|One last word : wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance|
Author: Grimes, Nikki
In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance -- including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era -- by combining their work with her own original poetry.
|Illustrator:||Cabrera, Cozbi A.|
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 6.10
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 70636
Kirkus Reviews (+) (10/15/16)
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/12/16)
The Hornbook (00/03/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 Gr 6 Up—In this innovative and powerful compendium, Grimes pairs original poems with classics from the Harlem Renaissance. In a brief historical note on the period, she acknowledges the significance of black artists giving voice to the experiences of black life and cites the continued relevance of the literature of the period in a society that, decades later, still struggles with racial identity and injustice. The author credits as inspiration the messages of hope, perseverance, survival, and positivity she finds in the work of poets like Countee Cullen, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and Langston Hughes, and she, too, explores these themes in her own poems. Furthermore, Grimes brilliantly uses the words of her literary predecessors to structure the book, employing the golden shovel, a form in which the words from selected lines or stanzas are borrowed, only to become the last words of each line in a new poem. The result is not only a beautiful homage to the Harlem Renaissance but also a moving reflection on the African American experience and the resilience of the human spirit: "The past is a ladder/that can help you/keep climbing." In addition, each pair of poems—each of Grimes's works follows the poem that inspired it—is accompanied by a full-color illustration by a prominent African American illustrator. Featured artists include Pat Cummings, E.B. Lewis, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, and Javaka Steptoe, among others, and the back matter contains brief poet and illustrator biographies. VERDICT This unique and extraordinary volume is a first purchase for all middle school poetry collections.—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2016 Inspired by poets of the Harlem Renaissance, Grimes showcases 15 of their short poems and follows each with one of her own, in which every word in a line, or lines, from the original becomes the last word of a line in the new work. Her poems, drawing from the works of poets such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, add contemporary dimensions to timeless themes, such as growing up in hard times and finding the strength, hope, and courage to carry on. Most of her free-verse poems are written from a kid’s point of view, though a few reflect the thoughts and advice of adults. Fourteen accomplished African American illustrators, including many winners of Coretta Scott King illustrator awards or honors, contributed illustrations for Grimes’ poems. Though most of the pictures were not available in final form, the two seen in color are strong, distinctive, and vibrant. This anthology has plenty to offer, including effective introductions to Harlem Renaissance poets, well-expressed ideas and images, and, for young writers, a challenging way to turn admiration into inspiration. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.