I'm always on the lookout for fun writing guides aimed at middle grade students, so I was thrilled to find Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life by Allan Wolf.This is not a book that takes itself too seriously. Readers are introduced to poetic archetypes like the Angry Poet, the Goth Poet, and the Professor Poet as they try to answer the question "What Kind of Poet Are You?" and encouraged to carry a Bent Book in their back pocket for ideas ("Those of you who carry your notebook in this manner will notice the way in which it bends itself into the perfect curve of your rear end, hence the name bent book.")
Despite the light-hearted tone, this book contains a wealth of information for budding poets, from explanations of poetry devices (similie, metaphor, personification, meter, etc.) to advice on how to find ideas and revise poems.
Wolf also suggests that readers adopt "The Nine Habits of Highly Successful Poets," including the essential Habit #8: Write Every Day. Ways to share your poetry with others are discussed, too.
The book concludes with a list of suggested poems, and poems are also scattered throughout the book. Classics by well-known poets like Langston Hughes and William Carlos Williams share space with light, kid friendly verses.
Another of my favorite idea books for young writers is In Print!: 40 Cool Publishing Projects for Kids by Joe Rhatigan. Sadly, it's out of print, but if you can find a used copy, snap it up. It's a treasure trove of interesting ways for kids to show off their writing. Ideas include a poetry calendar, a charm bracelet, and an umbrella along with instructions for making various books and advice on submitting writing for publication.