ORDINARY HAZARDS by Nikki Grimes

ORDINARY HAZARDS

A Memoir
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

For award-winning children’s and YA author Grimes (Between the Lines, 2018, etc.), writing, faith, and determination were the keys to surviving her tumultuous childhood.

In the face of her father’s abandonment and the revolving door of her alcoholic mother’s psychiatric hospital stays, Grimes becomes savvier and more resilient than any young child should have to be. After being abused by a babysitter when she was 3, Grimes and her beloved older sister, Carol, enter another set of revolving doors: foster care, sometimes loving, sometimes not. At a dark moment when she is 6, Grimes finds escape and comfort in prayer and writing. Despite the instability and danger she endures, Grimes blossoms into a gifted teen with a passion for books, journaling, and poetry. Her personal, political, and artistic awakenings are intertwined, with the drama of her family life unfolding against the backdrop of pivotal moments in Civil Rights–era America. Grimes recounts her story as a memoir in verse, writing with a poet’s lyricism through the lens of memory fractured by trauma. Fans of her poetry and prose will appreciate this intimate look at the forces that shaped her as an artist and as a person determined to find the light in the darkest of circumstances.

A raw, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting story of trauma, loss, and the healing power of words. (Verse memoir. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-62979-881-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2019