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|Ordinary hazards : a memoir|
Author: Grimes, Nikki
Explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse.
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/19)
School Library Journal (10/01/19)
Booklist (+) (06/01/19)
The Hornbook (+) (00/09/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2019 *Starred Review* With Ordinary Hazards, Grimes delivers a memoir in the form of a powerful and inspiring collection of poems. She details her early life through adulthood, and she unabashedly explores the highs as well as the lows. Grimes’ struggle with a mother suffering from mental illness, an absent father, and an abusive stepfather plunged her life into turmoil at an early age. Yet through it all, she persevered and used writing as an outlet for her pain. She delves into finding a loving found family after being separated from her older sister and bounced around in foster care, ultimately having to choose between her found family and her birth mother, after her birth mother claims to be well enough for Grimes to come home. Young adults will identify with and connect to the many challenges explored in Grimes' work, which delves into issues of love, family, responsibility, belonging, finding your place in the world, and fighting the monsters you know—and the ones you don’t. The memoir has heartbreaking moments—even soul-crushing ones—that will make readers ache for young Grimes and teens grappling with similar circumstances. But inspiring moments bolster her raw, resonant story, showing that there is always light at the end of the darkest of tunnels. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 Gr 7 Up—Grimes offers young adult readers the special treat of literary ingenuity in her new memoir. "Time to grab my flashlight / and step into the tunnel," Grimes writes in an early poem—making reference to her task with this new work. In long poems, short poems, and the occasional prose poem, Grimes guides us through her past tragedies and triumphs while keenly observed moments build her inner world. Readers spend time with three different points of view: child Grimes, adolescent Grimes, and burgeoning adult Grimes. Though the circumstances and characters change as she moves and grows, her voice is consistently spare and warm. The poems about experiencing neglect as a five-year-old carry the same powerful simplicity as those written about high school. A memoir that doesn't demand a time line, this work is a personal history in poems that you can read backward and forward. VERDICT This nontraditional memoir from a long-working and highly acclaimed author will speak deeply to young readers harboring their own interest in writing or otherwise squeezing art out of life's spiky fruit.—Sierra Dickey, Center for New Americans, Northampton, MA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.