Friday, December 17, 2010

Verse Novel Challenge: Carver

I did it! I finished Caroline Starr Rose's Verse Novel Challenge!

The last verse novel I read (I actually hope this counts because technically this may be a verse biography) was Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson.

I loved it.

Marilyn Nelson captured George Washington Carver's character on so many levels. And again -- what I always admire so much in verse novels -- is how she was able to capture his character so fully, yet with so much simplicity and brevity.

Poets are amazing.

I loved learning about Carver as a scientist, an educator and mentor, a bridge-builder between the races, and a devoted Christian. He was eccentric, yet humble, and one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.

What an amazing and full life he led. This book was inspiring.

And the Dashingly Handsome Sidekick even perked up when I said I was reading it. See, he's a science teacher and I guess George Washington Carver is one of his heroes. But after reading this book, I'm thinking, "Well, honey, of course he is. Once you hear about this guy you can't help but admire him."

Carver: A Life in Poems joins the ranks of the other verse novels I've read in 2010:
  1. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  2. I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
  3. Far From You by Lisa Schroeder
  4. Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown
If you've never picked up a verse novel, please do! Up next in my verse novel line up is Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards. (Just because I've finished the challenge doesn't mean I have to stop reading verse novels.)

I've read one other verse novel, which was exquisite. (Since it's not published (YET) I couldn't include it on my list.) I beta-read Dora Tsang's Square Blue.

And congratulations to Caroline Starr Rose, whose debut novel May B. just found a new publishing home! Click here to read her news if you haven't already. Yay, Caroline!


  1. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Celebrating with you. Congratulations!!

  2. Thanks for sharing Caroline's news. And way to meet that verse novel challenge!

  3. Amy!

    I'm halfway through CARVER (reading it while waiting in the pick up line at school). I just love this man. My parents live near Neosho, where he went to school as a child. I've been to Diamond Grove, Carver's childhood home (and National Monument), several times. In fact, that's where I picked up my copy of this book. Everything about this man inspires. So glad you've caught the fever. ;)

    What thrills me is your new-found love for verse novels! Thank you for your support during these trying weeks.

    And one little request: could you fix your profile so that I can respond to your comments through email? When I try, I get "no-reply commenter", and I'd love
    to reply personally (see, I've lost your email...).

    Thank you for participating and sharing your enthusiasm here.

  4. I'm so happy for Caroline! I'm popping over to let her know.

    I haven't tried reading a verse novel yet, but I've heard they're great. I really want to read Out of the Dust.

  5. Amy, I really like the concept of verse novels, and agree--poets are amazing. After reading about them first here at your blog, I set out to find some, but just haven't had the access I would have liked--totally think that I need to read Carver--in the meantime, it turns out that TIS's library had two wonderful ones for young readers--that I've been recommending to anyone I know that appreciates junior fiction.

    Have you read "Hate that Cat" and "Love that Dog"? Read them. Patrick loved them. Zachary loved them. I even have read the first one to Moyer aloud, and HE got it. This would be a wonderful read-aloud for Gabe--and maybe your girls too--and could be done in a Saturday morning.

  6. Wow, congratulations! I admit, I've never tried reading a verse novel. I always am slow to try new things . . . I know, I flaw I'm slowly working on changing. ;)

    And congrats to Caroline! So awesome. :)


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