For the non-poetry reader, finding ways to celebrate National Poetry Month can be hard. We’re making it easier for you to find your next favorite book while also celebrating the beautiful art of poetry!
After the death of her father, Layken moves away from sunny Texas to snow-ridden Michigan with her brother and mother. She immediately finds love in their neighbor, Will Cooper. Will introduces Layken to the wonderful world of slam poetry through an open mic night at a local club. Though their relationship gets more and more complicated, their love for poetry remains true through the book and its sequels.
Sixteen-year-old Bri dreams of becoming a rapper and ultimately making it out of her neighborhood. Before his death, her father was “an underground rap legend” leaving Bri with some big shoes to fill. The book is filled with fresh rhymes written by Angie Thomas herself, leaving readers inspired and with a renewed love of music.
Published after his death, the book chronicles the poetry Shakur wrote from the time he was a teenager. Each poem is filled with the most intimate of thoughts and emotions. These poems will speak to each of his fans and fill them with the Shakur’s spirit, energy, and hope for a better future.
Hopkins has a unique way of telling her story, using lines of poetry instead of prose to convey the narration. The book chronicles the disturbing relationship between Kristina and her monster. Kristina is inspired by Hopkins’ own daughter, while the monster is crystal meth or ‘crank’. Kristina is introduced to the drug after a visit with her father. Under the influence, she turns into her “sexy alter-ego ‘Bree’.” The book is sure to provoke an emotional response and inspire a love of poetry.
After her debut Speak, which touched upon the very serious effects of sexual assault, not much has changed. Shout is her response to the continued fight to end sexual assault. These poems are thought-provoking, personal anecdotes by Anderson. If Speak didn’t make you angry, Shout is sure to have you screaming. The book is filled with “reflections, rants, and calls to action” all written in free-verse to inspire the activist in you.
Do you have a favorite poetry book not found on this list? Let us know!
There are are innumerable ways to judge an author’s success—the first way tends to be counting book sales. Instagram follows don’t measure the technical quality of writing, rather they measure less tangible, but still extremely important things: connection and community. These ten authors are the most successful (verified) YA authors of Instagram, and they’re successful because of you. Chances are, you’re better off because of them.
Most famous for his Percy Jackson series (starting with The Lightning Thief), Rick Riordan is the bestselling author of over twenty books. Riordan conceptualized the series as he told bedtime stories to his son, and it was his son who inspired its eponymous protagonist’s ADHD and Dyslexia—traits that help to make Percy Jackson a relatable character for readers with learning disabilities. The series currently has two film adaptations. Translations of his work exist in forty-two languages, and they’ve sold well over 30 million copies in the U.S. alone. His Trials of Apollo series (start with The Hidden Oracle) is still ongoing.
3. Cassandra Clare (491k)
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Cassandra Clare is the creator of the sprawling Shadowhunters universe where angelic warriors hunt demons to protect our world. On page, this entails a lot of leather-wearing misfits who uncover shocking secret after shocking secret as they do cool, edgy teenager things (like riding on the back of flying motorcycles or constantly making out). The universe contains three series: The Mortal Instruments (start with City of Bones); The Infernal Devices (start with Clockwork Angel), and The Dark Artifices (start with Lady Midnight). The universe will expand to include at least one other trilogy, and it already includes several spin-off novels featuring favorite characters. The Shadowhunters universe has been adapted multiple times, first as a film and second as wildly popular TV series. Perhaps most impressively, Clare has been a champion of LGBT+ representation in YA genre fiction, even in the genre’s earlier days. Since the universe’s creation in 2007, every single Shadowhunters book has featured queer protagonists across a wide spectrum of identities.
4. Hank Green (403k)
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Hank Green may be the only author on this list most famous for something besides his writing. In addition to his recent bestselling debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Green has had a devoted Internet following since 2007 as one half of the Vlogbrothers, his shared YouTube channel with brother John Green. Hank and John are the co-founders of VidCon, the world’s largest conference for online videos. Hank has also acted as a contributing producer for a number of popular podcasts and web shows like Sexplanations and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
The definition of a prodigy and star, Veronica Roth sold film rights to her first novel, Divergent, months before the book saw print—and she sold the publishing rights before graduating college. Roth wrote the first draft of the novel during senior year winter break, and it sold well over a million copies within the next two years. Roth is also famous for her novels Insurgentand Allegiant, the second and third books of her dystopian series in which society operates with personality-based factions that define each person’s profession and goals. (And believe it or not, removing all kind and generous people from the government so that they can work on farms is not a great leadership strategy.)
9. Colleen Hoover (202k)
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Breakout romance novelist Colleen Hoover had no intentions of ever mainstream-publishing her first novel, Slammed. Astoundingly, it made the New York Times bestseller list as a self-published work. Hoover published Hopelessjust a year later—and it became the first self-published novel to ever break #1 on the chart. A five-time winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards, Hoover has written eleven bestsellers in only seven years. While several of Hoover’s works have been published with Atria Books, Hoover has shattered the limits of what self-publishing can accomplish.