Read, Discuss, and Do with MARI IN THE MARGINS

By Marci Whitehurst The best books make readers feel like they aren’t alone. They’re seen. Understood. Our very own  Rebecca J. Gomez  accomplishes this flawlessly in Mari in the Margins , her new middle grade novel in verse, published by Bandersnatch Books. It releases May 14 th !  Here’s a snippet about the novel, which you’ll surely want to READ:   For Marivel Jiménez, life in her big family is full of chaos. Feeling overlooked by her parents and overshadowed by her siblings is frustrating, and it's even worse to have the constant attention of her annoying, mischievous three-year-old sister, Susana.  Caught between her need to be noticed and her dream of having time to herself, Marivel pours herself into poetry and, eventually, art journaling. When she hears of a school-wide poetry contest, she sees winning as a chance to escape the margins of her family and finally be seen. Doesn’t that sound amazing? That’s because it is. I was honored to read the book ahead of its release—and

National Poetry Month Celebration: Concrete Poetry


Read, Discuss, Do! continues its celebration of poetry this week with concrete poetry! Concrete poems, or shape poems, are a really fun type of poetry because the words form a shape. These types of poems can be rhythmic and rhyming, or read like free verse, or even simply be groupings or lists of descriptive words arranged to look like or represent the poem's subject. These types of poems can be a great way to impress young readers who claim they don't like poetry. So, read some concrete poems and have fun writing and designing some too!

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka is a great place to start. It's a wonderful "mix" of concrete poems covering lots of topics.

Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poems by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Michelle Berg is a unique and clever story told completely in concrete poems!

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Christ Raschka, is a colorful and playful assortment of poems aimed to please the reluctant poetry reader.

Some examples of concrete poems:

And here's one from our own Rebecca J. Gomez:

Learn more about writing concrete poetry from this lesson at Poetry4Kids.