Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Man Blue
 Poems by Nikki Grimes
Pictures by  Jerome Lagarigue

WOW!  Incredible use of poetry to narrate the sweet, poignant story of growing up.

Book Talk
Nikki Grimes masterly uses the power of poetry /free verse to take the reader through the trials of a young boy, Damon, as he and his mother resettle in her childhood neighborhood.  She rekindles a friendship with a childhood friend named “Blue”,  (who, of course is now a man).  Blue, in turn, befriends the fatherless Damon and plays a pivotal role in the young boy’s life, advising him of the dangers of the ‘street’, playing hoops and ball with him and generally being a positive presence in the boy’s life.  The friendship between man and boy beautifully fulfills a need for both of them as they develop a trusting relationship.  

Each step of Damon and Blue’s relationship is told in the form of a narrative poem.
Each page has a different poem relating to a specific issue that the two are facing or just describes a way the two relate to each other.

Nikki Grime’s poems are powerful, yet tender.  The poems are wonderfully written and a beautiful way to weave this story of this important, developing relationship between two people who need each other.

A favorite poem from the book (They are all powerful!) 
His Hands
   His hands
are a rough sculpture
of thick fingers
& thumbs tipped
with work proud
callouses, his badges
of tough, honest labor
down on the docks.
   His hands
are strong stories.
He tells them 
sometimes when
I let him hold mine.

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text 
Book Genre: Poetry / Free Verse
Reading Workshop Strategies: Fluency, Connecting, Inferring, Analyzing, Questioning
Writing Workshop: Poetry (Narrative)
Grammar: Punctuation (in poetry)
Curricular themes:  Diversity / We Need Diverse Books

Nikki Grimes website:

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