"One Last Word is the work of a master poet." - Kwame Alexander, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Crossover
From the New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes an emotional, special new collection of poetry inspired by the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most exciting African-American illustrators.
Inspired by the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of master poets like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Jean Toomer, and others who enriched history during this era.
Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting African American illustrators--including Pat Cummings, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and many more--to create an emotional and thought-provoking book with timely themes for today's readers.
A foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, poet biographies, and index makes this not only a book to cherish, but a wonderful resource and reference as well.
A 2017 New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017, Middle Grade
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017, Nonfiction
About the Author
Nikki Grimes is a New York Times bestselling author and the recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, the ALAN Award, the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the Printz Honor and Sibert Honor book Ordinary Hazards; NAACP Image Award nominee Planet Middle School; Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade; Coretta Scott King Honor books Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words With Wings, which was also named an ALA Notable Book; and What Is Goodbye?, an ALA Notable Book. She lives in Corona, California.
“Timely and thought-provoking . . . Grimes' choice of form, the Golden Shovel poem, does the magic of weaving generations of black verbal artistry into a useful, thematic, golden thread. . . . This striking, passionate anthology reminds young readers and adult fans of poetry alike that while black life remains 'no crystal stair,' there remains reason to hope and a reserve of courage from which to draw.” - starred review, Kirkus Reviews
“Through a chorus of contemporary voices--including proud parents, striving children, and weary but determined elders--Grimes powerfully transposes the original poems’ themes of racial bias, hidden inner selves, beauty, and pride into the here and now.” - starred review, Publishers Weekly
“Innovative and powerful . . . a beautiful new homage to the Harlem Renaissance but also a moving reflection on the African American experience and the resilience of the human spirit.” - starred review, School Library Journal
“Between the covers of this compact volume lies artistic, literary, sociocultural, and curricular gold . . . Mothers and elders exhort and reflect while young boys and girls plead and dream, reimagining the sorrows and dreams of the legendary wordsmiths into scenarios involving superheroes, bullies, peer pressure, poverty, and prom dates that young readers will relate to. This is simply essential for both personal and classroom collections.” - starred review, BCCB
“The vibrancy of the Harlem Renaissance is illuminated in Grimes’s provocative poetry collection . . . This enterprising and unusual volume not only introduces the Harlem Renaissance to young readers but also presents the challenge of a new way to write and enjoy poetry.” - The Horn Book Magazine
“By turns touching and laugh-out-loud funny.” - starred review, School Library Journal on PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL
“[Grimes's] accessible verse and clear themes of self-acceptance and open-mindedness ring true. A work that should help adolescent readers find the courage and humor to grow into the individuals they already are.” - Kirkus Reviews on PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL
“Captures universal moments of confusion, anger, guilt, and fun.” - Booklist on PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL
“Grimes explores the tension between individuality and gender-role conformity and takes on young adolescent concerns such as changing friendships, the shift in boy/girl relationships, and first crushes.” - Horn Book Magazine on PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL
“The vocabulary is rich, the characters well-drawn, and the scenes realistic. This is a serious but not too serious look at growing up from a master poet.” - Library Media Connection on PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL
“Readers will cringe, laugh, and most of all relate to [Joylin's] learning process as it is sensitively and sweetly depicted here. . . . Has broad appeal and solid curricular possibilities.” - BCCB on PLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL
“Throughout the book are color illustrations by award winning illustrators, such as E.B. Lewis, Pat Cummings, and Christopher Myers, which complement the poetry.” - School Library Connection