Thursday, December 15, 2011

Planet Middle School - a review

Grimes, Nikki. 2011. Planet Middle School. New York: Bloomsbury.

Ever since I heard Nikki Grimes read "Breathless" in New Orleans at the 8th Annual Poetry Blast, I've been waiting to read Planet Middle School, the book inspired by the poem.

Want to see Nikki Grimes reading "Breathless?"  Click here to watch the video at Poetry for ChildrenNote: "Breathless" is the 4th video down from the top.

I finally received a review copy from a colleague and was pleased that the book did not disappoint!  Was is disappointing, however, is the fact that in the midst of moving between library branches, I've misplaced my book. 

So, in short, without benefit of quotes or notes, this brief review will have to suffice.

In Planet Middle School, Nikki Grimes proves that she has the gift of distilling the entire range of adolescent emotions into an easy reading novel in verse.  With a brevity of words that belies the depth of content, Nikki Grimes takes us into the heart and mind of 12-year-old Joylin Johnson as she navigates middle school, changing friendships, uncomfortable family dynamics and her first crush.

This is a short and quickly read book that contains enough intensity to satisfy older readers.  A perfect choice for poetry fans, reluctant readers, and young teens who may find themselves in similar situations. And yes -  also for the reader who waited too long to choose a book for her book report - a perfect opportunity to help out a student, spark an interest in poetry, and introduce a reader to Nikki Grimes.

Read reviews from Kirkus, Hornbook, SLJ, and Booklist on Bloomsbury's website.

Another review @
Abby the Librarian

A Teacher's Guide is available here.

ARC supplied by a colleague.

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