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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.