Providing K-12 teachers with poetry across the curriculum

the poetry friday power book series - interactive writing journals + stories in poems

Pet Crazy

In PET CRAZY: A Poetry Friday Power Book (ideal for grades K-3), characters Kristy, Ben, and Daniel tell us about their favorite pets. Fun prewriting activities and simple writing prompts engage children, and teachers love the "Hidden Language Skills" and other resources.

Here We Go

In HERE WE GO: A Poetry Friday Power Book (ideal for grades 4 and up), four characters work together to change the world—starting with a walkathon and food drive to fight hunger in their community. An NCTE Poetry Notable and an NNSTOY Social Justice Book. 

You Just Wait

YOU JUST WAIT: A Poetry Friday Power Book (ideal for grades 8 and up) features three teen characters dreaming about sports (soccer and basketball), favorite foods (pan dulce and Korean ppang), movies, college, and future careers. An NCTE Poetry Notable. 

PET CRAZY: A Poetry Friday Power Book

Poems, word games, phonics, writing prompts about cats, dogs, birds, lizards, for primary grades

What People Are Saying

Children will be able to use their personal experiences with pets as a springboard for writing—you can’t beat that!” —Becky Calzada, Library Services Coordinator, Leander ISD

Rich with resources . . . and the story thread ties it all together for young readers.” —Susan Polos, School Librarian, Bedford Central School District

"Entirely accessible for young children . . . a wonderful fit for elementary students.” —Marion Rocco, Bilingual Librarian, Professional Resource Library, Austin ISD

"The resources are amazing!  I loved the Hidden Language Skills!” —Paige Bentley-Flannery, Community Librarian, Deschutes Public Library

PET CRAZY: A Poetry Friday Power Book

PET CRAZY: A Poetry Friday Power Book is a story in poems and a writing journal that contains twelve PowerPacks with  creative activities to get your children (K-3) thinking, drawing,  reading, and writing about cats, dogs, lizards, rabbits, and more!  Resources for children (as well as parents, teachers, and book club  leaders) include “Hidden Language Skills” to sharpen language learning  even further, recommended reading lists and websites, tips for reading  aloud and writing, talking points, and places to publish. The book features the work of the dynamic team of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, illustrator Franzi Paetzold, and 12 poets: Kristy Dempsey, Helen Frost, Janice Harrington, Eric Ode, Laura Shovan, Eileen  Spinelli, Elizabeth Steinglass, Don Tate, Padma Venkatraman, April  Halprin Wayland, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Tamera Will Wissinger. This book will get your kids barking up the WRITE tree!

 124 pages; 8.5" x 11"; $19.99

Read a review of this book by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

HERE WE GO: A Poetry Friday Power Book

Kids can change the world! These activist kids organize a food drive and school garden

What People Are Saying

“This interactive book and the abundance of resources provided will motivate students to take action through words and ideas to make their world a better place—a must have for today’s classrooms.”   

—Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli, Authors of Mentor Texts, Nonfiction Mentor Texts, and Poetry Mentor Texts

I absolutely love this book! The invitations are  inspiring and offer opportunities to think about the world and respond  both personally and critically.”   —Mary Napoli, Associate Professor of  Reading, Penn State Harrisburg

“This book will allow all sorts of emotions and thoughts to bubble  forth, including difficult and painful ones . . . and that will be a source of healing.”   —Ed Spicer, Educator and literacy expert

Excited that this book will be in the hands of young people.”   —Jeana Hrepich, Antioch University Seattle

HERE WE GO: A Poetry Friday Power Book

HERE WE GO: A Poetry Friday Power Book for  children, tweens, and teens, features 12 PowerPack sets that combine:  1) PowerPlay prewriting activities; 2) diverse anchor poems; 3) response poems by Janet Wong; 4) mentor poems by Janet Wong; and 5) Power2You writing prompts.

The twelve anchor poems for HERE WE GO were written by: Naomi  Shihab Nye, Carole Boston Weatherford, Joseph Bruchac, David Bowles,  Ibtisam Barakat, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison, Kate Coombs, Robyn  Hood Black, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Renée M. LaTulippe, and Margaret  Simon. Their poems are joined together with twenty-four new poems by  Janet Wong that form a story featuring a diverse group of kids who are  concerned about social justice and work together to fight hunger with a  food drive, walkathon, and school garden. Sylvia Vardell's  inventive PowerPlay activities make it easy for writers to get inspired,  while her Power2You writing prompts extend the learning. Vardell also  created extensive back matter resources for readers and writers. Best for Grades 4 and up.


133 pages 5.5” x 8.5” Retail price: $11.99 

An NNSTOY Social Justice Book and an NCTE Poetry Notable

Read a review of this book by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today's Little Ditty.

You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book

Soccer (the World Cup), basketball, movies, food, driving, dances, classes, cousins: YOU JUST WAIT

What People Are Saying

“Imagine a completely original way of writing verse novellas .  . . Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell have once again broken barriers with  their bold, innovative approach to teaching poetry. I am thrilled to be  included!”  —Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree

YOU JUST WAIT is a must-have resource for middle-school teachers,  the perfect invitation for teens to explore text-to-self connections  through poetry. Comprehensive tools for implementation accompany  excellent Poetry Friday selections, and Janet Wong’s brilliant  connective tissue provides wonderful mentor pieces.”  —David Bowles, Pura Belpré Honor-winning author of The Smoking Mirror

“Great spirit! Great fun! Let’s write!”  Pat Mora, Author of Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love; Founder of Día: Children's Day, Book Day / El día de los niños, El día de los libros

“Every poem tells a story. Every page invites connection. Young readers will find their fingers itching to respond to these verses and  to add their own poems and stories.”  —Carol Jago, Longtime English  teacher & Past President of the National Council of Teachers of  English (NCTE)

YOU JUST WAIT: A Poetry Friday Power Book

YOU JUST WAIT: A Poetry Friday Power Book for tweens and teens, features 12 PowerPack sets that contain five elements: 1) a PowerPlay prewriting activity; 2) a previously-published Outside Poem (in this case, from The Poetry Friday Anthology® for Middle School); 3) a new original Response Poem; 4) a new original Mentor Text poem; and 5) a Power2You writing prompt. PowerPacks = a fun and inspiring approach for a wide variety of readers and writers. 

The twelve Outside Poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (an NCTE Poetry Notable) were written by Robyn Hood Black, Joseph  Bruchac, Jen Bryant, Margarita Engle, Julie Larios, Carmen T.  Bernier-Grand, Charles Ghigna, Avis Harley, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater,  Charles Waters, and Virginia Euwer Wolff. The way they are joined  together here with twenty-four new poems by Janet Wong, they form a  story featuring Paz, an Asian-Latina soccer player with dreams of  stardom in college, the Olympics, and ultimately the World Cup;  Lucesita, her feisty movie-loving cousin; and Joe, an older brother with  dreams of the NBA. Sylvia Vardell's inventive PowerPlay activities make it easy for writers to get inspired, while her Power2You writing prompts extend learning. Vardell also created extensive back matter resources for readers and writers.

133 pages 5.5” x 8.5” Retail price: $11.99

An NCTE Poetry Notable

Read a review of this book by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm.

Kids Write IN These Books?

Students are not required to write in the Poetry Friday Power Books. You can have them do the prewriting activities and poems on separate pieces of paper. But being able to write in the books provides a motivating sense of pride in ownership. And greater engagement leads to deeper comprehension. 

 Ask your district to put these titles on your Summer Learning lists. And get a class set so that students can scribble, draw, brainstorm, and improve their writing skills all throughout the year!

Buy a class set at QEP