Poetry Aloud Here!: Sharing Poetry with Children in the Library

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There's no money in poetry, but there's no poetry in money either.—Robert Graves, poet

Poetry is enjoying a surge of popularity, with a new talented generation of children's poets leading the pack. Poetry reading for children has come a long way since the dry recitation of the classics from yesteryear. Today, thanks to poetry jams and slams, interactive poetry web sites, and engaging National Poetry Month activities, children think of poetry as lively and fun. Today's poetry presentations are geared to make children laugh, think, interact with their world…even put a new spin on their classwork.

Poetry expert Vardell shows how librarians, teachers, and others can introduce children, ages 5 to 12, to the world of poetry in a way that's meaningful, participatory, and fun. Presenting a wide assortment of possibilities, this made-for-browsing reference features:

  • Advice on pairing poems with other genres across the school curriculum
  • 10 major strategies for enabling active audience participation
  • Original essays and poems written by top children's poets
  • Poetry building exercises and other activities to engage children
  • Lists of poetry resources including major children's poetry awards, favorite classical poems, international poems, and much more.

From choosing a poem and developing presentations that will keep the audience captivated, to using promotional displays and materials, Poetry Aloud Here! takes the reader through all the steps of introducing poetry for children. Full of tips, advice, and lists of ideas and resources, it's an indispensable guide for school library specialists, teachers, and YA librarians.


1 Why Make Poetry a Priority?
2 Which Poets Are Popular?
3 What Poetry Do Children Enjoy?
4 How Do You Promote Poetry?
5 How Do You Present Poetry to Children?
6 What Happens after You Share the Poem?

One Final Word

Appendix A Noteworthy Poets Writing for Young People
Appendix B Bibliography of Children's Poetry Books


Sylvia M. Vardell

Sylvia M. Vardell is currently Professor at Texas Woman's University in the School of Library and Information Studies, where she teaches graduate courses in children's and young adult literature. She has published articles in Book Links, Language Arts, English Journal, The Reading Teacher, The New Advocate, Young Children, Social Education, and Horn Book, as well as several chapters and books on language and literature. A presenter at many state, regional, national, and international conferences, Vardell organizes the "Poetry Round Up" session at the Texas Library Association conference, modeled after the ALSC Poetry Blast held at the annual ALA convention. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1983. She blogs at Poetry for Children.

"Loving work has gone into making this gem of a book, which should be required reading for all children's librarians."

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