February 22, 2018

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Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarGRIMES, Nikki. Poems in the Attic. 1 CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2015. $15.75. ISBN 9781501907814. digital download.Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes

Gr 1-5 –While visiting her grandma, a seven-year-old girl discovers her mother’s keepsakes in the attic: a cedar box filled with poems, written long before her daughter was born. The poems describe her childhood experiences as a military brat. California, Alaska, Germany, and Japan are just a few of the poems’ backdrops that paint a vivid picture of the child’s mother. The alternating voices of the small girl and her mom are reflected with changes in poetic form. Free verse is used by the contemporary narrator, and tanka, an ancient Japanese form, is used by her mother. The young girl’s grandmother is the bridge between those two voices. The intergenerational bond is strengthened as they reflect and explore together. Grimes perfectly captures mood with her evocative and lovely use of language. Sisi Aisha Johnson’s narration effectively mirrors the intent of the story. The beauty of this book does not end at its close. Grimes provides an author’s note and description of poetic form that warmly encourage listeners to share in the joy of writing poetry. ­VERDICT This gem simply sparkles. A perfect addition to any library collection—for a study of poetry or purely for the joy of language. [“A gem of a book”: SLJ 4/15 review of the Lee & Low book.]–Terri Perper, Olney Elementary School, MD

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