Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Poetry

A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout - (ISBN: 978-0763606633)

by Paul B Janeczko, compiler

These 37 mostly-classic pieces of poetry are organized into categories: by the number of voices speaking in the poem, professional favorites, limericks, tongue-twisters, and list poems. For those unfamiliar with the fun of poetry, try several of these long-time classics. From Shakespeare to A.A. Milne, these writers will please all readers.

A Light in the Attic - (ISBN: 978-0061905858)

by Shel Silverstein

With creative rhymes, appalling ideas, and goofy illustrations, Silverstein’s poems are guaranteed to be the ones children reread and memorize. Readers will want to try the other Silverstein classic, <i>Where the Sidewalk Ends</i>.

Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems - (ISBN: 978-0618851324)

by John Grandits

Concrete poems use the layout of the poem together with its words to create a complete message. The poems in this book center around a ninth-grade girl whose concerns mirror those of many adolescents. For example, her “Bad Hair Day” poem finds the lines shooting all over the page, sticking straight up! Try to create your own concrete poem expression, maybe to describe your family or a favorite dessert.

Revolting Poems to Make You Squirm - (ISBN: 978-0192726063)

by Susie Gibbs, editor

For reluctant poetry readers, this collection presents pieces about favorite, disgusting middle school subjects such as snot, saliva, and toe jam. Try to think of other revolting subjects poets might have written about, and then check other books by this editor! Can you write your own disgusting ditty?

Rolling in the Aisles: Kids Pick the Funniest Poems - (ISBN: 978-0689037665)

by Bruce Lansky, editor

Take a look at some of these poems, all selected by elementary and middle school children! If you enjoy humor, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, and Robert Pottle will make you roar.

The Swamps of Sleethe: Poems from beyond the Solar System - (ISBN: 978-0375846748)

by Jack Prelutsky

Reflecting on the scariest aspects of the unknowns in outer space, Prelutsky creates poems of great linguistic force by combining rich vocabulary and powerful images. Exercise your imagination with these tidbits. A bonus of anagrams guarantees some rigorous work for your brain along with the fun and the scares!

A Cold Snap: Frosty Poems - (ISBN: 1563976331)

by Audrey Baird

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night - (ISBN: 978-0547152288)

by Joyce Sidman

Falling down the Page: A Book of List Poems - (ISBN: 978-1596432208)

by Georgia Heard

Poetrees - (ISBN: 978-1416986720)

by Douglas Florian

Technically It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems - (ISBN: 978-0618503612)

by John Grandits

Activities for this Theme

Help your child write an illustrate a Peter Pan poem


Jot down a list of things to do, type it with an interesting font, and add a picture or other graphic. You have created your own list poem!


Make a pocket to carry a poem in.


Learn more about Silverstein poetry and to try some fun activities.