May We Suggest

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National Poetry Month Biographies

Celebrate National Poetry Month by getting to know more about the lives of some of our greatest poets:
 

Longfellow: a rediscovered life by Charles C. Calhoun

 

 

Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox

 

 

 

 

Dylan Thomas: a new life by Andrew Lycett

 

 

 

 

From noon to starry night: a life of Walt Whitman by Philip Callow

 

 

 

 

Rough magic: a biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander

 

Angela's ashes : a memoir by Frank McCourt

Carlos Eire's National Book Award-winning memoir of his childhood in 1950s Havana and the overnight upheaval of his world in January 1959, when the Batista government was toppled.

Check out one of the following YA titles to discover a different culture, or perhaps find a reflection of your own experiences.

Culture: Native American

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

A big dose of lucky by Marthe Jocelyn

Culture: Canadian Aboriginal

Malou has just turned sixteen—hardly old enough to be out in the world on her own—and all she knows for sure is that she’s mixed-race and that she was left at an orphanage as a newborn. Beyond that, it’s a mystery—a mystery that takes her to the little town of Parry Sound, where she finds lots of young brown faces like hers. Are these her relatives, and why doesn’t anyone want to talk about it?

The bitter side of sweet by Tara Sullivan

Culture: Ivorian (Ivory Coast)

They only wanted to make some money during the dry season to help their impoverished family; instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods Amadou and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. Then Khadija comes, the first girl who has ever come to camp, and she’s a wild thing. She fights, but the bosses break her. Now the three band together as family and try just once more to escape.

Have you always wanted to read more African Folklore, but you weren't sure where to start? Enjoy these titles from the Kids Folktales and Fairytales section at the library!

A cumulative rhyme relating how Ki-pat brought rain to the drought-stricken Kapiti Plain.

A folk explanation for the guinea fowl's protective coloration that enables it to hide from its natural predator, the lion.

A collection of traditional stories from different parts of Africa, featuring varied characters and themes-- some familiar, some newer.

Explore India's cultural tales with these finds in the Children's Department collection!

Retells the Hindu tale of a heroic prince and his bride who are separated by the demon prince Ravana until the Monkey Army of Hanuman, god of the wind, helps them.

Brahma dreaming by John Jackson

Draws eight stories from well-known collections of Indian folktales--Hitopadesha tales, Jataka tales, and Panchantra tales--and presents them with cartoon-like illustrations.

There are many different types of cultures in the world, including our own Native American Tribal cultures here in America. Here are some titles to get you started on delving into their cultural tales and heritage.

During a hard winter, Rainbow Crow sets out to find the sun and bring warmth to the other animals, but during his journey he is changed in dramatic ways.

Hiawatha and the great peace by Virginia Schomp

"A Native American legend based in part on the true story of the founding of the Iroquois League by the hero Deganawidah and his companion Hiawatha"--Provided by publisher.

Maybe you're not feeling like a poem, but a nice fiction book about a poet sounds appealing. Try one of the following titles.

A poet's bird garden by Laura Nyman Montenegro

After Chirpie the bird escapes from her cage and flies into a tree, a group of poets decides that the best way to entice her down is to create a garden full of seeds, water, hiding places, and materials for building a nest.

The poet upstairs by Judith Ortiz Cofer

When a poet moves into the apartment above hers, young Juliana asks to meet her and together they write poems of tropical birds and a river that flows to the sea, typing out words that change the world, if only for a while.

Tugg and Teeny by J. Patrick Lewis

Tugg, a gorilla, helps his best friend Teeny, a monkey, in her attempts to become a musician, an artist, and a poet.

Is the only Irish folklore you are familiar with have rainbows, pots of gold, and four-leaf clovers? Be sure to check out these selections in the Children's Department for even more stories of the Irish people.

Features eight Irish folk tales, including "Butterfly Girl," "The Children of Lir," and "Labhra with the Horse's Ears.".

Too many fairies : a Celtic Tale by Margaret Read MacDonald

An old woman complains about all the housework she has to do, but when some fairies come to help her she finds that they are more trouble than they are worth.

Below you will find a suggestions of crossover titles. Stories that are told in verse: not rhyming poems and not dense prose, these books live in their own category. Click on each title for description and availability.

Another day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli

Susie is jealous when her brother is deemed a town hero, so she finds solace in the poetry and reclusive lifestyle of Emily Dickinson.

Little cat's luck by Marion Dane Bauer
Also available in: e-book

A little cat named Patches manages to push out a window screen and leave her house, chasing a falling leaf, and sets out to find a special place to call her own.

A biographical novel in verse of three different girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.

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