Between the Lines

4 CDs. 3:58 hrs. Recorded Bks. Feb. 2018. $46.75. ISBN 9781501962615. digital download.
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up—Darrian is determined to become a reporter and believes his skills will be strengthened by taking a poetry class. This companion novel to Bronx Masquerade follows Mr. Ward as he takes his new class to new heights using poetry. Darrian is the thread that connects the other characters, each taking a turn telling their tale about their current life and use it to create poetry. Mr. Ward takes gives them different writing exercises that help each challenge themselves and their own preconceived notions of each other. The book culminates around a poetry slam, boys versus girls, where each group and person will have to lay it out on the line. The story sounds simple enough, but the characters really jump off the pages with their stories. Each one will make readers' hearts ache and rejoice as the characters face difficulties and sacrifices while striving for happiness. This audiobook is beautifully read by Sisi Aisha Johnson, Edward Lopez, Lori Gardner, Almarie Guerra, James Shippy, Ruffin Prentiss, and Cherise Boothe. Grimes possesses an extraordinary ability to create authentic characters whose stories piece together to form a beautiful narrative.
VERDICT Exceptional character development matched with great storytelling make this novel essential for most libraries.

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