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Suggested Poetry by Grade Level

April is National Poetry Month
But that doesn't mean you have to wait,
And read them only part of the year
Too many would accumulate!

Here's some titles we recommend
The list is quite diverse
With picture books and collections
Haikus and novels in verse.


Take a look at the list and see
If there's anything you'd like to read.
It can be serious or silly
We've got something for you, guaranteed!


NOTE: Children read at different levels at different times in their lives. It is up to the child and their parent to determine which of these suggestions are appropriate for them.


Llama, llama red pajama by Anna Dewdney

At bedtime, a little llama worries after his mother puts him to bed and goes downstairs.

Monster needs a party by Paul Czajak

Disappointed when none of his friends can attend his pirate birthday, Monster cheers up when he goes to a pirate theme park, instead.

A collection of classic nursery rhymes, accompanied by illustrations of scenes made from fabric and cloth.

Truckery rhymes by Jon Scieszka

Collects illustrated rhymes about the trucks that reside in Trucktown.

Bats at the library by Brian Lies

Bored with another normal, inky evening, bats discover an open library window and fly in to enjoy the photocopier, water fountain, and especially the books and stories found there.

First Grade

A collection of more than 200 short poems by both known and anonymous American and English authors.

Presents a rhyming alphabet rhyme books that relates the story of what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.

The pout-pout fish by Deborah Diesen

The pout-pout fish believes he only knows how to frown, even though many of his friends suggest ways to change his expression, until one day a fish comes along that shows him otherwise.

Jon J Muth--and his delightful little panda bear, Koo--challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haikus about the four seasons.

In verse, Sam-I-am tells of the virtues of green eggs and ham.

Second Grade

Sail away by Langston Hughes

Presents a selection of poems about the sea by the African American poet, celebrating waves, fishes, ships, the sea wind, and mermaids.

Presents a collection of humorous animal poems told through couplet verses and accompanied by illustrations featuring shadow boxes, dioramas, and cut-paper collages.

Tap tap boom boom by Elizabeth Bluemle

As a thunderstorm sweeps into the city, the people of the neighborhood rush into the subway to wait out the wind and weather.

Well-known songs, including "Oh Susannah" and "Row Row Row Your Boat," are presented with new words and titles, such as "I'm So Carsick" and "Go Go Go to Bed".

A collection of haiku poetry for boys that features poems about tree-climbing, kite-flying, and other related topics.

Third Grade

Gone fishing : a novel in verse by Tamera Will Wissinger

In this novel told through poems, nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad, so when his pesky little sister horns in on their fishing trip, he is none too pleased. Includes primer on rhyme, poetry techniques, rhythm, stanzas, and poetic forms

Bubble trouble by Margaret Mahy

Mabel blows a bubble that captures Baby and wafts him away, resulting in a wild chase that involves the whole neighborhood.

A collection of poems based on a child's day-to-day experiences that includes a puzzle at the end of each poem.

A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature

Ernest Thayer's 1888 poem has taken a well-deserved place as an enduring icon of Americana. Christopher Bing's magnificent version of this immortal ballad of the flailing 19th-century baseball star is rendered as though it had been newly discovered in a hundred-year-old scrapbook. Bing seamlessly weaves real and trompe l'oeil reproductions of artifacts-period baseball cards, tickets, advertisements, and a host of other memorabilia into the narrative to present a rich and multifaceted panorama of a bygone era.

Fourth Grade

Love that dog : a novel by Sharon Creech

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

A collection of poems describing the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects.

A collection of poems that present miscellaneous facts about individuals who served as president of the United States throughout history.

A collection of more than 130 original, never-before published poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein.

A collection of poems that celebrate the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark.

Fifth Grade

The definitive anthology of children's poetry with beautiful illustrations.

Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after.

If- by Rudyard Kipling

"The famously inspirational poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895, which first appeared in a 1910 collection of short stories and poems, is here accompanied by illustrations"--.

Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

"The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South"--.

A collection of lively rhymes and tricky tongue twisters, poems for more than one voice, bilingual poems-- from classic Shakespeare and Lear to anonymous rhymes to contemporary riffs on everything under the sun. These poems just might inspire kids to memorize them.

Sixth Grade

The crossover by Kwame Alexander

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama

T4 : a novel in verse by Ann Clare LeZotte

When the Nazi party takes control of Germany, thirteen-year-old Paula, who is deaf, finds her world as she knows it turned upside down, as she is taken into hiding to protect her from the new law nicknamed T4.

Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes

A series of poems describes all the baffling changes at home and at school in twelve-year-old Joylin's transition from tomboy basketball player to not-quite-girly girl.

Paul Revere's ride : the landlord's tale by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Written almost 150 years ago, Longfellow's stirring tale about Paul Revere's famous ride still resonates today. Now acclaimed artist Santore captures the spirit of Longfellow's powerful words and brings the poem to life with his own breathtaking full color illustrations.

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