May 25, 2017

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Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes | SLJ Review

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redstarGrimes, Nikki. Garvey’s Choice. 120p. Boyds Mills/Wordsong. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781629797403. Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes

Gr 4-8 –Grimes’s latest is a sensitively written middle grade novel in verse that takes its syllable count from Japanese tanka. Garvey is an overweight boy who is teased at school and whose father constantly prods him to be more like his athletic older sister, Angie. But Garvey has a best friend (Joe), an open heart (which leads him to a new friend, Manny), and, as readers learn midway through the book, a talent for singing, which lands him a coveted solo in the school’s chorus concert. Through that talent, Garvey finds a way to connect with his father and combat his bullies’ rude remarks with a newfound strength of purpose. Those who thought Planet Middle School’s Joylin was a remarkably lifelike portrait of an angsty yet kind adolescent will fall hard for Garvey, a tender, sincere boy who dislikes athletics. Grimes writes about adolescent friendships in a way that feels deeply human. VERDICT A short, sweet, satisfying novel in verse that educators and readers alike will love.–Abigail Garnett, Brooklyn Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2016 issue.

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