Product Details
List Price:
$9.99
Ages:
8 to 12
Grades:
3 to 7
Pages:
120
Published:
10/2016
Imprint:
Wordsong
ISBN-13: 978-1-62979-747-2
Lexile Level:
620L

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About the Book

Overview

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 obese, 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. This emotionally resonant novel in verse by award-winning author Nikki Grimes celebrates choosing to be true to yourself.

Reviews

* “Grimes returns to the novel-in-verse format, creating voice, characters, and plot in a series of pithy tanka poems, a traditional Japanese form similar to haiku, but using five lines…. (w)ritten from Garvey’s point of view, the succinct verses convey the narrative as well as his emotions with brevity, clarity, and finesse.”Booklist, starred review

* "(A) sensitively written middle grade novel in verse… (readers) will fall hard for Garvey, a tender, sincere boy who dislikes athletics. Grimes writes about adolescent friendships in a way that feels deeply human. A short, sweet, satisfying novel in verse that educators and readers alike will love." School Library Journal, starred review

* "Grimes' newest follows a young black boy searching for his own unique voice, lost among his father's wishes and society's mischaracterizations. This compassionate, courageous, and hopeful novel explores the constraints placed on black male identity and the corresponding pains and struggles that follow when a young black boy must confront these realities both at home and in school.... This graceful novel risks stretching beyond easy, reductive constructions of black male coming-of-age stories and delivers a sincere, authentic story of resilience and finding one's voice." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Grimes tells a big-hearted story of Garvey...(e)mploying the Japanese poetic form of tanka—five-line poems (or, here, stanzas) with haiku-like syllable counts—Grimes reveals Garvey’s thoughts, feelings, and observations, the spare poetry a good vehicle for a young man’s attempts to articulate the puzzle that is his life." —Horn Book Reviews

 *"Writing in five-line tanka poems, Grimes (Words with Wings) weaves a heart-wrenching story about a boy who isn't the jock his father dreamed he would be; in simple, searing language, Grimes captures Garvey's heartache at his father's inability to accept him as he is, as well as the casual but wounding teasing Garvey endures at school...Garvey's journey to self-acceptance is deeply moving and will linger with readers long after they finish this brief, incisive verse novel." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

Awards
Meet the Author

Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her books include the New York Times best seller Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope and the Dyamonde Daniel chapter-book series. She won the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade and earned a Coretta Scott King Author Honor four times—for Words with Wings, Jazmin's Notebook, Dark Sons, and The Road to Paris. She lives in Corona, California. nikkigrimes.com

More About This Author
Other Books by Nikki Grimes