May Newsletter: The Books are Here and so is Summer

Letter from the Executive Director: May was a busy month! We celebrated the hard work of our students this year with three book release parties, two newly published anthologies, and one fabulous visit to our Writers’ Room at South High School from acclaimed author Tommy Orange.

Porthole into Programming: MOI is also offering Creative Writing Workshops on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. throughout the summer for students ages 7 to 17. Mark your calendar for a fun and creative afternoon with MOI on June 12, June 19, July 10, July 24, August 7, and August 21!

Student Spotlight: Our students are celebrating their status as #published authors and looking forward to summer break. Last week, our after-school writers tackled the question, “What color is summer?” Read the newsletter to see what second-grader Jamal had to say.

In the News: Minnesota Native News covered the party and even recorded tenth-grader Ava Keezer reading an unpublished poem written only days before the event! Find the link to listen to the story in this newsletter.

Call to Action: Let the young authors in your community know that you value their voice by purchasing a book of student writing today from MOI's store!

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April is National Poetry Month

Roses are red

Violets are blue

It's Poetry Month—


So maybe it's not the best poem ever written, but we still mean it! April is National Poetry Month, and we've been celebrating with a month full of poems. From the reading we've been doing to the writing we've been doing, April has been a month full of poetry! Check out some of our recommendations for good reads, and keep an eye out for student poetry put into conversation with professional poetry.

Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a favorite around here—we featured him for Black History Month, too. But his books are so easy to read and engaging, we can't help it! Check out a review of Booked below. If that doesn't make you want to read poetry, nothing will.

The book I read, “Booked,” was good. I t made me sad, happy, and finally I loved it so much I wanted my own copy. So if you are reading this, take this book if you like sports.
— ASHH student

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech has written both novels and poetry, but one of the books that stands out for National Poetry Month is Love That Dog. It's told from the perspective of a dog, Jack! If you've already read this, never fear. There's also a companion book, Hate That Cat where Jack returns.

Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney wrote The Red Pencil, which is another book we featured for Black History Month! This is a good book for middle-age students, and it's about some of our favorite things: reading and writing! If you want a book about the power of writing, this one's for you.

Jack Prelutsky

Sadly, we don't have any poems by Jack Prelutsky in our collection, but he comes highly recommended by our Writer-in-Residence, Ellen!

Shel Silverstein

If you ask the MOI Crew for recommendations of poetry, almost all of them will mention Shel Silverstein, and for good reason—he has so many poems that apply to so many situations. Looking for a place to start? Here are some staff recommendations:

Listen to the Mustn'ts


Why Is it?

Jacqueline Woodson

Another MOI favorite! This list is full of authors we just can't put down. In fact, we love Brown Girl Dreaming so much, we have two copies. We can't say that about very many books in the MOI library, but this book—about a girl who moves from South Carolina to New York City and doesn't feel at home in either place—is worth it!