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About Nikki Grimes
Nikki Grimes dabbles in watercolors and collage (she created one of the illustrations for One Last Word!), she crafts handmade books, cards and beaded jewelry, is a textile artist, and once sang, danced and acted her way down the east coast of China. Her primary passion, though, is writing books for children and young adults. Her complete bibliography of trade and mass market books number close to 100. Her trade titles include historical fiction, biographies, chapter books, and novels in prose. However, poetry and novels-in-verse are her genres of choice.
A bestselling author, Grimes is the recipient of the 2017 Children's Literature Legacy Award, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Other awards include the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade; CSK Honors for Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words With Wings; the NAACP Image Award for New York Times Bestseller Barack Obama:Son of Promise, Child of Hope; The Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry; Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for One Last Word; Claudia Lewis Poetry Award; the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award; the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor; Horn Book Fanfare for Talkin' About Bessie; The Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award; the VOYA Non-Fiction Honor; The Lion & The Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry; International Youth Library White Ravens List; ALA Notables for What is Goodbye? and Words With Wings; Notable Books for a Global Society, and more.
The novel Growin' marked Grimes' entry into children's literature. In addition, her books include Something on My Mind—her first book of poetry—A Dime a Dozen, From A Child's Heart, A Girl Named Mister, Planet Middle School, Aneesa Lee & The Weaver's Gift, Chasing Freedom, the popular Dyamonde Daniel chapter book series, the beloved Meet Danitra Brown, Wild, Wild Hair, and Welcome Precious.
A much anthologized poet, her own collections include Pocketful of Poems, Poems in the Attic, Thanks a Million, When Daddy Prays, Come Sunday, Voices of Christmas, When Gorilla Goes Walking, and Shoe Magic. Check the bibliography on her website for a full listing.
In addition to her work for children, Grimes has written articles for such magazines as Essence, Horn Book, Today's Christian Woman, Book Links, English Journal, and Image: Journal of Arts & Religion, among others.
Those who follow her on social media know that Grimes is also a photographer and avid gardener with a special penchant for roses. They also know that a new poem is apt to pop up on her wall at any given time, especially if something heavy is on her heart, usually in response to a report of social injustice.
Social justice is one of the themes readers find in books written by Grimes, often set against an urban landscape. Her themes, though, are wide-ranging: bullying, friendship, foster care, forgiveness, gratitude, empathy, identity, mental illness, loss, sexual assault—all find a place in her work. Whether the themes are light or heavy, the consistent thread of hope, in stories laced with humor, are hallmarks of books written by Nikki Grimes.
Her most recent titles include the much-acclaimed novel-in-verse Garvey's Choice the groundbreaking poetry collection, One Last Word, and the picture book The Watcher. Her much anticipated memoir, Ordinary Hazards, releases October 8, 2019.
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Titles By Nikki Grimes
From the New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes an emotional, special new collection of poetry inspired by the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most exciting African-American illustrators.
Inspired by the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of master poets like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Jean Toomer, and others who enriched history during this era.
Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting African American illustrators--including Pat Cummings, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and many more--to create an emotional and thought-provoking book with timely themes for today's readers.
A foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, poet biographies, and index makes this not only a book to cherish, but a wonderful resource and reference as well.
A 2017 New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017, Middle Grade
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017, Nonfiction
Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book
Boston Globe/Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book
Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for Teens
Six Starred Reviews—★Booklist ★BCCB ★The Horn Book ★Publishers Weekly ★School Library Connection ★Shelf Awareness
A Booklist Best Book for Youth * A BCCB Blue Ribbon * A Horn Book Fanfare Book * A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book * Recommended on NPR's "Morning Edition" by Kwame Alexander
"This powerful story, told with the music of poetry and the blade of truth, will help your heart grow."–Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Shout
"[A] testimony and a triumph."–Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down
In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse.
Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.
Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading—anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey's life changes. The chorus finds a new soloist in Garvey, and through chorus, Garvey finds a way to accept himself, and a way to finally reach his distant father—by speaking the language of music instead of the language of sports.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
In this fantastic follow-up to Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel, Nikki Grimes tackles big issues like homelessness in a sensitive, kid-friendly way. Dymonde?s can-do attitude and lively spirit will endear her to readers.
Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes' third book starring the unstoppable Dyamonde Daniel will delight fans and new readers alike, with energetic storytelling, relatable situations and Dyamonde's spitfire personality.
For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts.
In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work.
Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting female African-American illustrators: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon.
Legacy also includes a foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, and poet biographies, which make this a wonderful resource and a book to cherish.
Acclaim for One Last Word
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner
A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, Middle Grade
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Nonfiction
A study of scripture reveals that Jesus spent a lot of time with people in the margins. As an African American, Nikki Grimes lives in the margins, and she can tell you that it's a place most of us would rather not be. And yet, she knows there is always glory to be found in the margins because of the Lord’s presence in, and with us.
As Poet Laureate of Grace Brethren Church in Southern California, it’s Ms. Grimes’ job to distill the heart of the weekly sermon into a poem. She dives into each week’s chosen scripture, viewing it from her own perspective as Black, as woman, as poet, always a little left of center, and looking for the glory to be found in the margins of life, and of the text. Of course, she says, those of us who live in the margins are not what anyone expects, and the very notion that God might speak through us, may seem a bit wild. But he does. ‘I will pour out my spirit on all flesh,’ said the Lord. God’s busy in the hearts of all who call on him.
When Kamala Harris was young, she often accompanied her parents to civil rights marches—so many, in fact, that when her mother asked a frustrated Kamala what she wanted, the young girl responded with: “Freedom!”
As Kamala grew from a small girl in Oakland to a senator running for president, it was this long-fostered belief in freedom and justice for all people that shaped her into the inspiring figure she is today. From fighting for the use of a soccer field in middle school to fighting for the people of her home state in Congress, Senator Harris used her voice to speak up for what she believed in and for those who were otherwise unheard. And now this dedication has led her all the way to being elected Vice President of the United States.
Told in Nikki Grimes's stunning verse and featuring gorgeous illustrations by Laura Freeman, this picture book biography brings to life a story that shows all young people that the American dream can belong to all of us if we fight for one another.
Gabby's world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents' arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, 'Gabby the dreamer' might just become 'Gabby the writer' and the words that once carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl's indomitable spirit, and of a teacher's ability to reach out and change a life.
Coretta Scott King Author Honor book
NCTE Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts
Kirkus Reviews Best Book
Darrian dreams of writing for the New York Times. To hone his skills and learn more about the power of words, he enrolls in Mr. Ward’s class, known for its open-mic poetry readings and boys vs. girls poetry slam. Everyone in class has something important to say, and in sharing their poetry, they learn that they all face challenges and have a story to tell—whether it’s about health problems, aging out of foster care, being bullied for religious beliefs, or having to take on too much responsibility because of an addicted parent. As Darrian and his classmates get to know one another through poetry, they bond over the shared experiences and truth that emerge from their writing, despite their private struggles and outward differences.