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Books published by publisher WordSong

  • Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir

    Nikki Grimes

    Hardcover (Wordsong, Oct. 8, 2019)
    A Michael L. Printz Honor BookA Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor BookArnold Adoff Poetry Award for TeensSix Starred Reviews -- ★Booklist ★BCCB ★The Horn Book ★Publishers Weekly ★School Library Connection ★Shelf AwarenessA Booklist Best Book for Youth * A BCCB Blue Ribbon * A Horn Book Fanfare Book * A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book * Recommended on NPR's "Morning Edition" by Kwame Alexander"This powerful story, told with the music of poetry and the blade of truth, will help your heart grow."--Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Shout"[A] testimony and a triumph."--Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way DownIn her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse.Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.
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  • Garvey's Choice

    Nikki Grimes

    Hardcover (Wordsong, Oct. 4, 2016)
    This emotionally resonant novel in verse by award-winning author Nikki Grimes celebrates choosing to be true to yourself.Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading—anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey's life changes. The chorus finds a new soloist in Garvey, and through chorus, Garvey finds a way to accept himself, and a way to finally reach his distant father—by speaking the language of music instead of the language of sports. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the YearA School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
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  • Words with Wings

    Nikki Grimes

    Hardcover (WordSong, Sept. 1, 2013)
    Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.Nikki Grimes has been awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award. Words with Wings has been named a 2014 ALSC Notable Children's Book in the middle readers category.
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  • Thunder Underground

    Jane Yolen, Josée Masse

    Hardcover (WordSong, March 28, 2017)
    In this collection of poems, noted children’s poet Jane Yolen takes readers on an expedition underground, exploring everything from animal burrows and human creations, like subways, near the surface—to ancient cities and fossils, lower down—to caves, magma, and Earth’s tectonic plates, deeper still below our feet. At the same time, in Josée Masse’s rich art, a girl and boy, accompanied by several animals, go on a fantastic underground journey. This book contains science, poetry, and an adventure story all rolled into one. But it’s also more than that: In these poems we see that beneath us are the past, present, future—history, truth, and story. This thought-provoking collection will evoke a sense of wonder and awe in readers, as they discover the mysterious world underneath us.
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  • Becoming Billie Holiday

    Carole Boston Weatherford, Floyd Cooper

    Hardcover (WordSong, Oct. 1, 2008)
    Before the legend of Billie Holiday, there was a girl named Eleanora. In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing. Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Billie Holiday sang as if she had lived each lyric, and in many ways she had. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan's metamorphosis into Billie Holiday. The author examines the singer's young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion in this Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner. With stunning art by Floyd Cooper, this book provides a revealing look at a cultural icon.
  • Write! Write! Write!

    Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Ryan O'Rourke

    Hardcover (Wordsong, March 17, 2020)
    Twenty-two poems capture the amazing power of writing and will inspire even the most reluctant writer to begin putting words to paper.Write! Write! Write! is a poetry collection that explores every stage and every aspect of the writing process, from learning the alphabet to the thrilling moment of writing a thought for the first time, from writer's block to finding inspiration, and from revision to stapling your finished work into a book. These poems also celebrate how writing teaches patience, helps express opinions, and allows us to imagine the impossible. This book, brimming with imagination and wonder, will leave readers eager to grab a pen, pencil, or keyboard--and write!
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  • A Writing Kind of Day: Poems for Young Poets

    Ralph Fletcher

    Paperback (WordSong, April 1, 2005)
    It's easy to make one,lying on your back in the newest snow.You move your arms like wings.Later you forget about your creation,go inside for a mug of hot chocolate.That's when she rises from the snowtakes a feathery breath, tries out her wings.So begins a poem about making a snow angel, but it might also refer to the mysterious way that a poem comes into being and takes on a life of its own. In this new collection, Ralph Fletcher shows us how you can write a poem about almost anything: a baby sister, a Venus's-flytrap, a failing grandmother, a squished squirrel, grammar homework, and more. These poems take us inside the creative process as they reveal both the playfulness and the power of poetry. More than anything, they invite us to pick up pen and paper and write some poems of your own.
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  • Zombies! Evacuate the School!

    Sara E. Holbrook, Karen Sandstrom

    Paperback (Wordsong, Sept. 1, 2014)
    This entertaining and quirky collection of school poems covers everything from a “slam-dancing ride” on the big yellow bus to the teacher who picks up signals with “antennae in her hair” to a full-on zombie invasion. Sidebars introduce readers to many elements of poetry and invite kids to write poems of their own.
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  • A Hatful of Dragons: And More than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems

    Vikram Madan

    eBook (Wordsong, July 14, 2020)
    Ideal for fans of Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein, this collection of hilarious poems features delicious vocabulary and a wide range of subjects, as well as recurring characters and subplots in the art that weave the poems together and add to the merriment.This funny poetry book is chockful of unusual characters: panda and pangolin musicians, mail-order eggs that hatch (surprise!) dinosaurs, ten aliens with a garden-gnome pal, a robot uncle, lots and lots of dragons, and a professor who uses his Page Machine to travel to multiple pages within the book. Vikram Madan's ingenious poems take many forms, from limerick to rebus to a fill-in-the-blank poem that offers more than 13.8 billion funny combinations. All feature clever wordplay, impeccable rhythm and rhyme, and riotous punchlines. This is a quirky collection of poems that readers will laugh their way through again and again.
  • School People

    Lee Bennett Hopkins, Ellen Shi

    Hardcover (Wordsong, Feb. 13, 2018)
    Fifteen poems selected by acclaimed poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins celebrate all of the grown-ups that children encounter during the course of a school day.Welcome to school, a building of brick "full of soul and heart," eager for students and staff to fill its halls with sounds. This anthology of fifteen poems celebrates the grown-up people that children encounter throughout the course of their school day: the school bus driver with her morning smile, the teacher who inspires imagination, the rarely seen, yet caring custodian, and the nurse who heals hurts, big and small. There's even a poem about the school building. Award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins has compiled this marvelous collection featuring a variety of brand-new works by well-known poets and beautifully imaginative artwork by illustrator Ellen Shi.
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  • Water Music: Poems for Children

    Jane Yolen, Jason Stemple

    Paperback (WordSong, Aug. 1, 2003)
    In pond, river, and ocean, as a solid, liquid, or gas, water is everywhere. But what does it evoke? What emotions are brought forth when we hear the crash of surf, see the rush of a stream, or feel the tickle of soap bubbles on our skin? In thoughtful poems, renowned author Jane Yolen takes a fresh look at water in all its forms, using photographer Jason Stemple's breathtaking pictures as inspiration. Waterfalls, steams, lakes, ocean waves, even bath water take on new meaning as poet and photographer examine these liquid landscapes through careful words and a camera's lens.
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  • Boom! Bellow! Bleat!: Animal Poems for Two or More Voices

    Georgia Heard, Aaron DeWitt

    Hardcover (Wordsong, March 12, 2019)
    A NCTE Notable Poetry BookThis playful collection of poems--peppered with an astounding variety of animal sounds--is meant to be read aloud together.These poems for two or more voices explore the myriad sounds animals make--from a frog's jug-o-rum to a fish's boom! to an elephant's bark. Laced with humor, the poems are a delight to read aloud and cover all major classes of animals: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, even a crustacean! Readers will learn how to estimate the temperature by counting a cricket's chirps and see how creatures make sounds at specific pitches and frequencies, so that they can be heard despite other noise around them. Extensive end notes provide more information on the animals and how and why they make the sounds they do. Written by noted children's poet Georgia Heard, this is an ideal collection for parents and children to share, or for a fun, interactive classroom read-aloud.
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