When we say poetry or verse, a lot of people tend to get the wrong impression. It’s boring or doesn’t make sense. Maybe it’s just not your thing. I totally get feeling that way. I spent most of my life thinking just that. I read a couple of boring poems and washed my hands of the whole genre. But I think that I closed that door too soon. I’ve recently reopened it and discovered a whole new world of poetry and verse. And the stories that are told this way… brilliant. So today I’m going to share a few with you. If you dig poetry and verse already, awesome, here are a few new options. And if you don’t, well, I’d love to see hear what you think if you give one of these a shot. Let me know what you think in the comments!
This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman
So what’s it about? This is a great rhyming picture book about all kinds of different people celebrating their diversity.
What makes it queer? The celebration being documented is the annual LGBT+ Pride Parade that takes place in many towns and cities every June.
How awesome is it? This book shows how joyful Pride celebrations are. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to tell young readers what that big parade in June is about.
Addie On The Inside by James Howe
So what’s it about? This is the third book in the Misfits series and it’s Addie’s turn to tell her story. The fact that it’s written in verse, well, that’s definitely Addie for ya!
What makes it queer? While Addie is not LGBT+, one of her good friends, Joe, is. Now you can read all about Joe in prose in Totally Joe, which is #2 in the Misfits series, but since we’re looking at books in verse today, take a look at Addie’s story. She may not identify as LGBT+ but she is definitely an Ally and Joe is a big part of her story.
How awesome is it? This series sparked a national movement sponsored by GLSEN called No Name-Calling Week. It takes a pretty epic series to be able to create that kind of positive change in the world. So, yeah, this book is really flipping awesome.
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
So what’s it about? This book in verse tell the story of three teens whose lives intersect in personal and profound ways during some difficult moments.
What makes it queer? Two of the three characters who voice this novel are members of the LGBT+ community. Two queer protagonists in one book is pretty much unheard. One character is struggling with sexuality and the other is dealing with a world full of people that believe gender is fixed and binary.
How awesome is it? The writing in this book is so beautiful and engaging that, even if you’re not into poetry, you’ll be so drawn into the story that you’ll forget it’s not prose.
Well readers, I’ll readily admit that when it comes to poetry and verse written about LGBT+ characters or with LGBT+ themes, it can be tough to find plenty of examples, especially for young people. But take a look at the ones above and, if you know of any others, hit me up in the comments. I love getting new book suggestions. Until next time, happy reading!