Friday, January 17, 2020

ncte poetry notables 2020

What a terrifically fun and serious responsibility it has been this year to begin a 3-year term on the NCTE Children's Poetry Awards Committee!  We read all summer and into the fall, wrassled through our deliberations at the NCTE Convention in Baltimore in November, and at the start of this month released our longer-than-ever list of notable poetry books and novels-in-verse.

The good news is that there were so many outstanding titles that we couldn't fit our list onto two sides of paper, so I invite you to wallow and revel in the glorious abundance, with something for every taste!  After the list, I'll highlight a few that were my particular favorites.

Fabulous, amiright?!  Among these many wonders, a few stood out for me (time now only for the briefest of descriptions, but you can trust me on these!), and over the next weeks I'll share little reviews of six others that I'm charged with writing for School Library Journal.

two middle school girls figure themselves
out through a surprising friendship: true characters
Emmy discovers her particular genius
and we learn some Javascript: wow format!
All of Me | Chris Baron | Macmillan
Ari struggles with the burden of weight
and survives crises with wry humor
wildly successful anthology of "other" voices;
for older readers and all adults
Waking Brain Cells – Page 3 – "I like nonsense, it wakes ...
how do I love thee? a modern, metaphorically
challenging RUNAWAY BUNNY 
30 Must-Read Diverse Children's Books From The First Half ...
sweet-gorgeous, book-length poem
honoring that reading feeling we can't resist
poems at the edgy imaginations of
very young children: "cute" need not apply
Hawksbill Promise: The Journey of an Endangered Sea Turtle (Tilbury House Nature Book) ebook by Mary Beth Owens
ancient Antiguan tree narrates the challenging
life cycle of hawksbill turtles

Our host today is none other than my dear friend and CP Catherine at Reading to the Core.  I'm sorry to hear that she's under the weather, but her #haikuforhope are very healthy indeed!  See you there!

EXTRA EXTRA for later arrivals: don't forget that Wednesday, April 22 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and our next opportunity to build a very big voice for #ClimateAction.  Go here to learn more.


  1. Wallowing wallowing wallowing! You and the committee put together a beautiful list. Thank you! xo (p.s. I'm on the Charlotte Huck committee for the next 3 years... I will be reading LOTS!)

  2. Wow, what a great list to come back to! My students really like verse novels, I think mostly because they are short. :-)

  3. It is a wonder of a list, Heidi. I've read quite a few, but need to find and read even more. I love and have How To Read A Book, Ink Knows No Borders & If I Was The Sunshine, will look for your other special recommendations! Thanks for doing all the work, maybe not really work, but takes a lot of time!

  4. Thank you for the list! I'm looking forward to reading more of these!

  5. Yea for abundance! I'm not sure if you've made it easier or harder to know what to choose with bookstore gift cards.

  6. This post is a keeper! I have a pinterest board of books I'm wishing for. I want every single one on this list that I don't already have. Thank you for your reading time. How do you do it all?!

  7. Heidi, you and your committee have quite a list for us to read through during winter days. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on being on this prestigious committee. Climate change is real so a big thanks goes to you for keeping us informed of new events.

  8. I read many of these because of Cybils judging. So many great new books!

  9. Wonderful list--many that I have not yet seen, so thank you thank you! I adored IF I WAS THE SUNSHINE... typed up the manuscript to put in my inspiration folder.

  10. I'm so excited that you get to work with Yoo Kyung Sung! She was on my committee when I chaired the CLA Notables! And Trish! LOVE her! It also looks like the criteria has expanded to include rhyming books. That's fabulous news. I'm feeling like poetry gets read more in that form these days than just anthologies. Thanks for the good work, and here's to two more years of fun!

  11. Just found the climate action link--so important! Thank you!

  12. Thank you for sharing the list and some of your favorites. I've read several but want to read so many more!

  13. Wow, thanks for sharing all these books Heidi, and reading all too! I'm looking forward to more of your reviews!

  14. Very impressive list! Thanks so much for all this work. I will have to go in search... Thanks again.

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