I'm always delighted when Laura Shovan comes to pay a visit. I know I can count on her for buzz-generating discussion and/or something fun thing to try at home or in the classroom.
Her previous posts on Today's Little Ditty include:
Today she's brought BOOKS to buzz about— previews of several 2016 poetry-related titles that she discovered at ALA Midwinter.
The one book that she barely touches upon, however, is her own THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House), coming April 12th. Ordinarily, I wouldn't let her get away with something like that, but I promise we'll be taking a closer look at Ms. Hill's fifth grade classroom later this spring. In the meantime, you can visit Laura's snazzy new website for more information.
Take it away, Laura!
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Thanks for inviting me back to TLD, Michelle.
I have been to the ALA Summer conference a few times, when the event was in Washington, DC. Earlier this month, I was pleased to find that ALA Midwinter has a more intimate feel than the big summer conference. The focus is on librarian work-sessions and meetings. There were only a few stages in the exhibit hall. Two that I visited were the Pop Top Stage (featuring author panels) and the Book Buzz Stage (where editors talked about favorite new releases). While certain publisher’s booths, Penguin Random House in particular, drew shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, it was easy to strike up a conversation with editors and book reps. Advanced Readers Copies for many books were scooped up early; the exhibit hall opened on Saturday morning and publishers were out of in-demand ARCs by that afternoon.
Sylvia Vardell has a list of this year’s award-winning verse novels and poetry books.
While I wasn’t able to see everything, I did chat with publishers about some of the poetry books they are excited about for 2016. Here is an overview. Keep in mind, I have not had a chance to read all of these books yet. These are only previews of a few books.
|Coming May 10, 2016|
|In stores now|
Although it came out in 2015, another Enchanted Lion book that caught my eye was Joohee Yoon’s BEASTLY VERSE. An article from the website Brain Pickings described how Yoon creates the saturated colors that make this book stand out: “Trained as a printmaker and fascinated by the traditional, industrial techniques of artists from the first half of the twentieth century, Yoon uses only three colors—cyan, magenta, and yellow—on flat color layers, which she then overlaps to create a controlled explosion of secondary colors.” BEASTLY VERSE is a collection of animal poems, including selections from Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, Carolyn Wells, Christina Rosetti, D.H. Lawrence, and others. If you are a fan of Laura E. Richards’ “Eletelephony,” the hilarious fold out spread that accompanies the poem is reason enough to buy this book.
|Coming February 1, 2016|
|Coming April 5, 2016|
BOOKED (HMH Books for Young Readers) is a free verse novel about 12-year-old soccer player Nick, who is coping with changes to his family and with bullying from his peers. The starred Kirkus review has more details on the story.
|Ms. Hill's class, on display at the ALA conference.|
It was such a thrill to see my own middle grade novel on display at the Random House Children’s Books booth. The icing on the cake was hearing my editor, Wendy Lamb, reading some poems from the THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY at the Book Buzz stage. One poem even got a laugh!
Thanks to Anne Zafian of Simon & Schuster for telling me about two 2016 poetry books. (Although S&S was out of ARCs at the conference, Anne was kind enough to mail me copies to preview for this post.)
|Coming May 3, 2016|
|Coming April 12, 2016|
|In stores now|
|Coming March 8, 2016|
|Sweet Sixteen debut authors at ALA|
It’s interesting to note that all four of these books are technically novels in poems, each has a story told through a series of titled, stand-alone poems; rather than verse novels, where each chapter is made up of longer, fluid, untitled poems in the main character’s voice.
Although it wasn’t at ALA, another YA novel with elements of verse is poet Janet McNally’s debut, GIRLS IN THE MOON (Harper Teen). This one won’t be out until fall. The main character is a poet and lyricist, so the book incorporates song lyrics and pieces of poems in her voices.
THE SELECTED POEMS OF DONALD HALL (HMH) was released in December. I’m excited about this collection from the former U.S. poet laureate. Now 87, Hall chose poems from his sixteen books published between 1955 and 2011. It will be a fascinating to see how Hall’s work and themes have developed over a long career.
So much to look forward to!
Thanks for keeping us in the know, Laura.
Visit her at Laura Shovan.com.
Liz Steinglass, Katie Gast, Tricia Stohr-Hunt, and Brenda Davis Harsham.
A Teaching Life for today's Poetry Friday roundup.