Books by Nikki Giovanni

BEST AFRICAN AMERICAN FICTION 2010 by Gerald Early
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 29, 2009

"A rich compilation, opening up territory for further exploration."
Running the gamut from accessible crime fiction to experimental efforts by critics' darlings, this ambitious anthology offers a snapshot of modern black culture without being tied to a single theme. Read full book review >
LINCOLN AND DOUGLASS by Nikki Giovanni
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"It's the season for Lincolnalia, but this team, who collaborated successfully on Rosa (2005), fail to present a focused work that will be meaningful to children. (timeline) (Picture book. 4-7)"
A dramatic double-page spread of the Emancipation Proclamation fast-forwards to a March evening in 1865 at the White House, where President and Mrs. Lincoln are hosting an inaugural ball and to which Frederick Douglass is an invited guest. Read full book review >
HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN by Nikki Giovanni
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"The variety of poetic forms and performance styles (sometimes elucidated on the CD, as well is in Giovanni's introduction) makes this collection an excellent source of material not found together elsewhere. (Poetry anthology. 7-12)"
The subtitle is more descriptive of the content of this engaging book than the title. Read full book review >
THE GRASSHOPPER’S SONG by Nikki Giovanni
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2008

"Before closing with an unlikely feel-good ending the jury reaches a verdict, but readers—children too, though the author more pointedly addresses parents, politicians and school administrators—may want to continue the discussion. (Folklore. 9-11, adult)"
In a stout defense of the value of art, Giovanni literally puts the ants on trial for leaving the grasshopper out in the cold. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 13, 2007

"An important work to handsell, booktalk and embrace. (foreword, lyrics, biographical notes, bibliography/source notes, recommended recordings, indexes) (Nonfiction. 11+)"
Giovanni's slim, personal exploration of the historical underpinnings of the spirituals presents a unique perspective on a topic rarely examined in young-adult literature. Read full book review >
ROSA by Nikki Giovanni
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"An essential volume for classrooms and libraries. (Picture book. 5+)"
Rosa Parks sat. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: April 1, 1996

"This is a fine collection whatever the need: for poetry shelves, black history collections, social consciousnessraising sessions, cultural literacy courses—or for anyone who likes the sight of words that shimmy shimmy shimmy on the page. (Poetry. 11+)"
 An annotated collection of poems from the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, presented by a master teacher and a terrific storyteller. Read full book review >
THE GENIE IN THE JAR by Nikki Giovanni
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1996

"In the comforting rhythm of these pages, children will absorb a message of faith in the power of art leavened by love. (Picture book. 4-10)"
 A poem by Giovanni (Knoxville, Tennessee, 1994, etc.) for the singer Nina Simone becomes a luscious illustrated work with Raschka's watercolor, ink, and oil stick figures. Read full book review >
RACISM 101 by Nikki Giovanni
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 1994

"Unfortunately, though, without the cutting edge consistently applied, these views of society and culture tend to ramble and reminisce more than drive the point home, leaving a favorable—but less than lasting—impression."
 From bestselling poet Giovanni, recently appointed professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic: over two dozen short essays, personal and political, on topics ranging from Spike Lee's Malcolm X to matters of family and friends While working primarily in the public realm by writing about various aspects of American life as she has encountered them in the past few years, Giovanni also leaves room for more intimate ruminations: on moving to Virginia; on the vagaries of teaching poetry; or on the significance of buying a candy-red sports car. Read full book review >
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE by Nikki Giovanni
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Johnson makes a fine picture book debut with richly hued impressionistic double spread oil paintings, but—at least for those with limited budgets—the price seems high for the limited content. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-8)"
 From the author's first book, Black Feeling, Black Talk (1968), a brief (68-word) poem describing summers spent with her grandparents in the mountainous country setting where she was born, presented with attractive illustrations reflecting the poem's sense of family love and community strength. Read full book review >
A DIALOGUE by James Baldwin
Released: Aug. 20, 1973

"Black solidarity triumphs over the kind of tough honesty that is necessary if this sort of encounter is to work."
A short and vacuous semi-revised transcription of a discussion between the young black poet and well-known novelist taped for U.S. television late in 1971. Read full book review >