The Verse Novel in Young Adult Literature
Throughout history, the verse novel has persisted as a modest but noteworthy literary subgenre, from classic works like Eugene Onegin to contemporary volumes by Vikram Seth, Dorothy Porter, and Derek Walcott. In particular, the verse novel has emerged as a popular form for young adult readers, such as the Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. As this unique form continues to flourish, it merits closer examination.
In The Verse Novel in Young Adult Literature, Brenna Friesner explores both the history and current use of the verse novel in teen fiction. Examining more than 220 titles written over the last few decades, Friesner discusses the verse novel’s evolution, analyzes key works, and considers how these novels can grapple with content that distinguishes them from traditional fiction.
Though this study includes volumes written throughout history, its focus on contemporary novels further demonstrates the form’s relevance for today’s teens. By explaining its current popularity, this book acknowledges the verse novel’s potential to provide accessible, authentic stories for young adults to enjoy. The Verse Novel in Young Adult Literature will be of interest to librarians and teachers, as well as anyone wanting to learn more about this burgeoning aspect of young adult literature.
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