Patterns and Trends in Contemporary Canadian Verse-Novels for Young People

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Beverley A. Brenna
Yina Liu
Shuwen Sun


This qualitative content analysis identified patterns and trends in a contemporary set of Canadian verse-novels for young people. Twenty-two books were located in our search for titles published between 1995 and 2016, and many of these emerged as award-winners in various contexts including the Governor General’s Award for children’s literature (text). Dresang’s notion of Radical Change, adapted for this interrogation, illuminated particular elements of these societal artifacts worthy of notice. While studies have occurred regarding textual forms or formats and reader characteristics, specific work with the verse-novel and its use with struggling and reluctant readers is limited, with professional articles appearing in place of research-oriented discussions. Scrutiny of available verse-novels is important as it opens a door for explorations of these resources with participants in classroom settings.


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How to Cite
Brenna, B., Liu, Y., & Sun, S. (2017). Patterns and Trends in Contemporary Canadian Verse-Novels for Young People. Language and Literacy, 19(4), 23-38.
Author Biographies

Beverley A. Brenna, University of Saskatchewan

Beverley Brenna is a professor in Curriculum Studies, College of Education, at the University of Saskatchewan where her research interests include reading comprehension and children's literature. She also writes novels for young people and more about her published work can be found at


Yina Liu, University of Saskatchewan

Yina Liu is an M.Ed. student at the University of Saskatchewan whose thesis work involves globalization and Canadian picture books.

Shuwen Sun, University of Saskatchewan

Shuwen Sun recently completed her M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies, University of Saskatchewan, where her research involved graphic novels.