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Between the Lines
Contributor(s): Grimes, Nikki
ISBN: 0399246886     ISBN-13: 9780399246883
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: February 2018
Annotation: A group of high school students grow in understanding of each other's challenges and forge unexpected connections as they prepare for a boys versus girls poetry slam.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Poetry; Fiction.
Authorship; Fiction.
Interpersonal relations; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017025067
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (0.75 lbs) 216 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Nikki Grimes ( received the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade, and has also received five Coretta Scott King Honors. She has written more than fifty books, including The Road to Paris, Jazmin’s Notebook, the Dyamonde Daniel series, and the New York Times bestseller Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. She lives in Corona, California.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
This companion to Bronx Masquerade again mixes students' first-person narratives and their forays into poetry. Students in Mr. Ward's Bronx high school class are preparing for a poetry slam. Each student is given a voice among the story's multiple points of view; though they all have different life stories, they bond over the power of words: "We were more alike than we were different." Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #2)
"Just step up, step up to the mike / and let your truth fly, loud, / proud, raw." That's what students are preparing to do in Mr. Ward's high school class in the Bronx. Through poetry, they are learning the power of words, preparing for the poetry slam that will be the culmination of their time together (and of the novel). In this companion to Grimes's Bronx Masquerade (rev. 3/02), which again mixes students' first-person narratives and their forays into poetry, Mr. Ward's class becomes a cast of many players, each student given a voice among the multiple points of views woven throughout the story. The first speaker is Darrian Lopez, a Puerto Rican teenager who intends to write for the New York Times because he figures "the only way to get our stories straight is by writing them ourselves." In Mr. Ward's class, he not only sharpens his word skills, he learns the stories behinds others' poetry: the stories of the children of immigrants, victims of police brutality, and teenage mothers. Subsequent speakers include Tyrone Bittings, Li Cheng, and Jenesis Whyte; predictably, this group of students, all with different life stories, bonds over the power of words and comes together. As Tyrone realizes, "We were more alike than we were different. Black, White, Puerto Rican—it didn't matter. Truth is truth, and everybody bleeds red." In her author's note, Grimes highlights her character Jenesis, who has been in the foster care system all her life and is about to age out; Grimes offers help and resources for vulnerable teens in similar situations. dean schneider Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 November #3)

Grimes adroitly orchestrates a chorus of emotional teenage voices in this thought-provoking companion to the Coretta Scott King Award–winning Bronx Masquerade (2001). A summer has passed since the events of the previous book, and English teacher Mr. Ward has a new crop of culturally diverse students learning the art of poetry. Junior Darrian Lopez, who wants to be a newspaperman someday, is eager to uncover the backgrounds of his classmates. Grimes uses him as a kind of conductor, introducing readers to (and reflecting on the situations of) students whose stories unfold through snippets of conversation, inner monologues, and the poems they compose. Among them are foster child Jenesis, who faces an uncertain future once she turns 18; angry Marcel, whose father has been unjustly incarcerated; and overworked Freddie, caretaker for her alcoholic mother and six-year old niece. While underscoring the difficulties these teens face, Grimes's economical writing provides glimmers of hope, showing how forming bonds of trust and finding the courage to speak one's truth can help ease emotional pain and bring salvation. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 December)

Gr 7 Up—Darrian Lopez eats, sleeps, and breathes the life of a star reporter. His dreams of writing the real stories of black and brown people are surpassed only by his dream of writing for the New York Times. Darrian decides to join a poetry class after having a conversation about journalism with the school librarian. He initially joins the class to become a better observer and reporter. He believes the students in the class will provide excellent material for his budding reporter's mind. Darrian's opinion of and appreciation for poetic expression grows as he gets to know his classmates through their verses. These complex students use poetry to find their truest voices and write their own stories. This is the companion novel to the award-winning book Bronx Masquerade. Darrian is a reliable narrator and operates as the glue that ties all the other narratives together. Each character occupies his or her own space and no one character or voice monopolizes the story. The narratives of immigrants, foster children, families effected by incarceration, and teens taxed with familial burdens are thoroughly explored in a thought-provoking way. The poems and voices are a perfect blend of the many facets of American teens' lives. VERDICT An excellent companion book that lends itself easily to a teacher's poetry unit, this is great choice for school and public libraries.—Desiree Thomas, Worthington Library, OH

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.