Allan Wolf Books
Remember the independent bookseller! While nearly all of my books are available on-line, I urge you to buy your books, whenever you can, from your local independent bookstore. If the book you want is not in stock, they will be glad to order it for you.
Detailed list and descriptions of Allan's books!
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Coming in October from Allan Wolf


(Candlewick Press)

A lyrical, monumental work of fact and imagination that reads like an oral history revved up by the drama of the event.

Kirkus Review,
Starred Review

Several concrete poems add visual interest; the Iceberg poems gradually get shorter as the monster melts, and the melee above decks is shown through a series of four-line poems surrounded by snippets of frantic conversation that converge in the gutter. As the ship sinks, the words of shipbuilder Thomas Andrews’s poem tilt and then drop off the page.

Horn Book Magazine, Starred Review

Allan Wolf has combined meticulous research with open-hearted poetry to craft the story of the Titanic in a fresh and compelling way. A remarkable accomplishment.”

Helen Frost, author of Crossing Stones and Hidden

“Allan Wolf has imagined his way deep into the cold, dark waters of history and has come back carrying a couple of dozen voices that he discovered there, voices whose authenticity is not only convincing but compelling.”

Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize



(Wordsong/BoydsMills, 2008)

From the first furtive looks across the classroom to the blossom of new romance and the final flameout, teenage love is loaded with awkwardness, uncertainty, dreams, conflict, and pure bliss. Acclaimed poets Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf combine their talents to explore these feelings and struggles by creating the voices of a girl and boy in the throes of affection. As they experience the giddiness of love, the poems’ two characters also face obstacles (parents) and distractions (friends) while learning to respect each other’s interests and needs. Can this relationship survive? In sonnets, tankas, villanelles, and other poetic forms, writers Holbrook and Wolf examine the efforts of two teenagers who dare to be more than friends.

“These poems are for you, for me, for anyone who has suffered, is suffering, will suffer that boy-girl thing.”

Jane Yolen

“The edgy truth of romance in all its joy and confusion.” Booklist
“A powerful, necessary gift to teens.”

Sharon Draper

"Deliciously readable poems, accessible and compact, . . . teachers and readers alike will savor this innovative approach to an everpopular topic.”

School Library Journal

“For teachers looking for ways to get high-school students to read and relate to poetry and leam its forms this is a top choice.’”

Kirkus Review


(Candlewick Press, 2007)

Zane Guesswind has just killed his grandfather, or so he believes. So he steals the 1969 Plymouth Barracuda his long-gone father left behind and takes off on a manic trip to his mother's grave to kill himself. Armed with a six-pack of Mountain Dew, a jumbo pack of Sharpies (for scribbling all over the dashboard), and a loaded gun in the trunk, he's headed to Zanesville, Ohio, with no rearview mirror and no more worries. On the way, he meets Libba, a young hitchhiker who shares his destination, and other mystic and mysterious characters. With each encounter, and every mile marker he passes, Zane gets farther from the life he knows -- but closer to figuring out who he really is.
A coming-of-age road story with a supernatural twist -- and a compulsively readable poetic novel about identity and belonging.

A Book Sense Children's Top Ten Pick

"Assured rhythm and taut pacing, haunting characters and a few surprises."

Kirkus Review

"Allan Wolf is a fine poet who has learned, as Zane's Traceshows, that poetry isn't all line and space."

Nikki Giovanni

"This one caught me by surprise. It's smart (sometimes even smart-aleck), gut-wrenching, heart-palpitating, laugh-out-loud, and incredibly moving."

Jane Yolen

"Zane's Trace is a wild and exuberant ride--you won't be able to buckle your seat belt, even if you wanted to."

Jeffrey Lent

New Found Land: Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery (Candlewick Press), which first came out in 2004, is now out in paperback. Honor Award for Excellence in North American Poetry by The Lion and the Unicorn: A Critical Journal of Children's Literature. On the 2005-2006 Read-Aloud Books Too Good To Miss list announced by the Association for Indiana Media Educators (AIME). Chosen as a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an IRA Children's Book Award Notable, and a SEBA Poetry Award finalist. Starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.
Haiku Stickies: 100 Haiku to Write and Leave Behind (Lark Books, 2007)

Kids can produce instant poetry, inspired by these partially-written haiku. Composed by Allan Wolf, author of Immersed in Verse, they range from silly to serious, realistic to fantastic. Each poem has blank spaces for children to fill in; earlier in the pad, they’ll need to add only a word or two, while the later haiku will have kids writing nearly from scratch. Comes with pencil and built-in pencil sharpener!

Immersed In Verse

(Lark Books, 2006)

My new book, Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life (Lark Books) is now available through your favorite bookseller. I wrote Immersed in Verse, a Children's Book of the Month selection, with young poets in mind (age 11 and up) but it has much to offer adults and gifted elementary ages as well. I've included my own personal philosophy of writing poems, advice on writing technique and craft, fifty useful writing prompts and "jump starts," memorization and presentation tips, the "Eight Habits of Highly Successful Poets," example poems by classic and contemporary wordsmiths, a complete bibliography, a suggested reading list, publishing resources for young people, and more.

"Perfect for young writers wanting to take the plunge or for those who’ve already gotten their feet wet, this how-to guide–chock-full of examples–is sure to inspire and nurture young poets. The information is intensive without being overwhelming, wise without being didactic. Wolf ‘s love of language is evident throughout as he offers a solid foundation with wit and humor."

School Library Journal, Starred Review

"A fine resource for classroom use as well as for kids to read on their own . . . this book makes writing and reading poetry cool."


New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery (Candlewick Press, 2004)

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2004

An ALA 2005 Best Book for Young Adults

An IRA Children's Book Award Notable

In 1804, a group of courageous Americans set off to cross the continent by its waterways, to discover the fabled Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean. They did not know what they would find, or if they would return alive.

In Allan Wolf’s powerful and exhilarating novel, you will hear directly from the famed expedition leaders, Captains Lewis and Clark, as well as twelve other members of the Corps of Discovery. Here is a surprisingly diverse crew—from a one-eyed French-Indian fiddler to Clark’s African American slave; from the teenage Sacagawea to George Shannon, a chatty, brash kid; from a layabout drunkard to an expert hunter. You will experience the terror and excitement of fights with bears, buffalo hunts, encounters with friendly and unfriendly Indians, and dangerous whitewater rapids. You will also come to know a Newfoundland dog, purchased by Meriwether Lewis for $20, who narrates this story—and whose voice will haunt you long after the voyage is done.

This amazing work presents the exciting adventure of the Lewis and Clark expedition through the eyes of its participants. Using poetic form, Wolf tells the story in alternating narratives by a dozen of the human participants and Seaman, the Newfoundland dog belonging to Meriwether Lewis. . . . This is an extraordinary, engrossing book that . . . should definitely be added to any collection.

School Library Journal, Starred Review

"In the flood of volumes marking the bicentennial of the epic journey, Wolf manages something fresh and alive . . . a must for libraries, a treasure
for classrooms."

Kirkus Review, Starred Review

This book, which is based on extensive historical research, uses nontraditional narrative formats to successfully re-create the period and convey the excitement and anxiety of venturing into the unknown. . . . These diverse voices reveal in free verse the class structure of the expedition, as well as historical attitudes toward African Americans, Indians, and women. A novel that willl enrich American History studies and stimulate classroom discussion.


Using a free verse style, Wolf takes his readers on a journey of amazing complexity. . . . This is a wonderful book written in a daring format. . . a book that successfully combines strong historical research with a poetic format.

Children's Literature


The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems About Our Parts (Candlewick Press, 2003)

Have you ever wondered just exactly what some of your body parts do? How many times a year your heart beats? How big your small intestines are? And, equally noteworthy, which of your muscles looks most like a slug?

Certain to appeal to elementary-school children, this unique and humorous book uses poetry to explore the amazing workings of our bodies. With great verve and enthusiasm--and plenty of outrageous illustrations--Allan Wolf and Greg Clarke tickle the funny bone in these thirty-four poems while answering some of those deep anatomical questions. Ears have drums (but don't play them), knees wear caps (even in church), and a boneless boy turns into a human puddle in this book of wacky--and anatomically accurate--poems about our body parts.

"Science and literature have rarely blended so merrily."
Washington Post Book World

"Sure to tickle the funny bone."
Publisher's Weekly

"Expect giggles"

"If your children read only one book about the spleen this year, make sure it's The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems About Our Parts. "
San Jose Mercury News

Allan Wolf's The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems About Our Parts is a perfect example of poetry¹s ability to enhance content area study. Readers learn about the functions of bodily organs and systems in poems that are delightful, engaging, and factual.

The Reading Teacher

Books for
It’s Show Time! Poetry from the Page to the Stage (Poetry Alive!, 1993)

A book of poems, scripted and ready to perform, for the elementary grades! Complete with Director’s Notes and Teaching Ideas. Includes poems by Ogden Nash, Christina Rossetti, Vachel Lindsay, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Whitcomb Riley, and more. Available from Poetry Alive! at or by calling (800) 476-8172



Something Is Going to Happen: Poem Performance for the Classroom (Poetry Alive!, 1990)

For the classroom teacher of 6th grade and up. A selection of poems divided into speaking parts for group performance. Includes works by John Keats, Gwendolyn Brooks, Edgar Allan Poe, Carl Sandburg, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and more. Complete with Director’s Notes and Teaching Ideas. Available only through Poetry Alive! at or by calling (800) 476-8172.

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