Sunday, May 6, 2018

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes - ADVISABLE

Grimes, Nikki Between the Lines (companion to BronxMasquerade), 210 pages. Nancy Paulsen (Penguin), 2018.  $18.  Language: PG-13 (27 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

Darrian Lopez is determined to become a journalist, but his counselor has enrolled him in Mr. Ward’s class where the emphasis is on poetry.  What can poetry teach him about journalism - or about anything for that matter?  As he spends more time getting ready for the poetry slam, though, he gets to know more about the secrets that each of his classmates reveals through their art, and about himself and his personal depths.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about each of Darrian’s classmates and meeting them through their poetry.  Darrian himself was not as compelling a character.  Because fewer students were involved in the poetry slam, it felt like the interest in poetry was on the decline - like the program was dying.  I wish Grimes could have sustained the excitement and power of the poetry way, even though I know it is hard to juggle so many characters.

MS, HS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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