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

Poetry Challenge Week Three: Limericks


It’s week THREE of the Weekly Poetry Challenge, and this week is all about a fun rhyming form called the limerick! A limerick is often a humorous poem. Many limericks are mini stories that introduce a character with a specific behavior that leads to an amusing consequence. That is not always the case, but it may be a good thing to keep in mind as you write your own limerick, especially if you’ve never written one before.

One of the most popular writers of the limerick is poet Edward Lear, whose Book of Nonsense was originally published in 1846 and has had many editions published since!

Here’s a limerick I wrote:

There once was a young girl named Tilly
Who loved to act goofy and silly
She played with her food
Which was really quite rude
And ended up covered in chili. 

© 2024 Rebecca J. Gomez

Unlike the poems we featured in weeks one and two, a limerick has strict rules about rhyme and meter. A limerick is five lines long and follows an a, a, b, b, a rhyme scheme (lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 rhyme). It also has an anapestic meter, which basically means there is a stressed beat followed by two unstressed beats. But don’t get hung up on the technical aspects of this form. If you pattern your poem basically after the one above, you’ll do just fine! And reading a bunch of limericks will help too.

Read some limericks!

Write a limerick!

When writing your limerick, keep in mind the explanation above, but don’t worry too much about getting it “just right.” Many limericks begin with the phrase “There once was…” so try starting your limerick that way! It may help to brainstorm a list of characters who behave strangely or are in unusual situations before you try writing your rhyme. Remember, limericks are often funny or even nonsensical, so have fun with it! If you need more help, visit this page on Poetry4Kids that explains the limerick in more detail.

If you or your kids write limericks this month, we would love to see them! Share them in the comments, email them to us (readdiscussdo @ gmail dot com), or tag us on Instagram. If you share them on social media, use the hashtag #RDDPoetryChallenge.

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