When Wesley Boone writes a poem for his high school English class, some of his classmates clamor to read their poems aloud too. Soon they're having weekly poetry sessions and, one by one, the eighteen students are opening up and taking on the risky challenge of self-revelation. There's Lupe Alvarin, desperate to have a baby so she will feel loved. Raynard Patterson, hiding a secret behind his silence. Porscha Johnson, needing an outlet for her anger after her mother OD's. Through the poetry they share and narratives in which they reveal their most intimate thoughts about themselves and one another, their words and lives show what lies beneath the skin, behind the eyes, beyond the masquerade.
Praise For Bronx Masquerade…
"A flowing, rhythmic portrait of the diversity and individuality of teen characters in a classroom in Anywhere, U.S.A. . . . As their stories unfold and intertwine with those of their classmates, readers are able to observe changes in them and watch the group evolve into a more cohesive unit. . . . Competent and reluctant readers alike will recognize and empathize with these teens. As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for--real characters who show them they are not alone."--SLJ
"Funny and painful, awkward and abstract, the poems talk about race, abuse, parental love, neglect, death, and body image. Most of all, they try to reveal the individuals beyond the stereotypes. . . . Readers will enjoy the lively, smart voices that talk bravely about real issues and secret fears. A fantastic choice."--Booklist
"All of the [students], black, Latino, white, male, and female, talk about the unease and alienation endemic to their ages, and they do it in fresh and appealing voices. Rich and complex."--Kirkus
"Grimes's creative, contemporary premise will hook teens, and the poems may even inspire readers to try a few of their own."--Publishers Weekly
Speak, 9780425289761, 192pp.
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
About the Author
Among the many accolades she has received are the Golden Dolphin Award (2005),the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children (2006), the Coretta Scott King Award (2003) for Bronx Masquerade, and the Horace Mann Upstanders Award (2011) for Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book. Additionally, her book Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (illustrated by Bryan Collier) was a New York Times bestseller, and she was acknowledged as an NAACP Image Award Finalist in 1993 for her book Malcolm X: a Force for Change. Her books Meet Danitra Brown (illustrated by Floyd Cooper), Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie (illustrated by E.B. Lewis), Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings were each awarded Coretta Scott King Honors. Visit her online at www.nikkigrimes.com.