Books by Nikki Grimes

WORDS WITH WINGS by Nikki Grimes
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"An inspirational exploration of caring among parent, teacher and child—one of Grimes' best. (Poetry. 8-12)"
In this delightfully spare narrative in verse, Coretta Scott King Award-winning Grimes examines a marriage's end from the perspective of a child. Read full book review >
PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 13, 2011

"A work that should help adolescent readers find the courage and humor to grow into the individuals they already are. (Verse fiction. 9-14)"
A young tomboy comes of age on and off the basketball court. Read full book review >
ALMOST ZERO by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"Everything we have is a gift," or at least that's what Dyamonde's mom says. Read full book review >

A GIRL NAMED MISTER by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

Mary Rudine, known to everyone as Mister, is a typical high-school student, engaged in studies, sports and church. Read full book review >
RICH by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"Dyamonde liked to know everything, and she'd made up her mind that she was going to get to know Damaris Dancer." Read full book review >

VOICES OF CHRISTMAS by Nikki Grimes
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

Grimes uses her talent as a poet to retell the Nativity story from several different viewpoints, each one a distinct voice with its own style. Read full book review >

MAKE WAY FOR DYAMONDE DANIEL by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

Third grader Dyamonde Daniel, transplanted from Brooklyn to Washington Heights because of her parents' divorce, is looking for a best friend. Read full book review >

Released: Aug. 26, 2008

When David wonders why all those people on TV are shouting one man's name, his mother tells him Barack Obama's story. Read full book review >

OH, BROTHER! by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

When his mother remarries, a young boy resents his new stepbrother until he discovers they have a lot in common. Read full book review >

WHEN GORILLA GOES WALKING by Nikki Grimes
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2007

A young girl named Cecilia describes her affection and relationship with her cat, Gorilla, in short snappy poems. Read full book review >

THE ROAD TO PARIS by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Eight-year-old Paris Richmond has never had it easy. Read full book review >

WELCOME, PRECIOUS by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

Every child should be so blessed as to be welcomed to the world and into the loving embrace of an adoring family, as is the African-American newborn in this warm poetic picture book. Read full book review >

THANKS A MILLION by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: March 1, 2006

Gratitude for simple pleasures and small kindnesses is the theme of Grimes's newest collection of poems. Read full book review >

DARK SONS by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

Grimes contrasts the Biblical story of Abraham's son Ishmael with present day Samuel's trying to cope with divorce and his father's remarriage. Read full book review >

DANITRA BROWN, CLASS CLOWN by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2005

Danitra Brown is back and so is her friend Zuri. Read full book review >

AT JERUSALEM’S GATE by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

Through beautiful, lucid free verse, Nikki Grimes explores some of the ambiguous, enigmatic events and circumstances leading up to the central theme behind the annual Easter observance. Read full book review >

WHAT IS GOODBYE? by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2004

The unimaginably painful situation of losing a sibling is the theme of this poetry collection, told in alternating viewpoints by a younger brother and sister in the year after their older brother's sudden death from an unspecified cause. Read full book review >

TAI CHI MORNING by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

In 1988, poet Grimes was part of an artists' tour of China, performing, reading, traveling, and teaching. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"Brave Bessie Coleman," the first black woman in the world to earn a pilot's license, has been the subject of several recent picture book biographies: (Fly, Bessie, Fly, by Lynn Joseph, 1998; Fly High!, by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger, 2001; Nobody Owns the Sky, by Reeve Lindbergh, 1996). Read full book review >

UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

Grimes (Talkin' About Bessie, p. 1530, etc.) explores the Christmas season through a poetic prism, examining both positive and negative aspects of the holiday. Read full book review >

DANITRA BROWN LEAVES TOWN by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 2002

Fans of this author-illustrator team's Meet Danitra Brown (1994) will welcome their latest effort about Danitra and her best friend, Zuri Jackson. Read full book review >

BRONX MASQUERADE by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

This is almost like a play for 18 voices, as Grimes (Stepping Out with Grandma Mac, not reviewed, etc.) moves her narration among a group of high school students in the Bronx. Read full book review >

WHEN DADDY PRAYS by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

Fourteen graceful poems portray a small boy's relationship with his prayerful father. Read full book review >

SHOE MAGIC by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

Urging readers to understand that "What you do, / Where you go, / Who you grow / Up to be / Depends on / The steps you take," these poems profile children trying on shoes for the future. Read full book review >

IS IT FAR TO ZANZIBAR by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: March 30, 2000

Thirteen brief, playful poems give us a glimpse at life in rural Tanzania, including its offshore island, Zanzibar. Read full book review >

AT BREAK OF DAY by Nikki Grimes
Released: Nov. 1, 1999

A lovely and poetic recasting of the Biblical creation story in a modern spirit, from the versatile Grimes (My Man Blue, p. 721, etc.). Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 1999

PLB 0-688-15998-2 From Grimes (My Man Blue, p. 721, etc.), 13 brief poems about the art of weaving, literally and figuratively. Read full book review >

MY MAN BLUE by Nikki Grimes
Released: May 1, 1999

This against-the-odds book from Grimes (Jazmin's Notebook, 1998, etc.) tells of an African-American boy living in a neighborhood that cuts him no slack, and the man who helps keep his feet grounded and his self-esteem steady against the occasional buffeting of his peers. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1999

Poems about love indeed hopscotch among the generations, and every one of the 22 entries tells a story. Read full book review >

JAZMIN'S NOTEBOOK by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1998

There's a poetic soul taking notes up on Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, and her name is Jazmin Shelby, the star witness to the hard lives and high hopes in a novel from Grimes (Come Sunday, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >

COME SUNDAY by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: July 1, 1996

Composed as a suite of pitch-perfect poems, Grimes (Portrait of Mary, 1994, etc.) affectionately portrays a young girl's enjoyment of the spirit and practice of Sunday services in her community's church. On Sunday, LaTasha's mother wakes her up with whispers, and after she is dressed, ``I practically run to Paradise—/to Paradise Baptist Church.'' There she is greeted and pinched by ``Blue-Haired Ladies,'' surveys the ``Ladies' Hats,'' and admires the ``White Gloves'' worn by the ushers. Read full book review >

PORTRAIT OF MARY by Nikki Grimes
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

Children's author Grimes (From a Child's Heart, 1993, etc.) does an adult turn with this mild historical fiction about the mother of Jesus. Largely narrated in the first person, the novel tells the familiar story of Mary in a simple, pious way that is sure to please fundamentalist believers. Read full book review >

MEET DANITRA BROWN by Nikki Grimes
POETRY
Released: April 1, 1994

In a lively cycle of 13 poems by the author of Somethin' on My Mind (1978), Zuri Jackson celebrates her vibrant best friend Danitra: ``the most splendiferous girl in town...She's not afraid to take a dare./If something's hard, she doesn't care./She'll try her best, no matter what.'' Danitra shares work, play, and confidences with equal verve, knows how to defuse a mean tease or comfort a friend, and loves to wear purple. Read full book review >

FROM A CHILD'S HEART by Nikki Grimes
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Thirteen subtly cadenced, accessible poems in an authentically childlike voice: messages confided to God as to a trusted friend. Read full book review >