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

Parent and Child Poetry Challenge: Diamante Poems


Week two of the Poetry Challenge is exploring the diamante, a poetry form that was invented specifically for students!

The poem gets its name from its shape -- a diamond. This type of poem is a descriptive poem with seven lines, and they do not rhyme. There are some very specific rules to this form of poetry. The most common type of diamante is a synonym diamante. The first line introduces the subject, the next five lines describe the subject, and the last line is a synonym of the word in line one. Here are the basic diamante rules:

Line one is a noun.

Line two is two adjectives.

Line three is three verbs.

Line four is four nouns.

Line five is three verbs.

Line six is two adjectives.

Line seven is one noun (a synonym of the word used in line one). 

Here is an example of a diamante about a baby:


Cute, sweet

Sleeping, crying, drooling

Blanket, binkie, diaper, crib

Cooing, wiggling, eating

Fussy, chubby


Another form of diamante is an antonym diamante. In this type of poem, the first and last lines are opposites, or can be thought of as opposites. This form is a little trickier to write because it switches subjects half way through. Here is an example of an antonym diamante:


Wavy, cool

Swimming, diving, wading

Boat, ripples, shoreline, sand

Walking, digging, stomping

Solid, warm


Diamantes are a great form of poetry for kids to try because the process gets them thinking about parts of speech and challenges them to think creatively about their subjects. But they are low pressure because they are basically simple lists! They are also pretty cool visually once they're finished. I encourage you to have your kids write out their finished poems on colorful, diamond-shaped paper and place them somewhere prominent to show them off. 

I hope you and your kids write diamantes this week! If you do, please share them with us using the hashtag #RDDPoetryChallenge. You can also email them to

Happy writing!


Mindy Baker said…
Love this! Can’t wait to write some!
Rebecca Gomez said…
I look forward to seeing your diamantes, Mindy!