Book Report Due? No Time to Read? Try One of These!

By Mary Michell

Believe it or not, some of the best books I've ever read have been written in verse! I don't know how they do it, but there are some amazing authors out there who can pack the power of a novel into just a few well-chosen words. If you have a book report due and are short on time, try one of the titles on my list. They're short on word count, but long on great plots, beautiful characters, and stunning themes.

  • Long Way Down

    2017 by Reynolds, Jason

    A book you just can't put down. Fifteen-year-old Will gets into an elevator. He's got a gun. He's going out to find the guy who killed his brother. But he quickly discovers that he's not the only one in the elevator.

    Get this item
  • One

    2015 by Crossan, Sarah

    What's it like to be a conjoined twin? Tippi and Grace are joined at the abdomen. They're sixteen. They've always been home-schooled and shielded from the outside world. But now they will be going to high school. And they're terrified.

    Get this item
  • Inside Out & Back Again

    2011 by Lai, Thanhha

    Did you ever feel as though you didn't belong anywhere? Thanhha Lai writes from her heart about feeling this way. Barely escaping her beloved Vietnamese city of Saigon before it falls to the Viet Cong, young Ha and her family travel by boat across the ocean to Guam, and then to Alabama. Lonely and rootless, Ha wonders if she will ever again feel like she's home.

    Get this item
  • Shark Girl

    2007 by Bingham, Kelly L.

    The headline reads, "A fifteen-year-old girl was attacked by a shark at Point Dume State Beach yesterday." This is the story of that girl, Jane, and what happened next.

    Get this item
  • The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices From the Titanic

    2011 by Wolf, Allan

    This is by far my favorite novel in verse, because it allows us to be part of the story. And what a story! This is a book about the Titanic, from its birth in a shipyard in Ireland to its devastating end in an icy ocean off the coast of Newfoundland. Meet all the people aboard ship—the rich, the poor, the heroic, the self-serving—and sail with them on their tragic journey.

    Get this item
  • Addie on the Inside

    2011 by Howe, James

    Thirteen-year-old Addie, smart and pretty, is in middle school, and she doesn't like the rules. She doesn't want to be told who to hang out with, when to talk, what to say, and how to behave. But she struggles with these feelings. Breaking the unwritten social rules can lose you all your friends. If you've ever felt the same way, you'll love hearing Addie's voice as she puzzles it all out.

    Get this item
  • Home of the Brave

    2007 by Applegate, Katherine

    Kek, a Sudanese refugee, saw his father and brother murdered during civil war there. Now he has arrived in America, a place where he feels safe but lonely and sad. I love this novel about finding—and making—a new home in a strange land.

    Get this item
  • Paper Hearts

    2015 by Wiviott, Meg

    This is a book that will make you hopeful and sad at the same time—and it's based on a true story! Zlata and Fania, two Polish teens, meet when they are both imprisoned in the Auschwitz death camp during World War II. Their deep friendship and enormous courage give them the strength to make it through the most horrifying of times.

    Get this item