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In Odyssey Award Honor title The Poet X, Xiomara gives power to her thoughts by turning them into poems. Audiobooks are an ideal format for experiencing poetry and poetic thinkers, and these 10 titles are bound to inspire young poets of all ages.
Bull. By David Elliot. Read by Cherise Boothe and Korey Jackson. 2017. Recorded Books, CD, $25.75 (9781501966583). Gr. 9–12.
A mythology-inspired poetic work illustrates how poetry and spoken word—with a hip-hop cadence—are a logical entry point for the classics.
Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix. By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee. Read by Man One and June Jo Lee. 2018. 30m. Live Oak, CD, $31.95 (9781430131007). Gr. 1–4.
In this picture-book read-along, spoken-word poetry celebrating food is enhanced by production qualities that emphasize the rhythm and nuance of verse.
Crazy Messy Beautiful. By Carrie Arcos. Read by Michael Crouch. 2017. 7hr. Listening Library, CD, $40 (9781524749781). Gr. 8–11.
Neruda, named for the poet, is a romantic. Crouch evokes the teen’s spirit as he finds his voice . . . in portraiture.
Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths. By Marilyn Singer. Read by the author and Joe Morton. 2017. 30min. Live Oak, CD, $12.95 (9781430126904). Gr. 1–4.
With Singer’s clever “reverso” form of poetry, words become a puzzle, a kind of art, a mystery, and a treasure. That the poems are about Greek myths only increases the intrigue.
Garvey’s Choice. By Nikki Grimes. Read by James Shippy and Imani Parks. 2017. 1hr. Recorded Books, CD, $15.75 (9781501938634). Gr. 4–6.
Grimes’ choice of the tanka—a strict, syllable-bound form—complements the restrictions that astronomy-loving Garvey feels as he is bound by his father’s athletic expectations of him.
Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case. By Patricia Powell. Read by Adenrele Ojo and MacLeod Andrews. 2017. 3hr. Dreamscape, CD, $39.99 (9781520052625). Gr. 7–10.
Nonfiction topics can shine in poetic form, too! Ojo and Andrews voice the biracial couple who fought for and won the right to marry.
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess. By Shari Green. Read by Tara Sands. 2018. 2.5hr. Dreamscape, CD, $39.99 (9781974907281). Gr. 3–6.
In this novel in free verse, a notebook and fingerspelling allow octogenarian Iris to communicate with sixth-grader Macy, who is deaf.
Pride. By Ibi Zoboi. Read by Elizabeth Acevedo. 2018. 6.5hr. Harper, DD, $20.99 (9780062855046). Gr. 9–12.
Acevedo, author and narrator of The Poet X, captures Zuri’s experience living between cultures and using language to carve her place in the world.
Shout. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Read by the author. 2019. 3.5hr. Listening Library, CD, $30 (9781984843593). Gr. 9–12.
Anderson follows up her landmark Speak with this volume of poetry, inspired by both personal history and reader responses to her work.
Swing. By Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. Read by Kwame Alexander. 2018. 4.5hr. Blink, CD, $15.99 (9780310761921). Gr. 9–12.
Free-verse and found poetry are read by Alexander in this novel in verse about friendship, love, and tragedy.
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