca Caprara
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Caprara)

Arachne turns to weaving for solace, but when word spreads of her skill she is confronted by the goddess Athena and the two enter a weaving contest that results in transformation and redemption.

Thirty Talks Weird Love

Alessandra Narváez-Varela
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Narvaez)

In Cuidad Juárez, Mexico in 1999, where kidnapping of girls and women is common, a woman approaches thirteen-year-old Anamaria claiming to be her future self, offering advice and requesting help.

A Time to Dance

Padma Venkatraman
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Venkatr)

In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.

Vinyl Moon

Mahogany L Browne
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Browne)

When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him. But five weeks after the incident, Angel finds herself in Brooklyn, far from her family, from him, and from the California life she has known. The only place that makes sense is Ms. G's class. There, Angel's classmates share their own stories of pain, joy, and fortitude.

The Watch That Ends the Night

Allan Wolf
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Wolf)

A recreation of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finds first love, the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others–including the iceberg itself.

We are All So Good at Smiling

Amber McBride
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mcbride)

When hospitalized for her clinical depression, Whimsy connects with a boy named Faerry, who also suffers from the traumatic loss of a sibling, and together they work to unearth buried memories and battle the fantastical physical embodiment of their depression.

White Rose

Kip Wilson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Wilson)

Sophie Scholl, a young German college student, challenges the Nazi regime during World War II as part of the White Rose, a non-violent resistance group.

Wings in the Wild

Margarita Engle
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Engle)

When a hurricane exposes Soleida's family's secret sculpture garden, the Cuban government arrests her artist parents, forcing her to escape alone to Central America where she meets Dariel, and together they work to protect the environment and bring attention to the imprisoned artists in Cuba.