Janet Wong Is the Winner of the 2021 NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award!

Janet Wong is the winner of the 2021 NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award!

The NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award is the most prestigious lifetime achievement award that a children’s poet can receive. Janet Wong is the first Asian American winner and the first awardee who not only writes poetry, but also has created a successful publishing company (Pomelo Books). Previous winners include Janet’s mentor Myra Cohn Livingston, Eloise Greenfield, Marilyn Nelson, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and more.

Hop to It: Poems to Get You Moving is an anthology curated by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong that contains 100 poems by 90 poets—with fun facts sprinkled throughout, thematic mini-lessons, and extensive back matter featuring useful tips to help maximize student learning. You can share a new poem or two each week of the school year—and come back to share your students’ favorite poems over and over! Poems involve the whole body and incorporate a wide variety of movements—including deskercise!

You’ll find poems on “2020 topics,” such as life during a pandemic, virtual learning, staying connected with friends, and standing up for what you believe in. Take a “30-second indoor recess” (or “brain break”) whenever you need it!

Learn more at PomeloBooks.com.

Buy at QEP or Amazon!

50 New Pages – A Suitcase of Seaweed & MORE

A Suitcase of Seaweed was originally published in 1996 by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, as thirty-six poems plus three prose pieces.

The entire text of the original book is presented here in A Suitcase of Seaweed & More, along with 50 brand new pages—where you’ll find snippets of story about the inspiration behind the poems, extensions of the themes, and writing prompts to get teens thinking, talking, and writing about their own identities. Wong’s “Advice for Writers” might even inspire them to write their own books, too.

“Every page becomes a potential mentor text in how to create this feeling of seamless connection between poetry and prose.” —Paul W. Hankins

“Janet Wong’s ‘SUITCASE’ was, is, always will be, a must for any poetry library collection.” —Lee Bennett Hopkins

Here is an excerpt from the book that shows the interplay between poem, prose piece, and—most important—the writing prompt, which is designed to motivate young readers to write about their own experiences and hopes.

Find it at QEP or Amazon!

Books for All Readers

What do you like to read? What kinds of books do you need?


Picture Books?

Books for Older Readers?

Diverse Books?

Classroom Read-Alouds?

You’ll find a wide variety of books here—sit back and enjoy!

Anthologies from Pomelo Books (Created by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong)

Poetry Friday Power Books – Interactive Writing Journals

Poetry Collections

Picture Books

illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Books for Older Readers

Diverse Books

Classroom Read-Alouds