Australian Verse Novels Resource Reviews

Joy Lawn
An interview with Kat Apel
Kat provides some amazing insights into writing verse novels. Kat’s writing is included in the NCACL Australian Verse Novels bibliography.

Momo on Thursday, October 14, 2021 in Momo celebrating time to read  has written the following:

“The Australian Verse Novels Database prepared by NCACL has been created with such care and a wealth of detail. This will be a very welcome resource for teachers and Teacher-Librarians. If you work in a school I suggest you might like to print the collection flyer to share with the staff on a notice board. Teacher Librarians could also use this list for collection development.

Here is a page of links to the two sets of book lists – for younger readers and young adults.

Each title includes:

  • The full publication details
  • Annotations
  • Readership level
  • Themes
  • Awards
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Hyperlinks to free resources available on the web, with additional material about the creators, interviews, teaching resources and more.

Follow Momo’s hyperlinks to read about why she loves Verse Novels and her very special favourites.

Dr Linda Weste 
Creative Writing Program, School of Culture & Communication, Arts Faculty, University of Melbourne
Author, Inside the Australian & New Zealand Verse Novel, Melbourne 

Many Australian YA verse novels are being published to high acclaim, so it is timely that the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature (NCACL) has created this invaluable online resource, Australian Verse Novels for Young Adults.

The resource ensures that verse novels are readily accessible to readers, scholars, and teachers – for pleasure, for research, or for engaging learners. Teachers and librarians recognise the value of poetic storytelling to communicate a wide range of themes, and the site helpfully includes a story outline, author biography, links to curriculum, literary reviews, and other contextualising information for each featured verse novel. I have no doubt that this will be an indispensable resource that readers, researchers, and educators will return to, time and time again.

Dr Linda Weste 
Creative Writing Program, School of Culture & Communication, Arts Faculty, University of Melbourne
Author, Inside the Australian & New Zealand Verse Novel, Melbourne 

Australia publishes award-winning verse novels for children, and the Australian Verse Novels for Younger Readers – an initiative of the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature (NCACL) – enables a showcase of these stories in poetry, and their authors.

The Australian Verse Novels for Younger Readers resource is a great ‘go-to’ site for researchers, teachers, and readers alike. The site is easy to navigate and provides relevant information on each featured verse novel – its story outline, themes and intended readers. The accompanying teacher notes, study guides, and links to curriculum will enable educators to effectively utilise verse novels for teaching and learning. Book reviews, scholarly articles, and descriptions of each verse novel’s poetic techniques aid an appreciation of the uniqueness of storytelling through poetry. This site is just what Australia needed!

Louise Brooks, Primary School Teacher Librarian in Brisbane, Queensland

The NCACL’s Australian Verse Novels Resource is a fabulous central resource for teachers, librarians and educators  – verse novels at your fingertips. It is a comprehensive snapshot of Australian verse novels suitable for primary and secondary students.

Each novel is clearly categorised by its theme, age group, connection to curriculum and linked to teacher notes, interviews and additional resources.  It is a wonderful resource for teachers and librarians to explore how verse novels can be used effectively within an inquiry, literature-based or wellbeing unit. Verse novels are ideal literary works that are short and succinct; ideal for class read alouds whilst encouraging the exploration of themes and topics in depth through class discussions and as catalysts for inquiry. This new, free resource is an asset for educators, parents and carers, as well as writers and readers, who want to immerse themselves and their students into the wonderful world of verse novels.