There’s even more to enjoy on Sora than ever before! April is National Poetry Month (and School Library Month!), and with that in mind, this round of recommendations is all about poetry, verse, and the power of words.
April is also a big month for William Shakespeare, as his birthday was sometime in late April, 1564 (it’s thought to be either the 23rd or the 26th). I’ve honored this in the past by making a big “Shakespearian Insult Generator” library bulletin board, but this year I’ll offer up MIT’s Shakespeare Insult Kit. There’s also this LitChart page which categorizes 87 insults from Shakespeare’s total body of work. My personal favorite comes from Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 2, Scene 4: “If you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.”
Featured Books on Sora
The Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter
When readers can’t come to get books themselves, librarians and educators have used cars, buses, horses, bicycles and more to bring books directly to them! This picture book is based on the true story of Luis Soriana, one such educator in northern Colombia whose biblioburros carry books to the isolated villages around his home.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Poetry can be difficult to recommend to readers, because it has a reputation as being dry and boring. The original print version of this iconic free-verse novel proves otherwise, and Dawud Anyabwile’s graphic adaptation further underscores that poetry can be dynamic, captivating, and full of action. I personally love the way the words themselves become a visual element, flying across the page with Josh’s basketball and sweeping you up.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Jude is heartbroken when she and her mother move to the United States ahead of growing unrest near their hometown on Syria’s coast. But her father stays behind to protect his store, and her older brother becomes more and more involved in the revolution – without them, is it even possible for Jude’s new life in Cincinnati to ever feel like home?
The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman
The first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman also became the youngest inaugural poet in US history when she recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration earlier this year. Revisit – and celebrate – her spectacular work through this special edition.
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
Several reviewers have described this collection, which encompasses the first decade of Sarah Kay’s poetry career, as the poetry book to give to people who don’t think they could ever like poetry. Like with Sophia Thakur (highlighted in the February edition), the best way to really understand (and feel) Sarah Kay’s poems is to hear her deliver them herself.