#CybilsAwards Backlist Book List: Verse Novels

verse novels YA

Gary Anderson Young Adult Fiction ChairWe’re turning over the Backlist Book List reigns to Gary Anderson, who chairs the Young Adult Fiction category.  He has some recommendations for verse novels that, like Cybils 2020 Finalist Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, deal with tough contemporary societal issues. As Gary explains:

This is not poetry for the butterflies and sunflowers set but tough stories told in verse that will both challenge readers and let them know that young adult authors are listening to and responding to their concerns.

These are not *just* fictional stories. They are personal journies as well. Gary says, “One of the best works on the list is an autobiography.”

If you’ve never read a “novel in verse” or aren’t sure you will like it, then this list is for you: reader nominated, reader recommended.

Blood Moon Lucy CuthewBlood Moon
by Lucy Cuthew
2020 Submission
Young Adult Fiction
Every Body Looking Candice IlohEvery Body Looking
by Candice Iloh
2020 Nominee
Young Adult Fiction
Kent State Deborah WilesKent State
by Deborah Wiles
2020  Nominee
Young Adult Fiction
The Land of the Cranes Aida SalazarThe Land of the Cranes
by Aida Salazar
2020 Finalist
Middle Grade Fiction
People Kill People Ellen HopkinsPeople Kill People
Ellen Hopkins
2018 Nominee
Punching the Air Ibi Zoboi Yusef SaalemPunching the Air
by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
2020 Finalist
Young Adult Fiction
Second In Command (YA verse) Sandi Van Second in Command 
Sandi Van
2019 Nominee
SHOUT Laurie Halse AndersonSHOUT
by Laurie Halse Anderson
2019 Finalist
Solo Blink Kwame Alexander Mary Rand HessSolo (Blink)
by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess
2017 Nominee
3 Things I Know are True Betty CulleyThree Things I Know Are True:
A Novel
by Betty Culley
2020 Nominee
Young Adult Fiction

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